Tell me a story that you cherish. (v2, standalone)

(v1 of this piece was in the short anthology, Passive Progressions.)

This was written in September, when my life was more stable because she was not talking to me. Now, it’s a little different. Horray, for Chaos has returned to me once again!

A Romantic: A person with beliefs or attitudes of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life. ‘This is a beautiful record for hopeless romantics and dreamers – don’t let the cynics tell you otherwise.’ Essentially a reverse cynic or an idealist who’s willing to prove the world wrong in order to achieve his or her dreams.

This summer, my romantic self, the self that stayed up late on school nights watching lovely anime, and read ironic fantasies and speculative science fiction, was reawakened by someone. He is raw and unfocused, passionate and transcendental.

We talked a lot, nearly every night by message. The more I learned about her, the more in love I was. I just want to help with all of her problems, for her the romantic “Me” would conquer the earth! Blackmail the Universe! I learned exactly what all those studies meant when they stated that married men work 30% harder—or more! My creative juices flowed, she was my muse, she was the reason for hundreds of lines.

And now she’s gone, I feel left behind. Where is my love? What happened? She is young and weak, and in need of space. Here my love, take your time. She told me to move on twice or thrice. She said goodbye even more, but came back each time; each time and the last.

September cut my knees, like a certain man, I walk with a limp. My time is running out. The Romantic within me just laughs. “Haha! Is she weak? Then make her strong! Make her a man!” (He means, of course, as a warrior. He likes Jung, and believes that each person has a conscious ego that matches their gender, and an unconscious anima/animus that is the opposite gender.)

But real me? I’m seeing in tragedy. When things are too perfect, something vital is always missing. The chain pops off the bike. The lines rust out my brakes. September cut my knees and then I crashed.

So here I am now. She promised she would come back, but oh so cryptic. I pushed my luck. I have my hope. Oh love, come back!

The Romantic is sizing up all the other potential mates in my life. He wants to get married IMMEDIATELY. I say, people don’t do that anymore. It always goes wrong, and everone wants to wait until they’re middle aged and grumpy before they settle down and find out what makes humans happy.

He does not care. He says “people? Oh you mean ‘they’? They are all weak and worthless. They can go to hell. In fact, their single, lonely asses probably already feel like hell! Do not bother what ‘they’ believe. Look at her! Whew, dark hair blue eyes! And look, that one looks like your dream girl! The blonde curls, well endowed!” I have to blush. I make him stop.

The Romantic is sizing up all the other potentials in my life. I see love with virgin eyes, everyone is beautiful to me. But the Romantic? So judgmental! “I guarantee our lover had an IQ of at least 130. All these dumb women.” They are very pretty though, I say, adding, you don’t even know them that well. “Hah! But tell me, which is more beautiful than the girl I love?” I scan my memory. No one. Maybe one. And, maybe she’s also just as smart. But again, between her and I, as between my love and I, there is a barrier, so for now…

I cherish my memories and try not to feel anxious.

I hope she comes back, but I am not as certain as my Romantic side. How certain is he? “For her, I would blackmail the UNIVERSE!” But as for me…perhaps…she was never meant to be.

“But if she was!” …would she come back?

Hold on to me as tightly as I do you.
“Your wife is the closest person to you in your family.”
Why.
“Because she’s the only member that you choose, and she chooses back.”
How romantic!
Tragedy deserves its tragic end!
Hurrah!
Dance with me!

Time: The Beginning

1

I used to message her whenever she came to mind,
An inbox sprinkled with messages.

Now she’s gone (a line that is cliché)
And all I can do is look.

Has she been here? Has she seen this? The answer is

For now, but maybe not forever,
No. She is gone.

I miss her.

YOU USED TO CALL ME ON MY CELLPHONE

2

If you found me in the darkness
Would you fight for my equality
If you found that I had darkness
Would you protect me and my harshness?

3

The weak avoid.
“The quickest way to end the war is lose.”

