Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eyes of the Stone Dragon

A snip from a S&S short story I finished:

Please don't quote or repost without permission.

Dara heard the intruder step on a loose board. She watched as the man froze at the noise he’d made. She did not move, curious to see what the man would do.

He paused for a long moment, then crept to the bed where she lay like a convincing lump. The flash of a knife, a quick plunge of the blade into her chest---

Dara sat up in bed, and instantly realized her mistake. A Moon sign flared to life on the intruder’s brow and the knife throbbed in her chest. This was no ordinary intruder and no ordinary blade.

She snatched the knife from the wound and threw it across the room, but the damage had been done. Stiffness entered her simulacrum, making movement difficult. Dara used a tiny bit of magic and flicked the room’s candles alight. The candles illuminated a short, stocky man dressed in ordinary desert garb, with deep-set eyes and a gently glowing crescent moon in the center of his brow. She could feel her own Sun sign on her forehead grow warm.

“What have you done?” she said.

“What I had to,” he responded. “My name is Morion, and I need your help, Sunmaster Dara.”

“You picked a strange way of asking, Moon Follower. Sneaking around in the middle of the night, stabbing me with a spellbreaker blade--”

Morion’s lips twisted. “Isn’t that what those who follow the Moon Path do? Sneak?”

“What do you want?”

“An exchange,” he said. “In a few moments, the spell that binds together your simulacrum will unwind. I can keep that from happening. In return, I need you to help me destroy Ranifir.”

Dara stared. “One does not easily destroy a stone dragon, Moon Follower. It’s a creature of the Ancient magic, and not subject to the lesser magics. What you want is well-nigh impossible.”