Published by Matthew Knowles at Shakespir
Copyright 2016 Matthew Knowles
Eruditus is the first of many pieces I will be publishing. It is a brief glimpse into a few of the worlds I have created. I hope you enjoy my stories and are inspired to explore the wonders of your imagination.
“Open up, this is captain Abdul of the Mazeni Garrison.” Another series of knocks rang out against the Elden-wood door. “We have a warrant for the arrest of Jwyn Atreaus III and her mother Laurel Atreus.”
Dahlia whispered the emergency incantation, sealing the secret hatch that her charges had just slipped through. “Luna, light their way.”
“We are required by the Council’s law to warn you before we breach the door.” Abdul’s voice rang out through the house. He was using an amplification spell.
“Shit just got serious,” Dahlia sprinted to the front door. And flung it open. “No need, we don’t need any breaching here!”
There were about two-dozen embarrassed soldiers trying to avoid looking at her. Their weapons awkwardly lowered to the ground.
“You must be Abdul,” she said addressing the leader of the party “I am sorry it took so long for me to get down here. I was in the shower when you arrived and-”
“About that.” Abdul kept his eyes on the ground and nodded toward her naked body.
“Yeah, well I was kind of in a rush to get to the door, I couldn’t have you guys blasting it open. If you give me a second I’ll-”
“I’m afraid I can not let you go anywhere until we locate the Ladies of this house,” He removed his Captain’s cloak and held it out to her.
A strange clicking sound began to emit from the house.
Her fingers searched the cold stone. She couldn’t see in the darkness that surrounded her but she knew every feature in this wall. A loose stone, a firm push, and a sharp click. “That’s the spot.” The wall shuddered and began to fold in on itself revealing a dimly lit passage. “Oh shit,” Jwyn coughs and covers her mouth with her sleeve. “Smells like hell down here.”
“ You didn’t expect roses did you?” Laurel stepped into the passage ahead of Jwyn.
“True, perhaps we will remember that the next time we build an escape tunnel.” Laurel places her hand on the wall and whispers an incantation. The opening they had passed through begins to seal itself and a faint ticking sound can be heard. “Let’s make ourselves scarce shall we?”
“Time.” Dahlia whispered to herself. She shot into motion, the world seeming to slow down around her. She grasped the cloak and spun dropping to the floor, tripping Abdul as she went. She leapt over him taking his pistol with her, continuing her spin and flinging the large cloak out around her body obscuring her form. A few hasty shots punched small holes through the Cloak’s gray fabric and flew harmlessly by. She landed and rolled into the mass of armed men. The unit erupted into chaos as every man tried to get as far away from Dahlia as possible. She was a torrent of death raining bullets on her enemies and within moments the Garrison men were all either dead or in flight. Dahlia walked back to Abdul’s crumpled form and lifted him over her shoulders like a fox skin scarf. As she turns away from the Atreus house the ticking stops. Then the house explodes.
“Wake up, I have questions for you” Dahlia stood above Abdul. She was dressed in his uniform.
Dahlia slaps him. “Wake up!”
“Ow! What in the name of Lilth’s fiery nipples do you want!” Abdul struggles but his bonds hold.
“I have Questions. You have answers,” She laid down on top of him, his lack of clothing suddenly apparent to him. Dahlia caressed his neck with her lips. “I ask, you tell.”
“What if I-”
Dahlia whipped a knife out and held it against Abdul’s chiseled face. “If you don’t tell me I start cutting, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stop myself once I get started.” She sat up straddling him and gripped his testicles, then squeezed.
“Ow, What the fuck! Point taken. Point taken!”
“I love it when you scream.”
“You’re seriously fucked up.”
She tightens her grip.
“Okay! Shit, ask your questions already.”
“Who signed the warrants?”
“You know I can’t-”
Dahlia cuts him across the chest.
“Vilifeighn, it was Vilifeighn. Fuck!” Abdul squirmed in pain.
“What are the charges?”
“Conspiracy to commit murder, fraud, and blasphemy.”
“Murder who?” Dahlia held her blade millimeters away from Abdul’s Eye.
“Knight-Commander Atreaus III.”
“Where is Vilifeighn now?” Dahlia had her empty hand around Abdul’s throat.
“At the Garrison headquarters.”
Dahlia slid her knife away and walked out of the alley.
“You can’t leave me here,” Abdul called after her. “At least untie me!” He was yelling into empty air.
Dahlia kicked the door in and stepped inside the Garrison head quarters. Everyone in the office stopped what they were doing and stared at her. She strode up to the receptions desk.
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ERUDITUS is a collection of two short science fiction stories. In the first story, Purity, readers follow the mechanical armed Detective Smith on a quest to find his lover's killers, but what he discovers might just destroy him. Then join Knight of the Rose Dahlia in Mazem'Ra: a beginning as she protects her best friend and unwitting crush from a crazed demagogue.