Wednesday, February 10, 2021

From the Internal Narrative of Callidus Igni

I locked eyes with Panna and scowled.

She shrugged and then nodded.

I threw my shoulder into her chest again and fumbled around her waist while she gasped for air, cutting away her coin purse where I found it. I hefted it; fairly full, but probably not all she had on her.

"If you move from this spot, money is the least of your worries." I pulled my shoulder away, and though she tensed up, she didn't move.

"What are you going to do?"

"Quiet. If you say a word, warn him, or are not exactly here when I get back, there will be hell to pay. And hell doesn't take this paltry currency."

She balked, nodded, and rubbed her chest where I'd hit her twice now.

I stepped back onto the path and followed Ody.

-

He crouched a few feet from my tent, watching and listening. After a few minutes, he unclasped a bottle from his belt, unscrewed the lid, and started splashing the contents around my tent. As a crept closer, I got a whiff of gasoline, and barely managed to keep myself from gagging on the smell.

Carefully pulling a length of rope from my cloak, I circled around my tent in the other direction, waiting for the right moment to present itself, but it didn't come until he'd finished his circuit, tossed the bottle aside, and pulled out a lighter. 

While he stared into the tiny flame springing to life in his hands, I threw the rope over his head and garrotted it around his neck.

He dropped the lighter.

-

Ody's fingers scrambled at the rope as I tightened it, but he did more damage to himself than any prevention of the rope. I pulled him backwards, dropping us both to the ground while I scrambled to take control without doing any lasting harm. I didn't have a moment to spare to watch the gasoline catch, but as the fire danced in his eyes I succeeded in pinning him, stomach down, one hand wrenched behind his back, and his neck twisted inside a headlock.

And there I held him as we watched my tent burn to the ground.

--
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