The Serious Moonlight

Writing Exercise – Brigit’s Flame – June 2nd (exactly 500 words) The full moon picked out the man’s horse, reflecting itself ten fold in every white dapple of the beast’s hide. It was curious that he had not chosen a darker steed, for the man was clothed in black and dark leathers.

He moved with silence. Not a clink, creak, or crunch emanated from his moving figure.

Darius, observing from the edge of a window, was impressed by the effectiveness of his stealth. He wondered if he would even be able to smell the man come to kill him.

The young man had noticed an aroma surrounding the people of the Farssidy Province that was foreign to him. He was not sure if it was caused by the unique spices they used in their food or some other habit of custom, but the fragrance of this place was making him homesick.

Darius feared that eating too much of the local food would render him unrecognizable to the dogs — if he ever made it home again.

As a child, Darius had always known he would be a knight; it was his predestined course. But what he dreamed of being (before he understood the role fully) was an assassin.

He had an uncle, or a man his father called a brother, who was whispered about throughout the court by men and women alike. Even the soldiers spoke of him in hushed tones. Entralled with the air of mystery, Darius had climbed in his uncle’s lap one day and asked the man to teach him his trade.

Uncle Torvis treated it like a game at first; teaching Darius to be unseen and unheard. By the age of thirteen, he had mastered the  exercises in dexterity – climbing and walking along the thin edges of walls in silence and complete darkness. By fourteen he could walk up to a man, slit his throat or deliver a dose of poison, and be gone before the body fell to the ground.

Darius did not like to kill, but he was good at it.

From a recess between two beams he watched the man who silently crept in his room and brought out a dagger to harass the empty bedclothes. The stranger’s weapon slid through the layers with ease; only a crisping of the rushes audible to the room.

This confirmation of the stranger’s purpose was the cue Darius had waited for. He slipped silently from the rafters onto a table in the darkest corner, then slithered through the shadows to the assassin’s side. A blade came to his hand with a soft flick. It was black, casting no reflection of the moonlight – slender as a nail and so sharp the skin could not feel its passing. A hollow recess contained poison that seeped from the blade midway along the shaft.

The assassin died with no more than a sharp intake of breath as the blade pierced a vital organ and the venom took its turn. Darius placed the man in his rented bed and slipped outside to see about the horse.

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