46. Greta X

Soundtrack: Adam Ant, And the Horse You Rode in On After a few more rounds of drinks and banter, Aramil proposes going to see a cabaret act. He knows a place nearby — he’s heard that there are several excellent performers on the bill that very night. Valentine says that he doesn’t know, he might […]

25. Persephone Eats Six Seeds

He’s gone when her water breaks. The pain yanks her into the open, impales her in her body and the cell around her. She’s bound, as always. The force is terrible — a series of rhythmic blows from the inside that warp her frame. It grips her by the nape, shakes her over and over, […]

24. You’re Just a Little Thing

He enters carrying a tray with a branch of lit candles and a jar of the viscous, violet-scented liquid. He’s quiet, but there’s a sense of barely restrained excitement about him. He feeds her quickly, and leaves her arms and neck strapped to the cot, the feeding tube taped in place. He watches her for […]

23. You’ve Been Forgotten

“I’ve wanted so much to get to know you,” says Tereus. “To share a meal, or the occasional smoke, or a drink. We both hold commands, after all. We’re powerful among our people. I’ve wondered if you felt doubt and regret about what happened — the troops you lost.”  They’re sitting side-by-side on her little […]

22. You’re Too Valuable to Die

The scene at the Lavyryx farm is peaceful and quiet. The farmyard is overgrown, and parts of it have been trampled. The scouts from Liamelia made no particular effort to hide their tracks. The front door of the farmhouse is off its hinges, and the windows-glass is long-gone. Ajax and Inglorion exchange a glance. Inglorion […]

16. It Happens When She Can’t Get Things Right

“Thank God you’re here,” says Alexandra almost sharply when he opens the door of the caravan. “She’s been awful, distraught. I can’t do anything with her.” Inglorion sets down his bags, takes off his sword belt and quiver, and crouches down next to mother and daughter. Alexandra is hovering over Rosalee, and looks almost frantic […]

15. Charon of the Xyrec Army

Soon thereafter, Inglorion returns to his flat in Amakir late one night. He’s discouraged, itching with the undefined misery that he feels in Artemisia’s presence. He didn’t feel comfortable leaving her with servants, but he couldn’t force himself to stay. She was drunk but not to the point of illness, and seemed inclined to rest. […]

14. All God and Gophers

When they wake the following morning, Inglorion makes them a breakfast of fruit and goat cheese, and dresses Rosalie in the best of her three dresses for the trip into town. He has to put her shoes on numerous times because she keeps removing and throwing them across the room, followed by her balled-up socks. […]

13. Curiously Disengaged

For the next few years, Inglorion’s visits to Rosalee are the most regular thing in his life, forming a heartbeat or cadence that both he and his daughter find comforting. Every other week, he spends three days in the Gypsy camp, just outside the city gates. This gives his life an odd 11/3 rhythm. Or, […]

10. A Familiar Routine of Flirtation and Seduction

For just over a year, Inglorion sets a personal record for sexual fidelity. He does not fuck women other than Artemisia, or even flirt with them. Over time, however, events conspire to draw him back into his old ways. He has legitimate reasons for dissatisfaction, if not for infidelity. Perhaps because their relationship has been formalized, […]