Is This Justice?

This little scene was inspired by a phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth (the dead cannot cry out for justice).  This was the first thought that came to my mind.

**

“Murderer!”  That was all the warning they were given.  Then, someone had knocked Johannes off his feet.  As he lay, sprawled in the dirt, his attacker drew a sword and swung it down on him.

Konrad darted forward and swung his sword around just in time to catch the blade of the other man on his own.  “What is wrong with you?” he rasped, glaring daggers at the attacker.  There was something familiar about him, but Konrad couldn’t put his finger on what it was.  “What do you mean attacking an unarmed boy and calling him a murderer?”

Growling, the attacker tried again, but Konrad blocked each attack before it could get anywhere near his youngest brother.  Finally, the attacker stepped back panting.  He kept his weapon up defensively, as if expecting Konrad to attack him.  However, Konrad held his ground, sticking close to Johannes.

“He killed my brother,” the man shouted pointing at Johannes.  “My brother’s spirit cries for justice.”

Now, Konrad recognized the man.  The Singer they’d purified the other day had taken this man’s younger brother as a host.  “A demon killed your brother,” he snapped.  “Killing Johannes won’t bring him back.”

Johannes touched his arm and peered around his shoulder.  Meeting the other man’s gaze steadily, he said, “I’m sorry for what happened to your brother, but… he’s not crying out for justice.”  He sidestepped, so that he wasn’t hiding behind Konrad anymore, however he also didn’t leave himself open to another attack.  “You’re hurting and you want to hurt someone else, but… will that really help you hurt less?  Will it really make you miss your brother any less if you kill me?  Do you really think your brother would want this?”

The other man mumbled a curse and sheathed his sword.  Then he turned to walk away.  Konrad stared after him for a moment before he sighed and banished his own weapon.  Then, he looked at Johannes.  “All right?” he asked, his voice soft.

Johannes gave him a weak smile.  “I’m just glad that worked,” he said, softly.

“You and me both,” Konrad agreed.

The End…

This was actually the beginning of my NaNo for this year and I wrote it well before I saw the phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth.  However, it seems to me that it fits rather well, so I’ll use it for this.

**

Aisling frowned slightly as she heard a dog barking somewhere in the distance.  “Lassie?” she called, glancing over at the sheep.  Sure enough, the dog was not minding the sheep as she should be doing.  “What’s she got treed now?” Aisling grumbled.  She lifted her skirts and ran towards the sound of her dog’s now-frantic barking.

She froze when the barking suddenly cut off.  “Lassie,” she said, fear gripping her for the first time.  She remembered now that her papa had warned her that there had been disappearances of late.  People said there were dark things afoot.  No one could say if it was the work of fae or something far more sinister, but he’d told her to keep close to the house.

Shivering, Aisling glanced back the way she’d come and then towards where she’d last heard her family dog.  Should she turn back or see what had become of Lassie?  Aisling chewed her lip and then spun on her heel.  She could come out searching for the dog with her father, but she couldn’t work up the courage to go out alone.  Not now that she’d remembered her father’s warning.  Certainly not with the ommonous silence that had descended.

She nearly screamed when a large shadow fell on the path in front of her.  Then, she saw the uniform that the stranger wore and a surge of relief swept through her.  “You’re one of Lord Aren’s Hunters,” she said, her eyes widening.  She shook her head.  “My dog’s gone missing.  Could you help me look for her?”

“I’m afraid not,” the Hunter said, frowning.  He smiled faintly and took a step closer to her.  “A young girl like you… didn’t your father warn you how dangerous it was to be out on the moors alone?”

“He did,” Aisling murmured, frowning.  The Hunter was acting rather strange.  It was beginning to frighten her.  “I just now remembered it and I was heading back to the house to fetch him, so we could go and look for Lassie.”

“You won’t be finding Lassie, I fear,” the Hunter said.  “Neither will your father be finding you, I fear.”  He smiled, then, and Aisling’s eyes widened briefly.  Then, her scream of terror echoed across the moor before, like Lassie’s barking, it abruptly and completely cut off.

Concern

Bertram frowned at Alan. Something about him didn’t set right. True, the Agency had sent Team Theta to investigate the murder almost immediately. However, it stuck him as odd that they should also send a cook, too. They’d only identified the body an hour ago.

He glanced over at Tiana. He hesitated to tread on what might still be a sore subject. “Are you keeping Haruko apprised of things here?” he asked.

“Only as it relates to my own work,” Tiana said. It wasn’t an answer, but her manner told Bertram it was the best he could hope for.

Unexpected

“Who’d you say you were again?” Keenan said, frowning slightly and tilting his head to one side. There was something familiar about the man, but he couldn’t put his finger on just what it was.

The newcomer smiled. “I’m Alan Jenkins,” he said, giving Keenan a polite bow. “Once they’d heard that Master Keiran had died so tragically, the directors decided you needed a replacement.”

Keenan hesitated for a moment. Then, he nodded. “So long as you can cook, I suppose,” he said. Turning away, he called, “Have supper ready by six o’clock, please.”

“Of course,” Alan said, as he watched Keenan leave. A slow smile spread across his features. He couldn’t have planned it any better. Now, he’d have plenty of opportunity to carry out his mission.

Deflection

Keiran looked up from her book and frowned. In spite of what Keenan might say, she knew that the person she’d seen the previous day was still around. She wanted to think that the rattling at her window was nothing more than the wind, but she couldn’t.

She stood and headed to the door that would lead out to the front room of the lodge. Bertram was out there, right? She could spend time with him, at least until his campers arrived for music.

However, she never reached the door. A hand clamped down over her mouth, stifling her single cry. Then, darkness flooded in around her. When she came back to consciousness, she was outside.

Stifling a moan, Keiran shifted and her abductor laid her in the grass. He caressed her cheek lightly. “Relax,” he said, looking into her eyes. Keiran couldn’t struggle. “I need them to think I was after you, my dear.”

Trouble

He was annoyed. The agents suspected trouble. First that cook and then the boy had seen him. There was no helping it. They couldn’t know the real reason he was there. That meant there was only one thing he could do. Hopefully, they would think she was in target and her death would lay their fears to rest.

Watching

He watched as his target sat between the other two councilors. His target was arrogant to think that he could hide simply by using a false name. He didn’t need names to find someone he’d been sent after. No, it had been a simple matter to find his target. The only complication would be in finding the right moment to strike. His target was never alone. Whether it was one of the campers or one of the other councilors, he always had someone near him. When he’d taken this job it had been with one provision: there would be no collateral damage. He was there for one thing and one thing only. He would simply have to be patient. An opportunity would present itself, in time.