DeadLife Standstill, Part 7

As the night wore on, the blue-eyed warrior clan matriarch grew restless. She pulled out her secret dagger, wrapped scroll and charcoal stick around it, and shifted her travel skirt, attaching the dagger to her inner thigh above the knee. Her daughters were out, so she scribbled a note letting them know she was out. As she rose dropping the skirt piece, she posted the note on the doorpost, and closed and locked the living quarters door.

She wandered the old stone paths through town. She passed the Temple of Peace and several food stalls; she averted her gaze when trysting lovers hid in dark corners never touched by moonlight.  After a time, she found the narrow streets of the older section. The stones turned to dust, and she was on the town line.

She could smell the Life Spice in the very last stall long before she arrived. Unlike her last visit, the place was dead and quiet. She picked a back table. As she jiggled the scroll and charcoal from under her skirt with her left hand, she motioned with her right hand for the stall favorite drink.

The stall keeper was amazing. He was chance touched, not birth touched. Tales says he’d been doing farm work when a moon hawk dove for a field fluff. The moon hawk missed and hit his head; only blazing white vision remained.

She didn’t buy the tales, but she wasn’t cruel enough to push. He’d always just delivered everyone’s drink even without seeing the sign. Each drink was perfectly prepared just in time. He never fell or spilled.

The house recipe’s odor exploded, indicating more Life Spice than usual. She gulped anyway. It burned all the way down, like she’d swallowed an arrow tree torch.

She sighed; battle-damaged hands steadied the charcoal. She continued to sip the draught as she shared what she felt and perceived.


I was so thrilled when I saw your scroll and mark on the doorpost. I devour your every letter, and sometimes I trace the lines and curves like the littles at the Temple of Peace.

I wish the DeadLife Nightmare fight was more encouraging. The information reeks of confusion. It might be different alchemy potions or the unseen realms making chaos stew.

The matriarchs have communicated with me. I hear your gasp from here. I wish I could dump everything on you, but you know how these things go.

If you hear odd tales from home, true or false, think of me. They may involve animals or elements. Whatever you hear, remember that night at the lake, our first. The moon rose and the fog started crawling across the lake. You told wild and wonderful tales that won my mind as well as my heart. I curled at your feet under the furs and slept like a clover crawler. Think of me that way, not the way I am or am becoming.

Dream of me, and the War God may reunite us soon.



She looked over every word, every line. Her hurting heart knew there might be no home for him to come to. She prayed the War God would send him to the lake. When she was satisfied, she folded the letter, sealed it with some free wax and her mark, and traced a War God warding sign on the outside.

She finished the last swallow and carried the flask and her sealed scroll to the stall keeper’s table. She placed the flask on the dirty stack. She clinked a few coins down within arm’s reach of the keep.

“Here’s some moontide metal. Please, I’m placing a scroll that needs to be sent. Make sure it gets there like you usually do.”

She slipped out quickly before he could respond. She wound her way back to their living quarters. The door was unlocked and the note was gone, so she assumed her daughters were safe. As she went to her sleeping quarters, the trail of dirty garments at each door confirmed her assumption. She crawled into her empty bed and let sleep overtake her.


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