Flash: Unexpected

Photo by Pietra Schwarzler on Unsplash

Knitted woke up, and her first thought was “This is unexpected.”

She had gone up against six adventurers on her own, in the middle of a town the mercenaries had recently saved from a fae incursion. No one in the room but people with other allegiances. She figured if the warriors didn’t gut her, their allies would backstab her.

Going in, she knew she was a dead woman. All she needed, though, was one death in return. The one who betrayed her father needed to die. Draymond. His beating heart throbbing in her hands. A smile crept across her face, mission accomplished. Her soul sang with the victory.

She clenched her right hand at the memory, and a spongey mass gave at the pressure. Knitted eyes burst opened. She still had the heart!

Trying to jerk upright, she discovered ropes across her chest a split second before pain erupted through the cotton encasing her thoughts. Agony raced along her spine, stabbing low across her back. Fire consumed one leg before playing up and down her ribcage like a hammer on a dulcimer. Both arms convulsed against the ropes binding them to her torso. Pain gurgled past her lips despite her best efforts.

Fae always collected their payments. Knitted had acted without approval of the Cap Council. Vigilante justice was expressly forbidden to the fae enforcers.  Had they already caught up with her for taking a personal vengeance?

No one entered the dim room in response to her noise and movements.

She relaxed, and after a few moments the pain receded into fuzzy cotton locking it in the back of her head. Whoever drugged her knew exactly what her small stature and heritage needed without overpowering her. Few healers within human space would. Another stone on the scale for a fae capture.

While surprising they found her so soon, the fact they found her had always been expected, that is, if she survived. Which she seemed to have done. Complete with the heart.

A crooked grin cracked her face as she stared up at the stone and dirt ceiling.

Whatever price the Cap Council and the Greater Fae Moot demanded, she would pay.

She had begged them to enforce the broken contract. But nothing happened, even with the evidence the braggart had been spreading the tale and undermining the fae’s reputation.

But the elders had felt her father had been the one dealing in bad faith. He should have never agreed to make a contract with a single hotheaded human in the first place. The Moot did agree that a contract had taken place with both parties of age to agree, so a broken contract penalty needed to be put in place.

They added it to the list for collections. Three from the bottom in priority. A place so low on the list the human would die before anyone got around to punishing him.

“He was human and doesn’t know better,” others had said.

“We don’t have the resources. Too much is happening for us to worry about a contract with just a single human,” others had said. “Maybe later.”

“But my father,” Knitted had begged, “his memory deserves better.”

Now, his memory shined, freshly coated in blood. She would pay any price they required.

(Words 544, first published 3/13/2022)

Series: Warrior’s Heart

  1. Claims a Warrior’s Heart – link to 3/6/2022
  2. Unexpected – Link to 3/13/2022