Welcome to the space where I experiment, my weekly serial. It is written raw, not edited at all, and mostly unplanned.
The world is partly based on the background of an unpublished Steampunk game that I worked on with a few friends, which has grown in my mind over the last couple of years. The story is a take on those ultra-violent revenge epics of the eighties where a man’s family is abused and killed, but he survives and seeks vengeance. Needless to say it is a grim, bloody tale, that deals with bad people doing bad things, so be warned.
Rose keeps Lawch waiting. They both understand that this is but foreplay to the clash of swords, and even though she aches to kill the bastard, forcing Lawch to wait gives The Spider more time to work his peculiar magic.
Lawch threats lose focus as Rose slowly drinks a glass of decadently expensive ice wine and his eyes dart toward the door every time a woman walked in. He is as uncomfortable with this as she is, which it bearable. The smart move would be to get up and walk away, but he is a bound to her now as she is to him, by his own demons.
Rose affects a slight smile as she sips her wine, responding to Lawch’s comments with a detached politeness that she hopes will annoy him. Inside though, she is drowning in worry. Chief among her fears is The Spider and the hypnotic web of metal that he always weaves in her presence; she can see it now, the blackouts that it has caused, the pieces of her life that she is missing. It might not even be her life; what if she is just another victim with stolen memories?
She desperately wants a hit of The Blue and the clarity it will bring. But she can’t, she needs to save everything for the duel, Lawch is too dangerous to do otherwise.
And yet, her memories seem so real. Yes, she can see the gaps where The Spider has taken time from her. But the reality of that last day on the Road to Avalain is so vivid that it stands strong. She remembers her family, she remembers what Lawch and his band did to them. She remembers the visceral satisfaction of killing each of them, working her way up to this moment. That thought centers her.
In the end it all rests on how good she is with the blade; she can prove her identity in blood.
She does not hear the muttered threat that she interrupts as she stands, throwing down the crystal wineglass which shatters and draws the attention of everyone in the place. Even in this kind of tavern, in this place, everyone loves a fight; it is The Scab, after all.
“Sir, I have a quarrel with you that can only be settled when one of us is dead. You killed my family on the Road to Avalain and sold me into bondage. I will see you dead for it.”
Rose is pleased as an electric thrill runs through the foppish scions of the Bedrock wards and the wealthy merchants watching them.
Lawch grins and shakes his head. “You’re not that girl, and even if you were you would still die tonight. I am going to hurt you, and these good people are going to laugh as you die, just like all the others.”
“There can only be one response to that, Lawch, and I will write it with your blood!”