Monday, April 11, 2016

City of Curses: Shana Fivecurse (Flash Fic)

Shana Fivecurse hurried.  Each glide hurt.  Rooftops blurred below the flying grandmother and witch. 

"Zoe."

She had to hurry.  She needed to catch them.

"I'm coming."

She scanned the street below.  The witch glided through the air.  Magic held her aloft.  But her worry kept her focused.

"Zoe."

Cobblestones.  Puddles from recent rain.  Dim light and dark shadows.

Shana huffed.  Too old.  She couldn't do this anymore.  The violence of youth.  Memories of things she did decades ago.  She thought she'd put them behind her.

"Zoe.  I see them."  Shana's eyes spotted the coach rushing through the night streets.

Shana reached up one of her liver-spotted hands.  The old woman whispered a dark prayer.  The darkness responded.  Ancient pacts and promises vibrated.  Pleased to serve her once again.

"Do it."  Shana commanded.  She didn't care about the cost anymore.  Zoe didn't deserve this.

Shadows whirled around the coach.  The coach driver panicked.  Shana noticed his confusion.  Panicking, the fool had started firing his revolver into the darkness around him.

Shana moved.  She landed atop the coach.  Despite her groaning muscles, her aged joints, the witch manage to land without a sound.

The coach moved out of the dark shadows of her spell.  Shana laid flat.  She waited to see what kind of fool this kidnapping driver was.

"They're after us!"  The driver screeched.  "I couldn't see any of them!  I-"

"That was just a spell, you idiot."  A deeper, feminine voice told him.  It sounded deeper.

"Feyborn."  Shana growled.  The two horses pulling the coach weren't just any dumb animals.  The driver wasn't acting alone.  If anything, he must be working for those two feyborn horses.

"We have a quota."  Another horse replied.  "We can outrun the spell, firing your piece like that draws more attention.  Sit down and shut up."

"Oh."  Shana saw the driver sit back down.  "Sorry, I just-"

Shana reached out.  Another spell.  A transmutation.

"Kneel and feel the bend of your bones."  Shana cried.  The curse struck the driver.  It wouldn't be lethal.  Well, not lethal if he avoided cats.

The driver screamed as his bones and flesh melted before her.  Creaks and snaps echoed in the night.  Shana watched as he shrank, his body cursed into that of a rat.  A stinking rat.

Shana stepped down onto the coachman's seat.  The coach continued to move at a fast pace.  The two feyborn horses galloped faster and faster.  Shana cursed.  She clutched tight.

"Damn it!"  The feyborn screamed.  "She won't come off!"

"We should detach!"  The other called back.

"No!"  The mare leaped up, forcing the coach to rattle.

Shana waved a hand.  She sliced the two loose from the coach.  It rolled away from them.

The two feyborn horses turned back to her.  Hissing, then whirled about.  Tack detached as the talking beasts moved.  Shana held up one of her arms.

The old witch's eyes glowed bright purple.  She pursed her lips.  Another curse escaped her lips.

"Speak not, your words will fail you."

Both horses stopped.  Their jaws opened, but no words came out.  Confused, they tried to speak.  They didn't move any closer to the coach.

Fear froze them in place.  Shana shook her head.

"Catching unsorcerous children."  She spat.  "Catching those without magick to sell?  So yes, I did take your voices.  I could do worse."

Shana picked up the coachman's rat form by the scruff.  Her grip shook a bit.  Shana hoped it didn't show.  Her cat emerged from her bag.  It meowed loud.  The rat started to panic.

"Leave, or try seeing how being cat food is, beasts.  Enjoy my mercy.  I'm too old for much more of it."