Rule of Three #4: The Montana Accord

October 26, 2011

And the Rule of Three Blogfest is coming to a close this week. I’ve had a great time visiting Renaissance, and visiting with other authors. By the way, if anybody, Rule of 3, Campaigner, or otherwise, is doing National Novel Writing Month this year and wants to do an interview for my new Nanowrimo spotlight series, let me know with a comment or contact me by email at chrisken zero at gmail dot com

Previous chapters in my Rule of Three storyline:

  1. Just where is Renaissance?
  2. The Resourceful Sorceress.
  3. Can’t fight your fate.

This week, I’m at 590 words, and I took the prompt: “Relationships mend.”

Paul the bartender looked at the tableau between Ixtachul and the visitors for a moment, and gestured for Kiri to come join him behind the bar, but the petite waitress bent to help Tom up. Paul had known that Ixtachul had taken Tom’s place, but didn’t feel it was his place to warn Heiress Samantha about the deception ahead of time. She’d figured it out quickly enough for herself.

But now Paul spoke up. “Tell them of your grievances,” he said. “Over the centuries, I suspect that your story has not remained prominent.”

“His story?” Naveli Brussard asked. “What are you talking about?”

“I came from the same land as you,” Ixtachul spat. “For thousands of years, your ancestresses welcomed me and mine, until one Queen grew jealous and fearful. She raised up dozens of her family as an army, and drove us away. My love and the tears of my heart she slew herself, and would have shown me no mercy, but I escaped beneath the waters.”

“A war between the Brussard family and shape-shifters,” Tom said. “No, this story is not still told in North America. How long ago was it?”

“Three hundred years,” Samantha guessed. “I’ve heard it mentioned during my studies with Mother, though she didn’t go into detail.”

“Three hundred thirty and three years have I lived in this place, this new birth, since I fled the mountains of my home,” Ixtachul repeated. “Have you come to take me back, little Princesses?”

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Rule of Three #3: Can’t fight your fate

October 19, 2011

Part OnePart Two

Hey, there, Renaissance fans! This time, I’m taking the POV of Tom Danter, and have clocked myself at 585 words. The prompt that called out to me was:

The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.

Water splashed in my face and I spluttered. When my eyes could focus, I was looking at a petite girl with wild auburn curls.

“Are you the car that hit me?” I croaked.

“No. I’m Rachel Hyde, and I own the spell shop, Magic Moments. I was coming for lunch and saw Ixtachul jump you from behind. We’d better be quiet…”

“Who’s Ixtachul?” I asked, barging past Rachel, through an open closet door, and out into the tavern hallway near the restrooms. “Is he a…” At that point, caution managed to penetrate my brain, and I shut the closet door on both of us from the inside. “Is that a shape shifter that you’re talking about?”

“One of the old gods,” Rachel muttered, frowning. “Yes, he can change his form – he walked away wearing your skin, whoever you are.”

“They’re NOT gods,” I muttered. “What other powers does he use?” Shape shifters had magikal powers beyond those of Queens, but they didn’t always show them freely to mortals. If Ixtachul was trying to trick Sami and assume my identity, I couldn’t wait long.

“He’s strong, and calls forth fire to punish his enemies,” Rachel said. “The whole town suffers under his yoke. Please, you have to help us!”

I thought about that. The sisters and I probably couldn’t vanquish a shifter – not without killing half the town in the crossfire. And I wasn’t sure we could bribe or entice him to leave Renaissance. “I’ll do what I can, if you help me save my love,” I promised Rachel.

“Let me scout out the way, then,” she suggested. “If Ixtachul sees you, he’ll know that he is found out.” And she slipped out of the closet. I followed, keeping out of sight and listening to the front room.

What I heard was a loud clatter of flying cutlery and breaking furniture. “Hey, bud,” Naveli called. “Nobody picks on my big sister like that but me!”

“Oh, no.” Sami’s little sister had courage to spare, but she couldn’t deal with Ixtachul on her own, and could get herself killed – or Sami, if the Heiress Royale tried to protect her little sister. Rachel cleared her throat noisily. “Um, excuse me, your highness; I have those books you wanted to see – when you finish this…”

Rachel’s voice trailed off into gurgles, and a deep one rumbled, “Keeping the sisters here quietly, witch, and I may yet let your house of trinkets stand. But defy me, and…”

I decided that it was a good time to make my move, and charged out from the hidden hallway. Unfortunately, I was too busy looking to see who was where to watch where I stepped, and one foot flew out from under me, leaving me sprawled flat on my back. The little plastic bag that I’d slipped on landed nearby. The shifter snickered malevolently, and a waitress broke out into nervous giggles. The old lady out in the street had spoken truth.

I looked up to Ixtachul, and saw that he was still wearing my face, and body, without any clothes on – and the member between his legs was green. A shifter can never imitate the human form perfectly, though they can hide their flaws under clothing. How had the sisters managed to expose his secret?

Sami and Naveli were standing together, glaring at the impostor. “I wouldn’t advise continuing hostilities,” Sami told him. “You shouldn’t test the might of our family magik. If you tell us what you need, we can bargain.”

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