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Presented by State Library Victoria

Trading in Blood and Bones (NaNoWriMo 2018) - Snippet

Once again, I advise that anyone below the age of 15 click out of this page or take extreme caution due to the mature themes present. I cannot force you to do so, but I will warn you, and that is all I can do. Please heed my advice.


“So, did you really want to talk to me, or did you just want to get away from Balena?”

His bluntness caused Adi-Shamesh to splutter delightfully. He giggled. “It’s fine, I promise I won’t tell Balena anything you might tell me on this dance floor, I was aching to get away myself.”

“Well, I was kind of hoping to talk with you in privacy,” Adi-Shamesh said awkwardly, “But I’m getting the feeling that that was a bad idea,”

“What gave that away?” He retorted drily, then softened the blow with another feminine giggle that scandalised a passing older couple. Lucas peeked around Adi-Shamesh’s bulk as they twirled around again and smothered another giggle when he spotted that same couple still frowning at the two of them.

At the next rotation, Adi-Shamesh looked in the same direction over his head — damn his shortness — and a chuckled slipped out before his new handler could entirely supress it.

“Come on,” Lucas finally said, once they finished with their respective laughter, “this way,” he tugged Adi-Shamesh in the direction of a small room, just to the left of the main entrance.

Lucas pulls a fan out from beneath a sleeve and hides his lower face beneath it. “So?”

Ad-Shamesh seems to sense his mood and turns serious. “I want to do well, both as your new handler and as a member of the Balena Famiglia. I want to get along with you. I want you to be able to come to me if you ever need it. So, I want you to know that I will never hold anything against you, this I swear on my Patron God.”

Lucas is lucky he has his fan out, otherwise his opened mouth and jaw slack with sirprise would have been all too obvious. “I– I thank you most profusely,” his voice comes out weaker than he expected, even as he descends into a full-body prostration.

Adi-Shamesh is quick to pull him up off of the floor. “There is no need for that!” his handler hisses in shock and… outrage? Lucas is hesitant to put a label on that strange emotion.

He puts it out of mind.

Adi-Shamesh grabs his hand, and Lucas jerks back on pure, instinctual reflex, near-overcome by the visceral impulse to slaughter the man. For a brief moment, he had wanted to run his hands over his handler’s lungs, had wanted to hold the man’s heart in his hands, wanted to string up intestines like a bloody garland.

“Adrian?” his handler asked, “Are you okay?” Concerned, Lucas read off of raised but frowning eyebrows, and the downwards crinkle of the eyes.

“Fine,” he said shortly. Then, worried about future incidents with what was already looking to be his best handler so far, “Just don’t touch me unless you absolutely have to,”

“No touching,” Adi-Shamesh repeated, “Got that.”

They stood there awkwardly for a moment there, before his handler asked, tentatively with rounded shoulders and hands in pant pockets, “Is there anything you wanted to say, while we still have this privacy?”

Lucas contemplated the man for a moment. “Swear not to tell anybody about this, not even Balena?”

Adi-Shamesh turned serious and resolute. His wide shoulders firmed and his back straightened. “I Swear,”

Lucas closed his eyes and sent a questioning probe to the back of his mind, deeper than he normally even ventured.

A warm wave of acceptance answered him.

He took a mental step nack, then, in the space between one moment and the next–

Setsuna blinked at the moral before her. He was a man of a spirit-shade’s unknown, forever forgotten features, barring the shoulders, broad enough to carry the sky, and his eyes, as golden as the light of the sun itself. He tensed as he noticed the change but did not move forward or place a hand on his weapons.

An elegant, smooth flick of her wrists brings Lucas’ discarded fan to bear. “I am Setsuna of the Shinigami, known as Heart Taker, guardian of the sacred souls. I am the child of Death, borne of the Wishes, sixth of twelve,” she introduces herself, like she has never before, not even to her most beloved host, Lucas of the Angel’s Name. She bows deeply, to the mortal who will hold her Lucas’ ball and chain.

1 comment


Amazing. Make sure you reply with the full story!

10th Jan, 19