I hope you enjoy the next book in the Half-Elf Chronicles!
I hope everyone is having a great New Year's Eve! To finish out the year, I give you the forth book in the Half-ELf Chronicles series! Necromancer's Curse at last answers the question of what happened to Alri after the attack on the temple of the god Dimn and reveals the High Sanctum of magic, the school of wizards.
I hope you enjoy the next book in the Half-Elf Chronicles!
The problem with the North Sea is that it’s so damn cold. Well, that’s one problem. You would think to move from the Carolinas in the good old U.S. of A. that it wouldn’t be too bad to do some technical work for 6 months in the dead of a Norwegian winter. You’d also be wrong.
I'm used to working around other men for months on end but when you struggle to speak a single Norse word about the only thing you might can find is a good Norwegian woman. Except, on an oil rig there are no women. Just me and some guys. In case you were wondering, that’s not my thing.
Luckily, due to a severe mechanical malfunction we’d been moved back to Oslo. I took a cab to the outskirts of town near a large woods. Something called Helvetehor.
There’s a nice bar here. Seemed like a good, laid-back place, plus I’d heard it was frequented by what I do want -- women. Attractive women. Something I needed... like right then.
I went up to the bar and ordered a beer. It was a bit more sour than I preferred but it would get me started. There were plenty of women -- and one old man. I sat down at the bar and scanned for those that might notice me.
I turned to take another sip from my beer and someone sat down beside me.
I turned and, to my disgust, found the old man.
“You’re an American aren’t you?”
“You assume that pretty quickly.”
“You sound like an American. I didn’t assume shit. You shouldn’t either. I see you looking at these women. Don’t bother. You don’t want them.”
This old man is funny.
“Really? I take it you’ve had personal experience in that?”
He glared at me and snorted.
“No? Then buzz off, grandpa. I don’t need your dating advice.”
“Aye, take care but the hands of the Huldra take the willing.”
The man stumbled out and I was left alone.
What the hell was he spouting off about anyway? What in the hell is a huldra? Damn, I need another beer. And a shot.
At least the bartender seemed attentive.
The hours passed and I was getting drunk. The sun was down, now that it had been up for very long to start with. I heard the door open and an attractive blond came in. I say, I guess another attractive blond, but unfortunately the others weren’t too keen to talk to me. There was one but she only stared -- and not in a good way. She was now glaring at me from the corner of the room.
What the hell did I do?
I turned my attention to the girl next to me.
“Can I just have some vodka?” she asked.
The bartender served her up a shot and she slammed it.
Her accent was familiar. She was American too, I’d say from the Northeast. Boston maybe.
“Hey,” I said. I knew it was cheesy but it was something.
She smiled. You’re American”
“Working in the north, ya know, oil.”
She gave me a coy smirk “Cool, I’m here on a story for a magazine. I’m alone other than my camera guy but I was trying to find something a bit more fun to do.”
I have something fun for you.
That blond pushed her way between myself and my fellow American.
“Sorry,” she said in a seductive way. “I’ve been watching and when foreign you should try foreign delights. Not cheap, sad things like her.”
I love this accent, wow. Maybe it’s like Russian, I don’t know.
The American girl turned and stomped off.
Ha! I think she’s crying. What can I say, I guess I am an asshole.
It was love -- or maybe it was a mix of the alcohol and her sweet scent that drew me away from the bar as she led me out the door.
“Let’s get away from here.”
I laughed as she laughed and tried to hide her smile. Her eyes moved up and down me. I grinned almost foolishly and with a jaunt through the snow she took me into the woods. I thought at first maybe her car was parked at the nearby recreation area but we went deeper. I stopped.
“Where are we going?”
She stood straight, her legs together. Her tight skirt formed around her body and her cleavage poked through a short coat. I looked at her as she scanned the area. There was something on her back that I hadn’t noticed before. It looked strange.
Had she been running backward or was I just that drunk?
She pushed herself against me.
“I know what you want. I know what all men like you want and I give it to you.”
“Oh yeah?” I breathed heavily.
Her fingertips glide down my stomach. Something slippery moved up my leg but she kissed me before I could look down. I threw my arms around her back to feel her body but… her skin was coarse. It felt oddly familiar but even in my drunken state knew I shouldn’t be feeling. I glanced around at the trees.
That’s what it is. Am I pushing her against a tree?
Her hands gripped my waist and I gasped.
A tearing pain shot through my stomach and I coughed as a roughness pushed straight up through my throat. She let out a shrill sound and her eyes turn red.
“Filth of a man,” she said in a ragged voice, “I give you your release!”
I tasted blood and the world spun as I fell to the ground.
She withdrew something from my body.
