GENRE: Adult - Fantasy
One night, just one, Damien wanted to make it all the home without having to punch somebody.
It shouldn’t have been so difficult.
The short walk from his parents’ home to his own was up the city’s main roads, not through the side alleys with their inhospitable residents. And nowhere near the lawless low-ground, where drink was cheap and life even cheaper.
The route he’d taken was firmly in the mid-ground, near the heart of the city, and packed on both sides with homes and shops. Inns and drinking-houses.
It was also quiet. And empty.
An unnerving silence had settled over the wide road minutes ago, as its residents hurried into homes and alleys. Out of sight. An upstairs shutter clattered as it was pulled closed. A low drone of conversation barely filtered from the open window of an unusually subdued tavern. The silence, poisoning the air with anxiety, meant only one thing.
Damien held to the right side of the road, in the shadows. He’d be damned before he ran from a bloody high-grounder.
A wild laugh echoed from up ahead, and Damien could just see the outline of two gentlemen walking indolently down the center of the street, their heavy capes silhouetted by the faint moonlight.
A low curse caught his attention.
Stopping to glance back, he saw a woman fumbling with her key, hand visibly trembling.
Gods damn it.
“Excuse me,” he said quietly, walking back towards her.
She looked up, startled, but waved a dismissive hand at him.