Friday, March 1, 2019

#FridayFlash - Lost Little Lamb part 6


Dirk and I halted outside the manor house. The moon was just reaching its peak, and everything around us was a sharp contrast of silver and black. Ivy climbed the walls like a tide of shadows, the windows reflected light like mirrors.

Trees reached for the sky with craggy fingers, adding to the desolation of the night. I tried to suppress a shiver, but it rolled through me anyway. Dirk tugged on my hand and pulled me closer. “Everything will be fine, my Lamb. I'll protect you, as always.”

I didn't feel protected. His presence only seemed to amplify the sensation of eyes upon me. Cold, intense, piercing all the way into my soul. Similar to when I was bait, when the monsters hunted me, but this was a different kind of hunger.

Something about this thrilled me.

The others entered the courtyard and Dirk led me up to the front door. It opened silently when he touched it, revealing a warmly lit entryway. Lamps glowed with steady flame, and I heard a fire crackling to the left.

We moved across the threshold, and the sensation of being watched only increased. There was warmth and comfort, but I felt only a chill seeping deeper, making its way to my heart.

Show yourself,” Dirk called out, still holding my hand. He led me toward the fire in the parlor, head turning constantly, seeking the dokkalf. “We're all here.” The others stomped into the house, slamming the front door.

The parlor door slammed closed behind us.

I jumped and spun, heart in my throat. Dirk released my hand to draw his heavy knife, on guard against attackers, but we were alone.

Brenna pounded on the door. “It's locked. I'll try breaking it down.” Her shoulder thudded into the wood, but the door only rattled in the frame. A second shoulder joined hers in quick succession, with more force, but no results.

Dirk pressed against my back. “Stay close.” His low voice almost hid his stress and worry; but I knew him too well. He didn't enjoy springing the trap, even if that had been the plan.

Show yourself!” Dirk shouted again, his voice filling the room. Paintings rattled on the walls as Brenna and Chen continued their attempts to break down the door. The wood creaked but didn't splinter; they were no closer to joining us than when they'd started.

Albrecht was watching us, of that I was certain. I could almost see those emerald eyes again, could feel him a hair's breadth away from me. Was he amused by our struggles, watching from afar via arcane means? How long would he let us pound at the door and bellow for him?

Perhaps he was waiting for us to burn out our rage, like a trainer waiting for a wild animal to calm down before approaching. Can't get bitten if the animal is too tired to move. Dirk swore, stomping in a circle around me, and I felt sure of my analogy.

I took a deep breath and laid a hand on Dirk's arm. He whipped his head around to face me, brows furrowed and mouth turned down in a snarl. He started to speak, and I shook my head, finger across my lips.

Brenna, Chen, if you don't stop, Albrecht won't join us.” My voice carried through the door; the warriors stopped, and the silence was deafening. No pounding, no shouting; the crackle of the fire could be heard again.

Dirk's frown relaxed as I continued speaking to the unseen dokkalf. “Whenever you are ready, Albrecht, we are ready to talk.” Our group waited quietly.

A hidden door opened, revealing the man in question. “At least someone realizes it's bad manners to destroy a host's home.”

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