Sunday, December 9, 2012

"The Exchange"

Once I am finished writing this account, my master will kill me.

His face showed great pain as he dropped a handful of seeds into the hole he'd dug by hand and covered it back up. There was little room for a tree here, but one would rise out of the ground all the same. Assuming the owners of this yard didn't decide to start chopping trees. I imagine some precaution has been taken against that.

He was once a Runner- I never learned his name. He always stayed one step ahead. My master had seen fit to send me to catch him, and I chased him for months. It was like he had experience, though I thought he was just lucky at the time.

If his body doesn't give in, there should be a few acres of forest encroaching upon normal life. My master's reach extends.

One day, this guy stopped running. He didn't make a stand or anything- he literally stopped running, like he couldn't move. And this girl appeared, walking funny. I could tell a fellow proxy when I saw one, and I knew I hadn't been the only one after him. She told me there was an offer on the table for this "escapee", that there was a dispute between my master and her mistress, and the details were being worked out as we spoke.

In exchange for a taken victim, the Duke would receive expanded territory. As soon as the deal was worked out, strings sank into this man's flesh and he went to work. He hasn't stopped for five days. Blood is dripping from his broken nails and shards of stone are stuck into his palms. Once he's finished this work, he'll return to her domain, and whatever she does to him afterwards I don't want to know.

But I failed him, and the Duke is still unsatisfied. And now is he behind me.

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