#ShortStorySaturday – Keep Your Enemies Closest – Part 4

I nearly completely forgot it was Saturday today, despite doing lots of Saturday things like sleeping in and working the info desk at work… Anyway. I’m here now, that’s what’s important.

This excerpt begins slightly before last week’s finished… I’m doing this because I edited the last few lines of last week’s to work a bit better with the world-building. Where we left off, Gallivan was about to go and interrogate Mireille regarding what she was doing in their camp. To read previous parts of Keep Your Enemies Closest, visit the Short Story Saturday category. If you would like to join in, here is the SSS linky. Thanks to Ink and Papyrus for hosting us. 🙂

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“She knows how to defend herself, then,” Gallivan observed. “Strange that she didn’t try to escape during the night. She hasn’t tried using magic at all, has she?”

“No, sir,” Private Maydar replied. “She appears to prefer physical combat to magic, oddly enough. We had men on all sides of the tent, all through the night. If she’d tried to escape, she wouldn’t have gotten very far.”

“Good,” Gallivan replied, “I knew I could count on you.”

Private Maydar nodded appreciatively. “Any time, sir.”

It was odd indeed for a Trilvainian to prefer weapons or brute strength to the magical abilities they were born with, but as he entered the tent that had been built for Mireille, he supposed there must be some who were not as gifted in magic, or simply weren’t interested. Trilvain had a large population, after all; it was unlikely everyone would treat magic with the same level of reverence.

Inside the tent, he found her crouched in the far corner, her knees hugged up to her chest. In this position, she looked far more vulnerable than she had when she had been running along the beach. Her tights were a deep red, something the captain had not been able to see in the dark the night before, and the long shirt she wore was the same, with black trim around the collar and at the bottom. Her hair was thick and teased at the front. It looked like it had been tossed over her head, where it tumbled down her back.

Gallivan sat down at the entrance to the tent, giving Mireille plenty of space. He watched her hands, just in case she decided to try any magic on him. Trilvainian magic was enacted through specific hand movements; when Mireille’s arms had been restrained the night before as they escorted her back from the beach, they had not been in danger. Now, however, they were giving her many, perhaps too many, opportunities to use her powers on them.

He broke the ice by motioning to one of the sheaths on her belt, which he still had grasped in his hand. “This is a very unique item,” he said, “where did you come by it?”

“It was my mother’s,” Mireille responded. She kept her eyes on the belt the whole time, as though she was expecting that at any moment Gallivan would pocket it in its entirety and she would never see it again.

“Was your mother a spy, too?”

Mireille raised her eyes to meet his. “Yes,” she replied, her tone a little defensive. “She died in a Dodgish prison.”

“If she died in a Dodgish prison, how did you come into possession of her things?”

“She had a feeling that mission would be her last, and she gave that to me before she left. Perhaps you’ve heard of her, Captain. Her name was Ineal.”

Gallivan stiffened. It was a indeed name he recognised.

Since it is now past 10pm, I’m not going to stick around, but rather go to bed. Catch you all later! 🙂

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