Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0014

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back. The leader of the pack has an arrow sticking out of its neck. In the distance, the twanging of bowstrings heralds the imminent arrival of more projectiles, though the woman does not linger long enough to espy the outcome. Satisfied the monsters are now well occupied, she pushes on until the shadow of the wall falls upon her. A moment later, a gate comes into view.

Safety. At long last.

It is a relief so sweet that it robs her of the last vestiges of strength. Not a dozen paces away from the gate, she collapses in a heap.


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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0013

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quaver, on the cusp of failing her completely, a cry sounds from the wall. A moment later, something whizzes past her ear. An unearthly scream of pain and rage from somewhere behind her, sending a chill down her spine despite the sweat pooling at the small of her back.

She looks over her shoulder and is shocked to see how close the monsters had crept up on her without her realizing it. The group is barely ten feet back from her — had they put on a burst of speed they would have caught her easily.

Now, however, they are falling


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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0012

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the creatures pursuing her are her answer. She has no other choice but to push her already exhausted body onward to the city on the hill.

Surely they will tire, she tells herself, a sharp pain in her side like a knife between her ribs from the effort making it difficult to breathe, and the walled city growing ever so slowly nearer. Surely they will give up the chase.

Alas the monsters are not so accommodating.

However, in a stroke of good fortune, the woman does not need them to be, after all. For, just as she feels her legs


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 10


blame


“Your mother never told you what she was doing in my city that day, did she?” Torrence’s voice was low and teasing, a sadistic smile tugging at their lips.

Leema didn’t answer – couldn’t. But her silence was answer enough.

“Of course she didn’t,” the spy continued, still circling her as an animal might circle their cornered prey, “because that would mean admitting that she had done something not just reckless or foolish, but utterly wrong. And we both know the perfect, peerless Mirabel Stone would never confess to being responsible for all those deaths, now would she?”

No. She wouldn’t.

Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0011

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their own volition, as if her body is possessed by a power that is at once both foreign and familiar. It is… strangely exhilarating.

Eventually, the wild terrain gives way to tamed, yet unkempt farmland. A dirt path forms, a welcome relief to the woman’s aching feet after the undergrowth, and here and there barns and cottages dot the landscape. Yet, as she draws nearer, she realizes the houses are not the first taste of civilization she’d hoped for. All of them, to a one, are rundown — abandoned.

What happened here? The woman wonders desperately.

The baying and snarling of


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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0010

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as she passes.

The hot panting breath of the monster on her heels steadily fades. A scream of frustration echoes through the trees.

But she is leaving it behind. Slowly, the nigh on suffocating foliage begins to thin, and, a few strides later, she bursts through the thicket into bright sunshine and open space. In the distance lies a walled city on a hill, and her salvation.

A deranged howl behind her alerts the woman to several more of the beasts’ kin joining the hunt alongside it. She does not slow — she cannot. Her legs seem to be moving of


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Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0009

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this gods forsaken forest, this is the end.

No.

In that moment, it is the only word she knows. Whether it is her own determination, or that of the disembodied presence hovering at the back of her consciousness, it saves her — at least for the moment. A surge of energy courses through her, and suddenly she is running like the wind, until her eyes are streaming from the air rushing past her. The dense vegetation of the forest no longer feels like it is grabbing at her hair and clothes, but now seems to be bending out of the way


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock, Week 10


kettle


The tea kettle whistled then, the shrill sound piercing the air, but still the old woman did not release Arcelie from her grip – or her sightless gaze.

“Have they told you what happens to us?” The woman asked, her voice a harsh whisper. “Have they warned you what your power will do to you?”

“Yeah,” Arcelie said, trying to shake off the heavy atmosphere, not to mention the woman’s fist. “They said if you’re not careful you can become addicted to the magic.”

The woman shook her head. “No, girl,” she said slowly. “It is much, much worse than that.”

Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock, Week 9


reckless


Of all the endeavors she’d undertaken in her heretofore fruitless search for her wayward twin sister, this was far and away the most reckless scheme she’d ever hatched.

In the shadows of the abandoned market stall that stood across from the gatehouse where newly indentured servants bound for the Silent Empire were processed, Yvenna watched with bated breath. Soon, she would count herself among them, another desperate soul bound for the unknown.

How she was to escape Nythelion, a feat no indentured had ever achieved before, after she found Ysala… Well, she would have to figure out that part later.

Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0008

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her empty mind could have possibly conceived.

The beast cannot possibly be of this world, she knows at once. It might be called a canine, as it pursues her on four long limbs bent at unnatural angles and is possessed of a slavering snout full of massive, serrated teeth. It has no fur, however, only a bloated black body that is sloughing off putrid, dark colored slime as it moves through the brush.

When it sees the woman looking, it laughs at her.

This is the end her life, she knows then. Whatever might have come before she awoke in


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