“truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” -mark twain
welcome back for another edition of fiction friday. this week we return our focus to the assassin niscene e’terrall. but not where we last left her. before you scratch your head, i assure you: there is a method to my madness. at least i think there is. either way, enjoy!
at first, the people of ramodin did not notice the white smoke twisting its way out of the temple and into the blue sky. such an occurrence had not been seen in a good 10 years; it was an even rarer happening prior to then. the smoke floated skyward for a good two minutes before niscene e’terrall finally heard someone shout. the assassin watched as up and down the street, heads craned back and fingers jabbed at the sky.
“what has happened?” asked a merchant running from his shop. his jaw dropped when he saw the smoke. “maker’s mercy! the queen!”
after the initial shock wore off, a buzz fell over the crowd as people speculated, questioned and exchanged theories along the street. sitting at an outside cafe table, niscene sipped tea and blended in, unnoticed.
so they had finally discovered the queen’s lifeless body. doubtless, confusion reigned in the palace. how could a healthy woman, not quite 30, suddenly die in her sleep? the assassin smiled into her tea cup. how, indeed.
if only she could have stuck around, lurking in the palace, to observe the aftermath. as it was, she barely made it out of the palace unnoticed. she grimaced at the memory.
no. with her assignation complete, it was time to away. time to put the filthy city behind her.
“my lady?” annoyed at the interruption to her thoughts, niscene turned to scowl at the voice’s owner. it was a young man, not much older than niscene herself. if he took offense at her scowl, he hid it well. he simply stared at niscene with pale blue eyes, his dark hair blowing slightly in the breeze. he had a nervous twitch about him. he wore a fine suit but surely was no lord; he lacked the haughtiness.
“what?” niscene finally hissed.
the young man licked his lips and hesitated. he glanced quickly up and down the street. people were still nattering on about the white smoke and the queen’s death. not a single person paid them any mind.
the young man’s hesitation just annoyed niscene all the more. she narrowed her eyes and embraced the sense. “if you value your life, i suggest you leave,” she said. “now.”
the threat seemed to loosen the fool’s lips. “i require your services,” he said hastily. once the words were out he drew in a breath, as though bracing for a reaction.
“my…services?” she arched an eyebrow.
the young man frowned. “i’m s-sorry,” he stuttered. “i must be mistaken…”
he rose and made to leave but then it hit niscene. “wait,” she said. a bit of magik froze the fool where he stood. “who?”
the young man furrowed his brow and let out a nervous laugh. “excuse me?”
her annoyance building again, niscene flared her magik and forced the young man back into his seat. he yelped but niscene hushed him.
“who told you about me?” she asked.
he swallowed hard. beads of sweat began to form at his temples. “he said you were in the city,” he whispered.
it was niscene’s turn to frown, but just for the briefest of moments. her eyes suddenly widened. it couldn’t…?
niscene felt it was a good thing that she was sitting. had she not been, her knees likely would have buckled causing her to fall to the ground.
it took all the focus niscene could muster to keep the fear she felt inside from showing on her face. she narrowed her eyes and fixed a glare on the young man. all the while, the pounding of her heart was deafening.
uncertain and confused, the young man licked his lips and fidgeted in his seat. “it’s m-my father,” he stuttered. “i want him dead.”
question: what do you think of this young man? what do you think niscene will do?