Lucky Break

by Joe W

“He's dead, Crippins. Let's have his purse and then be off to inform the Governor.”

“Your problem Mawks, is that you've got no respect for the dead. Also you're too 'asty, best to make sure he's proper dead. Give him a thorough inspection, you know? Besides, what if he's got any errr, important documents in hidden pockets, or something, we better make sure we don't miss anything.”

“Check he's dead?! Look at his bleedin' neck Crips. I've eaten stuff that was less dead.”

“Can't say I find that very surprising, Mawks…”

Carlos watched his subordinates argue with growing irritation. Fair enough, yes he'd expected them to bicker over who got his purse, and truth to tell he'd be a little aggrieved if they didn't steal some of his clothes. His neck scarf in particular would look quite fetching on Mawks, and Crippins could certainly do with a shirt that didn't smell of, well, Crippins.

Still he didn't think that it was asking too much to expect them to give him the Last Rites first, its not like it would take very long, and he was rather curious to find out exactly what awaited him in the Burned Realm. Besides which he was interested to know what form the Last Rites would take, rumour had it that Mawks worshipped the Mother of All Serpents on the quiet, and he couldn't quite shake the image of her trying to swallow him whole.

“So you reckon, it'll be another little war then Crips? I hear that Belor's been pullin' his guard out of the city for weeks now, got 'em on manoeuvres or whatever.”

“Yeah, the boss was suspicious as all 'ell about that, been keeping his eye on De Velland's lads since the revolution from what Shiv tells me. Stupid bugger wasn't suspicious enough though, fancy getting your neck snapped like that right 'ere, makes us all look unprofessional if you ask me.”

“Never did quite get it if you ask me; wearing his silks all the time and those colours! What is wrong with good old fashioned black and brown, I ask you? Whoever heard of a thief wearing pink?”

“But we're not thieves Mawks, we're supposed to be policemen, remember? You've been 'anging round with Eric's lads too long, if you ask me.”

“Piss off Crip, you know what I mean; you can't bleedin' prowl in pink.”

Carlos was starting to give serious thought to haunting Mawks. How long did it take to remember to give the rites? To make matter worse she'd been through his trousers twice now and still hadn't found his other purse, that was just sloppy. He hoped that his successor would have him called up to give some advice on the position, he'd have some strong recommendations about future postings for these two. Belor's Folly could do with a couple more agents, and life on the frontier would do them a world of good.

He sighed and leaned back against wall, gingerly rubbing at his neck; he was, he suspected, still in shock over the whole dying thing. He'd not expected that Belor would go that far; shouting certainly, a bit of pushing and tussling, fine. Breaking his arm should have ended the matter; painful yes but nothing a blood mage couldn't sort out, nothing they couldn't have laughed about later if it turned out to be a misunderstanding.

Crippins and Mawks appeared to be satisfied that they'd acquired everything of value and were now arguing about who would have the pleasure of informing Her Eminence of their superior's demise. They appeared quite oblivious to the thin trail of fog that had crept under the door and was now making a beeline for his corpse. Carlos watched with mild dismay as the vapour flowed into his mouth and the cloud disappeared within the body.

“Stuff waiting for Mawks, I can do this myself…Lady of Whispers, hear my request. Convey my spirit to the Burnt Realm and let me know silent rest.”


“No?! What do you mean n-”

On the floor the body jerked, spasming grotesquely. With a bone-grinding crack the neck snapped back into a natural position and lightning danced within the corpse's eyes. Crippins and Mawks exchanged a panicked look and bolted for the door, slamming it shut behind them.

“Princess…Grandmother, please, I'm done. Let me have peace.”

“no, you've not earned it.”

The corpse's eyes flared and the muted sounds of thunder escaped through its lips.

Ten minutes later a trembling acolyte of the Lord of the Faithful entered the room brandishing a pot of consecrated Ash, Mawks and Crippins provided tactical support from their position behind the door frame. Lord Carlos de Mamushi was found alive and well.

misc/fiction/luckybreak.txt · Last modified: 2011/04/03 22:32 by osj01
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