The Ivy-Smothered Palisade

A flare of illumination washed the chamber in flickering shadow and gleam. I'd gone through another door, into a different room, longer and wider than the one I knew. Runes were scratched on every visible inch of walls, ceiling and floor. Repeated phrases: Death feeds life. Life breeds death. Death breathes. Tall and heavy armoires slithering with gold filigree lined both sides of this horrid space, most with their doors open, spilling out once-beautiful gowns now molded and rotting, reminding me of molted skins.

Oh, Eyan, so often I've reflected on this moment and been so ashamed, that instead of trying to do something, anything, to help, I cowered and crawled away.

I was sagging, listing in pain, by the time I could see Rattle and the crew. They were waiting on the Eight-B platform, near the engine console. The Eight-B line had a rust-and-people smell that mingled into a peculiar musk. I imagined the stench of Hail's blood and body beneath the usual platform scents. From Rattle's face, I knew she didn't have to.

There hadn't been a killing in years, though. We'd forgotten.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Bearslayer and the Black Knight

Podcast: Download (Duration: 18:06 — 12.43MB)

No one decided anyone's fate that day. The champions were too evenly matched.
From the Archives:
Thieves of Silence
Terror overcame even the blindness, and Zel ran.