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Red Hot Cinnamon 10, Orange 1

Author: rustydragonfly
Challenge: Red Hot Cinnamon 10 (charred), Orange 1 (here comes trouble)
Wordcount: 600
Rating: teen and up. Warning for death/bodies, and lots of it.
Story: Manifestations (Arc 12)
Summary: Time for some unexpected guests.
Notes: Arc 12 and the new mytharc begins! And it's also Manifestation's third birthday! I wanted to do something special for the day, and kicking off the next bit of plot seemed about right.

Seriously, though, three years is longer than I've lasted on any other project, and I'd never have done it if this comm wasn't here. Thanks for giving me somewhere to call home.



Smoke rose above the rooftops, smoke that stank of charred flesh and, perhaps, a little like sickly sweet, rotten flowers. Hartavin pulled her shirt up over her nose, but it offered little relief. The stench was embedded in her clothes now, and she was sure no amount of washing would get it out. She'd carry it until she died, of that she was sure.

"Is this the last of them?"

"I believe so!" her companion shouted back.

"Good. Find the others, and tell them to be here. I'm going to do another look around."

She turned away from the stinking fire, and into the empty streets beyond. She'd seen plenty of abandoned towns, in her time. They stopped meaning anything, after a while. Sooner or later, they all blended into one, the same weed ridden streets, same shattered windows, same houses like empty skulls. They didn't matter, any more. People had lived there, people had died, people had fled, but it was all so long ago that their homes were mere pieces of the landscape.

And then, there was a place like this, a place where the streets were clean, where the walls were sturdy, where the widows were intact. A place where she could look inside and see meals set out on tables, toys strewn on the floor, maybe even a book or two waiting for a reader.

There was a click of claws on the road, and the hair on the back of her neck prickled.

She turned, and a red dog watched her, head held to one side, ears perked. Her hands twitched at the sight. They'd burnt them all, hadn't they? She'd watched them all burn, every last one...

"Cinn! What is it?"

Now a young woman rounded the corner, wearing a long, dull leather coat. Slung on her back, mostly obscured by her thick, black hair, was something that looked uncomfortably like a weapon to Hartavin's eyes. She laid a hand on the dog's harness.

"Who are you? You shouldn't be here."

"I didn't see a sign," said the stranger. And now there were two more of them, rounding the corner behind her. This time they were men, and probably Rhusavi from their pale hair. The taller one caught her eye first, but her gaze quickly fell to the slightly shorter of the two. His face was scarred, as if by gigantic claws raking over the flesh, and a blindfold was tied over his eyes - or where, she realised, his eyes ought to be.

"What is this?" said the blindfolded man. "Didn't expect a party here."

"If there was a party," Hartavin said, "it wouldn't be a party you'd want to be at. This is an investigation and cleansing mission to-"

"Oh, good," said the woman. "We like investigating, here. We're what you'd call investigating people. Hello. I'm Rosa, these are my boys-" she gestured backwards - "this is my dog, and this-" and now she patted the weapon slung across her shoulder - "is my gun. It has parts that go click."

"I don't think you grasp how serious this is."

"Oh, I don't know. My boys here seem to think its serious. I trust them." Rosa scratched the dog's neck. It was still watching her, and its eyes were wide and alert.

"What she means to say," said the tall one, "is that when you walk into an empty town that doesn't look like it was empty long, and when someone tells you to leave, some of us don't like leaving that alone."

"And not," said the blindfolded man, "when everything smells of burnt bodies."

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
smoothiegarten
Dec. 16th, 2013 12:01 am (UTC)
I enjoy Rosa so much.

This situation doesn't sound good, though. I wonder how much Hartavin already knows about what happened.
rustydragonfly
Dec. 19th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
Thankyou! I'm wanting to let her shine this time around.
niee87
Dec. 20th, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
Rosa is awesome :D It's good to see her step forward in the main story too and not just restricted to the RWAU :D

Curious as to where this arc is headed!
rustydragonfly
Dec. 23rd, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm wanting to give Rosa a more proactive role in the arcs to come, because I'm going to explore some of her own motivations and what she's trying to achieve.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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