Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rule of Three: "Renaissance" (part III)

Hello faithful travelers! I'm glad to see you return for another story installment on this "Rule of Three Writing Challenge" blogfest. (For new travelers, check out the Renaissance post for more information and read others' stories as well.)

If you didn't get a chance to read my first two installments, you can read them by clicking their titles: Gwyn's Discovery and Myzukia's Deceit. Today we will hear from a third character in our mysterious tale, Ciaran. Again, please feel free to post comments/feedback.

Take heed: "Everyone has a secret. Welcome to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay."

"Renaissance"
Part III: Ciaran's Decision

Ciaran noticed the mousey woman moving closer. Her eyes focused on her map, but he knew she’d been listening by the slight tilt of her head. She hadn’t tripped; she’d thrown herself down. He’d learned that same move in his fight-training. Fake a fall to trick your opponent and gain the upper hand.

Something was different about the traveler. Ciaran could almost taste the magic zinging through the air as she approached, but he couldn’t sense her aura. Every living creature had an aura, so why couldn’t he read hers?

“You wouldn’t know the way to Xisene? It’s not on the map…”

Ciaran quickly glanced over at Gwyn. Her expression showed no emotional response, but her eyes slightly widen with fear.

Xisene was still a three days journey ahead of them. The priest in the last village told them the rumors of the dark mages’ travels to the North. Was this woman a spy for the dark cult?

He certainly didn’t believe her story about being a scholar’s assistant. Very few scholars carried a weapon as refined as the sword hanging from her belt; nor did they possess magical shields to block their auras. Zuki was hiding something.

Ciaran stepped closer, eyes glowing full of rage, in attempts to intimidate her.

Half-breed…

The word sent spikes of pain through his chest. Clenching his fists tight, he could feel his flesh tear under the stain of his growing claws. The growl admitted from his lips served as a warning of his inevitable loss of control. He hated when people brought up his daemonic heritage like it was some sort of amusement or revulsion.

A sudden outcry caught Ciaran’s ears. The noise grew to a low rumble as more voices joined in. The commotion was coming from the town-square.

Rynder…

Pushing the suspicious woman aside, Ciaran bolted towards the crowd gathering in front of The Barking Cat. He pushed his way through until reaching the opening where the tavern owner and several guards stood. A bloodied Rynder knelt before them, hands and feet bound behind him. He looked defeated, blankly staring at the ground as the men yelled over him.

Ciaran couldn’t hold back the chuckle rising in his throat.

“This man was caught cheating, causing uproar in my establishment and leading to several costly repairs. Not to mention the money he cheated my customers!” The owner’s face burned red.

Ciaran’s laughter erupted in a fevered sound as he listened to the men discussed the damages and money owed. It seemed his companion’s devious ways caught up with him again.

“Rynder!” Gwyn suddenly burst through the crowd, her dark cloak flowing like a storm-cloud chasing her.

Ciaran’s laughter caught sharply in his throat. He could see the tears in her eyes; hear the anguish in her voice. He moved to reach for her, to stop her, but it was no use.

“Please, he doesn’t have the money.”

“Gwyneira, don’t…” Rynder’s hoarse voice pleaded with her.

“Then we will take it from his flesh,” the guard captain sneered at her.

“No! We’ll find a way to repay you—”

Another guard swiftly struck Gwyn across her face with the back of his hand. She collapsed to the ground beside her cousin.

Ciaran’s blood burned as his rage took control. He felt the transformation coming on as he lunged.

“Daemon!” someone screamed as Ciaran collided with the guard. The unsuspecting man had no time to draw his weapon. But Ciaran needed no sword with his sharp claws, teeth, and sheer strength.

“Stop this absurdity—now!” a voice cried out through the erupting chaos.


Word Count: 599
Character: "Ciaran"
Prompt: the impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it; relationships unravel or strengthen

Tune in next Thursday for the final installment...

~Namárië
(Elvish Farewell)

*If you try to post and it doesn't show up, don't panic! I have to approve all comments before they are posted.*

10 comments:

  1. Ah..The Barking Cat. Great place to imbibe.

    REALLY looking forward to week four.

    Stuart
    co-host #REN3
    Tale Spinning

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved that name! So when I needed a tavern name for my story...it just fit. =)

    Thanks for the comment!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nicely done. You have a beautiful way with words. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Making my way through the week 3 entries :-)) Another cliffhanger! Who's the voice? And will the fight be stopped? Staying tuned...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Got to love ending with an action scene! Wonderful buildup and suspense. Can't wait for next weeks conclusion! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have to wonder who said the last line! Can't wait to read the final installment. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I’ve been by to read your entry. All I can say is judging will be tough! Bring on Week 4!

    J.C.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good grief - I can't believe installment 3 is the first time I've caught up with your story. Glad to have finally made it - can't wait to see how you tie these characters together for the conclusion next week!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love Ciaran, but I also love your story. These characters definitely would be worth a whole novel.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the comments, everyone! =D

    @treelight - I'm glad you like my characters. ( I <3 them as well!) I'm considering continuing their adventures for NaNoWriMo and creating a longer story for them. (Using this Ren3 story as a prologue or beginning perhaps.) But I haven't decided yet.

    ReplyDelete