The strong dive in.
“If you try, if you don’t die, you’ll end up black and blue.”

4

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5trinity.jpg

Statements Stolen from Twitter and Shuffled

The real reason Canadians apologize is because we really are rude, but then we feel bad about it after.

I sold my cunning got sincerity a long time ago. Now I just…offend people.

Aubrey Plaza exists.

There are just so many Russian women on Instagram.

Some people do not accept apologies. They block you instead.

Bring down upon them the lightning of judgment.

Hnnngggg
AAA

Write a book they want to read again.
And again.

Q-Q

Got rain.

Then I remembered there are people who actually lose chapters or books to digital corruption and power outages and now I feel better haha.

At least my imaginary video game friends believe in me


:/

Bed time.

The Solune Prince: The Aftermath of Thought; (or The N’Tariel Talent)

Mithos: Sublime Idealist

Lloyd: Gentle Idealist

7

Oh, you’re worldbuilding? A bit too much you say?
Why did you make a new world? Ask yourself.
If the answer cannot be found, then you made it for yourself.

It’s time to stop worldbuilding and start doing something for your reader and not for you. Write.

8

Woke up sick. LOVE SICK!
…Maybe.


A drum beats for me.
It’s louder every day.
The cadence tells me that
soon I’ll meet
My judgment day.

My judgment day.
MY JUDGMENT DAY
my judgment day.

The game I play has caused a lot of grief
They were dying for fame, so I obliged them some relief
” (Megadeth 1999).

10

Am I doomed to just draw angry women now

The weak run and hide
I speak things confide
In me fear no the edge
Of life of my knife run and

I’ll cut your flesh.
(From Alexandre Dirge’s diary)

11

Treat others as you want to be treated? Wrong. I want to be argued with until one person loses.

Alexander Dirge has a better proverb: “Treat others as a mother would her child’s friends.”

Although she continues…

“Avoid touching them, be nice, assume that they are stupid.”

Twitter Questions no one ever Answered.

does microsoft own snapchat

You ever get the sudden urge to passionately bulldoze all the traffic in your area?

Do video games make you violent or am I just violent

Okay, so my Swastika Laboratory coworkers convinced me not to try speed.
My Rhetoric professor convinced me not to try cocaine.
Anyone have an issue with psychedelics?

Why is there no wizard Jesus?
Casting the Word from his magic tome, The Holy Bible?

Uhhg
God
I feel useless

Where is my lady? :3 I have her hugs

That the world may know peace…
Time is moving faster tonight.

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LV·SON·NET

Anti-Anti-Sonnet: Follow the Rules no matter What
By: Daniel Triumph

I’ll be there for you, when you walk throu’th’ fire
I’ll be there for you, when the flames get high’r
When, oh, nothing fits and nothing seems right
Till the last breath of my life, I’ll be there
(I’ll be There, Megadeth 199—
9, DAVE MUSTAINE, MARTY FRIEDMAN—et all.)

And, I believe you’ll be there for me too.

Do your actions speak louder? I hope so.

And all this time, and you have been so kind.
<don’t read this line it is just fil·ler here.>

— / — Come to me at your weakest,
— / And I’ll put you in your sleepest.

Time: The Beginning

By Megadeth

Father time, I’m running late
I’m winding down, I’m growing tired
Seconds drift into the night
The clock just ticks till my time expires

You were once my friend
Now I know I can’t tie your hands
The days I saved I couldn’t spend
They fell like sand through the hourglass
No time to lose, no time to choose

Time taking time, it’s taken mine
Scenes of my life seem so unkind
Time chasing time creeps up behind
I can’t run forever, and time waits for no one
Not even me

An enemy I can’t defend
My final place a deadly end
Life’s just a speck in space
Dreams of an eternal resting place

I can’t get any younger
Time has brutal hunger

Time taking time, it’s taken mine
Scenes of my life seem so unkind
Time chasing time creeps up behind
I can’t run forever, and time waits for no one, waits for no one
Not even me

Songwriters: BUD PRAGER,DAVE MUSTAINE,MARTY FRIEDMAN
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC,Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

see you next time.
Do you wonder what part 2 will be like?
Find the preview…Time: The End.
Or, if this sentence becomes a link, click here.

