...a snippet or two...
The Spider's Den: from Calypso's Dance, a short story
“Make your move, Goddess of Secrets, or forfeit the game.”
“You’d like me to do that, wouldn’t you?”
“Of course I would. It would make this whole ordeal much easier. I wouldn’t have had to travel seven galaxies just to find you. But you’re stubborn.”
“I will not let you take the Chalice, child. You know that in your heart.”
Calypso leaned back in her chair and stared Circe in the eyes. “I have no heart.”
The goddess stiffened at this, then tore her eyes away from the girl sitting before her. No mortal could undo her like the only daughter of Chaos. No mortal was allowed to toy with the higher race—they couldn’t even last ten seconds staring at their true glory.
Calypso, however, was not an ordinary mortal.
The chessboard between them quaked with pent up energy. The knights, pawns, and queens shook with anticipation—and sent Circe’s nerves into anxious spasms.
“Make your move,” the girl taunted again. Her voice dripped with smugness, and it sickened the goddess to have been brought so low. She should have barred the way the moment she saw Chaos’ spawn walking through the stars. She should have incinerated her before she even stepped into the Spherical. She should have never agreed to this horrible game of chess.
If she lost, the cost would destroy whole worlds.
All because of Calypso.
She had to win this—and then she could banish the girl to Tartarus. Then everything would end safely.
The goddess bit her lip and with a shaking hand, she moved her queen before Calypso’s knight: the only safe place on the board.
She smirked down at the girl in a very un-goddess-like way and crossed her arms. “Now what will you do, Daughter of Chaos?”
Her smile slowly slid away as the girl looked at the board without expression or disgust. She didn’t look panicked or nonplussed.
Circe's heart sunk. She had just walked into the spider’s web.
from Calypso's Dance, a short story.
Stare: from Liberation
Kingsley and I stared.
He stared back.
He was about my age—maybe a little older. Unlike Kingsley, who had practically no hair, and Griffin, whose hair had been short and trim, his swung wildly about his face: a dirty, yellow mane, like that of a lion.
The thing that caught my attention immediately was his eyes. Bright green viper eyes. They flashed angrily, then calm, then angry again.
I knew in an instant that this was not someone to overlook.
“My lord Brenant!” Kingsley cried, straightening like a pike. He stepped before me, completely blocking me from the stranger’s view. “What are you doing here?”
The apparent Lord Brenant raised his eyebrows and leaned lazily against the doorframe. “Who’s that, Kingsley?”
“Lord Brenant, I would strongly advise you to leave this place.”
His eyes flashed like distant lightning on the horizon. “Why? And if you call me Lord Brenant once more, I will have LeBrau remove your fingernails.”
He said it simply, as if he were asking about the weather. It sounded as if he had made this threat quite often.
“Because your father ordered, L-sir.” Kingsley swallowed. “You are not to associate with the barbarian slave.”
He rolled his viper eyes and moved to where he could see me. “Not much to look at, is he?”
I felt my neck prickle.
“My lord.” Kingsley blocked his view again. “Your father demanded.”
“Oh, and is everything my father demands law?”
“Well..yes, my lord—“
“Don’t call me that!” The boy shouted. “Or I’ll tell father you practically introduced me to the savage. Understand?”
Kingsley quivered and nodded. I dropped my head to hide a smile. This was a very different tune compared to his behavior earlier.
Brenant continued to stare at me, his expression cold and calculating.
I met his eyes.
He raised his eyebrows again, this time with surprise. “So you’ve got a bit of steel in you, then?”
More than a bit, I said with my eyes.
He looked at me for a little longer, then shrugged. “Fine, I’ll leave him alone. Just don’t tell father I was here.”
And just like that, he was gone.
Kingsley let out a shaky breath.
“Who was that?” I asked.
“Pre-Emperor Brenant Leallaison the Third. The son of your master.” He wiped beads of sweat from his glistening forehead. “And you are never to speak of him.”
“Never mind that!” He shoved a fresh cloth my way. “Now wash!”