Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May #0019

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smaller — and, at this distance, indecipherable — shapes. Nothing about it triggers any kind of recall in the woman’s mind. Whatever this place is, it is just as much a mystery to her as… everything else.

Now free from the terror of the chase, the unnerving matter of the woman’s missing memory returns to top of mind. Though every inch of her body feels ready to sink into the soil itself, the woman pushes herself upright, her eyes darting this way and that — though what it is she seeks, not even she knows.

“Where am I?” She asks the guardsmen with


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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0018

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The other, standing back with an expression of distaste, is the second speaker, hardly more than a boy. He has a youthful, carefree (or careless) mien about him that is marred by an ugly blackened scar that runs the length of his otherwise handsome face.

Almost directly overhead, the woman notes next, stands a rusted, moss-overgrown gate — the entrance to the walled city she’d espied during her flight from the creatures. Demons the men had called them. Tied to it, rustling slightly in the wind, is a triangular shaped purple flag. Its emblem is a silver spire surrounded by nine


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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0017

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her have grown tired of waiting for her to stir and seem intent on rousing her themselves. The boot in her ribs pushes insistently, forcing the woman onto her back.

“Up ye get, girl,” the older man says. “This ain’t no nursery.”

The woman cracks open her eyes, still stinging with sweat, and peers up at the figures standing over her. One is indeed older, his dark beard salted with gray and weathered lines at the creases of his eyes. It is he who is closest to her, leaning on the haft of his spear to get a better gander.


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 16


stamp


“You think me eager to place my stamp upon history’s letter?” Leema asked, offended – and stung that he could so misjudge her. “You imagine my primary concern is how I will be perceived? You believe death of my countrymen, the misery of those in the border towns who bear the brunt of your patron’s warmongering – the near mortal maiming of my own mother – to be of less consequence to me than something so vain as… as… glory?

Ildon said nothing, because there was nothing he could say. There was no justification to make, no excuses to utter. He was wrong.

Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 15


sector


Arcelie sucked on her teeth as she felt this barrage of information bounce off her skull and skitter uselessly away. However, as she continued to follow her guide through the foyer, past a number of doors that seemed frankly excessive (even considering the agency’s pithy acronym), her eyes caught upon something incongruous.

“What’s that?” She asked, cutting off the woman attending her mid-sentence, pointing at what seemed to be a gaping black abyss embedded in a wall to their left.

“That is Sector Nine,” replied the woman flatly. “Top secret security clearance only. If you’re lucky, you’ll never go there.”

Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 14


height


Among the group was a man who positively towered over the others. Yvenna estimated he would nearly double her in height when stood side by side. What struck her the most, however, was not his massive frame, but the distinctly elven shape of his face, though she knew of no elf built like him.

“One of them Castoffs,” muttered a grizzled Earthen who was standing back, watching the growing crowd of unfortunates.

Castoffs. Yvenna had heard the word before. Elves by birth but not by physical characteristic, and thus deemed by the Principality of Nar to be unfit for citizenship.

Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0016

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“And nothing left to loot neither. I don’t like it. Have you ever seen someone outrun a pack of darkwolves like that? I didn’t think it was possible.”

“I don’t know she was outrunning ‘em, lad,” replies the gruff man. “Look at her.”

A hard leather boot digs its way into the woman’s ribs and the most she can muster from her position face down on the ground is a groan of protest.

“Any farther and she’d be demon meat.”

Demon meat? A shudder rolls through the woman’s weakened body. That’s what those things were?

Presently, the people standing over


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 13


circulate


The black substance coursed through every fiber of her being, cutting off the circulation of the person she used to be. It was foul and it was ecstasy. It tore her apart and knitted her back together again. She had to have more – yet she could not keep down what she had already tasted.

Marceline’s whole body contracted, her stomach roiling, her mind afire. As the substance had fought going down, it seemed to race back up, until she was coughing it onto the floor in an inky black pool at her feet, much to the horror of her husband.

Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0015

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“Where did she come from?” A voice — this one outside of the woman’s own head for a nice change — asks.

“The South road,” another replies gruffly. “Nothing down that way but the old farmsteads.”

“But those have been abandoned for years,” says the first, a younger person by the woman’s ears, inexperience and a bite of fear underpinning their tone.

The second person, undoubtedly an older gentleman, spits crudely before making his reply. “Not really,” he said. “We hear of squatters holing up there sometimes when the weather is foul.”

“Clear skies today,” the young person points out, perhaps unnecessarily.


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 11


summit


The summit was fast approaching, and still Mhazara was no nearer to identifying the traitor amongst the court. She was starting to convince herself that the “spy” she was supposed to be hunting was no more than a figment of her handler’s imagination. Each day that passed without a clear result magnified Adrial’s impatience and surliness bordering on outright hostility.

It wasn’t as if Mhazara wasn’t trying, but the fact of the matter was she had told him from the start that she was weak in the Gift. He was going to have to find his spy the old-fashioned way.