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Rule of Three Writing Challenge: Renaissance: Concluding Episode

We’re in the concluding week of the Rule of Three! Thanks go out to all the participants who posted such intriguing  stories. I’m now terrified of the judging that lies ahead…. though 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

Before you read below, make sure you’ve read Episode 1 Episode 2 and Episode 3 so it all makes sense.

Demeter trusted her dark old minions more than the white new ones, and with good reason. The old ones had sprung from her—they bore her insignia before the enemy charmed them. As she sped back to her home, her head hung over with the poison, Aubrey cursed the frightened cherub who came barrelling in from the window and fair crashed upon her with the news.

Aubrey Demeter needed speed, not cover, so she sloughed off her unwieldy body, becoming her lissome self, the very embodiment of Life in a woman’s perfect body. The coils of her hair slithered at her touch, their tongues tasting the night air. 

Charon, that old fox, had reduced her shop to ruins in the time it had taken her to fight back from sleep. She felt her essence slip away as Death attacked her last seed upon this land. She stopped a heartbeat at the threshold of Eve’s door, Medusa-like, bidding her servants rise from her hair, go forth and multiply, to surround that cur of a Heriot from without.

            “Drinking from those lips will do you no good, Heriot,” she sang as she threw the door open, “how about something a little older, stronger?”

            Eve looked tanned even under the moonlight, her paleness gone, along with most of her waxy flesh. She swung in Heriot’s arms, as he held her still in the kiss of death. He looked up now, with those kohl’ed eyes that mirrored those of Demeter.

Demeter did not wait. She flicked her wrist as if conducting an invisible orchestra, and they came. They flooded in from the windows, susurrating their displeasure. They lunged at him, making him lose his grip on Eve, who fell back on the bed. 

Herion’s whistle brought them to a stop—it rent the air as he raised both his swords above his head. 
“Sister, have you lost your mind?” he said as he swung them in circles around him, “They’re mine to command, not yours. I claimed them many ages ago, on some planet or the other, as creatures of the netherworld, my father’s domain.”

“Let them obey you, then,” smiled Demeter, swaying.

Charon whistled again, but they pressed on, only the whirl of his swords keeping them at bay, slicing them into speckled, bloody bits. Still they came, as outside the moonlight waned. And then came the nine-headed one, and coiled her body and stench around him.

“Hydra? screamed Charon, in horror and recognition. 

“Don’t tell me you didn’t steal my Cupid, dear brother. You stole him, and I stole your favorite. A mother’s debt is hard to pay, and even Hydra cannot evade it.”

Charon made a choking sound as he was dragged out of the room. “But she cannot kill me.”

“No. But she can take you away, so I have time to build this world back again,” smiled Demeter, walking to Eve’s bed, lifting her. Outside on the streets of Renaissance, another day dawned.

“But I’ll return,” wailed Heriot’s voice from downstairs.

“The same old story. Wake up, Eve,” said Demeter, kissing her seed on the mouth, and fading slowly into the morning air, “come awake so I can sleep a spell.”

“Aubrey?”said Eve, “Aubrey?” and looking down at herself, started. She tide of her flesh had abated, leaving a beautiful woman in its wake.

“Anyone here?” replied a man’s voice from the stairs.

Eve rushed to the door, to see a young man before her.

“Who are you and what’s your name?” she said.

“I was just passing by when I heard cries. I’m Adam.”
Prompt: There is a new arrival in town.
Word count: 598
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 literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 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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