Those of Noble Status

Second Draft.

“No, you listen, we should not be here! It is an ill omen, this mist!” The man whispered, shouting almost.

“You tell me we should go back, and then you have the gaul to speak of omens?” The woman replied, quite calmly. “Omens cull the meek and annihilate the weak. There is no omen that the Spirit could not for you give an more correct answer.”

They walked, or more accurately, she walked. There was only room for one on the pale mount. Or at least, the man had decided that there was only room for one.

“Inquire within, fool,” she mumbled.

Crystal Jealousy didn’t mind the man’s attitude, not any more. They had not been on good terms for many weeks. She knew his nature very well by now, and so she simply led the giant, wrinkled bulldog along, with it’s passenger. She knew where they were going, thus it was appropriate that she led. It was also good that the man, Illinois, was on a mount. He would be less likely to leave if his sloth was so enticed. Weakness.

“Crystal! Look!” He shouted, a shriek of fright.

“Ah yes, very good.” Jealousy watched the mist.

Crystal Jealousy had to pull her hair behind her ears. Usually, she let her crowen locks fall into her face, but there were times when vision was important. She pulled her, tangled eyelashes straight, then itched her upturned nose with shined and fair-skinned hand. Something about lashes so long that they clumped together when one blinked; Jealousy found it both frustrating and interesting.

They were surrounded by knee-high, overgrown grass. Ferns and saplings were beginning to cover the long-abandoned path. Beyond the grass was dense forest, the sort of wood that blocked much of the sunlight; not that there was sun right now. Everything was grey; grey and wet. Her cloak, one of the many layers of brown and black clothing she wore, was soaked at the brim, weighing her down.

Jealousy rubbed water into her eyes with her thumb and finger and then blinked.

When she opened again, she was in a different location. This always happened to her. She knew that her associate would be in good, albeit younger and stupider hands.

 

She had left her body behind and it was now inhabited by a slightly different consciousness. The woman in Jealousy’s body snapped her head around to look at Illinois.

“Oh, I’m still with you am I?” She spat the words, and then spat at the ground.

“Oh no!” Illinois whined. “Not again!” Why did she have to get mad at him like this? He moaned on the mount, wriggling, but too lazy to get off and leave. Always too lazy to leave.

But Jealousy knew what she was doing. She had written about what had happened here. She knew what to do. She walked the man and his dog until they arrived at an intersection, and then she turned her head to face the path that met theirs. It was built from right to left. She knew this, but the information seemed unimportant.

Crystal saw the figures approaching, finally. This was what Illinois must have been complaining about, this alternate pair that came to them in the myst.

“You stupid man! This is the whole reason that she, that I came here! Quiet your moans, you fool!”

She knew that she would not have a chance to actually speak the oncoming duo, but she knew this encounter well enough that she knew that it didn’t matter. She would know what happened here in great detail in coming years.

“You would do well to stay quiet. You are not long for this…” She stopped and blinked, rubbing at her eyes again.

Jealousy was taken back to her body. She hadn’t known that the other consciousness had been talking, so she didn’t finish its sentence.

Instead, she realized what was going on; a distant chiasm that was closing before her. “Here they come.”

And to Illinois’s horror, Jealousy waved. One of the figures; the shorter, brighter one; waved back.

Within a minute, the pair was close enough that their features were visible. The taller one was very tall. He had a black mess on his head that Illinois assumed was hair. His skin was tanned, and he wore a dark grey jumpsuit, made darker in the damp. The woman was much shorter, and also wore the grey suit, although her top half was tied off at the waist. Her undershirt shone bright in the mist.

As she got closer, it was clear that there must be some relation between her and the woman.

