Blogophilia 33.10: Griselda Part 1
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:
Last week I got a whole story done, but no such luck this week. I’m not even sure where this is going yet, to be honest, but I guess we’ll see next week.
Griselda tossed a packet of papers on the Executioners’ desk. The guard behind it looked up from a typewriter. The clacking of the keys dropped off as he stared. “How-How did it go?”
Griselda slopped wet bangs from her face. “It was a disaster. My car broke down.”
The guard glanced at the damp paperwork. “Um… I don’t suppose you know what’s wrong with it? I mean, you are a woman.”
“Oh of course, being a woman how could I?” The guard recoiled at her fury and she added, “I think it might be the alternator. Again.”
The guard looked over the request form. “So you want a new car?”
“Honestly, if you were any slower, you’d be going backward! Yes! I’m putting in for a new car, and I’m filing my paperwork from the assignment.”
“Of course, of course.” The guard gave a sharp nod. “Well…um…I think I have everything. You probably want to go change.”
“And why would I want to do that?” She asked sarcastically.
“Well, you are dripping on the floor. A bit,” he added hastily. “I – I don’t mind the puddle. I can clean that up in a jiffy but, you know, it can’t be comfortable.”
“You’re right.” She purposefully wrung out her shirt, watching the water splatter on the tile floor at her feet.
How’s that for a puddle, jackass?
He was at least smart enough – or else to shocked – the comment. She grabbed her soggy overnight bag, then stormed out of the office and down to the elevators. A pair of vampires signaled her to hold the door, but one look at her face – and silver medallion around her neck – and they backed off.
Good. I’m not in the mood.
She exited on the third floor and stomped her way to the Executioner block, the area of The Guild’s citadel where the Executioners lived. Behind the locked door a square corridor was lined with their apartments. Though some of her fellows thought it was a sign of their rank – to keep them separated from the rabble – Griselda suspected it was to protect them from the rabble. As law enforcers, the Executioners had more enemies than friends.
She let herself through the block door, and then into her apartment. Quiet and clean, it looked like it had when she left five days ago on what was supposed to be an easy assignment. What might have been easy, had she had all of the intel, and if her stupid vehicle hadn’t decided to die in the middle of a storm.
At least it was within walking distance. If one considered five hours on foot walking distance.
The guards had fared worse. One was stuck behind to watch the car, and the other had accompanied her, carrying her bag and listening to a growing strong of curses. She assumed that someone would go to rescue the one they’d left behind and bring the car back with them. But they’d better not try to fix the piece of junk and stick her with it again. It was from 1939, for crying out loud. How could they expect it to still work right?
When she’d picked the Roadster out, she’d been excited, and she had to admit it still looked good, if not a little dented. But it was 1956, and she needed something new, something that blended in better, something bigger.
A key ground in the lock and she spun, hands on her hips, as Sergei slid inside. He spotted her and froze, half in, half out of the door, his eyes wide, and his dark hair ruffled.
“And where have you been?”
“Oh, you’re home, mistress.” He stepped through, closing the door behind him. She flicked angry eyes over his rumpled appearance and he quickly straightened his clothes and tried to flatten his hair. “How was your trip?”
She tapped her foot. “I asked where you were.” He looked at the floor, and though didn’t have mind reading powers, she could feel him trying to think of something. “You with Verchiel’s guard dog again, weren’t you?”
Sergei rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, in a manner of speaking-”
“How many times have I told you stop fraternizing with her? Don’t you understand that it defeats the entire purpose of having a guard dog if you make friends with one another? Or in your case, more than friends?”
“I don’t-” He broke off at the look on her face. “Yes, mistress.”
“Good. And don’t try to give me any crap that you’re in love with Verchiel’s guard dog. You’re not. You’re just using her as a convenient bed fellow because she’s willing. And like her master, she’s willing with everyone, no doubt.”
“She has a name,” Sergei muttered. “And she’s not loose.”
