What Didn’t Kill You

Kittelson mountain and sea

Source: T. Kittelson Fra_Lofoten

The challenge? Write a story in 6 sentences, no more & no less, and if you’d like, share your creation or just visit and comment on others’ ideas, with GirlieOnTheEdge, Denise. The prompt is “SURPRISE”, and here’s where you join the party: Six Sentence Stories

***

After all the stories about Honor Rollins – her casual cruelty was legend – they were surprised by the diminished figure that sat, prim as a spider, in the stern of the dinghy, knees squeezed tightly together under a heavy dark skirt and heavy gray wool cape; she’d been an almost-beauty when they’d passed through Capitol City, but after a decade of the Republic Purge, her lips were dry and pinched, the eyes squinting against the harsh sunlight, and her color was just plain bad.

She turned to her bodyguard, a tall, hairless man with well-worn leather pants poured into heavy boots, pseudo-military tunic tight against his enormous chest, heavy arms bare in the damp chill, and reached out her arms, like a child demanding to be carried.

He scooped her up without a word or a shift in his grim expression, and stepped out of the dinghy and through the shallows, placing her on the shore in front of the greeting committee of Torstein, with Eliza and Corwin shoulder to shoulder, and several feet behind him.

Eliza suppressed an hysterical giggle as she met Corwin’s sharp gaze, but still the sweat poured down the small of her back; this shrunken gremlin of a woman that both had known so well, had terrorized and physically tortured at least three generations of healers, musicians, scholars and would-be politicians that had suffered through the Republic’s accreditation process.

“I’m so looking forward to your personal tour of the hold and surrounding community of children, Torstein,” cooed Representative Rollins, her voice strong, smooth, and oily as it echoed past the ship anchored in their home fjord and out toward the ocean, adding, “I hear you have some real talent for which the Republic might find some use.”     

Corwin narrowed his eyes and clenched his jaw at the too-familiar voice; her body may have diminished, but her voice had lost none of its power to threaten.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)

16 thoughts on “What Didn’t Kill You

  1. “…prim as a spider

    damn!*

    *compliment on a phrase both creepy and evocative (and, when you think about, don’t so many things, when we are young with one foot in an alternate world, cause us to be impressed and still say, ‘Ewww’)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And still, despite the magnificence of the fjords landscape…titles, republics and games of power…now, where have I seen that before?
    Intrigued to read what comes out of your shimmering Norwegian pot.

    Happy New Year, Liz!

    Liked by 1 person

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