“Breathe,” he told Thorn. “Slowly. And time your steps to your breath.”
It wasn’t that the Tycherosi woman had no grace; there were times she moved like a shark through the water, hungry and with dark purpose. Other times, however, she acted like a child who was about to be hit, or who craved a toy she could not have. Song needed her to be consistent. They were about to swim among a different kind of shark, and those nobles would smell blood in the water.
“I’ve done this before, you know.” Her tone was a little indignant. “I taught at the university, and we would have parties all the time—some of them would be very nice, except you could feel their eyes always looking at you.”
He grinned. “Breathe. Exhale as you bring your good foot forward. No, don’t copy me exactly, you’ll need to focus on your left. As if you were about to lunge to stab someone.”
“I don’t need to stab anyone, Song.” Thorn met his eyes, and a chill ran through him. Those sleek, shining black eyes reminded the Skovlander that she was as much of a predator as he. Continue reading “Just a Song”
Beaten and arrested by the Bluecoats, Lizete was interrogated for days. Her connection to the Firebirds, and their ringleader Rubix, was recent and questionable, but the ‘Coats wanted to call their investigation a success. Lizete’s only advocate came in the unlikely form of Inspector Narcus Prichard, who had been piecing together evidence against Rubix for months. But Lizete wouldn’t budge, and Prichard had to watch as his carefully assembled investigation unraveled at the hands of this woman.
Lizete Dalmore, aka Vestine, aka Adelaide, aka Crow—one of the last ones—hung for high crimes against the City of Doskvol and His Majesty the Immortal Emperor (All Glory to His Name) in a dreary courtyard in Ironhook, the only attendant being Harker, a friend of hers currently doing one of his many stints in the Hook.
As her neck snapped, a small pewter mantis tumbled from her hand, smuggled in by Harker and given to her there at the scaffold. It had belonged to Cricket, the ex-Firebird and former friend she had once been a fellow servant with at the Kellis estate so many years ago. Cricket and the Firebirds had killed Lizete’s gang, killed her friends, and destroyed the only place she’d ever truly felt at home. In a rage at the tower months ago, a lifetime ago really, Lizete fell from a window attempting to take revenge against her. She had been so angry, so broken.
There, at the end of the rope in Ironhook Prison, the broken girl finally stopped falling.
You can find more adventures of the Firebirds in our game of John Harper’s Blades in the Dark on DistractedElf’s Twitch channel every Monday from 21:00 – 01:00 Eastern Time or catch up on her YouTube channel 24 hours a day.