Hey guys! So I'm pretty sure you're all well aware that NaNoWriMo 2016 is going on right now. *gasps* I appreciate the time you're taking off of writing to read this post, if you're are participating. Because I am not participating in this year's NaNoWriMo and couldn't help getting into the spirit of it all, I'm here to share short (short story) with all of you!
My wonderful friend from school has been working on many pieces, but I was quite fond of this one when I read it. It reminds me so much of the Throne of Glass series! This snippet might also leave you begging for more, or at least it did for me. So sit down, grab a cup of tea and enjoy a well-written short story by my friend Aarushi Agarwal. An author bio and Wattpad links will be listed below the story. Hope you enjoy it :D
She Will Avenge
by Aarushi Agarwal
She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue. She watched the swarms of people, hurrying about their respective businesses- innocent, unknowing people. They didn't know what lurked in the shadows, they didn't know the purpose she served. She was a hunter. No, not of animals or of monsters, but of something very similar. She hunted people- people with demons in their hearts, or so she was told. Well, she shouldn't be one to call others so, but that's off topic.
As a secret hand of the king, she was a notorious assassin, infamous for her doings. Or so everyone thought. She was just a girl, after all. Just a single girl with just a single wish. The wish, the desire, however, wasn't one of a normal girl's fantasies. There was a darkness behind it, one which filled her heart with cruelty. It was a need, a craving, for revenge. To punish those who had taken away her innocence, her life. To exact revenge from those who had taken away her family, all those years ago.
* * * * *
She peered out of the window once more, scanning the busy marketplace from her relatively secluded place inside the alcove of the aging edifice- still no sign of her target. She stole a glance her at the crossbow at her side, fully loaded with poisoned darts. It wasn't her favorite weapon-far from it-but if it meant success, she wouldn’t mind using her fingernails. Besides, lunging out with her twin knives in a crowded marketplace full of innocent blood wasn't her style.
A sigh escaped her lips; she may have been an assassin by name, but waiting wasn't exactly her strong suit. This wait however, would be worth it. The kiss of her blade across her target's throat would end the wait of her lifetime. It would signal her retribution, her victory. The man whose hand orchestrated the death of her family would embrace the same permanent sleep by her hand, tonight.
Her vigilance continued for quite some time before her eyes fixated. There! It was just another cloaked man, with his hood up, stooped, going about his evening business. Most would overlook it, but somebody of her caliber would see right through the guise. The way he stuck to the elongating shadows, the way he placed his steps- it was clear, it was him.
She silently exited through the broken window, scaling down the wall effortlessly and expertly concealing herself in the shadows. No matter how flawless her own escapade was, however, she had made a mistake. She had taken her eyes off her target, no matter only for a few quick moments. She hadn't seen the scrawny little boy with the dirty tattered clothing flick his eyes towards the man's satchel, his feet shifting, ready to pounce. She hadn't given herself the chance at the knowledge to stop him before it was too late.
The moment she dropped to her feet, quiet as a feather, the man spun quickly and quickly caught the little boy by his ruined collar. Stupid little brat, she wanted to yell. But she couldn't, and the sole reason wasn't the instinctual demand to stay hidden. No, it was that saying those three words would label her a hypocrite. Hadn't she experienced firsthand what hunger did to a human? Hadn't she herself ran through the busy marketplace all those years ago, swiping from whoever, wherever, whenever possible?
The man forcefully held down the wide-eyed and pale-faced boy. He knelt down to the boy's height and moved closer as to whisper something into his ear. Quick as a flash, he jabbed a needle into the boy's neck and forcefully brought him down onto the stone ground- not enough to kill, but certainly enough to keep him out for a couple of days, if whatever poison on the needle didn't deal with him first.
The man swept up without a moment to spare, cutting a glance lasting no more than a moment at the woman leaping out of the shadows. The imperial assassin didn't waste her time either- the disregarded crossbow remained in the shadows as she brandished her twin knives and attacked the man, blinded by fury for her own family and the unknown pickpocket. The man blocked her initial assault with his own short sword, cleverly concealed in his sleeve of his cloak. He spun about, attempting a sweeping kick to her side.
The assassin leapt aside, her hood drawing back. The man stopped short of her when he got a look at her eyes. His own widened in disbelief under his hood, unseen by the woman. "Voyager," he breathed, "impossible."
Fury her only drive, the Voyager swung out at the man again. The man so stunned, it was all he could do to jump out of the way, and even then the knives left small incisions in his midnight cloak.
He landed in front of the boy and looked at her once more. He shook his head, "I ended that line traitors long ago. You can't possibly be of the Voyagers."
The assassin spat, "Traitors! Quit your lies! They were good people of the kingdom, murdered in their sleep! You will be punished for such a sin."
The man reached into his cloak, sword dropping ever-so-slightly. The Voyager stood on her guard as he pulled out a small flask. The man spoke calmly, as if what had passed between them moments earlier had been wiped. "You can chase me or save the boy. The choice is yours." He left the vial next to the boy’s head and began to walk away. "And try to learn more about those you serve. It may fix your misconception," he added, before turning and dashing off.
The assassin walked forward and knelt, cursing herself for what she was doing. She pulled the cork blocking the amethyst liquid and sniffed it. Given the slight greenish tint around the puncture wound in the boy’s neck, the man had given the correct antidote. She forced the liquid down the boy's throat, refusing to give any thought to what the gesture meant or to glance back in the direction of the fellow murderer. She would track him down again, one day. She had waited so long, she could salvage one more day, if it meant another innocent life was spared. She would wait an eternity, but she would become the avenger.
|(Left) Sword, (Right) Draft of a potential cover|
Aarushi Agarwal is aspiring novelist with ambitions of publishing a book in the future!
Check out her Wattpad page here to read more!