It’s time again for blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in their weekly blog. This week’s prompts are:
- Ecrits Blogophilia Week 28.10 is a MARVIN Topic – “Tell Us About Your Summer!”
Bonus: Hard (2 pts) Writer’s Choice (use Altar Bridge lyrics)
Easy (1 pt) Writer’s Choice (use the phrase Blood Bath)
Tell us about your summer, you say? Well, I spent most of mine miserable. In June I had swollen lymph nodes. A trip to the new nurse practitioner in town netted some antibiotics, whose name was similar to one I am allergic to (Cephdanir – I’m allergic to cephalexin). however, after reminding her of my allergy, she still said nothing to indicate there would be any issues… Yeah. One week later I was covered head to toe in a horribly itchy rash. A rash that has still not completely faded from some areas (I have really pale, “delicate” skin and any little mark takes weeks to disappear. Often a scratch still shows up as a purple line a month later), though it is gone from my arms and face (yay!). The itching is also gone, and finally the fatigue and malaise are fading, so now I’m trying to run around and get everything done I neglected all summer, including yard work, painting the porches, etc. I still wouldn’t say my summer sucked, though, as there were good moments, like Pokemoning, or seeing Twister at the drive in. All in all, it simply was.
Now, on to the story:
This takes place during the book Shades of Gray :
Franklin opened one eye cautiously, trying to feign sleep. Since he was a sun walker, Migina should know he’d woken some time ago, but maybe she wasn’t thinking about it.
That or she’s teasing me.
He watched as she stood in front of the full length mirror, brushing her waist length hair. The ebony strands were a pleasing contrast with her pale caramel skin – a complexion paled by immortality. He would have liked to see her before she was turned; racing over the plains wearing buckskin and feathers. Of course, she’d told him before that it wasn’t really like that. Not that his own experiences hadn’t taught him that. He had run into what they now termed Native Americans before, when he was a fledgling. Still, he liked to think of her in the Hollywood costumes, anyway.
Or better, out of them.
Her tone was cool, and she didn’t bother to turn around when she said, “I know you’re awake.”
He tried to fake it a moment longer, then surrendered. “What gave it away?”
“You’re breathing again.”
He silently cursed his inattentiveness. Of course. As a vampire he no longer needed to breathe to live, but for some reason it was a habit he hadn’t been able to kick yet. “All right. You caught me.” He slipped from the bed and moved to wrap his arms around her from behind, pulling her to him, skin against skin. “Can you blame me?”
“I could try.” Her cold mask slipped as a smile tugged at the corners of her lips. “You’re ridiculous.”
“I try.” He pressed a kiss to her cheek and released her reluctantly. “I suppose I should pack.”
Migina stopped brushing to eye him. “If it wasn’t for Senya…”
“Yeah, yeah. If Senya wasn’t in charge I’m sure you’d have been chosen to go. But since she is, she chose a lovely all-male escort.”
Migina scoffed. “And among them are her lovers, no doubt. Bren and Greneth?”
Franklin tugged on a pair of trousers and ruffled his dark hair. “I’m not sure Greneth has made the leap yet, but everyone knows she uses Bren when it suits her.”
“She’d be happy to use all of you.” Migina gave him a glare laced with a warning. “I’ve heard stories about her orgies.”
“Mostly fabricated, I’m sure.” Franklin paused to drop a kiss on Migina’s shoulder, then moved to his closet for a bag and some clothes. “Senya’s too cold, unlike you, my wild Indian princess.”
She rolled her eyes and purposefully turned her back, though he could see her quiet smile reflected in the mirror. He mentally congratulated himself as he stuffed items into an overnight bag. Senya had said two or three days at the most, but considering their prey it might stretch longer. There was only one name, one so-called villain, that would require five of The Guild’s elite police force.
Jorick. The Hand of Death. Fledgling of Malick, head of the High Council. Jorick had been the head of the Executioners for nearly two hundred years before he’d retired. Not long after his departure he’d returned, cutting down everyone who stood between himself and his master. Franklin had been only a guard then, and thankfully hadn’t been on duty, but he’d heard the stories and seen the wounded. That one vampire could do such a thing by himself…it was the stuff of legends.