“A… A spectre! A ghastly white image!” Illinois cried.

“Quiet. That’s my sister you idiot,” Jealousy whispered.

The upturned nose and waved hair made it clear. But it was as Illinois had said, this woman had white-blonde hair, and altogether lighter features. The effect made her look like an apparition hovering out of the evaporate.

“Oi! Who’s that then?” The woman shouted.

“Hello Janna,” Jealousy said as her sister finally came into view.

“What’s all this mess? Is that you Jealousy?” Janna was surprised, “Not dead after all, huh.”

Jealousy shook her head, “It is good that we met up like this. You need my help.”

“We what?” The tall man said.

“No no, she’s probably right. Never known Jealousy to be wrong.” Janna told him.

“I thought you only had two sisters.”

“Nope, there’s also poor Crystal Jealousy. Although…are we sisters or…something. She’s related to me anyway.”

“Well,” the man said, “What about that guy?” He pointed.

“No idea.”

“That’s Illinois, my fiancée. But not for very much longer.” Jealousy told them.

“What?!” Shrieked Illinois.

“Getting married?” Asked Janna.

“No, rather, dear, I’m finished with you. Goodbye.” And then she let go of the reins. The pale white dog stared at her, panting calmly.

Illinois straightened up, “Quite right! You were far too much of a hassle anyway! I thought it was worth it, all these years, but now I know! Now I understand!”

He glanced at Janna’s soaked form, her white shirt semi-transparent. Janna stared back at him. She winked, smiling deviously, falsely shivering a little in her semi-transparent top.

“They say you people are mad, the Solune Royalty! I heard,” He hissed, “That one of you actually attacked the police in the city! And I mean the entire police corps! Started a riot, set the place into shambles!”

“I hope that’s true,” Janna’s mouth opened, adding teeth to her smile.

“You! You… you are despicable! Your insane kinsman, Crystal here!” He shot a finger at Jealousy, “And now you, so shameless! The Rhye family name is not worth the effort I’ve put into trying to acquiring it!”

“Sooth sooth! And yet,” Jealousy said softly, laughing, “You have been deemed unworthy by those you despise so suddenly! Oh my! May HaShem forgive thee!”

“Yeah man, piss off, right?” Janna took her undershirt off and whipped it at him.

The cold, wet tanktop slapped Illinois in the neck, and then Crystal muttered something to the dog. The giant creature barked, alerting all manner of chaos in the woods around them, and lumbered back down the path, carrying the man off with it.

“Shame,” Janna said, “He seemed like a great target. The kind of guy that gets offended at everything? Would have loved to tease him a bit.”

“Well, no real loss. He took care of me when I had that illness. Did I tell you about that?” Jealousy spoke, and then blinked harder than was necessary.

“You thing the beasts of the forest will eat him?” Mumbled the tall man.

“I hope so. Is he gone yet?” Crystal said, suddenly angry.

“What? Yeah.” Janna said. “And, I think he’ll be fine. That mount of his was far larger than anything that lives in this shallow a wood.”

Janna was not confused by the sudden change in her sister’s countenance, but the man was.

“Right. What was I saying?” Crystal snapped.

“Illness?”

“Right!” She caught herself. She had been doing something far more relaxing eslewhere just moments ago, and she was troubled to continue a line of conversation she would not start for some time. “He was a bit of a help, truly. Perhaps he saved my life, so patient of a man, thought I doubt it. But slowly we realized that we were not a good long-term match. The fool kept me around because of my blood. That is how the Lussa aristocracy are you know. Much different than the Solune back home.”

She rubbed her eyes again.

“Ah, did I explain about the illness just then?” Jealousy asked.

“Yeah.” Janna nodded.

Jealously promptly vomited to her right. “Okay good.” She coughed.

They set up a camp at the crossroads. It seemed that Janna liked to carry a dry board in her rucksack for times like this, so starting a fire was easy.

“Remind me to get another one, eh Drake?”

The tall man shrugged.

