Fate's Mask - Chapter 7Chapter 7
Mikhail forced himself to visit his twin once a week.
He wasn't sure why he did it relatives were "strongly encouraged" to forget about patients, and visits were rarely allowed. And yet somehow, once a week, Mikhail found himself in front of the asylum's side door, some of his mother's delicious fried cactus in to. His mother had taken the news passively as she lay in bed, recovering from a bad fall caused by a "monstrous intruder." She hadn't reacted much beyond a small moue of acknowledgment.
Somehow, that had only added to the bundle of guilt in Mikhail's gut. It roiled and boiled like snakes in a basket, leaving him constantly sick and nauseated, and he didn't even want to think about the state his mother was falling into. He didn't think he could handle throwing two family members into an asylum of admittedly low repute.
But regardless, he worked out a deal with one of the nurses at the asylum he'd give her some of his mother's cooking, and she'd giv
Fate's Mask - Chapter 6Chapter 6
Elysium sighed and shifted in her little burrow under the boards. It had been days, maybe even weeks since Jacobi had last returned to his room. She had a little store of food with her, but the emphasis was on little she was running out very quickly. The worst part wasn't the lack of food, though it was the not knowing. Jacobi had simply vanished. They had had the party, and she had dreamt, and then there was a loud thump and he was gone.
She couldn't sense him, either, and that was the really weird thing. It was like somebody had covered his mind with a black velvet curtain, completely hiding him from all possible sight. She frowned as she cast about once more, feeling around among the dull flecks of light that made up the city. She even searched in the conglomeration that was the prison, with no luck.
Elysium was really starting to worry.
She had always been bored in her nest, but without Jacobi to keep her company, she literally had to count the
Fate's Mask - Chapter 5Chapter 5
The twins were eighteen when the government made the big expansion on the jail. Of course, the building served two purposes: it was an insane asylum as well as a jail, and so it was always getting new occupants. It was crowded. When they had started putting more than one person per cell, though, that's where the government drew the line, and put some of the money they hoarded into building a massive addition.
The twins were eighteen when the asylum got one of its more famous occupants.
Since the day that Dani had run them off, shouting and screaming, calling them heartless miscreants, letting everyone know that the twins had tried to steal water in the wake of such a massacre well, needless to say, what little good opinion there was of the twins plummeted. Even their own sitaa, their own mother, heard about it, and she was oblivious to everything that happened to her sons. Ever since Ezekiel had started fighting on the front lines, all she cared ab
Fate's Mask - Chapter 4Chapter 4
Mikhail was sitting on his bed, staring at their new taill, when the sounds started. At first, it was low and muted a cry here and there. And then it escalated into high-pitched shrieks and rough shouts, shattering the night like a midnight thunderstorm. He leaped out of bed and ran for the window, sticking his head out carelessly.
There, about ten feet below him, was a battle.
It was nothing like the honorable battles of war that he occasionally daydreamed about no, it was little more than a gang war, with knives glinting in the dim moonlight and dark blood making morbid pools of death.
A part of him a part that was rapidly growing itched to join the fray.
From above, he could make out at least seven people that had fallen prey to the bite of a blade, and a good ten more fighting but bleeding heavily. And then there was one that didn't seem to be hurt at all he flashed from one fight to the other, leaping, stabbing, punching. He left
Fate's Mask - Chapter 3Chapter 3
Jacobi let out a long, low groan of pain as the sunlight practically roared into his room and under his eyelids. He opened his eyes just a fraction, then immediately regretted it as a raging headache suddenly flared into existence. Another groan escaped as he roused further into consciousness, realizing that no, the headache didn't go away with the light.
Jacobi frantically searched his memory, trying to pinpoint how the heck he had ended up in bed with what felt like a painfully pounding hangover. He had been at the recruiter's tent, he had fought with Mikhail he grimaced at the fresh memory he had... He simply didn't remember what had happened next. Had he gone drinking? He was certainly of age, and since everyone in the City knew him, none of the bartenders would have refused him, but he had never actually hit a bar before.
There was just this big, black, blank wall, in striking contrast to the light pouring from the window.
It was just th
Fate's Mask - Chapter 2Chapter 2
They were sixteen years old when the army came recruiting.
It was another hot, sunny day in a series of hot, sunny days nothing unusual for a desert, really, but it was getting to the point where the poor were starting to get desperate and the rich were starting to worry.
Needless to say, perfect conditions for recruitment. Only those who lived under rocks or, in their case, sand were surprised by the length of the lines. It was always that way. The harder the times, the longer the lines, the happier the military. Even though the days of the draft were long past centuries past, even nobody wanted an unhappy military. They were armed. Trained.
Jacobi wasn't entirely sure how he found himself in the tent, but there he was, forcibly attached to his brother, left with no choice but to ogle the weapons.
And ogle he did. They covered the walls, some hung, others freestanding, still others in cases. There were dirks, quarterstaves
Fate's Mask - Chapter 1Chapter 1
Jacobi was twelve when the rumors started. The old village widows had always had a negative word (or several) for the twins too different, some would say; others, too similar. Twins. A bad omen.
Nothing but trouble.
All of this, of course, before he carried the battered, shriveled little monster back to his home. Before he stowed he in a safe place, before he started talking to her, before he started talking about her.
That was where the trouble really began. The Fveltans were not a simple-minded race they knew children, they knew children's creations. It was known, and tolerated, even for girls but only up to a point. In the eyes of his City, Jacobi was far too old for imaginary friends, and they were starting to wonder.
"Dani, can we have some extra water? Please?"
"No, for the last time, your imaginary friend does not deserve an extra water ration, so stop asking!"
"B-but, she's not imaginary! Her name is Elysium and she's my frien