Friday, October 30, 2015

The Center Cannot Hold: The Cat-Earred Child (Flash Fiction)

Sorry for the late post!  This isn't necessarily Halloween themed, but it is a #Crux bit of #FlashFiction.  Intended to be a tad... tragic?  Horrific?  IDK on that.  Felt good to write though, even if it has a dark end to it.  

A letter to Othebea from Dr. Lyam Kyringer, whose journey to the Irons ends badly for him.  Hope you enjoy it!  Very short, but if you like it, please share and let me know what you think!  Always glad for more input! :D

Letters To Othebea: The Cat-Earred Child

My Dearest Angela,

By the time this letter reaches you, I will have long been dead.  My handwriting may differ from what you are used to, as a companion of mine is writing this for you.  I'm sorry, my love.  Things have broken and it's all my fault for not seeing it happen.

I had wandered far from the grand bazaar.  The air grew more acrid and foul.  I guessed it to be the Rag Coast, near where the hellish factories of the Irons poison the city.  The darkness, even in daylight, of the city of curses clung to every surface.

I should've gone back to the Skullmount.  Anything but what happened next.


I nearly tripped over into the brick and cobble underneath me.  Someone had stumbled into me from the fog.  Her body caught my leg and we fell into a pile admit the smoke.

"Hey! Watch it!"  The tiefling girl spat at me.  She crawled away from me, her skin a ash-purple.  She had no horns, but a pair of feline ears.  Her blue hair clashed with the earthy rag she worn.  The child couldn't be more than eight or nine.  Her long tail looked like a cat's tail.  Bruises.  Her face looked like it had been beaten.

"Are you okay?"  I asked her, disentangling myself from her.

"Mind yer own drek."  She said.  When she tried to move away, though, she winced.  She limped.  One of her legs slid behind her.

I offered her a hand up.  She ignored it, continuing her own pained way away from me.  I breathed a quick prayer to the Summer Rose.  My hands warmed and I touched her leg.

"Hey!"  She tried to wheel on me.  Light glowed as the spell healed the wound.  She looked down in confusion.

"I'm Doctor Lyam Kyringer.  Can I help you child?"  I asked.

She scrunched her nose at me.  "Thanks for the spell."

"Can I help you?"  I asked again.

"No..."  She shook her head.  "I've got to go."

"How did you get those injuries?"  I asked her.

"Life in the Irons."  She quipped.  She then disappeared into a nearby bank of smoke.

I followed.  I shouldn't have.  I should have turned around.  I went into the Irons.  I followed the tiefling child.  My faith and my heart told me I needed to find out why.  Why this girl had been hurt.

A harrowing journey followed me.  The Irons is more hellscape than anything else.  The air choked me.  I covered my face.  But I followed her.  I kept looking for the tiefling girl.

I did find her outside a factory.  A dark-skinned thing towered over her.  It angrily beat at her.  The horned, needle-toothed creature belittled her.  I shook my head and stepped up to the Devil.  It had to be a Devil.

This city, where they call monsters and infernal things to serve.  Armed with my faith, I interposed myself between the child and the towering devil.

"Leave the child be."  I told it.  "Lest you-"

The devil grabbed me by the throat.  "You think she needed your help?  Ye be a sweet treat she gave me, thickheaded lot."

Needles clicked.  Purple saliva dribbled down his chin as my windpipe snapped.  My vision blurred.

In my last moment, I heard the Devil and the Tiefling Child giggle at my death throes.