The Invitation

      Today’s snippet, titled “The Invitation”, is a piece I wrote about an NPC in Mark’s Pathfinder Campaign.
      Be forewarned, there are mature themes and naughty language below.
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      Something hit the desk beside her elbow, sending a puff of charcoal dust into the air. Nyx frowned, glancing over at the object. It was a fancy gold-colored parchment envelope, shimmering subtly in the late afternoon sun.
      “What is it?” she asked, her focus returning to the linen paper before her. She scratched the nub of charcoal across the page, smudging it with a forefinger. The soft, rounded, undulating curves seemed to move of their own accord and she smiled.
      Rolling to his belly, Nikodemos stretched an arm toward her and snatched the envelope away. He sliced it open with a flick of of his index finger, the spell on his lips so briefly it was almost as if he had not spoke at all. “It is addressed to you, sister-mine. Shall I read it?”
      “Only me? Not the Nyxlings together?”
      “Only you.”
      “Special.”
      “Mmhmm,” he nodded. “Bugger! Its blank. How queer.”
      Tilting her head to the side, she continued to sketch, completely oblivious to her brother’s disconcertment. The image was taking shape now and paused to admire her work. She was getting quite good, if she did say so herself.
      The sun felt good on her skin, though she avoided it most studiously – the lines it could leave on one’s skin were unattractive and prematurely aged one – and for once, she let the warm rays wash over her without regret or worry. It kept their small, yet well-appointed flat warm without need to engage the expensive heat. Soon, twilight, then she would slip onto the balcony and sprawl out beneath the stars. Their cool, silvery light would lull her to sleep and then he would come.
      Her heart ached for him – the night could never come soon enough and was always gone too soon. One day, she knew, she would discover the secrets of the ether and she would shift entire planes to get to his side. One day, she thought with a chuckle, brushing a wisp of thick, wavy black hair from her eyes. One night would be more appropriate.
      “Nyx, are you ignoring me or have you just gone deaf as the old woman we killed in Gronza?”
      “What?” Snapped out of her reverie, her voice came out harsher than intended and she softened her expression – a nicety she reserved exclusively for him. “Sorry, Dae. What is it?”
      He flicked his head to the side, whipping the long fringe of bangs from his eyes. It was a habit she abhorred, but his vanity would not allow him to wear a style less trendy. “Check this out – its blank. Doesn’t radiate any auras that I can see, and there’s no powdered poison or anything. Who would bother to dress up a blank piece of parchment like this? See the ink? I’m fairly sure those are genuine gold flecks in the calligraphy and-”
      “Oh, give it here.” Rudely, she plucked the envelope and accompanying page from his fingers, staining it with her own charcoal-tinged digits. “Dae, what kind of trick are you trying to pull?”
      Her brother frowned, rolling to a seated position. “None, not a one.”
      Nyx turned the paper to face him. “What do you mean ‘blank’? There’s a full page of writing here, you nutter.”
      She dropped her gaze back to the page, a shiver trilling along every nerve. As she read the words, there was a sensation of anticipation pulling her in a new direction. It was as if the entire world spun to a stop, yet she felt her blood singing in her veins with each thump of her heart and she could hear the buzz of a fly by the window.
      “Well? What is it?”
      “What?” She blinked.
      “What is it, you silly bitch? What does it say?”
      Nyx wet her lips, folding the page as she tucked it back into its lovely golden envelope. “It says we’re going to Ip.”
      The twins’ eyes met and in unison, they smiled.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “Paint Letter” by ba1969 from SXC.hu

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