Aleria

This is the beginning of a piece I have been playing around with.

***

What crawled into your clamshell and pissed all over it?” Ryker swam over to her, his powerful purple tail pushing him forwards.

Marlowe paused in her path towards the palace, looking him over as he effectively blocked her way. “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, Captain,” she said, her golden eyes daring him to prod her any more.

Ryker smirked, crossing his arms across his broad bare chest. “You aren’t your usual…chipper self.”

This earned him an eyeroll, and Marlowe stretched her long maroon tail out, trying to work out some of the soreness. “Today I’m wearing a lovely shade of ‘I slept like shit, so don’t piss me off’,” she told him, narrowing her eyes at him. “Don’t you have an army to train?”

A bark came unexpectedly from Ryker, and he shook his head. “Marlowe, I hate to tell you this, but you wear that shade every day.” He chuckled again, then backed out of her way. “Don’t worry, it looks good on you.” The Captain gave her a flirty wink, before swimming off in the direction that Marlowe had come from.

She sneered as he passed by, then continued towards the palace. Not only did she sleep awfully and was feeling the effects of it, but she had been called to a meeting with the Queen, which was terrifying in itself. For years, she’d been the personal guard of the Prince and Princess, sixteen year old twins. As she swam forward into the palace, she was rethinking the past several days with the twins, trying to pinpoint any moment that something had gone wrong. What could she have done that would cause the Queen to call her forward? She’d started some combat training with them and allowed Claire to be a little more brutal with her brother than she probably should have, mostly to teach him self-defense. They’d snuck out of the castle and Marlowe allowed them to think they were alone, and she’d followed them to watch them play in the wreckage of a sunken ship. Still, even as she listed all of these things in her mind, she couldn’t figure out what would be bad enough to earn herself a meeting with the Queen. Marlowe neared the throne room and nodded to the two guards standing watch over the broad doors, who nodded back and opened the doors for her. The room was long and empty, which held minimal surprise to her. If this was to be a sentencing for something she’d done wrong, surely the Queen would have a witness present?

Marlowe bowed appropriately before looking up at Queen Qo’oral. “Your Majesty,” she said in her usual monotone, trying not to convey the nerves that she felt by standing here in front of the Queen. It seemed like nothing to follow the royal twins around every day and to be the head of their security, but their mother was a completely different beast all together. She was thin and lithe, her long glittering silver tail curled beneath her as she sat delicately on a throne of elaborate carved coral. Her lavender hair hung straight down her shoulders, a crown perched on top of her head. The Queen lifted her finger to her lips, silencing Marlowe, and she nodded down to the deep green seaweed wrapped around her torso. An infant was nestled on his mother’s chest, sleeping peacefully tucked into the seaweed.

“You wanted to see me?” Marlowe asked, her voice lowered so she wouldn’t wake the youngest Princess up.

The Queen nodded, giving a sweet smile. “How have you liked working with the twins, Marlowe? I hope they haven’t bored you during your duty.”

“Your children are far from boring, Your Majesty. They have a way of…keeping me on my fins.”

A soft chuckle escaped the Queen, and she nodded, seemingly understanding. “They are quite characters, aren’t they?” She sat up a little straighter, which only made Marlowe recheck her posture and stand a little taller in front of the Queen. “You’re aware of Kelo’s retirement?”

Kelo was one of the elder guards, who had started training Marlowe when she was old enough to hold a spear. It was surprising to most of the guards that he would be retiring now. “I am.”

“His position for the past few years has been organizing the care of Prince Gabriel. He has recommended you for his position. I am inclined to agree with him.”

Marlowe froze. “Me?” she finally stammered, looking at the Queen with wide eyes. “Are you sure? I’m not exactly good with children of that age.” Mostly she liked the teenaged Prince and Princess, she could watch them from afar and teach them to fight and not worry about breaking their delicate bones like she would a three year old.

