Here Be Monsters - an Anthology of Monster Tales

Here Be Monsters - an Anthology of Monster Tales by India Drummond, S M Reine, Jeremy C. Shipp, M. T. Murphy, Sara Reinke, Samantha Anderson, Anabel Portillo, Ian Sharman, Jose Manuel Portillo Barientos, Alissa Rindels Read Free Book Online

Book: Here Be Monsters - an Anthology of Monster Tales by India Drummond, S M Reine, Jeremy C. Shipp, M. T. Murphy, Sara Reinke, Samantha Anderson, Anabel Portillo, Ian Sharman, Jose Manuel Portillo Barientos, Alissa Rindels Read Free Book Online
Authors: India Drummond, S M Reine, Jeremy C. Shipp, M. T. Murphy, Sara Reinke, Samantha Anderson, Anabel Portillo, Ian Sharman, Jose Manuel Portillo Barientos, Alissa Rindels
Tags: Horror
Unlike any other work he’d completed before, this was like molten fire, like the birth of a universe. No adornments or glaze was required. It was breathtaking to behold.
    He cast the enchantment to hold the globe in the air, and stepped around his table. He had no idea what time of day or night it was, nor did he care. The warchief would not mind being interrupted for this.
    Propelling it ahead of him through the air as he walked, Krel made his way up into the house and down to the streets. Pride swelled as he heard the gasps from the few passers-by. The word must have gone out ahead of him, but he didn’t hurry. He kept his eye on the orb, and others formed a procession with him, escorting him to the stronghold’s audience chamber.
    His growing exhaustion loomed as he placed it high above the fire, and a murmur spread all around him. There must have been a crowd of at least a hundred there now. Only once the piece was mounted in its place of honour did Krel meet the eyes of the warchief. The clan leader stood and inclined his head to Krel, slowly placing his fist over his heart. “I told you it would be magnificent,” he said, and the crowd cheered.
    There would be a feast in his honour, he vaguely heard the clan leader proclaim. Now that he’d released the orb, the price of such magic took its toll, and Krel staggered back. Someone, he wasn’t certain who, escorted him away from the stronghold and to his own front door. He was in a daze. Tired, but happy, and so proud. Only the moment of Ruygret’s birth had ever made him feel so complete. She was his heart, as he so often told her.
    He reflected that he would have to find a way to make this up to her. He should speak to her now, before he did anything else. He owed her at least that. Hyug met him in the entryway. “Where is Ruygret?” Krel said. “I need to talk to her right away.”
    “Krel,” Hyug began. “She left two days ago. I came to your workshop and told you, remember?”
    “What?” Krel thought back. Of course he didn’t remember. Everyone knew he couldn’t think about anything else while he was working.
    “She left for the homelands. She said to tell you she was going to live with your wife’s sister until she got settled.”
    Krel looked up sharply. “She’s gone?”
    Hyug looked down. “The convoy she travelled with was attacked by a wild pack of humans, hundreds of them. I was told she fought bravely.” He hesitated, his voice strangely quiet. “They brought her back this morning.”
    For a moment, hope threatened to break through. “Where is she?”
    “Krel, you don’t want to see her like this.” He stood in respectful silence a moment before adding, “Don’t worry about the details. I’ll arrange the rites. She will have a magnificent procession into the afterlife.”
    Krel staggered away, not hearing anything more. “My beautiful Ruygret,” he wailed.
    With tumbling steps he made his way down to his private gallery, which was situated just across from his workroom. The many orbs around him vibrated, as though shaking with the grief that washed over him.
    Why? Why his Ruygret? Over a human? Was his crime so severe that he deserved to lose his only child? Yes, he’d wronged her, but he could have made it up to her, if only she’d given him the chance. She’d told him many times he was obsessed with his work, but it was only because she couldn’t see what he did. If only she would see his point of view for once.
    He sank to the ground, sitting on the cold stone, surrounded by his creations. “My heart,” he said to the air. “Ruygret, my heart is gone.” He slumped, and something within him broke.
    His race did not have the same kind of soul humans did. They were not so simple as the weak, pink creatures. They could not be confined to an orb of conjured glass to decorate the walls of a conquering race. Krel’s last words were an enchantment. Like a human without a soul, one of his kind without a heart could have no

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