Please keep in mind this is a super rough draft, folks. But, it still allows for a glimpse into a dark fantasy series I have on the back burner…
His excitement grew as she quickened her pace, the vein in his neck visibly pulsing. Some deep, primal instinct urged her forward, her body sensing the danger before her mind became aware. It was too late. He was on her heels. Running only made it worse, the thrill of the chase escalating his predatory nature. Now, she was cornered, pinned against the cold, roughly textured stone wall. The long, smooth fingers of his hand easily wrapped around her neck. They were not the fingers of a working man. That, and the fine, saturated colors of his attire told the young woman he was of a class far higher than her own.
The cold steel of his blade drew a thin line of blood across the soft flesh of her right cheek. She let out a raspy yelp and tried to twist out of his grasp. He liked it when they struggled. He liked overpowering them. It would continue on like this for some time. He’d give her an opening to pull away and then crush her hopes by dragging her back in. He’d toy with her until she started to weep. He lusted for the weeping. The sound of it satiating some grotesque and tortured part of his psyche. Then, and only then, would he allow himself the intoxicating release of slitting her throat.
Hot blood splattered the young woman’s face and soaked her blond locks with a crimson hue. Her visage contorted into an unsettling combination of relief and horror as she witnessed the glowing dagger plunge into the side of her assailant’s neck and drag through his throat, nearly severing his head. Her impulse was to scream, but all that escaped was a strained, high-pitched, airy sound that quickly caught in her wind-pipe, causing her to choke and sputter. Gasping for air, the woman eyed the darkly cloaked form of her savior and attempted to utter some words of gratitude.
The cloaked figure cut her off before she had a chance to form a proper sentence. “Go.” The young woman shut her lips tight and nodded as she darted down the alley, the echo of her shoes beat against the cobblestone and faded into the distance.
Now that she was alone with her prey, the huntress wiped her blade clean upon her victim’s pants and sheathed it. Pulling back the hood of her ebony cloak, she untucked her long, raven braid and let the cool, dusk air whisper over her rosy skin. It was a new moon and as the sunlight faded, the black of night encroached on the alleyway. This did not concern the huntress though, for her vision could pierce the darkness at will. Taking in the image of her kill, she breathed out a weary sigh and set herself to preparing for the ceremony.
Turning the collapsed form onto his back, she dragged the corpse into the center of the alleyway. Kneeling at his side, she tore open his shirt to expose his bare chest and reached into a satchel on her belt, pulling out a vial of black salt, a flint and steel, and a pouch full of flame-fairy herb.
Methodically, the dark-haired huntress placed the mouth of the vial against his chest and tipped it so the salt gradually poured out. Trailing the vial along his flesh, her hand weaved a pattern so familiar that the movements came naturally and, within seconds, the salt was formed into a circular symbol upon his chest. Taking the flint and steal in hand, she spoke three words, just above a whisper. “Agrathnym. Eolemna. Kaishah.” Then she struck the flint and steel together, creating a wide spray of sparks, catching fire to the drawn symbol. Next, she reached into the pouch and drew out a pinch of the dried, yellow herb. She spoke three more words, this time raising her voice to a normal talking level. “Yethiera. Junciapa. Shikaah.” Throwing the herbs into the fire, they danced and sparked and turned the flames blue. Finally, the huntress pulled the dagger back from its sheath and it glowed fiercely against the darkness of night, the runes inscribed upon the blade radiating a burning orange light. Three final words she spoke, her voice ringing out and echoing through the streets. “Ivvomna. Ophellanus. Thakhor!” On the last syllable of the final word, she plunged the dagger into the heart of her prey.
The blue flames expanded violently just before shrinking down to disappear. The runes upon the blade softened their glow to a bluish hue and then went completely dark. The huntress could feel the furious heat that had raged in her solar plexus for nearly half a lunar cycle, subside to a cool stillness. Her irises changed color, fading from fiery orange to their usual dark-blue. She’d cut it close this time, too close for comfort.
The reek of burnt flesh emanated from the torso of the dead man and wafted down the secluded alley toward the more populated streets of Kamthera. Curious voices could approached. The final words of her incantation had surely traveled to the ears of nearby pedestrians. It was time to leave.
Her body moved with the stealth of a jinsa cat and the grace of a Levishian dancer as she scaled the stone wall and made her untraceable escape, gliding over the rooftops of the bars, brothels, and other seedier establishments populating that part of the city. Behind her, the cries of alarmed locals carried on the wind like wildfire.