PodCastle 91: Three Days and Nights In Lord Darkdrake’s Hall

by Leah Bobet.
Read by Mur Lafferty.
Originally published in Strange Horizons.

The sun slanted ever further in, pooling warm and uncomfortable at my feet as I noted the exits and matched walls to arms of the compass, itemized my situation neatly in my head.

They had taken my armor. Instead I wore a long dress of white linen, the kind of dress that would have been too simple in my previous life and was much too impractically frivolous now. They had taken my arms, my secondhand sword and the bow my lord uncle had given me, and the reason for that was obvious. He wanted vulnerability, not strength; he wanted me to look and feel and be vulnerable.

Somewhere beneath the coldness of my regard, I began to get angry. He was setting a stage. He was creating the battlefield. I could not buy into it.

I resolved to ask Captain Stoneburn, when next I saw him, what had transpired between him and Lord Darkdrake to provoke such a desire for vengeance.

When the light-dapples on the floor were long and tinged with sickly orange, a servant came in with bread and cheese and water. Peasant food: perhaps it was meant to be a slight. Mercenary food, Company food: perhaps it was meant to remind. I moved to take it, and remembered that my hands were bound fast.

Rated R for kickass heroines and human suffering.

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