Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

Table of Contents

the Two ways This might go –

“There’s two ways this goes down,” she says. Bared fingertips grip a hilt wrapped in dulled wire, simple, straight, and above it quillions clean straight bars, and over about it all and her gloved fist a glittering net of wiry strands that meet in thick round worked steel knots all gathered together in a cord that swoops to end at the great silvery clout of a pommel. “That’s it.”

“No,” he says, “no, it’s not.” All in black, black slacks rolled up at his shins, black turtleneck, his pink hands held out empty to either side, and his bald head pinkly shaking, no. “There’s but one way we might go out from this moment we have freely, each of us, entered into. Our terrible, freighted moment will come to its ending only when you stick me with your steel, and down I crumble, into dust. For if you will not do this,” and one of those hands is lifted, up, and even in this harsh light, bright light flares between his curling fingers. “I will let out your life,” he says, drawing down a sneering curl of cutlass from the air.

Her right foot slips back, blade of her sword dipping as she holds her free hand up between them. “That’s not,” she says, “nobody’s, done anything yet, that can’t be undone.”

“Oh, but Huntsman,” he says, a sliding shuffle-step toward her, cutlass angled up and back, above his head. “One of us will.”

Another step back, and she settles into her stance, sword up, en garde. His chest swells with a growling breath. A concussive whump shakes the entire room, everything, staggers them both, sends him to his knees, billowing dust, the lamps swaying high above, and one blows in a burst of raining sparks, filing cabinets tipping banging crashing down, the clatter of dropped blades, rising smoke, a scream

Table of Contents

  Textile Help