Suvarin was just finishing up her shift at the hospital when her phone started beeping. One of the other nurses at the station noted the unusually urgent sounding tone. Suvarin started out dashing for her phone, then checked herself, and made up a lie about it probably being her mother worried about the TV not working. She made herself appear calm as she took her phone and made her way to the toilets. Once securely sealed inside a cubicle she took out of her phone and opened the message. It was however encrypted so she had to copy and paste a selection of garbled text and move it to the decryption app.
“Emergency situation has occurred. A training accident has resulted in a wounded knight. Much blood loss. Insufficient blood supplies for emergency surgery. Need 3 units of O- blood immediately.”
Suvarin gasped, her heart started pounding. This was not the situation she wanted to be dealing with when there were Tyranni about. Getting caught taking hospital supplies would get her accused being the thief and that could cost her more than her job. However, if a member of the Arshir were injured then she had to do her duty. She had sworn an oath as a Salvati and she had no intention of ever breaking her word. She looked at the time, she still had fifteen minutes left on her shift. She quickly left the toilets and finished the paperwork for the rest of her shift, then staying in her scrubs, rather than changing as she usually does, she went down to the emergency department. There was always a supply of O type blood waiting in the emergency department on standby should it be needed. So far tonight had been a quiet night and there was plenty of blood there. Including the O negative she needed. She had just reached into the freezer to grasp the three units of O negative blood when a heavy hand landed on her shoulder. Startled Suvarin spun around, there in front of her was Nix. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 23”
The hospital was more than just one building, but a complex of buildings, carparks, and gardens. It was located on the edge of the city centre. The whole facility was surrounded by a red brick ring wall with a small cottage for the original groundskeeper when the hospital was first built. The days of indentured caretakers tied to the land were passed of course, but the original building still stood there as a reminder of quainter days. It was a tall white wooden building with high ceilings and a steep wooden roof. Green fungus had taken over patches of the roofing tiles with obvious gaps where old tiles had been replaced with new ones in recent years. The cottage was located at the corner of the hospital estate closest to the city centre and had been taken over by a Christian charity for the homeless organised by a local church.
Paul was busy making sandwiches with the other volunteers who came in from the parish. Every night the volunteers made hundreds of ham and cheese sandwiches for the homeless. Sometimes they had a huge pot full of soup as well to share, and tonight was one such night so Paul had to go in and out of the kitchen to check on the soup. He had just ducked out when a woman dressed in a short skirt, leg warmers, and stylish leather jacket walked into the area where the volunteers were busy preparing the sandwiches. She looked at each volunteer’s face coolly observing them. Some of the volunteers noticed her and bid her a warm welcome which she ignored. When she spotted Paul through the doorway to the kitchen she drew herself up to her full height on each high heel and allowed a hungry smile to emerge from the sea of cosmetics covering her face. The woman walked quietly into the kitchen, all sense of apprehension now missing from her thin body. She was standing right behind Paul as he was carefully stirring the huge pot of soup.
“That’s a big dinner you’ve got there,” said the woman slowly. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 22”
Despite how tired he was, Elwin headed back to do another work shift after having lunch with Kylie. After finishing late in the evening he made his way back to the condominium alone as he had started that day. He peeked through the window of his apartment and for once Holda wasn’t there. Moving as quickly as he could in his tired state he fetched a blanket and a pillow from underneath the bed and quickly left the apartment. He dragged it down the back staircase with the door leading outside and worked his way to the bottom. There he crawled underneath the stairs and made a bed for himself using the rotting cardboard boxes for a mattress. He hadn’t washed and was still covered in dirt and grime. However, he was so tired he didn’t care and drifted off the sleep.
He didn’t know for how long he had been asleep when he was woken up by a finger poking his cheek. Startled he looked up to see a dark silhouette standing over him. He was terrified yet so apathetic from tiredness he couldn’t find the energy to run or plead. He just stared in weary terror at the figure.
“I knew I would find you down here,” came the sound of Erian’s voice.
Elwin gasped a sigh of relief, but his relief was short lived.
“So is this where you and Kylie made tender love?” snarled Erian venomously. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 20”
Kelly walked into her Nutrition and Health Sciences class and quickly moved to claim her favourite workbench to set her books down on. The room was full of ovens, stove tops, and all the equipment needed for a chef to make anything they wanted. No sooner had she sat down than the teacher came up to her with a new student to the class. Kelly glanced at the overweight woman with purple curly hair beside the teacher and confirmed that she had never seen her in the college before.
“Hi Kelly, Jonathan your practical partner has dropped out of the class. Since he won’t be coming back your new partner will be Syndi here.”
