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Rule of Three Writing Challenge: Renaissance: Episode 3

We’re in the third week of Rule of Three! Thanks go out to all the participants who posted such intriguing episodes for their stories. I love the sheer variety and talent out there, some of the episodes have made me jealous! 

We’ve divided the judging into various subsections like plot, story, use of prompts, language, use of settings etc. but you guys have made the job incredibly hard.

 Huge thanks to co-hosts Storyteller and author, Stuart Nager,  Flash Fiction Author Lisa Vooght, and Fighter writer, J.C. Martin
If you’re a participant looking for guidelines, here they are yet again, along with the list of participants. 
Before you read below, make sure you’ve read Episode 1 and Episode 2 so it all makes sense.
Everyone has a price. The waiter wanted a few shiny pebbles for his lady love, in exchange for poisoning the Demeter’s drink. The cherub on guard at the foothills of the Roundeli mountains wanted revenge. Poor Cupid, the wench had smacked his bottom once too often. Never mistreat those who protect you.
He had to give the Demeter her due. Instead of the spine-tingling feminine beauty he’d come to expect, she’d dressed herself in a man’s body, found the remotest, most obscure town to hide herself and the seed.  But no one may hide from death.
Charon had ensured the Schiavona would be too drunk to miss him. Demeter’s agents, if she had trusted any but the cherubs in this last outpost of life on this world, would be too scared by her swoon to do anything but wait. You could poison life, put it to sleep, but never destroy it altogether. It always sprung forth from a new seed.
But this time Charon would change everything. He headed towards the Demeter’s hideout, to find the seed and destroy it. Then there would be no Demeter left to create pesky little worlds for him to destroy. No more fights. Charon prided himself on his peaceful nature. Nothing more peaceful than the silence of death.
Having destroyed a thousand worlds and sent their creatures down the Heriot’s pass in each, into the dark netherworld, Charon Heriot would not be defeated by a paltry thing like a name. A name was the last protection Demeter had given the seed. That’s what that angry little Cupid said, anyway.
When Heriot reached the door of Demeter’s lair, Cupid smiled at him the way only a Cupid can, white, sugary, altogether obnoxious.
“All ready, my Lord,” he said, “I’ve broken the spell she placed upon the door. Eve is upstairs. I don’t know the name she seeks, but I know she seeks a man’s touch.” The bastard winked, and began to hover away, his tiny wings lifting his fat little body, but only just.
“That is very well, but what about the rest of your friends?”
“I’ve spoken to those who bear arms. The rest of them may only wield flutes and drums and will not be much threat to you, my Lord.”
Charon waved the cherub away and walked in, swords unsheathed, to be greeted by a hail of what felt like very sharp stones. But Heriot began swinging both his arms, his robes and hair flying, the jewels on his person glinting in the moonlight from the windows. The swords worked like the scythes they were, and soon, all Heriot faced was a pile of rubble, dust, darkness, and silence.
Now to awaken the seed. Charon Heriot took the stairs, two at a time, his flab no hindrance to his speed. He thought he heard a hiss from the shop below him. When he stopped, silence returned. He opened the door and found her, the precious seed.
She had slept through the bedlam, but as he opened the door she came awake, and let out something between a gasp and a scream, “Aubrey!”
“So that is what the Demeter calls herself this time!” Heriot smiled in the half-light.
“Don’t be afraid, my dear. I’ve come for you, just like Aubrey said I would,” soothed Heriot, his voice both a lullaby and a serenade.
“What is your name?”
 Heriot knew he could not lie about his name, just like Demeter could not lie about hers.
“What’s in a name?”, chanted Charon Heriot, drawing the seed to her feet, “only a kiss may tell.”

600 words

Prompt used: Betrayal is in the air

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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