Photo credit: Sonia via Flickr (modified)
When my brother didn’t return, I went looking. He’d been so eager, and he wasn’t that much younger than me. I should have realized he didn’t understand the danger. He always did think his sword could solve any problem.
He wasn’t prepared for who I deal with, in my line of work. Whatever they called themselves, I suspect they were Brazachan cultists. But hey, they paid well. That’s what matters.
A simple errand, I’d thought.
When I got there, the street was blocked. The guards said the whole neighborhood was closed. Something about the sewer.
I balked at spending such expensive magic on sneaking past, but guilt at sending him there won.
Inside, I was shocked, and that takes something. No sign of life, dead quiet, even the plants were husks. I got two steps toward the cultists’ lair before I felt it. My skin withered, blackened; my hair sizzled and turned to smoke. I ran.
That afternoon, fire gutted the neighborhood. Accident, the officials said. Not likely.
A lot of people went missing that day, including my brother.
I went honest after that. Well, mostly. I don’t involve innocents anymore. Luckily, in this city, that hasn’t limited me much.
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Big thanks go out to Alastair Forbes for hosting, and to J. Hardy Carroll for providing the original photo prompt, below. Click the link above to read the rules for submitting, or just to the other stories written this week. Everyone’s welcome!
Sorry I haven’t posted in over a week. Work hit me with a few crazy deadlines just as summer socializing was at its height, and I can’t keep all the juggling balls in the air at once. Here’s to keeping at least some of them up at least some of the time!
Photo © J. Hardy Carroll