Queen Qo’oral stood from her chair, her long tail flicking from side to side in the cool water. “You’ll start tomorrow, Kelo will show you the ropes before his retirement. I’m sure you’ll do fine.” With those parting words, the Queen nodded a good day to Marlowe, who bowed, and swam off to go to her next appointment.

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Dragon Queen

Everything was ready.

The Queen’s guards were standing by, watching the door carefully.

The Queen herself sat on her throne, dressed elegantly in a green gown, her long black hair cascading down her shoulders, those sharp blue eyes staring at the door warily.  Her only protection was her intricately woven chainmail beneath her gown, and her sword leaning against the side of the throne. Continue reading “Dragon Queen”

Playing with the Devil

It was a light green, brightly glowing orb.  He held it between his hands, never actually touching it, letting it float there.  His wide set blue eyes bore into me, watching me stare at the orb.

“What’s the catch?” I asked, folding my arms over my chest.  I was betting it was something I wouldn’t want to do.  It seemed like an odd thing, for him to be standing there in my kitchen, looking at me with that strange glint in his eyes. Continue reading “Playing with the Devil”

Freedom

There was to be a hanging today. It was a strange sense of calm that had washed over the room as the sun rose, even though she knew what was coming. The gallows waited below, the final punishment for her crime. She stared down at it from her castle window, watching the soldiers secure the perimeter of the velvet ropes to keep her citizens close but far enough away that they didn’t interrupt anything. Everyone loved an execution; especially when it was the execution of the criminal princess. A slow smile slid over her dry lips. It was too bad her people would be disappointed today. Continue reading “Freedom”

Twinkle, Little Star

It had become an obsession. It started out innocent enough, just using her magic to call down the stars to her, just to see if she could do it. As the star started to come down out of the sky, she was able to shape it, make it smaller, so that by the time it reached her, the little star landed perfectly in her outstretched hand. It was warm, but not as vibrantly scorching as Liv had expected, and she enjoyed the way that it glowed. Liv sat on the old wooden swing outside an abandoned school, alone in the inky dark of the night, her bare feet sifting through the sand, the small pebbles dirtying the bottom of her soft rose ball gown, and cradled the star ever so gently in her pale hands.

“Oh, you are lovely,” Liv told the star in her lilting voice. “I think you’d be happier here, you and I could keep each other company. I’m quite lonely, you see, all of my friends have gone off and disappeared. I’d really like it if you’d stay.” Getting no response from the little glowing rock in her hand, Liv giggled lightly and held the star aloft so that it would light her way home.  Continue reading “Twinkle, Little Star”

Matrimony

So far, the day had been a disaster. What was supposed to be the best day of Gretchen’s life hadn’t gone so great, and she was starting to dread the rest of it. The three layer lemon and vanilla cake hadn’t turned up yet, one of the groomsmen had food poisoning and looked positively green, and Gretchen was starting to have a cramp in her belly that felt like her monthly was on its way. This didn’t bode well. And she still hadn’t put the dress on.  Continue reading “Matrimony”

Wendigo

Wendigos. Why the hell did it have to be Wendigos? Of all the creatures that Tess had ever met, the Wendigo was the most fierce, the one that held the most fear in her heart. And there was the irony, she couldn’t act on any of that fear. Any trace of fear or sadness, and the damned thing would steal your soul. Happy thoughts, loving thoughts were the way to stun it, until the beast could be slashed down with a sword. They usually didn’t travel in groups, but she was lucky tonight. There had been three, all together. The first had transformed its elongated, emaciated body into a vision of her father, his white hair flowing down his back, orange eyes burning with ferocity. It even had the detail of the man’s armor down. It would have been convincing, if she didn’t already know that her father was at home, weeks away on horse, protecting the lands of Raili. Tess had taken him down easily, keeping him contained with memories of her father teaching her the art of his sword, of him taking her and her mother on picnics near the lake, of drifting off to sleep carried by the sound of his voice. The moment her father’s form was still, Tess lunged forward and thrust through thin skin and cracked through bone, destroying the heart of the beast. Or whatever it had in place of a heart. Continue reading “Wendigo”