Quite the eventful week! This week I wrote my first Swift app. I really like the language so far, it’s quite smooth compared to Objective-C. The app is currently awaiting review by Apple, I’ll make a post as soon as it’s released. In the meantime, enjoy a new short story below. This one follows a young rogue on his journey to learn from a rather questionable mentor.
Diero looked up at the haggard traveler from his drink, peering out from under his dark hood that hid his face. The tavern was full of men and women who liked to cause trouble and he found that the more mysterious he seemed the less they bothered him. The traveler fidgeted nervously as Diero glared at him, passing a note from hand to hand. “Sir?” the man repeated, unsure of what to do. Diero reached his hand out and took the note from from the man without saying a word then watched him as he ran out of the room as if he was being chased by dogs.
As Diero opened the note he could smell iron and see blood stains that covered the paper. His heart began to race. ‘Dry Dragon Inn, room 3. Now.’ The message was simple and straightforward, not signed but clearly in his mentor’s handwriting. For months he had been following this man around, doing odd jobs for him; hew as often tasked with picking up and delivering packages to dangerous parts of town. The man claimed to have great power and would train Diero in his ways if he trusted him and did as he was told, perhaps this was the moment that he finally would see what this mysterious man was all about. Diero didn’t even know his name.
Without a moment’s hesitation Deiro swallowed the last of his ale and dropped a coin on the table. His dark leather boots made no noise as he deftly exited the pub and walked headed into the darkened street. The hour was late and the lamps in this district were all but destroyed, most of them weren’t lit any more for fear of causing a fire. The Dry Dragon was a brisk ten minute walk from here and his mentor did not like to wait. Diero broke into a light jog to try to lessen the travel time and ease the rage he was sure to meet when he arrived. The man had a horrible temper and seemed to believe that Diero should somehow know where he is at all times and be within a two minute walk.
When Diero arrived at the inn he was out of breath but there was no time to wait, he pushed through the doors and ran up the stairs to room three without even looking at the innkeeper or anyone in the lounge.
“I hope she was worth it,” the cloaked man scolded as Diero pushed open the door and quietly slipped into room three.
“I was at the pub.”
“You should have been here!” Diero bowed in submission to the man, offering his apologies for being late.
“What can I do for you, sir?” The man pulled back his dark hood that matched Diero’s and glared at him with his silvery eyes. His hair was long and gray, usually greasy, and left to hang loose about his shoulders. His skin was pale and his grey eyes gave him an almost unsettling undead look.
“There’s a man they call the Butcher. He works across town. He helps me dispose of…enemies.” Diero listened intently, the man always cut to the chase and expected him to react immediately. “Rumor has it he’s been making friends with the guards by the castle so I have a bit of a reminder for him. Deliver my message.” The man slipped his hood back over his head and abruptly strolled to the door. “He loved her very much,” he said, pausing for a moment then exiting the room.
Diero turned away, slightly confused but ready to do his mentor’s bidding when he saw the young girl laying on the bed, blood covering the white sheets, her eyes frozen open with a look of horror. The deep gash in her throat still oozed blood slowly. Her blonde curls were stained in her blood and lay splayed about the bed in disarray and she clutched a small golden locket in her pale fist. Diero regarded the young woman for a moment or two, expecting horror and revulsion to creep in but as usual, his feelings failed him. He felt nothing for this poor soul, and the sight of the blood gave him urges to take a life of his own. He shook his head, trying to lose the urges behind his task.
“Well, darling, let’s get you home, shall we?” He chucked to himself as he started to bunch up the sheets around her body in a makeshift bag. “I’m sure your daddy is worried sick.”