Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lure of the Ghost House I

Cat stood on remains of a cobbled path, now thoroughly overgrown and half-swallowed by encroaching grasses, and looked past a broken stone fountain to the charred remains of a wooden house. It had been a nice place, once, with stone walls and wooden beams; he could still see fragments of glass in the corner of one window. The hill where it was located offered a nice view of the town below, and more: it was a minor power center, a place where two vin-cha crossed. The energy here was cool and soothing.

"Cat? What are you doing up here?" Delissa stood behind him, regarding him with dark brown eyes beneath a bristle of short-cut black hair. Her skin was dark as the bark of the trees, but softer, and rich with creamy undertones. She'd left her spear back at the guest-lodge, but still wore the battle saber on her left hip.

Cat shrugged. He was only a little taller than Delissa, and his hair and eyes were almost as dark as hers, but his skin was a sun-darkened olive. He'd left none of his weapons behind, and stood with his navic resting on one shoulder; a short indoor saber and a matching knife were tucked into the sash at his waist. "Looking around," he said. "It seems like a nice place."

"This?" asked Delissa, looking past him at the ruins.

Cat just waited, looking at her.

"It's creepy." After a moment, she added: "It suits you."

Cat tilted his head. He found the place quiet and soothing, but then Delissa had always been more social than he; she was competitive, and sometimes abrasive, but she still wanted people around her.

"They'll be serving the dusk-meal soon," she said after a moment. "If you want something to eat, you should come now."

Cat nodded, and followed her back down the hillside to the town.

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