They sat around the flames. The light made Jealousy’s sickly features more apparent.

“It’s not good for me to switch twice in one day. I should be okay with a little rest.”

The flames started to burn Janna’s bare skin. She pull her jumpsuit’s top half over her torso and zipped it closed.

“Yeah, I know. You said you were going to help us?” Janna asked.

“Of course. You will find my abilities very helpful, I’m sure.”

Drake finally asked, “What was all that? Issues? Janna always said you were a little odd.”

Janna gave him an unfriendly look.

“A little odd? Only that? She did not tell you the nature of my problems?” Drake shook his head and she frowned in response. “Oh my.”

However, Crystal Jealousy “Keturah” Rhye sang her next words with uncanny joy. “Allow me to explain!”

Image result for halford crucibleI don’t write much about Crystal, although I have a story swimming about in my head for her. Truly, her narratives seem to prefer to be open-ended and chaotic and wet. She brings water and misery wherever she goes, and archetype of the chaotic feminine in some sense. Hope to see her again some time.

Daniel Triumph.

FacebookTwitterDeviantArtInstagram.

P.S. Check out Crystal by Halford, which of course was the inspiration for Crystal Jealousy Rhye.

P.P.S. Anyone interested in knowing more about the timeline, read on. This story takes place in the time after The Solune Prince but before The Epic of Däwngale. Janna is still searching for Venus and Zealott, and Crystal Jealousy intends to use her “abilities” to aid the hunt.

Not sure how it works out. Follow me and perhaps we can figure it out together in a few years.

 

“Revivafy” or something. And Time Travel. x2.

If you’re here, you should probably go read the latest chapter of my novella instead…or start at the beginning? Either way >:3 it’s far better than this piece!

Chloe Pen - Copy

?

Recognize anyone?

1 “You would give her up for me?”
2 “Time travel is a very simple thing. Safely shifting timelines however, is not. In fact there is a Servant; a deity whose sole domain is affecting timelines safely.”
3 “Tendrils”
2 “Right. Anyway, he doesn’t want to talk to me, or your friend for that matter, which means he is likely against what we are about to do.”
1 “Is that bad?”
2 “Usually, although he doesn’t seem to be directly opposing anything, otherwise we would likely be dead already.”
1 “Unless we are valuable individuals.”
3 “I’m not.”
2 “Not yet. Maybe in the future.”
1 “So you are really okay with this?”
2 “Yeah. I don’t think warping masstime is a good foundation for a relationship anyway.”
3 “Yeah.”
1 “Well, I just captured the antiservant; how difficult could this be?”
2 “You will not be aided by your Servants. They will be aiding the “selves” that are already present. You do not understand now, but being godless; as the demons are; is extremely difficult.”
1 “If you could manage it, I can too.”
3 “Yeah, no problems. I predate Tendrils anyway. I’ve known a world with much fewer Servants. I remember when there were only two. Father. Mother.”
2 “Fair enough. As long as the Servants don’t notice that there are more than one of us in that timeline we should be fine.”
1 “Well, all we have to do is stop your younger self from saving her life?”
2 “Yeah…that’s it.”

I wrote this a good two or three years ago and found it recently while stalking my own facebook feed.

I think I know who the characters are here, but it’s very hard to tell.

1: likely Janna Rhye. It may be Jin Sing Resz though.
2: Almost certainly Bradley Jeremy, although there’s an off chance it’s Azure Death.
3: Yaska Rheya May Däwngale.

Kemia

Kemia (full version) is the third draft of Decay. This will likely be the final one.

“I found this behind the bar.” Setzer handed Natasha a thumb-sized glass vial. It was empty, but lined with a distinct maroon residue. “They must have been poisoned.”

“Yes,” said Jade, “There was something wrong with the taste.”

For the first time since the inn had been built, there was more than one person in its attic. Three of the seven within were dead.

