Ripple in the Pattern: Mourning the Profane (IWA:The Cliché) Aug 6, 2013 21:40:52 GMT -8 Ross and Jansth like this
Post by Jenn on Aug 6, 2013 21:40:52 GMT -8
Sarah stood on top of the Grand Nile Tower Hotel, one of the tallest buildings in Cairo and stared, unseeing, at the twinkling lights and the blackened slash of the Nile river, below. She smoothed open the crumpled letter in her hand but did not read. Instead, she let her memory play out the pain in exquisite detail.
Her eyes had opened, had seen the letter by her side, and immediately knew something was wrong. It was from Ioseph… but not emailed. A letter sent by magical means would not bring good tidings. My dear Sarah… Tiberius Harkness is dead… Profane… revealing him as an Infernalist… The Prince declared a Blood Hunt…
All words that slammed a knife against her heart and wrapped up the series of strange text messages from Harkness and the stranger voicemail from Sonya into a nice, neat, damning package. While she had lounged in luxury, someone she called friend had died at the hands of Luthius and Hamza.
Now Sarah looked at the letter. Read the last paragraph again, even though she knew it by heart. Her soft voice was steady. Her hand was not. “I know this creature had sentimental value to you and wanted to be the first to inform you of his passing. The Clan has won a victory tonight and I know you will sleep better during the day knowing this insidious monster can threaten to corrupt you no more.”
Sentimental. It was a strange word to use for Harkness. He was… had been… a hard man to like. But she had liked him nonetheless. She could admit to a fondness, even. Not just for him and his melodramatic ways, but for what he represented. He was… had been… one of the last connections she had to her mortal life. She could still remember the first time he spoke to her. It was at Gallery 549 in Lafayette, the Impressionism exhibit. She has been looking at the Renoir painting, “Gabrielle with an Open Blouse.”
“A risqué painting for the Impressionist era. Don’t you think?” His voice had rumbled in her ear. Sexy. Dangerous. Not the kind of man she liked—except to look at and to study from afar.
“Mmm.” Her answer had been non-committal and barely there. Months of seeing him at the clubs had told her he liked a challenge.
Turning to her, he held out his hand. “Tiberius Harkness. I’ve seen you around.”
She shook his hand, noting its coolness even back then. “Amina.” She gave him a slight smile as he tilted his head and held her hand a moment too long. Holding back with him had been the right thing to do. He liked a mystery and she had him hooked.
“It was the beginning of a strange and wonderful friendship.” Sarah muttered to the wind. A cloud obscured the moon as the shadow of pain enveloped her heart once more. “At least, he got to say good-bye.”
Sarah crumpled the letter once more and stuffed it in her pocket. She allowed herself a single blood tear to mourn the loss of her friend… knowing that she should not mourn the loss of someone proven anathema to all that the Children of Haquim stood for. But mourn she did… and would, for a long time to come.