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 […]

19. The Heir and the Penniless Adventurer

As he walks over to Shelawn House, Inglorion’s mood is defiant. He and Marcus have enjoyed cordial, if distant, relations as adults. They each acknowledge that the other is a decent, honorable fellow. That said, their habits, values, temperaments, and modes of life could hardly be more different. They share a father, and some family […]

11. Rosalee, The Gypsy Princess

Inglorion receives a brief note from Alexandra requesting that he visit the King of the Gypsies at his earliest convenience to discuss personal business. The letters they’ve exchanged have been limited to general news items. They don’t share an intelligence cypher, and neither one of them is inclined towards sentimental correspondence. Nonetheless, he excuses himself […]

8. A Charming Young Whelp and Adventurer

Two weeks after they are reunited, Artemisia’s birthday arrives. Inglorion didn’t know when her birthday was. It hadn’t come up before, and it’s not the kind of thing it would occur to him to ask. Nonetheless, it seems to be a pleasant omen, and he’s pleased when she asks him to celebrate with her. He writes […]

1. The Magnificent Five

Volume Two Theme Song: Adam and the Ants, Don’t Be Square (Be There) … for good, clean fun (whatever that means) Our hero, Inglorion Atropos Androktasiai, Marquis Theates, stands in an underground corridor, gazing apprehensively at a beam of sunlight shining through the cave entrance from above. He’s lived underground for decades now, part of […]

59. Not Yet Wise or Predictable

Soundtrack and Video: Talking Heads, Burning Down the House (Live 1984) The Duchess has been there all along, within earshot but apparently absorbed in a report. Inglorion walks over and stands within her field of view, waiting to be recognized. For a long, uncomfortable moment, she refuses to notice him. During that moment, a sick, […]

51. A Fucking Pity and a Waste

Soundtrack and Video: Marilyn Manson, The Beautiful People Inglorion finds himself in his quarters, with no idea how Alecto and Ajax got him there. He’s still high — unpleasantly so. He’s not hallucinating, but his mind is spinning free. He stares at the ceiling with no idea of moving, and probably no ability to do […]