Become a Fan
By Nix Winter
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Rated "R" by the Author.
A bard world story, set maybe 5000 years after Jewls' time. This story is about Daniel the Rat and Angel... and a serial killer who might actually be Angel. Work in progress
By Nix Winter
Corisin was a graceful city, riding the ocean of Taedleus VI like a scattering of jewels thrown on the brilliant blue. She was a city of many races, many dreams, who harvested pearls from coral reefs grown just for her. Corisin was a rich city with few demons and little defense. She was a city of magic and a city with no skills for puzzling the mind of a serial killer.
And so President Morin invited Daniel the Rat of the House of Water. Daniel was said to have uncanny reasoning abilities. The bard guild had very little contact with many of the outer worlds. Not that they didn't want to… they did, and once you started with the guild, there was no way to get rid of them.
It was a choice that Morin wasn't sure she didn't regret already. Since the bard's arrival, five more people had died. The city lay under a constant fog of fear. The bard had done nothing, save wander, think, stare at the ocean, and accuse her son.
His logic for accusing Angel carried too much reason, to much smattering of truth. There was something more between them, her brilliant son and this bard. Angel had allowed the confinement that the bard required to test his innocence. Morin saw that submission in another way - the something between her son and this mouse haired bard, something she didn't want there.
The velvet of the chair arm crushed under the stroke of his fingers. It was the first day of Angel Morin's confinement. Daniel's reasoning ability had lost itself somewhere in the endless ocean around them, for he couldn't find it. The palms of his hands were wet. His cheeks were wet. The lights were off and darkness gave him no information about why this should be so. Daniel the Rat was not a bard of the stage. He was a bard of the library, a creature of deduction and reason. He hadn't wanted to come to Corisin. He didn't want Angel Morin to be the killer. He didn't always get what he wanted.
Angel was below in a room that Daniel had required for the investigation. His arms were bound into a straight jacket. Those strong muscles would have no way to work off frustration. Dark glasses covered half of Daniel's face. He stood bound up right to a padded rack.
Doing this to the girl they'd arrested had not caused this same reaction in Daniel. He'd had compassion for her, but not the deep soul touch that causing Angel to be confined caused him. Tears shouldn't have hurt. He had enough reasoning to know that. Arms around his knees, bare toes working at the velvet of the chair he sat on, he wasn't sure if was still awake or sleeping. His braid trailed down around one foot and towards the ground.
The day he'd swam with Angel there had been sunlight and it had been warm on shoulders. The ocean was open in a way that the Library never had been. It occupied a whole planet, books and computers and bards of all sorts. The Guild Palace at the heart of it was the repository of truth, beauty, and the keeper of freedom. Yet his idea of freedom had become the liquid blue of Corisin's ocean.
Angel was beauty in the water, muscles rippling, short hair swaying like black silk fringe over his bare shoulders. Angel's eyes were blue as well, and that was another clue that Daniel's reasoning was failing him. A person couldn't be innocent, no matter what the evidence said, just because their eyes were blue.
What remained of Daniel's reasoning skills told him that Angel was not the only other person in the universe who illicit a sexual response from him. It wasn't logical that the first person he'd felt attracted to should be the only person he'd feel attracted to. For that matter, that might be part of the murderer's method. Cautious, rational thoughts didn't stop Daniel from feeling the tightness of the constraints around his arms, as if it were himself bound, not Angel.
He did not want Angel to be Death. If Angel were Death, he wanted to lose. And then he was rocking slowly on the balls of his feet chin on his knees in the darkness. Angel was his first friend.
The carpet was short and cool against his feet, Perlian, expensive, and worthless to him. Shoulders slumped, tee-shirt wrinkled and baggy around his slender body, braid swaying behind him, so long it brushed against the floor. Daniel padded through the darkness, around furniture easily and out.
Hall light brought him out of the shadows and he looked like a tramp, a barefoot beggar sneaked into the elegant palace, with large dark eyes and pale lips.
In the elevator, he hung his head, dark lank bangs falling over his face. When your reasoning skills get weak, a person can find themselves in all kinds of places that they hadn't expected. He opened the security panel on the elevator and keyed in a long security code.
There was a medical professional who monitored the prisoner and she bowed politely to Daniel as he entered. "Please, go," he said.
She bowed again and withdrew.
Watching through the glass at his prisoner, his reasoning skills went even lower. If he could not even make it through the first day, how was he to solve the murders? He touched the communication button. The faint static of it caused the prisoner's head to lift. Blindfolded, bound, if he were Death or not, he was helpless.
"Are you Angel or Death?"
"Come closer," the prisoner said, too low for the microphone to pick up, but clear enough to Daniel as he watched.
What reasoning skills he had warned him against going into the room as he keyed the security code into the keypad by the door.
The smooth tile was cold against his feet as he padded towards to the steel rack. He squatted down there, close enough he could almost feel the life in the prisoner's bare feet where they stood on the cold steel surface. Just the sound of their breathing, then the very slow rocking of Angel's bare feet on the sterile tiles.
"Better," Angel asked gently.
"I can think now," Daniel replied.
If there was a way to save the condemned, one of them would find it.
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|Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher
|Really enjoyed this compelling read! Excellent done!
Birgit and Roger
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Excellent fantasy write! Very well done, Nix!
(((HUGS))) and love, your Tx. friend, Karen Lynn. :D
|Reviewed by Missy Cross
|Wow Nix! I am totally captivated. What a tale you have woven. Very much looking forward to more.|