To Stab the Angel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
DISTORTION... is it Excerpt #6 or... something else?

Submitted: September 30, 2010

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Submitted: September 30, 2010

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Night-time was icy, but nonchalant. The only audible sounds were strident strides of the stallions and tranquil breath of the sleeping. He must have dozed off soon after their departure, and awoke to be glad he was rid of a heated cousin and demented aunt. He peered out the window at the sky at the celestial maiden sauntering with the moon as her pendant, and strips of beady light that looked like spilled milk was her elegant dress. How much further could we be? He could ask himself all the questions in the world and never find an answer, still he prided on his incalculable knowledge when feeling conceited. He watched the gently sloping hills pass, elderly trees standing tall against the veil of darkness whilst providing a haven for small animals. In the hazy distance stood the profile of a wolf, Marcelo’s favourite living thing, it bounded off into the gloom at the sound of a mournful howl. A chorus of wolves and high-pitched yipping of pups joined the lone cry, uniting a loving family under obscurity.
He looked to his own family, who would prefer segregation and quarrel over harmony. While sleeping they were at peace, he found contentment within that, despite all the shouting he loved his family, Arianna aside; she was not considered family. He speculated how they would behave on appearance, if guards would allow passage even at the mention of Gedeon. Who is that, anyway? Leonora never revealed his position of authority or why his name is important, or if he was a man. If she were a crazy bat... that would mean travelling to OB, if it existed, to find an imaginary man named Gedeon Murin would be utterly pointless.
The carriage hit a bump, but those within slumber did not stir. Wheels creaked steadily, spinning on wooden axels connected to the underbelly of the coach that was noticeably noble-owned. Designs on the wood screamed wealth, while the interior was made of premium red leather and silk fit to carry glorious kings.
Cantering broke, the horses breathing heavy under the streamlets of waning moon. Vittorio slid from the driver’s seat and entered the cabin, in an instant, his head had touched the floor and he had fallen asleep. Rocks crunching under foot, Marcelo had begun to pat both animals in an attempt to soothe their strain.
The earth quaked with the sound of footfalls, the shrill neigh of a horse and the squeak of a saddle. Marcelo spun on his heels, the gleam of metal atop a galloping steed; they passed him, his heart fluttering. God damn it, a rogue bandit. What the hell do I do to a bandit with no weapon?
Blackened stallion wheeled and threw up his front legs, the sword an extension of the rider’s arm dividing the air. Clattering on the ground, the horse vaulted forth; a sword contacted Marcelo’s throat, but it did not leave a mark. Bandits were the image of decaying flesh feasted upon by maggots while black flies laid their eggs, and the laughter of a vulture before it gorges itself on a corpse it had watched die. They knew little of mercy, only their own thirst for power and wealth, regularly attacking nobles on the open road. Peeling grey skin and warped blood, creations of illegality doing whatever it would take to whisk away the riches a hardworking man who waited all his life to make it. “You look terrified,” he whirred. “Are you ready to suffer?”
Marcelo had lost the colour in his face, but stared with doubt. “Carmine?”
“I am Carmine,” he cackled. “Don’t worry, I would never hurt you, as much as I dislike you,” he holstered his weapon.
“Thank you, Carmine,” Marcelo said darkly, looking away. “What if you had slipped and gashed my throat? I’d be dead,” he scolded.
“I am an expert swordsmen, Exilo taught me everything I know,” he growled, dismounting his horse and tying it to the coach. “I put the not in ‘not to be fu-”
Marcelo put up his hand. “You don’t need to boast, I don’t even know who Exilo is. Why the hell are you here?”
“Figured you needed a hand, and your side of the family is not the only one being hunted by demons, apparently.”
“Well, where’s Leonor-”
“Leonardo,” Carmine corrected.
“Where is Leonardo?” he repeated.
--
EXCERPT #7
The laughter of children forced him awake, he stretched and opened his eyes. Sunlight striking the retina without leniency, a guttural groan burst from his mouth. Luciana gasped, scuttling away from her fright. He looked to find Carmine’s head against his shoulder, and gave him a strong heave. The commander lurched to life, up onto his feet to find himself surrounded by unfamiliar faces. He knew them, but had not been acquainted with the rest of the family. Marcelo stood and grabbed the bread offered by Valentino, biting down on it violently to fill his empty stomach.
“Good morning, boys,” Arianna purred, looking Carmine up and down. “You’re new, do you need anything?” Her ginger-gold hair was tied back to show her face, brown eyes sparkling with desire at the young soldier who stood before her. Carmine avoided her stare, glancing to Marcelo for help.
“He doesn’t want to touch a wrinkly hag such as you, Arianna,” Mac pushed Carmine away from the carriage, defending a person he hated was new for him, but he thought there might be love in his heart for his cousin, despite the despicable qualities of the ignorant boy. “I’m sorry.”
“Your stepmother, is it?”
“Yeah, vile woman.”
“That was rather frightening, honestly. I think that will be scorched into my mind for all eternity.”
Carmine spotted Vittorio from behind, waving to him. “Arrived in the night, did you? At least Mac was there to see you,” he smiled warmly. “What brings you here?”
“Same reason we’re leaving, he said. His father lives in OB, and Gedeon is but a mere guard, perchance. This is luck.”
“Ghost Kozviet, isn’t it? I met him briefly before you were born. Your mother picks a good man,” he liked to see his nephew’s smile, considering Leonora had once written to him that her son seldom grinned.
“He is.”


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