Or it was in the retelling. Franklin sometimes wondered if his memory was to be trusted as much as he thought. Reason said it must not be, but still…
He shook it off and turned his attention to folding a shirt. In the end, even after all the carnage, Malick had allowed Jorick to leave, and that was the last anyone had seen of him for more than a hundred years. Or at least the last time anyone really noted seeing him. The Guild’s records proved that he hadn’t vanished completely, but rather lived in Maine with a fledgling. Still, if he was involved in the whole sordid business then maybe it was more than they thought…
He finished packing and pulled Migina into his arms for a final goodbye kiss. “I shall see you when I return.”
She kissed the lobe of his ear and whispered, “I’ll be waiting.”
Though he didn’t say it as he strode out the door, he doubted she’d even be there when he got back. A fellow Executioner, it was more likely that she’d be sent on an assignment of her own by then. He was surprised that she’d bene home for two days straight – that they both had. They spent more time out in the field than they did in the citadel.
We need more than twelve Executioners, he mused. Or we need to hand more off o the guards, like we used to.
He met the group above ground, in a gravel parking lot. The chilly October air weaved between the grain bins and many outbuildings that made up the citadel’s exterior, passing over a group of vampires.
Franklin did a quick head count on the guards. Twelve? The standard was two per Executioner, and sometimes just one. With only five executioners, they had two extra guards. Did they need that many?
It’s Jorick, he reminded himself.
Most of the guards wore their Guild issued black and silver uniforms, while four stood apart dressed in plain clothes. Senya’s favorites, Franklin mused. If he was good he could have pulled up their names because she so often requested them.
The vampiress herself was still absent, but Franklin noticed that Zuri – short and stocky with a shock of black hair – and Greneth – slender and blonde with a permanent sneer – were both present.
He nodded to them and took a place nearby. Greneth glanced up from a red bound book and then back again, tapping the page with his pencil.
“Another poem?” Franklin asked conversationally.
The blonde made an airy gesture, as if to say “you wouldn’t understand,” then quoted, “Leaves are on the ground, fall has come, while waiting for winter’s queen, to bring with her icy wind and raging numb.”
The syllables felt wrong, but Franklin knew better than to correct him. Luckily he was saved by Senya and Bren’s arrival. Tall for a woman, her black bobbed hair, cut almost comically straight, only served to make her skin look paler and her blue eyes icier. If Greneth was looking for a personification of winter, she was right there.
“The Execution Council will meet us later.” She swept her eyes over them, stopping at last on her favorite guards. “If you’re ready?”
Though they all agreed, Franklin shot Zuri a look and mouthed, “Execution Council?”
His fellow executioner shrugged, and fell into step with the others, moving towards several SUVs. He did the same, his brain still churning. An Execution Council was a tool rarely used by The Guild anymore. Made up of members from the Lesser Council, the council would accompany Executioners on assignments where immediate judgements needed to be made – cases where they couldn’t wait for someone to be dragged back to the citadel and put on trial. Executioners had a free pass to kill under most circumstances by simply saying that their victim had interfered in some way, but an Execution Council was a step further. Despite the official designations, their true purpose was to give Executioners permission to slaughter everyone without needing to make excuses. If they were coming then it meant this wasn’t an assignment, but a blood bath.
More next week!
And now for guesses!
- summer fun 2. floating castle 3. lake town 4. where’s smaug? 5. extreme river rafting 6. obstacle course 7. cooling down 8. splash city 9. water world. 10. on the lake 11. slip n slide 12. vacation destination. 13. fun in the sun. 14. look at those boats. 15. I bet Jonathan guesses this right. 16. I also bet he bought a brand new rubber chicken for extra voodoo power. 17. those rubber chickens are super powerful, so he says. 18. this kinda looks like a live action board game. 19. Jonathan always makes me think of board games, though. 20. if it was a board game, he’d win because he uses voodoo for that too.