Stories tagged “SPECULATIVE FICTION”

  • More Questions Than Answers

    Malika looked to the holy man.

    "What say you, Reliath?" she asked. "Why didn't the greater dead destroy us, as Morduth suggests?"

    Orthael thought for several long moments. "I cannot say for sure," he replied. "But perhaps, while the creature is more g…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • Grounded

    Malika barked a derisive laugh. "If by 'grounded' you mean, did it feel more real than the lesser deathless we cut down? Then yes. Yes, it did." She reached up and pointedly rubbed at her shoulder again, even though the ache was barely there. "I don't kno…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • For What Comes Next

    Malika nodded slowly. "Very well." Her voice hardened. "What be next... Reliath?" She stumbled over the holy man's name, unaccustomed to addressing one of the clergy so casually.

    "That... what did you call it? Malylech? That Malylech. Why were we unable …

    Posted 2 months ago
  • The Darkness Desolate

    Malika was silent for a time, regathering her composure. She was embarrassed by her reaction, especially in front of this man. Finally, she nodded solemnly.

    "The Archbishop is gone, as you presume, holy man," she said, "as is everyone else I ever knew. T…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • Lost Things: That Which Is from Within

    She reappeared in another part of the library, a dank room smelling of moldering wood and fungus. The furniture here was in disrepair, rotten through and falling apart. She loved it.

    She settled onto a pile of termite-eaten wood that may once have been a…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • A Flame Snuffed Out

    Malika did not bow her head. So far as she was concerned, faith had failed her. Her eyes had been on the holy man, his vestments - tattered as they were - and on the implements of his office. And so she saw the candle of Varenniel puff out of its own ac…

    Posted 2 months ago
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls

    A bell rang in the distance, and Malika rose from her cot, plucking Morduth up from where it lay beside her. She knew the sound of that bell because she had heard it regularly most of her life. This was not quite like the bell in her village, though. The …

    Posted 2 months ago
  • What Is Known

    Malika reflected back on her battle with the deathless. The lesser of the creatures she was able to cut a wide swath of destruction through, banishing them back to Ashmar with ease. The greater deathless - a Gorgon, according to Morduth - that one still t…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • What Is Unknown

    Anger flared inside Malika, and she failed to noticed the light aura of flame that momentarily erupted around her hand, even as Morduth lay by her side, untouched.

    He is right, Mistress, the sword declared. There is much about my own history that even…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Dreamer Awakening

    Malika woke with a start, sitting bolt upright. Morduth was in her hand, ablaze with blue flame that crept up over her hand and wrist. As always the flame did not harm her. Rather it brought her comfort and warmth, and she reveled in its light.

    Mistress…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Restless Dreamer

    Malika slept restlessly that night. Her sleep was plagued by dreams of shadows and flames, the yellow infernos of building burning. Creatures moved among those flames, casting long silhouettes across the carcasses of homes that had fallen into embers. Of …

    Posted 3 months ago
  • The Rusted Blade

    Malika shivered. The events of the night still weighed heavily upon her, and it was difficult to wrap her mind around the loss of her village, the fight with the Lycanders, the destruction of the lesser deathless, and the conflict with the greater deathle…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Spark of Healing

    The Archangel of Sparks.

    Malika had heard of this, but she had never actually witnessed it. She had never been a devout follower of the Church, and her local vicar had never, to her knowledge, before summoned an aspect of any of the three Archangels. He …

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Fire and Flame

    Fire blossomed through her arm, and Malika sucked air between her teeth. Blood spilled onto the sheet covering her, but the coldness in her shoulder suddenly vanished, and she sensed that it was gone for good this time. Blue flame licked up from the blade…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Lost Things: Fester and Rot

    The old crone shuffled along the stacks of Building Ashrack, in no hurry to arrive at her destination. She looked at none of the row letterings, having no need for such things. She had been here many times, and she would be here many more times after. Alw…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Ice and the Fire

    Malika's rise to consciousness was agonizing. She needed more sleep, but her shoulder was like ice. The deathless' grip, it seemed, had not entirely relented, dragging her from the brief respite of unconsciousness.

    She looked for Morduth and panicked mom…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • The Night Is Dark

    Malika carried herself through the gateway to Triennell, as the holy man called it. To her it was simply Trien, the next town down from her now desolate village. If only there had been walls... no, she wouldn't think about that. It was too painful, too fr…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Sanctuary

    Malika hesitated just a moment, then nodded. Dawn was beginning to break over the mountains on the horizon, and she knew -- without quite knowing how she knew -- that most of the deathless would either be taking shelter for the day or be banished back to …

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Room in a Bottle

    "No one loves a clank at midnight."

    The message was scrawled all over the room. The walls, the floor, the ceiling. In the center of the room was a clank, for all appearances in perfect working order, and yet it seemed unable to move.

    Closer to the door,…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Healing Flame

    Warmth spread through Malika like a breath of fresh air. She sucked air in sharply between her teeth. The sensation was almost painful. Heat spread through her, suffused her, warmed her on a level deeper than merely the physical. It coiled around her brok…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Emotional Wounds

    Malika tossed a glare at the Orthael. "Why?" she barked. "What has the All-mighty Flame ever done for me?" Her words were barbed and full of anger. Her shoulder throbbed, and she wanted nothing more than to be gone from this accursed place.

    She paced o…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • War Wounds

    Malika pushed off from the ground, slowly rising to her feet. The pain in her shoulder FLASHED a hot red, and for a moment she was sure she was going to pass out. Black spots floated in front of her eyes, and an overwhelming nausea flooded through her mid…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Darkness Withdrawing

    The cold in her shoulder withdrew. Malika hadn't even been aware of it until it was gone, but it eased some of the pain from her injury.

    Some of the darkness from the Greater Dead leeched into your body when you struck it, Morduth said. It seeped in m…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Darkness Overwhelming

    Mistress. Morduth's voice whispered into Malika's mind. It seemed distant, far away, echoing far back in the recesses of her consciousness. It was odd hearing him like that. Before its voice had always been so strong, so vivid.

    But that was before. Bef…

    Posted 3 months ago
  • Beautiful Temptation

    She walks through a crowded plaza, a beacon of sultry beauty. She is temptation incarnate, a temptress with but one goal. She moves slowly, exulting in the wandering eyes of the men and not a few of the women. Many crave her. Others hate her. Still more c…

    Posted 4 months ago