Momir and the Widow

Momir and the Widow Momir and the Widow

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Summary

A young merchant in a foreign land finds himself the target of a dangerous predator, and must learn to reinvent himself in order to survive.

Summary

A young merchant in a foreign land finds himself the target of a dangerous predator, and must learn to reinvent himself in order to survive.

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Rabbit Rises With The Moon

Author Chapter Note

A young merchant in a foreign land finds himself the target of a dangerous predator, and must learn to reinvent himself in order to survive.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 10, 2013

Reads: 834

Comments: 1

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 10, 2013

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Ch. 1 - The Rabbit Rises With The Moon

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Dusk has come and gone, the night has gotten on. It must be close to midnight. Most of the working class is in bed, most of them sleeping, but here in the city-state of Zayir, the rich are always active. The catacombs and arenas and hidden tunnels beneath the palace are always surging with pleasure-seekers, pulsing like the heart of a living thing. Money changes hands, lust is kindled, then drowned in sin. Lives are created and extinguished, fates are bought and sold. Secrets are stolen, bargains made, promises broken, plans laid. Here, there is truly no rest for the wicked.
Outside the palace, life is drier, more meager. Fear and ambition and hatred are the soul's daily fare. Markets thrive during the day, fed by trade along the highway and and a shipping route up and down the river, and magic and mercenaries can be found for barter down every street. But there is always some subtle reminder that none of this would exist but for the need for pretense, a sneaking suspicion that the entire city of Zayir might exist solely to provide a ready excuse for more reputable visitors to make a visit to the site of the land's most decadent and unscrupulous den of iniquity.

Tonight, in a second-story bedroom in the river district, over a dry-goods warehouse, a merchant sits awake, Momir by name. His legs are crossed, his hands wrapped around the handle of a short sword, white knuckles betraying the fear that grips his heart even more firmly. His eyelids are heavy, but he dares not close them for he knows if he does, he will not see sunrise.
He hates the trips to Zayir. He does not come to visit the underworld below the palace, like many men do. The slave markets and the coliseums where the gladiators fight naked disturb him. The money is here though. Relics and curios flow from here through traders like himself across the face of the civilized world, and the locals pay handsomely for imports, having no significant industries of their own. Regardless, he had never wanted any part of the unsavory laws of this city. He wishes now that he had become more familiar with their workings.
Two days prior he had been approached by a wretched waif, thin and caked with mud, desperation in her eyes as she tried to sell herself to him. Disgust warred with pity, for what sad wretch was so poor-off that she tried to make a living in the city of sin as a freelance prostitute? Doubtless she had some terminal disease that was more trouble to cure than her body was worth. He had shaken off her offer roughly, but ultimately was unable to turn her away completely. Unthinking in his pity, he offered her shelter. This morning, he had woken to find her masticated frame sprawled carelessly in the corner of the tiny room beside his. The flesh had been flayed from her bones, and if he had any doubt then the long tongue streaks through the pooled blood had banished it. The Widows. Momir and his impromptu charity case had been reported for unlicensed flesh trafficking, and were marked for death. They would come for him tonight. He knew they were coming because they wanted him to know. It was thought that they liked the taste of fear.

He glanced out the window to find the moons, seeing little Naima high above the horizon, nearly out of sight. The night was wearing on. Soon they would be here. He knew his chances of fighting off a Widow with a sword were slim, and if he survived, his only chance in the morning would be to take a horse at the break of dawn and ride as fast as possible for the Hill Towns, where the law of the emperor of Zayir held no sway. He glanced back to the door, but his eye caught on something and his gaze flicked back to the darkest corner, far from his candle. There, slinking in the shadow, was a form. His heart thundered in his ears, and his breath caught in his throat. She stepped from the shadow, eyes locked on his chest. He thought briefly that she didn't look so dangerous after all, but his common sense reminded him that only a handful of men had ever escaped a Widow's mark.


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