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Captain of the Guard: A Curse Backfires

September 17, 2019

We’re heading out. Best stay behind the horses.” Cedric looped the silver cord up as he headed toward the stables with Vul and Al accompanying him. He turned to the faker,

“What was so important back there?”

“You needed to procure the aid of the hound.”

“I did?” Cedric winced, his mouth had betrayed him and now Alstone was going to start spouting off nonsense.

“Of course, the hound is going to play an integral part in your quest.”

“Task.” Cedric corrected with a sigh.

“Quest. I have foreseen it.”

“Sounds better doesn’t it?” Cedric quipped

“Yes, thanks for the-”

Cedric didn’t hear what Al was going to say next because at that moment he was tripped and felt someone push him downward. He fell immediately into one of the water troughs outside the inn.

For one strange moment, he felt a tremendous pressure on his whole body, like a huge weight was trying to crush him, and then suddenly the weight was released. Later, he would swear he heard something like a bowstring releasing, and his whole body thrummed with the vibration.

He was pulled out of the water. He sputtered and coughed.

“What in the nine circles just happened?”

Alstone looked sheepish, “I’m sorry Captain. I tripped.”

“You tripped.” Cedric pulled himself out of the water and saw, behind Vul and Alstone, fire erupt among the wagons. People were screaming and running around, trying to put the fire out, but the flames spread rapidly and water didn’t seem to have any impact on it.

There was something eerie about the fire, it was not behaving the way it should, like it was alive in some way.

“What’s happening?”

Alstone looked befuddled.

Pookie answered from behind them, “It’s what happens when a curse backfires.” Then he howled, this time it was the sound of a predatory delighting in the hunt. Cedric shuddered.

His cloak was heavy with water around his shoulders and no longer felt comfortable. He looked down at the dark reflective water in the trough and then at Alstone.
The wizard looked like a country bumpkin on his first trip to the city.

“It is best we leave,” Vul suggested.

Cedric nodded and headed to the stables.

It wasn’t until they were miles down the road, and the sun was just starting to rise, that Cedric would realize that he had left all the money with the Thimblerig operator.

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