The Fireside Tales - Chapter Sixty-Four

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The Fireside Tales - Chapter Sixty-Four

Postby Miggnor » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:00 am

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Chapter Sixty-Four: Touch

“I had longed for it. But it came too late.”

Shayliss was shoved until her back met with a bookshelf. There she struggled against the newly angered Valtyra. The sounds of combat flowed from outside the hall, possibly all of the way from the courtyard, but they were so soft that Shayliss did not notice them. The battle with the ogres must have moved outside.

“Val!” Shayliss said, “Don’t let that woman tear us apart! We have been through too much!”

The half-elf snarled in answer. Rapiers twisted and thrust toward Shayliss’s eyes. In her position, Shayliss could not do much about it. Ducking her head would threaten to send her to the ground again with a simple tug and trip. Dodging to either side would only send one blade through her brain instead of both. Quick reaction saved her by twisting her own blade. That motion sent both rapiers in different trajectories that only grazed her head. One line cut her cheek and up past her temple. The other went down under her ear and nearly nicked the jugular.

“What about Katrine?” Shayliss asked, her voice carefully neutral. It was the only way to not break down at the bloody memory, “It was that snake who had her killed!” She briefly looked at the woman, “And I am sure that this woman is involved! Maybe even the snake’s sister!”

That caused Valtyra to hesitate. While the red-haired girl was talking, she had been trying to shift the rapiers closer to vital arteries. However, the mention of Katrine and the snake Xanesha seemed to bring a studder to the half-elf’s thoughts. Even though the memories pained her, Shayliss did not hesitate to continue.

“Remember? Remember what you told me then?”

There was an internal struggle within the half-elf. Her eyes shifted back and forth again. Her breath came out in short gasps. Water started forming in her eyelids. Yet, she spoke, obviously wanting to speak while fighting something that wanted her to stay silent.

“To. Let. Go.”

A small smile curled up Shayliss’s face, “Yes. Because I would become someone who could not learn from the past. Who would always fear the future.”

Anger touched Valtyra’s expression again and she redoubled on the effort to cut into Shayliss. Her back slammed into the stone again and her breath exhaled in an explosive puff. It was hard for Shayliss to hold back the blades and the occasional rumble from outside did not help at all. Red blood already flowed from her wounds and she could feel the skin ripping open even more.

“Someone like me.” The half-elf growled.

Shayliss very slowly shook her head and shifted her grip on the longsword, “No! This is your chance to become someone else! You can get through this.”

The pressure on her arms redoubled again and she could not stop the metal from cutting even more. Another half an inch and she would have a sliced artery. The grip on her weapon shifted again.

“You lie!” Valtyra yelled and the sheer power of the sentence seemed to resonate in the stone, “I do not need your lies!”

Just a little bit more.

Shayliss’s voice softened in the same degree that the half-elf’s rose, “No. I don’t. I would never lie to you.” The tears flowed freely just as the blood did. She could feel them mixing together as they traveled further down her skin, “I love you too much for that.”


A hand raised up to gently touch Valtyra’s cheek. Her skin was warm, near feverish, hot with anger and with something else. Sickness? Could whatever the woman be doing to her make her more susceptible to illness? Yet it was also soft, just as she remembered it. Not travel nor dirt seemed to ruin that. Or maybe it was just her. It was a while since she was able to feel that again. Something she daydreamed about for months.

Valtyra completely froze. As if the touch shut down her thoughts. Her mouth hung slightly open and her eyes widened in surprise. The rapiers, held by loose fingers, fell from Shayliss’s neck. The fight and fire within the half-elf faded away into nothingness. Shayliss could feel it in the relaxing muscles of her neck. With it, the confusion in her eyes cleared. Once it did completely, Valtyra’s knees nearly buckled. Shayliss dropped her weapon to catch her, but Valtyra held her back and steadied herself.

She then looked around, the expression of wonder clear on her face. That gaze then landed on the wounds on either side of Shayliss’s face. Valtyra froze again when she saw that.

“Don’t worry about it.” Shayliss whispered, “I am fine.”

The half-elf then looked down at her boodstained blades and nearly dropped them in shock, “What? What did I…”

Shayliss took a step forward, “Val, I am fine! You are fine!”

Valtyra stepped back and held her hands up, “Don’t!”

Shayliss took another step instead, holding her empty hands up, “Val. Please. Don’t do this. We can-”

She was interrupted by the other woman suddenly turning and charging out of the room and into the hall. It took Shayliss a second to react and run after the woman.

“Wait! Val!”

It was too late. Valtyra had leapt out of the window and slid down the stone wall of the fort. She landed in a roll and rushed out of the courtyard. Bubnug saw this and tried to stop the half-elf, yet he could not in time. Valtyra was gone. Fled into the woods.

Shayliss spun back around toward the room, hoping to be able to kill the thing that had ruined Valtyra. But she too, was gone. The room was empty.



Do you have any comments, questions or concerns? Please leave a comment or email me at!

Also, you can follow me on Twitter for updates on The Fireside Tales, or just random statements I may make: @Miggnor23.

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