GENRE: YA - Fantasy
I crouched at the nobleman’s bedside, soaking up his blood with my riding hood. I didn’t look at his face. I couldn’t. It made me think too much about what I’d done. But with my hood drying out, I needed his blood if I wanted to survive the next few weeks. Suffice to say, I didn’t want to die.
I finished, then wiped my iron daggers on the already dry hood, replaced them at my hip, and tied the hood back around my neck. It settled around my shoulders like a warm embrace, not that I really remembered what that felt like. Blood dripped from the bed, mixing with the orange dust beneath my iron-soled boots. Even in a nobleman’s bedroom, the dust followed.
My hood hummed, sending energy coursing through my tired muscles as the ever-present knot in my chest tightened. I hated this too – fighting against enjoying the feeling, but loving it anyways. The curse of being a Redcap, the King had told me when he offered me a position as a member of The Pack. At least this way I could use it for something good, for protecting my kingdom, even if it did hate me.
I have to do this. I have no choice. I’d told myself the same thing so many times I’d lost count.
You should just let yourself die, countered another voice. The one I tried and failed to keep sealed in the pits of my mind. Let the hood dry out. Let yourself die.