Monday, 29 August 2011
“Skulduggery, you trust her far too much.”
“Erskine, what do you suggest then? She hears more than anyone else in Ireland, and after what Marr did... well, we need her library, at the very least. I know you worry, but she has proved herself” Skulduggery and Ravel were walking up the gloomy staircase to Chinas apartment. Valkyrie was out with Fletcher, and Ghastly claimed he had to work. So it was up to them to find what they were looking for.
They reached the third floor, and there she was, standing tall, in a ridiculously elegant light stone dress. Her shoes matched the emeralds sparkling from behind her hair and gracing a porcelain wrist.
“Skulduggery” she said, a smile in her voice and starting to form on her blood coloured lips... any trace of it disappeared however, when she saw his companion.
“Ravel” she remarked, an edge of wariness entering her voice.
“Sorrows” replied Erskine, equally cautious. China breathed out, and allowed her trademark smile to grace her face again.
“So what providential circumstance this time leads you to seek my presence?” she said breezily as she led them into her apartment.
“As if you don’t already know” replied Erskine, using a voice he reserved only for her. Scarcely hidden suspicion.
“Politeness is a virtue.”
“So is honesty”
“China, I’m going to assume you’ve read the works of Lovecraft?” Skulduggery interjected before they could continue.
“I have. He’s a rather talented writer, if a bit inaccurate.” Ravels eyebrows shot up at that. She glared icily back, before turning to Skulduggery. “I’m assuming this has something to do with the Faceless Ones then?” she motioned for them to sit down. Skulduggery nodded, and Ravel looked grave. She sighed, looking away.
“Alright. What do you want to know?”
After only a few minutes of calm conversation, China and Erskine had managed to get in an argument. They were standing opposite each other, Skulduggery sitting low and grumpily in a chair between them.
“You can hardly blame me for the actions of others.” China, her voice indignant, arms crossed, and eyes shooting icy daggers
“No, but are you saying that you didn’t do anything? We both know you’re far from anywhere near innocent.” Ravel, his pose almost identical, but with flames spitting from his eyes.
“Oh and you are, is that what you’re saying? That everything’s just black and white, and it’s impossible to be anything else!?” Skulduggery, realising that they were going to be at it for hours, got up.
“Of course not woman! Why must you always twist my bloody words?!”
“China, Erskine, I’ll be in the library.” The only recognition he got was a wave of the hand from China.
“I didn’t twist, I just ASKED. You know, like an interrogation. You’re good at them, aren’t you?”
“Oh don’t you dare even…” was all he heard before leaving the room, and closing the door behind him.
“I owe Ghastly 50 quid now” muttered Skulduggery as he headed across to the library, leaving them to bicker in peace.
Saturday, 16 July 2011
A shadow fell over her eyes, and she looked up from the ground, still clutching her painful waist. She’d be glad when corsets fell out of fashion. Not that she’d ever admit it. The figure extended his hand, the first strips of morning sun lighting up his back. She looked up, and paled at the face. Repentance would never be easy for a woman like her.
“You... ” the woman shivered on the muddy ground, staining her perfect dress. Mud and magic had streaked her skin, her lips red, but with blood, not vanity. She shuddered, trying to stand and keep what was left of her decimated honour. The man with the hopeless eyes sighed, and his eyes twitched. It was a tiny gesture, unnoticeable to most, but to his sister, it meant so much. She hid a gasp of air again, her ribs and chest oh so very painful. But she extended her hand. It wasn’t the only chance. But she’d take it anyway. Her brother, her no longer estranged brother, her big brother, clasped the hand. A look exchanged between their eyes. They let go, and he leant down, picking her up again, like he hadn’t since they were young, too many lifetimes ago.
The sky was darkening omniously. It was so utterly moronic to be out this late. But what choice did she have. She needed that amulet, and it would be too dark soon. Good for necromancers, few else, and certainly not someone in fear of attack. Because whether she liked it or not, that was what she was now. A target. Not that they would try anything. Not in this part of the city.
She rarely travelled horseback, but in this case she has no choice. Even if she was seen, no one would truly think it was her. She turned the penultimate corner, and narrowed her heavenly blue eyes at the sight of an abandoned military cordon. She allowed her-self a small smile at the English idiocy and their belief that they could take her country, the cradle of magic with a few mortal soldiers. Granted, they were unaware of the magic. For the most part.
She dismounted effortlessly and elegantly, knowing that the horse wouldn’t run. She manoeuvred gracefully through the shoddy barricade, then froze. Something had moved. No, it was less than that. It was just a feeling, but she’d learnt to trust her feelings long ago. The night grew colder and she shivered. Time to leave. As she mounted her horse, she noticed a figure on one of the buildings. A figure that might be familiar. She allowed herself another glance, but the figure was gone. She sighed. She had to take the long route now, or she’d never sleep.