Have I been stabbed? Shot?
I’d never felt this kind of pain. She turned. Her back was tree bark and a bloody tail whipped behind her as she disappeared into the approaching storm, my blood melting into the snow.
Footsteps crunched nearby and the old man from the bar came into view, laughing, a shovel in his hands.
“I told you the Huldra take the willing!” He dumped snow on me and the light faded, the coolness oddly comforting.
What the hell is a Huldra?
The old man snorted. “Stupid boy. He wanted something local but didn’t study his lore. Third one in two days. These woods are getting full and my old back is sore. She doesn’t pay me enough for this.”
A FATHER'S MERCY
Saints of Wura Flash Fiction
“Tell me, daddy. Tell me about before it came.”
The father had led the young girl to a trickling stream. She had always loved the river. It was on the edge of their land and a spot where they could see the stars. He started a small fire and laid her down to where she could just touch the water rolling over the rocks.
“Before? How long before, dear child?”
She smiled and looked up at the starry sky. “At the beginning, before we went to the trees!”
Her father began to light a fire with the small amount of kindling he had brought with them. He stacked wood and after the flames caught, tossed other sticks on top of it.
“It was a grand time. The gods were within the world. We were new to it as well. Magic was alive and strong, flowing through the air like fairies do near our home.”
The little girl smiled as her father paused. “Keep going!” she begged.
He set a pot of water with several herbs on the burning wood. The fire was not large, but they did not have much time. He had to be sure the fire was hot enough to infuse the water. He had picked a lovely bouquet of chamomile earlier in the evening. His daughter loved chamomile. She twiddled a flower near the edge of the stream and wasn’t watching him. Before the left, he had ginger from the woods near the old city and a small bag fairy dust that remained behind as the last fairies disappeared.
He also had some extra herbs, he hid those from his daughter. He was careful to add them in between her glances toward him. She laughed as she tried to take a peak at what he was putting in.They liked to play a game where she guessed what kind of tea and he would make tonight no different.
As the water began to slowly steam, she twirled and danced before him.
“Daddy! What other stories can you tell me about then?”
He pondered for a moment, staring into the slowly bubbling pot. He had many fond memories and he fought back tears as he thought of his love, the girls mother, already taken from them.
“Before it came, your mother use to take you to the fields near the glowing trees. It was nights just liked this, where the summer wind blew through her hair and your giggles filled the air, we would spend time beneath the heavens.”
“I remember that! I remember the moon being so bright!”
The world had become less of a place since then. It was dangerous to be out at night, especially, on nights with moons like this. They were always looking for their kind of people. They were always hunting for elves.
“Daddy, daddy, what else can you tell me?”
The tea was done. He had two wooden cups that he poured the herbal tea into before sweetening with a dab of honey.
“I will tell you, but first I wish you to drink my tea and for us to play our favorite game.”
“I know what you want and I saw you sneak in ingredients! I can still guess it!”
He smiled at her as she sipped it. She took one sip and grinned. “Chamomile! My favorite!”
He laughed, “Very good, my child.”
She took another sip and he forced a smile, holding back his own tears. Her back was to the fires that had begun in the distance.
He laughed and then gulped, “Very good.”
The fires spread quickly. The elven homes built into the great woods were burning. They would soon come towards them. His daughter began to sit up but he placed his fingers to her lips and shook his head.
“Drink more and tell me what you taste.”
She took another large sip. “Honey and… daddy?”
She had laid back flat and turned towards the river. She reached out to the stream.
“Yes, my child?” I ask, but I already know.
“I can feel something, something inside me. I will never grow as others. I feel... do… do I… go to… mommy… now?”
He placed his hands on hers. It had taken hold in her some time ago. The sickness, the plaque of their people that had already claimed so many. But it was not what took her now. He feared those that hunted them. They were coming. They had come for so many of them already. The two elves could not escape the horrid genocide against their kind.
“Yes, we both go to mommy.”
He took a large gulp of his tea as he watched his daughter’s hand fall into the water as her other released her cup, spilling her tainted tea on the ground. She had always loved the river. He made sure she was near it when they were both to see their last. He laid his head on her chest as he saw them staring at them.
His vision faded.
A stout legionnaire stood above the father and daughter. He sheathed his sword.
“These elves are already dead. Move to the next village and for the glory of men, we will destroy all of them before their sickness spreads. The gods be with us. We kill them to protect our own.”
The legionnaires left the two elves. Heading further into the lands to seek out the last of those they deemed evil. The magic in the world was fading and would soon be gone.
The race of men had used the perfect poison and many more would die before the end.
Thank you for reading this week's entry! Join me next week for another flash fiction story!
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