Thank you to Faith Rivens over at Aliasfaithrivens for another inspiring writing prompt. (If you’ve not done so already, please check out her blog.) This time it’s a dialogue prompt, so without further ado:
“There’s a cloud above your head.”
“I know. It’s been ten days now. I don’t know how to get it to stop.”
“Who’d you annoy this time, Tarne?” Sedar asks, his bemused look adding to his wrinkles and making his face look like a land map of Altarva.
“The ex wife, the stupid, old battleaxe.” The cloud explodes in a torrent of rain. “She said I was being belligerent and cursed me with this blasted thing. It seems every time I say a bad word against her, it pisses down on me. I’ve tried every cast I can think of. She’ll rue the day she cursed me, the old witch.”
The rain cloud cracks with thunder and another downpour soaks his already sodden jacket. Sedar wasn’t a stranger to Tarne’s behaviour. Gren, Tarnes ex-wife, was a reasonable, mild tempered witch, but Tarne could be a chore at times; Jealous and possessive even though the pair have been separated for going on twelve months. She must have had her reasons.
Sedar chuckles to himself. “Have you tried a dual cast? An anti-hex is simple enough, but the curse seems to be linked to your psyche. An anti- hex teamed with a mind purge cast perhaps?”
“And forget the last twenty four hours? I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction,” Tarne growls.
“Suit yourself, but I hope you are not prone to a cold,” Sedar says, leading him inside. “No slurs on Gren whilst you’re in my house if you don’t mind. I’m carpeted throughout.”
Inside, the smell of boiled herbs permeates every room. Even Tarne relaxes at the lulling aroma of lavender and camomile soup. Sedar trained as an apothecary during his youth, but once the High War begun in his early twenties, he became a key part of the resistance. His casting ability has not been matched much to Tarne’s annoyance.
“I know you are not here about this palava,” Sedar says, waving a withered hand at the cloud. “So, what is it you do want, Tarne?”
Tarne positions the Ram’s skull back in its place on Sedar’s mantel. “To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure that you can help, but I reckon you’ve seen your fair share of the dark occult in you time, old man. Have you any idea what this is?” He pulls a black, velvet pouch from his pocket.
Black velvet is never used by the light occult. It is said to be a bad omen and its presence puts Sedar instantly on edge. Tarne would know this, surely? The thought of black velvet in his house isn’t an easy one, but Sedar remains silent, holding his breath as Tarne tips out the contents.
Sedar stumbles backward, throwing his frail arms in the air. “Get that out of my house,” he hisses at Tarne. “How dare you! How dare you!”
Tarne smirks, twirling the small vial of red in his fingers. “Okay, okay, old man, I’m going. You’ve just told me everything I needed to know. So, this is what I think it is, huh?”
Sedar grasps at Tarne’s jacket with shaking hands. “You ignorant fool. You have no idea what this means.” He shoves Tarne toward the door. “Get out I say! The High Order will be hearing of this.”
“Ah, see, now you’ve put me in a predicament, old man” Tarne says. Using his strength, he forces Sedar back into the kitchen. “The High Order can not find out about this.”
Sedar feels the knife slice into his abdomen, but that isn’t what holds his attention. Even as he bleeds out, all he can sense is the darkness seeping from Tarne’s eyes. It has already begun.
I am taking a seven day blog hiatus, so any comments will be answered next week. Posts have been scheduled as usual.
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All excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman.
Please request permission from the prompt creator for use of the prompt in this post.