I have a lifelong goal to write and publish my fantasy novel. I have a dream to see my book in Waterstones, and I don't even care if my partner is the only one who ever reads it. That will be my book, my achievement and my quiet victory
The City of Springs
The reality of the thieves' tunnels was not what those who reside above ground picture or believe them to be. Above ground, it is pictured that those who live under it, live in damp, cold, barely habitable conditions, with penetrating darkness and unforgivably unsanitary conditions, with tunnels that are so complicated that it remains a mystery as to how anyone can navigate even a small well known portion of them.
Humans are still not out of bed. Typical. 5:32, day has started, Human’s are clearly expecting me to rouse them, I will have to oblige.
Hector stood slightly apart from his team, their incessant chatting and nervous laughing didn’t help his concentration. Some Strike teams entered the Strike for fun, but his team’s livelihood depended on it. There was a harsh winter coming, and they needed enough money to get through it.
The residual warmth of his bed began to ebb away as the cold crisp morning begun to penetrate his bones, Lem’s body clock woke him an hour before dawn. Throwing off his sheepskin cover Lem felt the waves of ice air breath in through the window. Training kicked in, and Lem forced himself to not react to the signs his body was telling him. Scooping up his cloak he jumped to the window, twisted and grabbed a ledge on the outside and began to haul himself up to the top of the tower. Almost invisible in his dark cloak under the cover of the pre-dawn sky, no one noticed Lem silently scaling the side of the tower. At the top was were mental agility took over. Frost or no frost, rain or no rain, the morning routine took place the same each day, and was performed just as thoroughly. His fingers ached with cold, but he pointed them to the sky and held his pose. as he reached up, the heavens reached down. Tiny flecks of water at first, but soon it was a tumult, and what was beginning to be a silent sunrise turned into a deafening darkness. Calm and agile he stretched and flexed and as his last few stretches eased out he stood there in the pounding rain, sight obscured. Lem breathed in and it was deep and icy, closing his eyes he drew in a long breath, fighting all urges as the ice cold hit his lungs, and he felt it engulfing him from the inside out. At the top of his breath he moved from his stretch routine flung himself nimbly towards the edge of the rooftop, cartwheeling and picking up a staff on his way, he landed on one knee, pulled his bandana over his eyes to blind himself and deftly he began to twirl the staff going through moves he knew in his deep muscle memory. As his dance went on, the wet and cold effected him less and less. There was no fear of falling, he trusted his movements implicitly. His mind was clear now, the trauma of the night and his usual nightmares, gone and forgotten. All that was left was this moment and this focus. The dance drew to an end, and Lem finished with a back flip towards the end, turning in mid air and leaving the staff on the floor as his hands touched down. Lem ran to the edge of the tower and launched himself over the edge. Nimbly he caught hold of ledges and protruding bricks to fall gracefully but safely to the ground. Removing his blindfold he stood up straight and pulled his hood over his head, the sun was up now, darkness still rained with the clouds covering the sky. He could avoid being noticed when he wanted, and as he walked through the alleyways, he kept to the sides of the streets, his hood up and walking casually to blend into the early morning population. Reaching the centre of town he swiped a loaf from a bakers stall, dropping a few coins in a basket on the table, and carried on to his destination. Today he had an appointment with a thief, not that the thief was aware yet. Lem had been watching this thief for a while, he wouldn’t be able to speak to him until around dusk, when he would emerge from his rat’s tunnels. He would use this day to monitor his target. But first he needed to check in with old man Von, the only person he would trust with his life. He turned towards the shades and weaved his way through the increasingly crowded streets. He was aware of everything, but took notice of nothing as he allowed his mind to work subconsciously on his surroundings and think actively of what his plan for the day was. He trusted his senses as he trusted his own body
Dealings at Dusk
Aart’s eyes adjusted to the moonlight as he hauled himelf out of one of the grates in the side of the street. Replacing the grill he begun to stalk down the narrow side streets of the city. He was headed towards an Inn that was close by with a hand written note from one of the thief bosses. Aart had of course already read it, he liked to keep himself as informed as possible. With as many peoples businesses as possible ‘Two g, three days from now, Pipers’. Aart wasnt very interested by this bosses opiate dealings, as thats what he interpretted it to mean. He just made a mental note not to accept jobs from him unless he really needed the money. Aart didnt like to get involved in the movement of drugs, he didnt like the effect it had on people, and he never trusted the dealers. It was too easy for them to get thier own fix then blame it on the carrier. However having acceptd the job, he would carry through with it. Aart arrived at the Two Brewers Inn and decided to enter through the front door. It was full which was how he liked it. Slipping subtly to the edge of the room, he manoeuvred himself in between two groups of men drinking and talking loudly. He silently swiped a drink from a nearby table and slipped further round the room to a dark corner. Sipping the drink, not because he wanted it, but to be unnoticed in a crowd. Scanning the room he spotted his target immediatly, a tall man with a large forehead and a scar running down his cheek. Aart decided that this scar was probably caused by a scrap over drugs, and his instant dislike for the man was heightened when he grabbed the arse of a lady stood near by. She squealed and turned and smiled at him. The shallowness of these people in Aarts eyes annoyed him, and it was all Aart could do to keep his face neutral and not allow his disgust and judgement to show on his face. Aart had over the years perfected the art of subtlty, secracy and he prided himself on being able to blend into almost any situation or move around without being noticed. This wasnt hard in a crowded inn when half the clientel were most of the way to a morning headache. He slithreed through the bar to the otherside and stood right behind old scar face, he decided he didnt want to engage in conversation or even allow this man the chance to make the connection to his face, so he simply slipped the note into one of his pockets, and lifted some tax for himself out as he removed his hand. So quick and nibble he was with his fingers that the man didnt feel a thing. Aart ducked away and quickly examinded his loot, a small coin purse with several low value coins inside, a pocket watch and a key. Aart returned the key as he brushed past back towards the exit. Cant make the man homeless over a few leaves after all he thought.
Mystery of the mist
Lem looked out over the city, the mists had started to decend, and they decended quickly, he stood stock still watching, the cool air began to make his skin tingle with cold, he felt the hairs on his arms stand up on end. The air became thicker and mistier, down below he watched as a few people scurried along the streets, he could feel thier panic as they scuffled in doors. Lem was not afraid of the mists. He had not dismissed it as an old wives tale, he had witnessed the horrors that dewlt within, and seen what they had done to people he knew. There was something more though, Lem didnt know what it was, but he felt that there was someting more to this, a higher power, he sensed it, he knew it from within. Lem closed his eyes and felt with his mind, willing it to locate whatever the horror in the center of this mist was, searching. He felt his senses sharpen and his ears pricked for every unexpected sound. He felt the air become thicker around him, and controlled his emotions, not giving into doubts or fear, listening hard he could almost hear screams from far off, he concentrated everything on this voice, cries, screams, but what was it saying.