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In Your Cloak

For this week’s 500 Club, I decided to revisit one of the scenes in my novel, The Iron Key, retelling it from one of my favorite secondary character’s point of view. If you want to take a crack at one of this week’s writing prompts, hop on over and go to. After all it’s only 500 words!


“War is good to us though, eh death priest?” the merchant said, “Not like those fools.” He nodded at the next table, packed with Highgardean soldiers playing dice.

“Indeed,” said Wil, tipping his glass.

The merchant toasted him. But the minstrel at his elbow was silent, his eyes following some movement across the room. With a sinking feeling in his gut, Wil turned his head in pretence of ordering another drink, to see what had distracted the man.

Sahrel stood a few paces away loading a plate of pork, her stunning profile clear from Wil’s table. A strip of chestnut hair gleamed at the crown of her head, the rest spilling into a black knot at the nape of her neck. Wil ground his teeth. If she was so hungry, why hadn’t she sent down one of the others? It didn’t matter if anyone saw them.

Nob the innkeep was also watching her, his black eyes hawklike in his piggy face. He moved to block the stairs. Sahrel took a step in Nob’s direction, froze as she saw him waiting.

Wil slipped his hand to the knife at his belt.

“Any news from El?” the merchant asked him, oblivious.

“Men still die. We still take them.”

When he glanced back, Sahrel had vanished. His fingers slid from the hilt as he returned his attention to his tablemates. The merchant flinched at the look on his face.

“Beg pardon, I didn’t mean to pry. Please, allow me to refill your glass.”

The minstrel stood. “Excuse me, good sirs. The music of the ether is beckoning.” He drifted towards the front door, looking about him as he walked.

“He always spouts such turdery when he’s drunk,” said the merchant. He banged his fist on the table. “GIRL!”

The serving girl burst out of the kitchen door, looking harassed. Wil gave the door a thoughtful glance.

“Another round for me and my friend,” said the merchant.

“I’ll be back in a moment.” Wil pushed back his chair. “I’m going to see to my horse.”


The night air was cool on Wil’s face. The sky was overcast, a smell of rain on the wind. Wil paced around the side of the inn, keeping to the shadows.

Sahrel stood in the garden behind the inn, the minstrel gripping her arm.

Wil drew his knife. Lord keep me in your cloak. He moved in.

“You are confused.”

“No, I do know- You’re a concubine. You’re-“

Wil clapped his left hand over the man’s mouth, holding his head steady. With his right he sliced open the minstrel’s carotid artery.

Blood sprayed Sahrel. She gasped and jerked away, wiping frantically at her perfect face.

Wil held his victim tightly as blood pumped out. The minstrel flailed, squealing against Wil’s muffling hand.

At last he went limp. Wil dropped the body.

Sahrel blinked at him, blood caught in her thick eyelashes.

“Happy?” he said.

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  1. dex wrote:

    Wow. This makes me want to read more. I felt that like that was hardly even an appetizer.

    Very well written.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
  2. S. C. Green wrote:


    What a cool look into Wil’s character. This has him coming across so much darker than I’ve read him before.

    I like it.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

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