Setzer didn’t like the involvement of Jade Sing. He had a long list of reasons for why he disliked her. The first reason was that Jade was a foreigner, but the worst, somewhere near the bottom, was that she was a cannibal. Natasha had never seemed to be too interested in arresting Jade, despite Setzer’s suspicions. Every time he’d investigated one of Jade’s catches, she had come away innocent. Did she eat people? Yes. But did she kill them? Not according to evidence. Cannibalism isn’t technically illegal, and it seemed that Jade was either a master frameup artist, or she simply took advantage of murders and reaped the spoils. One thing Setzer was sure of: Jade was a sly opportunist. That was also on his list.

jade__north_metch____slacker_by_tehufn-d8vnl9c-e1536336188391.jpg
Jade Sing (05.25.2015)

Jade had broken into the inn attracted by the scent, she had claimed. She had found the bodies and sampled them, and then she had alerted the nearest guard, Sergeant Alice; a small, jumpy woman built like a brick house. Alice then told her Captain, and they had both arrived along with Constable Setzer; the short, often cross young man with long black hair, pale skin, and dark eyes.

To Setzer’s chagrin, it seemed he was again going to prove Jade’s innocence. He surveyed the corpses. Each was missing part of its calf, and one’s face was so bludgeoned that it was unrecognisable.

“Easy to draw a conclusion based on this,” he said. “First, based on the vial and the… taste, we can assume that these people were poisoned. Second, Dhesmond Machina owns and runs this inn. He could easily spike his alcohol and claim that the victim passed out. Finally, the inn didn’t open today, and,” he handed Natasha a hand-copied document, “yesterday’s travel ledger shows that Dhesmond skipped town this morning and hasn’t returned!”

“Wonderful!” Alice clapped.

 

“So, Natasha, are we going to search Hannibal or Baracus? He probably escaped to one of those cities.”

Natasha Glass Rhye studied the list and felt her neck tighten.

“Neither. This is not enough.”

“Umm, okay but…” Setzer said, “what else do we need?”

She looked at him calmly, “Who are these people? Where did the poison come from?”

Setzer wasn’t happy, but orders were orders. “Fine, we’ll identify the bodies first.”

alice__resident_plainkind_by_danieltriumph-db9ajer
Alice May Däwngale. casual dress. (Concept. Not final.) (05.12.2017)

“Good.” Natasha’s face was stern, “After you two are finished, meet me at the Ph.Kem. lab. Alice, I would like you to visit the undertaker for this area and get them to identify the body, whether you yourself can identify them or not. If the district mortician can get us faces quickly, bring us a note, otherwise, come without it.”

“Sure,” Alice nodded.

Setzer sighed. “Alice, do you know who usually comes here? To the bar?”

She took a deep breath, and presented Setzer a word salad. “I know almost just about all the people from around here.” Alice’s grasp of syntax faltered when she was excited. Setzer always assumed it was due to her being a foreigner, a Plainkind for the west.

Natasha left them to parse out the identities as well as Alice’s speech, and exited the building, studying the ledger. She watched the cobbled streets as she went, and headed northwest to speak to one of the city’s construction foreman.

 

Setzer and Alice sat at a table in the bar and drew up a list of all the patrons. Alice identified the two who were dead, and they were crossed off. Setzer went out into the city and sought out the rest of the people list.

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Setzer (Concept. Not final.) (06.22.2016)

Jade was told to stay behind, tasked with keeping people out of the bar. After much frustration, Setzer managed to bargain her into promising that she would “try not to eat anything,” and “definitely not touch the mysterious body.” He hoped he wouldn’t have to answer to families again, but he could never be sure with Jade.

It took until noon to find everyone. Most of them had no idea that anything was wrong, they simply wondered why the bar was closed. One person mentioned that Dhesmond had become too touchy as of late “He damn pussified litl’ bitch nao. Gon haffin’ a new bar.” Setzer assumed that this loss would be considered good news to any innkeeper. Most of the other patrons agreed that, in the past month or so, he had seemed more stressed than usual. Setzer and Alice thanked each person for their time, and soon the list was empty, except for one name.

