Bargains and Debts

This is Part 10 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.


Never strike a bargain with a monster. You will, most likely, get turned into one yourself, or get eaten by one. I didn’t like those options. But did I have a choice?

Before I had a chance to think, let alone answer, there was an ear-splitting crash in the twilight above. The monstrous sea-snake screamed before engaging in magical battle. I darted for cover to avoid getting caught in the spell-storm.

There was nowhere to hide, but for a slight depression in the cliff-face; it could hardly be called a cave. But there I sought refuge, and waited.

It was dawn when the storm ceased. I stumbled out of my shelter, surprised by the calm brightness all about me. Of the sea-snake there was no sign.

Arastia waited for me on the shore. ‘I have saved you, Lyr, from the scheming of sea-serpents.’ She smiled. ‘You owe me a debt.’


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #10 – And this week, I am exactly equal to the max word limit of 150!  Yay!

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Here There Be Monsters

This is Part 9 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.


I walked along the shore of the Isle of In-Between, cautious not to get too close to the water’s edge. Even on the foreshore I wasn’t safe from the monsters that dwelt beneath the indigo waves.

Gazing out over the water, I saw the skeletal remains of the island’s guardians turning to quicksilver as the sun set. They shimmered, and glimmered, and transformed; nothing was ever static here. It waxed and waned according to an ancient magic I could not see nor hope to understand.

The only spellcraft I understood was enchanting. And now my wife wanted me to use it to take another’s life.

My dark thoughts were disturbed as something broke the surface of the water, rearing up high above me.

‘Lyr the Enchanter,’ it hissed, snake-like, turning its dead face towards me. ‘I have a proposition for you. What would you bargain in exchange to leave this island?’


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #9 – And this week, I’m only 1 word over the 150 word limit – woohoo!

Bound but not Blinded

This is Part 8 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.


I had fallen in love with Arastia from the moment I laid eyes upon her. It had been my downfall. Everything that came after could trace its roots back to that beginning. Even now I still loved her, though my love was more cautious than before; I was no longer blinded by it. However, I was bound to it. To her.

‘It’s too early to reveal all to you, Lyr, but I need you. I always need you.’

I sighed at the lies. ‘I don’t deal in death, Arastia.’

‘Perhaps not before, but you will this time, my love.’ She smiled softly.

‘Will I? Why?’

‘Because I ask it of you,’ she whispered. We were speaking of murder, yet she was the perfect picture of serenity.

‘Until then, I cannot permit you to leave me.’ She flicked her wrist and cast a spell. That was all it took to make this hateful island my new prison and my wife, my gaoler.


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #8 – I’m starting the year still exceeding the word limit, but at least with this instalment it’s only by 11 words

Unearthing Secrets

I had never built a brick wall before so was unsure how far down the foundations needed to go.  Was it as deep as the wall was to be tall?  Or was I confusing that with a tree and its roots?

I paused, momentarily muddled, before resuming digging.  Better to have more foundations than not enough.

When the trench was two foot deep, the spade struck something with a sickening sound.  White bone gleamed from out of the soil.  That’s when I realised I would have been happy with a fence.


Written for Weekend Writing Prompt # 88 – Foundations  |  Word count: 91

Beauty Hides The Beast

This is Part 7 of an on-going serial I’m writing called, “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the story from the beginning, you can find the story index, here.


She was beautiful. Like a goddess or a water spirit. Radiant. Graceful. And she was waiting for us on the shore.

The Boatman guided the boat through safe waters and beached the craft on the shingle. He didn’t get out.

‘Until our next meeting,’ he whispered as was his want. ‘I wonder what will have become of your soul by then…’ His hushed words were laced with amusement. He knew I didn’t want to be here. Moreover, he knew what would happen now that I was.

I clambered out. ‘Lady,’ I said, with a slight bow of the head.

‘Must you really be so formal, Lyr? I’m your wife. Or have you forgotten?’ She spoke with a sneer that she reserved just for me.

The glamour of her beauty shattered with her caustic tone. I sighed. ‘What is it you want, Arastia? There is a prison cell in the castle that I’d like to get back to.’

‘Why must I want something?’

‘Because I know you. You always want something.’

A blinding light flashed behind my eyes. Between the brightness and the pain, she told me what she wanted.

Death.

But whose?


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #7 – Again, I’m well over the word count, by about 40 words – eek!  As the story develops, I’m really struggling to keep these chapters tight and to the word limit…

Soul-Searching

This is part 4 of an ongoing serial I am writing, called “Lyr the Enchanter”. To read the previous parts, follow these links:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

‘You don’t need to look into my face to know my soul, Boatman,’ I whisper, my voice surprisingly level. ‘You’ve looked into it before.’

‘Yes, I have, Lyr,’ the hooded figure agrees. He says no more for the time being, keeping his thoughts on the state of my soul to himself.

I blink and miss him moving back to his seat in the front of the boat. I breathe a sigh of relief. Close proximity to The Boatman should make all sane people uncomfortable.

We continued on downstream. The current was getting stronger, and we were moving faster. This meant we were almost at The Isle of In-Between.

We passed through a diaphanous haze, and the world momentarily sparkled. Suddenly the shapes of buildings loomed above us, their shadowy forms towering up into the night. Their vastness, even in the darkness, was oppressive.

‘Are you ready to pay what’s owed, enchanter?’


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #4

The Boatman

This is the third part of a currently untitled serial I’m writing.  Follow these links to read the previous parts: Part 1, Part 2


I closed my eyes in disbelief. I had met The Boatman before. Ten years ago, actually. I have often wondered how much of that night was responsible for what came after, but I didn’t like to dwell on it for too long. I would hate to become bitter.

The moon was cloud-wrapped. Everything around us was shadow. There was no sound bar that of the river as it gently slapped against the side of the boat. The Boatman didn’t feel the need to talk, nor offer any sort of explanation, and I had the good sense not to ask.

I knew where we were going any way. The Isle of In-Between; Kya-Shar, in the old language. If you can avoid it, do.

When I opened my eyes again, The Boatman was there, right in front of me, staring. The clouds parted, and I could see the deep furrows etched across his bark-like skin. He was smiling.


Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #3 – I’ve gone a few words over the 150 word limit this week. :-/