Thursday, February 21, 2019

102 - “No Forgiveness” - DeFrantis- A Tale of Heroes

Here's how you can read the story a week (two scenes) ahead of everyone else!


DeFrantis felt sick.

Her head throbbed, and her arms ached. With an unsteady stumble, she made her way down the corridor. It was dark and empty, and not the kind of welcoming darkness that she always found underneath her blankets as she slept, but a cold and haunting darkness that made it hard to see more than a few steps in front of her.

She leaned against the wall, steadying herself. There was a light. She tried to focus her eyes before her to see what it was. It came into clarity gradually. It was a door, with bright lights shining out from underneath, and through the cracks in the doorway. There. I’ll go there! It’s not far. Then I’ll lie down and rest.

DeFrantis looked at the floor before the door. She leaned forward, and took a step, still touching the wall for support. She stepped again. As she walked, she saw that the door didn’t seem to be getting any closer. Confused, she walked faster, trying to maintain her balance.

She stopped. What’s wrong with the floor? It was fluid and flexible, not firm like it had been moments before. It rippled and stretched below her. She felt the hair on her arms and neck get tense as cold blew down the corridor. What’s happening? What’s going on?

DeFrantis broke into a run, trying to reach the door. She only took a few steps before she fell. Her knees and hands took the brunt of the impact, and it hurt. She tried to stand, but her hands were slippery. Her head drooped, as she gasped for breath. Wait, what’s this in my hands?

She looked. Her hands were coated in blood, and one of them held a small, thin, silver dagger. Blood soaked the floor before her, and it was spattered all over her sleeping gown. She screamed and dropped the dagger.

But it didn’t drop. She still held it in her shaking hands, unable to open her fingers.

She heard a distant cry. A child’s voice. A little girl.  Where is she? Where is that cry coming from? She scrambled to her feet and lunged for the door, flinging it open. The blinding light hurt her head, and she shielded her eyes. A man stood silhouetted in the doorway, towering over her. She screamed again and stumbled back. He raised his hand and pointed at her.


“No!” Her eyes adjusted and she saw the chest of his shirt was drenched in red. She looked in his eyes and recognized him.  She screamed again, “NO!”

“It was you!” He leaned forward, but rather than stepping, he fell. DeFrantis jumped back, slipped and landed on the floor as he crumbled, chest down, before her.

DeFrantis heard the child cry again. “I’m coming! I’ll save you!”

Another figure stepped up behind the man. She was not as tall, and not as broad, but somehow, just as forbidding. She was wearing the dress of an older peasant woman, ragged and stained. “You killed him!”

DeFrantis shook her head, but she couldn’t speak. She looked at her bloody hands, and the bloody dagger. She opened her mouth to explain, but said nothing. She couldn’t deny it.

“You killed MY SON!”

“I... I didn’t want to!” DeFrantis stammered, “He was... The children were...”

“What do YOU know of children!” The woman shouted. She grew taller, stretching unnaturally, her hands reaching out toward DeFrantis. “YOU KILLED MY CHILD!”  Her arms and body twisted and snaked toward DeFrantis like thick leather whips, snapping tight. Her hands grabbed DeFrantis’ face and pulled her forward, drawing her nearer. The woman’s distorted face screamed again, “YOU KILLED MY CHILD!” Her fanged mouth opened wide to bite into DeFrantis and tear her apart.

DeFrantis’ body shook with jolts of fear and pain. She twisted, trying to free herself from the grip of madwoman’s hands. She tossed her shoulders, and turned her hips, finally shaking her blanket free. She opened her eyes, gasping for breath, cool summer air from the dark, but open window flowing lightly across her sweaty shoulders and nightgown. Gentle moonlight also streamed in through the window, falling across her legs, and reflecting dimly onto the familiar walls and ceiling of her small chamber. She frantically grabbed the folds of her nightgown and held them up to her gaze. The cloth was white. Her hands were clean. There was no dagger. No screaming mother.

She wiped her hand across her forehead, then over her head, pulling her hair away from her face. Her breathing slowed, eased, and she rested her limbs into her thin and bumpy mattress. She passed her hand over it, then gripped it, tentatively, feeling its reality.

She looked to her left, along the chamber’s wall, and saw other mattresses and blankets, and the peacefully sleeping forms of Karendle and Thissraelle. She could hear Karendle snorting soflty.

From down the hallway, DeFrantis noticed a child was crying.


This continues the story of the heroes in Wynne, in Twynne Rivers, in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!
Thank you: Chet Cox, Genevieve Springer!

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