Bazaar of Death: Seven

“I have been dead these six years and never knew it,” Kehnan professed as he and Sabit wound their way through the tight alleyways of Bahteel. “I swear I have not felt my heart beat with the thrill of true life since we parted, Mongoose. But to see you make those blades dance again, it struck me alive as surely as you could strike me dead if you chose.”

“Ever the poet, Kehnan,” Sabit replied, leaning on a cool stone wall to keep the alley from spinning. She couldn’t remember how Kehnan had lost both his cloak and his shirt, but watching the pale moonlight fall across the knotted muscles of his back … pleased Sabit greatly. The spear woman had not heard the acclaim of raised voices for too long. She had not felt free of the burdens of duty — to the Prioress, to Allamu, to the champions, to her companions — in more moons that she could count. Exulting in her skill for the sake of no one else was more intoxicating than the mugs of beer she had downed.

There were other skills that Kehnan was versed in.

The shaft of moonlight showed only a thin strip of the alley, the rest as black as a beast’s gullet. Ahead of Kehnan, a cloaked figure appeared from the deepest shadows. Beside him, another stepped forward, a bronze blade in each hand. The moonlight could not cool the wicked edge of the blades’ reddish metal.

Behind Sabit came a voice. “Your coins. Now.” Behind her, two more cloaked figures approached. “Quickly, or you bleed.”

Kehnan looked to Sabit. He held his hands loose and far from his sides, but Sabit could see the battle-focus rise within him. She, too, tensed herself with every breath like a bow being slowly drawn to an archer’s cheek.

Sabit said, “I haven’t bled in a long time. Too long.”

— — -

Wayfarings of Sabit: Bazaar of Death is copyright © 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every weekday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller or http://ipressgames.com/fiction/