Rated R for violence.
Beyond the Shrinking World
by Nathaniel Katz
“Bring my prisoner,” I said and none dared question, not a knight and Scholar-Practitioner so august as I. They knew the glyph carved into the base of my tongue kept me from lying.
The guards brought the being that called himself Jani in his stolen flesh. Cuts ran down his flank, long and precise, a still-living carcass torn open reach at it soul. In his eyes, spirit blues cavorted round stuck-wide pupils. I can take you Outside, he’d said, at our first meeting. Can bring you to the Mapmaker. At the time, I’d responded with drawn sword and assault, my Out-blade slipping through his dark flesh but halting at the spirit, parasitic, within. His legs bore testament to those wounds; shallow but immeasurable.
“Dress him,” I said. “We need to be on our way.”
The Lord hesitated, and procedure won out. “I’ll need to see papers, Sir Rollus,” he said.
Make it bloody, the Lady Clarissa, ruler of this world and all men in it, had told me. Leave no doubts.
About the Author
Nathaniel Katz blogs about genre at The Hat Rack. When not blogging, he pretends he can write fiction.