This week’s Friday Fiction his hosted by Laury “Hally” Hubrich @ her pretty blog, His Mercies are New. Click here to read and share more great fiction!
Author’s Ramblings: This week…I’m rushing again. LOL. Big surprise there, but finals are over! Thanks to all who prayed and supported me during this past week/semester. Whew! It’s been a long one. Thankfully, I’ll have some time to breathe with summer coming up. This week’s installment is really short–and I do mean short, as in under 1,000 words short. Apologies, it’s mostly dialogue, but I’m off to finish the last legs of a busy week–and by next week, should have our wonderful heroes in Pietrasaan! Yay! Happy reading and have a great weekend–don’t forget to leave a comment, I truly love hearing from y’all! ^_^ (Oh, and if you haven’t voted in the poll on the sidebar yet, please take a moment to do so! I’ll be happily writing away this summer–and I’d love to know what you want to read. So far, a new serial has the most votes… 🙂 so if you disagree, now would be a great time to let your voice be heard. There are 14 days left in the poll!)
RECAP: Last week, after reviving his apprentice and extracting a confusing explanation, the DP and Eira immediately set off towards the city of Pietrasaan, nestled in the jungle mountains, under the authority of the notorious Queen of the Rangana. Deene has been dispatched to run a few errands for the DP and retrieve Eira’s League files.
Walking took forever.
At least, that was the only thing that Eira counted. She was tired and somewhat hungry when the Dark Phoenix allowed a short break. Instead of retiring to a clearing, he simply paused in the middle of the trail and mentioned for her to take a moment to breathe.
“Are we there yet?” Eira sprawled flat out on the ground, preferring the dusty pathway to the greenery lining the edges. “And when are you going to fix my disguise? Are we going to stop to eat?”
“You’re not hungry.” He settled beneath a tree, drawing an exceptionally long knife from his boot. “We’re not there yet and I will fix it. Later.”
Eira twisted her head to the side to see him better, but the picture was skewed as she tried to follow his movements sideways. “What are you doing?” A soft gasp left her lips as she stared at the knife.
It wasn’t an ordinary knife with a sturdy blackwood handle and a metal blade, instead, it was a sparkling specimen of gemstone, so white-it almost seemed blue. “What is that?” Her fingers scrabbled in the dust for a moment and then she changed her mind, deciding to stay where she was.
“Knife.” His mouth twitched at the expected pout she gave in return. “Blue Krystal blade.”
“Oh. Wow…whatcha doin’ with it?”
“Something I forgot to do awhile back.” He frowned. “You probably would not care to watch this.”
“Watch what?” Eira rolled onto her side, propping her head up with one hand, the image still somewhat skewed as she viewed him with renewed interest.
He didn’t answer. Rolling up the sleeve of his left arm, he reached into his shirt and produced a thin, diamond-shaped vial, rubbing the powdery contents on the inside surface of his left bicep.
Her eyes opened wide as he gripped the knife in one hand and cut a small circle on the newly powdered surface. Staring, transfixed, she watched as he cut lines through the circle, creating a strange, intertwined design of triangles and crosses. A bitter taste settled in her mouth as her stomach churned, she couldn’t look away as another trickle of blood traveled down to his elbow.
The horrified squeak was muffled in her throat as she jerked away, eyes shut.
The Dark Phoenix calmly held the knife in his mouth, reaching with his right hand to cover the entire design with his palm. He winced, briefly, as a flash of black energy reacted with the purity of the knife’s handiwork.
A moment later, he gave a murmur of approval.
The healed result was a dark blue tattoo bearing the mark he’d painstakingly carved to perfection. It flickered light blue, pulsing with energy when he blew on it, the knife cleaned with a cloth from his belt and replaced in the sheath hidden in his boot.
“I’m finished, Eira.”
She didn’t budge, eyes still tightly shut. “Why’d you do that? Are you sure?”
“I did warn you…and yes…I’m sure.” He frowned.
“You didn’t tell me you were going to cut-”
“It is finished.”
“Yeah right…how are you going to-”
“Look at me.”
“No, I don’t want to see you with-”
“It has already healed.”
“What?” Her head whipped around, eyes darting to his arm and then flickering further up. Her jaw dropped at the faintly glowing symbol now visible. “What is that?”
“A truth mark.” He rolled upwards to his feet, reaching down to extend a hand. “Up. We need to be moving.”
“What did…why did…how come-?”
“It’s a Light Tattoo.” He explained, nudging her in front of him. “March.” She shuffled forward, still trying to look over her shoulder to see the tattoo as he rolled the sleeve downward.
“Wait!” She stopped turning, one hand outstretched to stop him.
He flinched, backtracking a few steps. “Don’t!”
She froze. “I-I’m sorry.” The words were pushed past her lips. “I didn’t mean to…I just wanted to see-“
His expression softened at once. “I can show you, but you can’t touch it–specifically, you cannot touch this arm. Our energies would tangle, because this is still adapting to my own dark nature, the darkness converting it could taint you. It is still an open-wound, energy-wise. This hand-” He waved the other hand. “Is fine.”
“Why is it dark?”
“Dark Phoenix?” He perked a brow.
She blushed. “Right. Sorry.” Her hands were quickly clasped behind her back. “But if it’s a Light Tattoo, then how can you have it? I mean, if it’s like…white…isn’t that, you know…pure stuff?”
“Yes. But it is a neutral.” He pushed the sleeve up, the symbol more visible. “Firstly, it’s a circle, which means it can be used interchangeably. What do you think?”
“There’s neutrals?” She squinted, leaning close. “It’s a funny design inside.”
“Yes, there are neutrals. Light Tattoos can be used by all and that is a very specific design. They are shortcuts and methods to improve life.”
“Yes…some are temporary and some are permanent. This is temporary. I generally use it when visiting Pietrasaan, I forgot, because I was preoccupied with your attackers.” He frowned. “I cannot understand why two men would appear out of nowhere in the middle of the jungle and attack you.”
“Right…uh…neither can I.” Eira swallowed. She stared, fascinated as the tattoo flickered a pinkish-red and then faded. “Whoa! What was that?”
“I would say that was nothing…” The pinkish glow flared again. “But that would be a lie.” Immediately, a flash of neon green energy flickered to life. “And that would be the truth.”
“W-wait a moment…what?” Eira shrank back.
He rolled the sleeve swiftly down his arm, buttoning the cuff. “That would be evidence that it is in working order.”
“I don’t like it.”
“You don’t have to like it.”
“Does it go away?”
“It is temporary.”
“Eira—watch where you’re-”
© Sara Harricharan