Writing angry is the best kind of therapy. People die and no one goes to jail, which is one of those universal rules that is just awesome. This week over at Terribleminds we were told to pick a random telepathic power and write a story about it. ‘Randomly’ meant pyromancy.
Because I really, REALLY wanted something to burn. Add a little bit of DnD in there and the whole thing came together.
I present to you:
WANTED: Must Use Fire.
The sign stared at her, tacked against a tree, far removed from the rest of the wanted advertisments ostensibly tacked to a proper bulletin board. Made of cork and protected behind glass. There was a crowd of vagabonds and unemployed tradesmen and women, each peering at the coloured signs behind glass. There were guild warnings of course no one works without being a member, but she didn’t care about that.
Rogue Mage. Half elf if you must know. Currently unemployed but with the reward offered on the ad, she wouldn’t have to work for at least three years. Maybe longer if she was frugal. She looked down at her battered boots.
The advert said to meet the employer here, she thought, what the hell?
Someone in a cloak – a woman from the cut of the cloth and the small hands bracing against the table – slid into a chair opposite her. Villy raised an eyebrow.
“You’re answering my advert?” The girl asked in a soft voice, barely above a whisper.
“I’m sitting here, aren’t I?” Villy asked, crossing her arms over her chest.
The girl looked up. Her hood fell back, revealing soft blond hair and eyes so blue, Villy often felt like she could swim in them. Except this time they were decorated with black and blue circles. Her nose was broken, too. And there was a cut on her delicate lip. Villy’s mouth fell open in shock.
“I hoped you would,” the girl said. “We all did. Villy, all the girls are pulling our money together, you have-”
“I don’t want your money,” she said automatically, all thoughts of new boots running out of her mind. “Just tell me who did this to you.”
“Client list,” Villy said, her mind working over time. “Give me all of your clients. I’ll take care of every. single. one.”
The girl shook her head. “It’s not all of them. Some of the girls have gotten good ones, Villy.”
“Then who is it, Darlene? Who did this to you?”
Villy’s gloved hands felt hot. She knew flames were building there and if she didn’t get it together she would give Darlene more to worry about than two black eyes and a broken nose.
Get it together, Villy.
“Tell me who it is,” she demanded.
Names passed Darlene’s lips in a whisper.
“Where are they?”
“The good side of town. The rich side.”
“Can you do it?”
“Of course I can.”
From the folds of her robe, Darlene produced a small purple vial. “We didn’t know if you were going to have enough mana, so, here.”
Villy took it, thanking her.
“And this,” Darlene said, handing her a necklace encrusted with a large, glowing ruby. “It’ll up your defence by ten and give you a few more attack points.”
Villy took this a little more reluctantly. “Why do I need this?”
“Because of her.”
Darlene didn’t stick around long enough for Villy to ask any more questions. The look on the poor girl’s face bugged Villy to get the job done quickly. She would oblige. Villy looked down at her worn shoes.
Maybe she should have taken the money.
Night found Villy on the wrong side of the right town. It glittered. It invited in with false promises and flashy girls with wide smiles. It sickened Villy to the core. She had been one of those girls. Smiling for paying men. Doing things to them and hating herself, all for gold. Worshipful gold. Masterful gold.
Yes master. A few more coins.
You’ll have to pay for that, honey.
Dirty rooms. Sex and sweat and smeared make up.
It hadn’t taken her long to track down the names she wanted and where they were going to be. Longer was the time it took to get the appropriate outfit for what she needed. And now, dressed in a bra big enough to cover her nipples and a skirt long enough in the front and back to hide the important parts, she felt exposed. She left the life three years ago when she found the ability to call fire at will. After that, she handn’t needed anyone’s money. She could take what she wanted.
The thought gave her cold comfort as she arranged her hand on her ample hip and her plaited silver hair and knocked on the door. She downed the purple bottle. A small window was revealed by an angry squeak. Piggy eyes looked at her.
“Hello Lester. Let me in?”
“Villy? Back on the job?”
“Just let me in, huh? I’ve got someone waiting for me.”
The window closed and the door opened. She felt bad. Lester would be lucky to leave the place alive. He let her in. She sauntered in, taking in the smoke saturated air. They were all there. David Longfinger, Lucenzo, Horatio, and the maligned Hester. Oh, the girls hated her, she did things to them that weren’t in their contracts. If the girls didn’t do it, they paid.
Lucenzo was the same way. A smile touched Villy’s face as she saw the burned side of his. He had done things to her. Had made her do things to him that she could never forgive. Cruel and unusual punishment was his modus operandi. With his slicked back hair and handsome face, he could get away with it. Hester, too. She was beautiful. Unnaturally so. Rumours about her and girl’s blood spanned far and wide. Horatio and David were just lackies, only as cruel as their real masters allowed them to be.
The club was full. Music throbbed from the stage where girls danced. Curtains hid others and their clients from view. Villy wanted all of the girls on tonight out, but that would give away her position. Maybe they would thank her in the AfterWorld.
The mana would see that she took them there.
Her hands felt hot. The ruby glowed. Lucenzo noticed her first.
She laughed and the whole world exploded.