 

Alice looked, and shook her head, “Reighleigh Straker. We only checked his house, remember? He’s maybe at work.”

It dawned on Setzer why the Captain wanted them to meet her at the lab. “Does he work at the Ph.Kem. lab?”

“Yep.”

“You know, I think the good Captain is a few steps ahead of us.” Setzer shook his head.

“What?”

Alice smiled. It seemed that was what she did when she was confused. Or happy. Or angry. Setzer had come to accept that nearly all emotions led Alice to smile, but he had yet to tell the smiles them apart.

“Natasha must have known all along… Now we just have to confirm that he isn’t there, at the lab, and our bases will be covered.” Setzer nodded to himself.

Alice just shrugged, “We’ll meet there after I go to the cemetery.”

“I doubt we’ll need it, but orders are orders, I guess.”

 

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City Guard Captain Natasha Glass Rhye (08.17.2017)

To his surprise, Setzer arrived that the Philosophy of Kemia lab first and had to wait a few minutes. Natasha arrived late, with the slight sheen of a person who just walked halfway across a city and back.

 

“Where did you go?” asked Setzer.

“I went to where they are extending the wall.”

“Oh.”

“Did you find the identity of the third body?”

“We deduced that it was Reighleigh Straker. Not sure why Dhesmond would beat him up like that though.”

The Captain shook her head.

“You will see when we go inside the Philosophy of Kemia Laboratory,” She returned the vial he’d found at the inn. “Search his desk when we get inside.”

 

Natasha knocked on the door. It was answered by a woman who looked like her, except she was younger, smaller, wore a white coat, and had more hair.

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Chloe Rhye, Fifth Prince of the Solune (07.12.2018)

“Natasha?” She asked.

 

“Chloe,” she nodded. “We are here as part of an investigation.”

“Ah, sure. I’ll get someone who actually works here.” She turned and called, “Straker?”

Setzer glanced at Natasha. If Reighleigh was here, alive, then his investigation was worthless. A moment passed, and she called out again, but for someone else.

“Finch? Yes, ah, the guard is here.”

Chloe let them into the lab. It was brightly lit, with large wooden desks. Some were capped with thick layers of metal, but all of them were covered with metal and glass instruments, and lined with drawers. In the far corner was a small room sealed with a heavy door.

A lab student approached them. His lanyard read “Finch Däwngale Zeth.” He was a short man with pale skin, dark hair, and dark eyes. He wore a white lab coat and held a mess of papers.

“Oh, Captain Rhye,” he looked from Natasha to Chloe, “Here to talk to your sister…umm, to talk to Chloe?”

“No. We speak enough when we are not working.”

Setzer said, “Is Reighleigh here? I need to—” see if he’s alive, is what he thought. “I need to search his desk.”

“He’s in the supply locker, right there.” Finch pointed, “It’s heavily barred to prevent theft. Some of that stuff is dangerous, you know?”

There was a loud metallic creak and Setzer’s stomach churned. According to his logic, the man who stood before them was dead, his body stashed in Dhesmond’s inn. The Constable took a deep breath. He hadn’t earned his rank by faltering. Lost, he defaulted to his orders.

“We are here to search your desk.”

Reighleigh gave him a deep frown.

After a pause, Finch helpfully pointed to one of the counters, “It’s that one.”

Setzer strode to it and began opening drawers until he found one filled with thumb-sized test tubes, and a labelled jar of distinct red liquid. He took the vial found at the inn out of his pocket. The size and shape matched, and the colour was almost the same (the inn’s vial having dried).

Natasha looked sidelong at the doctor. He seemed to be stifling his nerves. Her eyes moved down to his hands and she saw that his knuckles were blue.

In his head, Setzer read the label on the jar; Hyperthermic Coronary Accelerator. Then he looked up and nodded to Natasha. She nodded back. They’d found the poison’s supplier. Reighleigh moved slightly. Natasha knew those movements; the flight response. He would go either for the window or the door. Natasha’s eyes moved fast, her mind faster.