“If she is with you, then she is with the others, too. A liar lies to everyone. A thief steals from everyone. And a whore whores with everyone. Now, I’m going to take a shower. Don’t open the door to anyone. Not even your little whore.”
She shut herself in her private bathroom and stripped off her wet clothes. At least Sergei had kept the place clean while she was gone. There was nothing worse than coming back to a mess.
Except coming back to find Sergei and Verchiel’s guard dog mating.
After that, she’d punished Sergei and thought he’d gotten the message, but apparently not. Or maybe he had and the little floozy pushed it. Men were notoriously unable to resist the lure of the fair sex, especially when one offered herself so willingly.
Griselda climbed in the shower and let the hot water run over her. Truthfully, she wouldn’t be surprised if Verchiel encouraged his human guard dog to be a whore. It was a good way to infiltrate the other Executioners’ houses. And most of the guard dogs were male, which made them easy prey. Train them with sex, make their brains soft, and soon Verchiel – or just as likely his guard dog herself – were sneaking in during the day, pounding a stake through your heart.
It’s not going to work with me.
No, if Sergei couldn’t be trusted, then it would be better to be rid of him and find a replacement. A woman this time. One who’d figure out Verchiel’s game and be too intelligent to fall for it.
With my luck, he’d turn to seducing her himself.
And if not him, then one of the others. Beldren was suspect. And Zuri. He was too quiet. It meant he was observing, analyzing, plotting. And Philip. Now there was a heartbreaker just looking to cause trouble. He’d been promoted at the same time she was, and she’d never trusted him as far as she could throw him.
Franklin was just as suspicious, and Migina was no better. The way she sneered at everyone made her opinions clear. Really, the only ones Griselda trusted were Senya and Bren; Senya because she was so blunt that you always knew where you stood, and Bren because Senya controlled him.
And they’re all a million times more trustworthy than Jamie or Ark.
They’d been Executioners the longest, and had earned the titles of captain and second in command, and they both used it. In fact, it was an incident with Ark that had prompted the human guard dogs in the first place.
Griselda liberally soaped herself as she tried to remember how it had happened. She hadn’t been there, but Greneth had heard the whole thing and reported it to her. Ark and Beldren, wasn’t it? Yes. They’d gotten in a fight and Beldren threatened Ark with something like sneaking in his room and cutting his heart out while he slept. Then, in the middle of the day, an earsplitting scream had wakened Greneth. He’d grabbed his weapon and run to the Beldren’s room, where he found the Executioner up, sword in hand, shouting that Ark had been in his room, trying to kill him. Ark denied it, but Beldren when Beldren returned from his next assignment he had a human with him.
“To keep an eye on things while I sleep. A guard dog, if you will.”
No one liked the idea of Beldren having a human running free while they were unprotected, and so they’d each gotten their own. Even Jamie, who’d rolled his eyes and commented on the stupidity.
It might be stupid, but I don’t see you sleeping alone.
That had been in ’42, she was pretty sure, and since then she’d been through three. Since Sergei can’t think with the brain in his head, it looks like I’m going to have to find number four. Though going through them quickly wasn’t unusual. Verchiel had been through two already, both women, and she imagined when he picked his next it would be a woman too. A good looking, cute little thing that he could encourage to be friendly with the men.
I know what you’re up to.
And now for guesses:
- Duck l’orange 2. Who’s hungry? 3. Today’s special is duck! 4. Duck; the gift that keeps giving 5. Quackers! 6. Polly want a quacker? 7. It’s daffy! 8. How do you get down off a duck? 9. A ladder! Ha ha! 10. looks like a duck, quacks like a duck… 11. choked up. 12. choke your….duck (cough) 13. Isn’t this a pretty duck? Half off today! 14. Look what I got for my birthday! 15. I wish I had some of Jonathan’s voodoo because this is ducking hard. 16. duck, duck, goose. 17. I found the duck! 18. I wonder if that’s the right way to hold a duck? 19. It’s a strangle hold! 20. this is just ducky