Beyond these means streets we know: part 2

Thomas leaned back against the pillar. He could feel the point of the sword through the layers of his clothing. He regretted now he had discarded the form of the chain mail shirt. An incredibly handsome and smiling youth held the other end of the blade.

“Severin! How nice to meet you again.” This one was an old friend – once – then an enemy. It was a chance he had had to risk.

“The pleasure is all mine. I regret it must be such a short one.”

“You would break the rule of the guest? Our lady’s anger would be severe if you harmed me, even if I were her worst enemy.”

“That you may very well be, from what I have heard. But I did see you replenish that cup you bear with your own wine. You refuse my lady’s hospitality and such an insult may be repaid only with death.”

He drew the blade back from Thomas’s body, keeping it level, to prepare the thrust. Thomas nonchalantly drained his cup. Or appeared to – his lips never touched the liquid but instead muttered a quick, silent spell. Then all at once: he tossed the cups contents in Severin’s face; he side stepped with lightning speed; he grasped the wrist that held the rapier; he brought the cup – heavy silver – down hard on the base of his enemy’s skull. Moments later Severin was bound and gagged, but cleverly so he appeared, in the shadows where he lay, to be a reveller who was sleeping off a surfeit of wine.

You can find the complete version of Beyond these mean streets we know in issue 46 of TBD.

Stuart McPherson