Then Alice flung the front door open, and jumped inside, shaking the floor as she landed.

“I got it!—Oh, hi dear; I mean Finch,—anyway, I got it!” She waved the mortician’s note in front of her cheery face, “The last dead person is not Reigh even for sure now, it’s Dhesmond Machina!”

Reighleigh froze. His face hardened, and then he steeled himself and sprinted for the door. Alice smiled and repositioned slightly as Reighleigh leaped forward and tried to tackle her. Unfortunately for him, Sergeant Alice was nearly twice his weight in muscle; a capable guard in the occupational sense well as the literal one; guarding the portal. She restrained him with ease.

“You’re under detainment for killing three people using poison!” Setzer ran to the man and seized his hands. he began winding a cord around Reighleigh’s wrists.

The man retorted, “How could I have murdered someone who isn’t even in town!”

“You—” Setzer had no idea.

Natasha finally spoke, her mind finished with all thought, “You followed him, but not through the gate. You went through the part of the wall that is currently under construction.”

Setzer and Alice looked at each other across the man who stood between them. Reighleigh remained silent.

Finch was unsure what to think. He looked between Natahsa and his wife nervously.

Chloe called to her sister, “go on!” She loved to see anyone competent at work. It was, in her mind, an art.

Natasha strode to the nearest desk and sat down on it.

She faced Reighliegh,

“Jade confirmed for us that all three victims were poisoned.
Setzer confirmed that the liquid and vial found at the inn match with the poison and containers found here. Likely they were killed under your instruction, using your chemical.
Alice confirmed that the body was Dhesmond’s.
Finally, I confirmed that Dhesmond exited town, but supposedly never returned. We have the ledger.”

Setzer had finished his knot, so he presented the items as Natasha mentioned them.

“Shortly before I came here, I spoke to the foreman of the wall project and confirmed that on the same day that Dhesmond left, the she saw him return through her construction site, along with someone else; you. I assume you exited before the workday started and managed to convince the poor man back into town so you could snuff him. Then you poisoned him like you did everyone else; except he would have known his fate when you handed it to him.”

“How haunting!” Chloe blurtend.

Natasha frowned at her sister and continued. “You threw Dhesmond’s body with the rest. But,” shepointed to his bruised hands, “you beat the recognition off his face first.”

She took the ledger from Setzer, and dropped it beside her. “You left Dhesmond’s closet full of skeletons, with his name on a document proving that he tried to evade the law. You framed a dead man. It would have been the perfect crime—if there was no one who could identify a dead body. But what is the job of a coroner if not identification?”

Natasha stood, towering over everyone in the room by at least a head. She said, “Dead men do not sneak into cities or poison and brutalize themselves. You will face judgement in the court. We will bury the dead with love and respect. We will bury you, when you are done rotting to death, with apathy and forgiveness.”

A quiet came over the room. Natasha bodily lifted the criminal over her shoulder, and the guard filed out.

Daniel Triumph.

Word Count: 2125.
This is the second draft of Kemia. Polished and added illustrations… does this count as an illuminated version?

This is the third draft of “Decay.” There are a lot of differences, to the point where I can comfortably call them different stories, so feel free to check it out.

This is the second draft of a story written as an exam for my Detective Fiction course, 01-26-202-01. I got a decent mark in the end, I think, so perhaps that’s indicative of the quality of this piece.

P.S.:

 

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Natasha Glass Rhye, before becoming captain (Early design.) Left to right: Saan of Village #4, Natasha Glass Rhye, Second Prince of the Solune, Setzer [last name unknown], Nashir [deserter] (June 2014)
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Recent Alice concept. Still not final. (08.13.2018)
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Natasha (full) (08.17.2017)
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Alice, Plainclothes (Sketch). Finally a decent drawing of Alice. (08.31.2018)