Kelly politely exchanged hellos, “I don’t understand, Jonathon said nothing about wanting to quit, he wanted to be a chef as much as I do. What happened to him?”
The teacher looked uneasy and said simply that she wasn’t allowed to talk about it. Kelly continued, “But it’s week five into the course, isn’t that too late for some new to join?”
“Yes, it is rather late, so I am putting Syndi with you so you can help her catch up.”
Kelly shrugged her shoulders and started showing Syndi around the classroom. Kelly spent most of the class frantically trying explain to Syndi what they had to do. Syndi didn’t seem to care as much as Kelly thought she ought to, but she didn’t want to judge. Kelly was happy to be a helper. On the first break, Syndi leaned across and whispered to Kelly.
“I know what happened to Jonathon.”
Kelly immediately demanded to know. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 21”
A long time ago, in the lands far to the North, there lived two children: Ethen and Latharna. The children lived in a small village in the valley with their father and their stepmother. One winter’s day their stepmother told them there was nothing for them to eat and directed them to go into the woods to the village on the other side of the mountain to ask them if they could spare some food. Ethen and Latharna set off into the woods for the other village for they were very hungry.
The woods were covered in snow and the bushes all bare of fruit. Latharna looked for mushrooms in the woods, while Ethen looked for bugs they could eat. However, by midday they had almost arrived at the village and had found nothing they could eat. That’s when Ethen noticed something glimmering in the snow by the road. Ethen picked up the glimmering thing to discover that it was a silver cup. The two children marvelled at the beauty of the cup, but decided to keep going on to the village as they were so close.
As they approached the village they noticed that something was wrong. There was no one in sight.
“Where have all the people gone?” cried Latharna.
“Maybe they’re hiding?” said Ethen.
The two children searched the village but could not find anyone. They were just about to give up and go home when Latharna thought she heard voices. She motioned for her brother to keep silent and the two children carefully moved in the direction of the voices. They were coming from a field they previously checked and had been empty. Peeking from behind a fence they were astonished to see that someone was trying to plough the field; in the middle of winter! They looked even closer and were even more astonished to find the plough was being pushed and pulled by two little people with wings! Continue reading “The Children of the Thaw: The Silver Cup”
When Elwin eventually arrived at the café in his condominium building later that afternoon Kylie had drifted off to sleep, her head resting in her arms on the table. Elwin cautiously sat down but bumped his knee on the table leg waking the sleeper. Kylie jerked upright her face contorted from much crying she stared at Elwin for a few moments before she managed to speak.
“Elwin! You came! I thought you had forgotten me, here is your lunch,” she passed him the sandwich which was now soggy. Elwin didn’t complain, but thanked her quietly for the sandwich and for waiting for him. Wearily he started to eat the sandwich. Kylie watched him and slowly it occurred to her how dirty and soot covered he was. Although Elwin often worked in the coal mines he didn’t typically look this bad. She inquired and he related to her the incident with the Kellite engineer. He did so in flat even tones betraying no anger.
“I have listened to you telling me of the Kellite engineer and how he treated you. I can tell that you are not angry, but allow me to say that I feel angry. I do not know why because this engineer was one of our betters and one shouldn’t question them. Yet all the same part of me burns with fury that he should do this to you.”
Elwin felt too uneasy to make eye contact with her so he continued to focus on the remains of his soggy sandwich. He felt a sense of confusion: on one hand he was pleased that she was angry, on the other hand he felt angry with her for speaking ill of a Kellite. It scared him think that perhaps the treatment he had received was somehow unjust. If the Kellite engineer had been unjust then many other threads threatened to come loose from Elwin’s mental fabric. He did not know why, but it still felt somewhat important to keep those threads safe, and so he pushed the idea aside and focused again on the sandwich. Besides, the thorn in his chest hurt less when he avoided thinking about such things. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 19”
Kent shook his head slowly.
“Show me or I will kill you now!” shouted Nix.
“No. You won’t do that. You have been ordered not to kill me.”
“Are you so sure about that?” said Nix, bringing the gun back up to Kent’s face again.
“Yes, I think Peterson would have been very particular about that. Especially to you.”
Nix stared down the sights of his gun, his resolve fading away. Eventually he put the gun down and nodded.
“Yes, Sophim Peterson has specifically told me not to kill you. He wants to kill you himself.”
“Has he told you this? That he wants to kill me himself?”
“No. But I think I know him well enough. I think he enjoys the killing and doesn’t want to share the fun. Which is fair enough, I intend to do the same thing when I am his rank one day.”
“Hmmm, so Peterson doesn’t trust you to know the truth then. Interesting.”
Nix laughed, “You’re trying to spread suspicion into the ranks of the Tyranni? Have you any idea how ridiculous that is?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 20”