Today's update is just a short little section. It finishes out the chapter and gets things set for moving into the finale. I suspect it will only be a few more of these. May up to part 12 if I stretch these.
In any case, I sincerely hope you're enjoying them. I had a blast writing them. If you're new around here, these little snippets are very raw. I've been editing The Paladin for many months now, cutting, swapping and otherwise refining the work. These short stories, on the other hand, are quick and dirty writing projects. I'm not putting a lot of effort into editing them because I'm offering them up free. Just a sample.
With that said, I hope you enjoy this next installment of Wolves and Wild Roses. Yes, it's super tiny, but I wasn't paying attention to where the chapter ended yesterday... er... I mean... it's very poignant and the brevity of this installment highlights the complex relationship the immortal vampire Pasha has with his very mortal students. Yes. That.
Sonia stared at the parchment in her hands. Pasha's handwriting was so elegant, so formal. Everything about him was, really, and yet, it was all just a facade, wasn't it? She looked up from the list of ingredients for the Wolf's Bait, watching as Pasha stood before his coffin in silence. He has been standing there for several minutes, leaving the huntress uncertain of what to say. Taking a last look at the formula, she folded the parchment and tucked it away.
"Thank you again, Pasha. This will help immensely."
"When the full moon is passed, your mission will be over. I will come for you then."
"Just give me this time, Pasha. Let me do this... as a human."
"I will keep my word. And I will hold you to yours."
With these words, Pasha cast out an arm, his coffin swinging open. His body began to blur and fade, melting into a hazy mist. Sonia took a step back as the mist swirled and floated around her, finally moving into the coffin and taking the form of a sleeping Pasha as the lid closed. Sonia looked to the window, watching the first beams of light creeping over the horizon.
It was only a few minutes later when she coming down the steps to meet Pasha's servant at his carriage. He looked impatiently at her as the door swung open.
"In just a moment," she said, approaching the front of the carriage. "I have one last thing to take care of. Please, wait here. I won't be long." The servant groaned and turned his gaze back to the horses. Sonia nodded in appreciation and made her way toward the garden. The servant watched her from the corner of his eyes, but couldn't see what she was doing as she passed through and back into the manor.
Once again, she stood before Pasha's coffin, running a hand along the grain. "Pasha," she said aloud, lifting three wild roses, "you are welcome to claim me when next you rise." Her face still and emotionless, she placed the roses atop the coffin. She stared at the flowers for several moments, thoughts dwelling on her past with Pasha, before producing a small can. Opening it, she poured a viscous liquid over the stems of the roses, sealing them to the coffin. "Goodbye."
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.