The Seven Jewels

by Rev. Joe Kelly
read from the beginning

part twelve.

He swung outside and made his way swiftly across a ledge he had used many a time to evade Alruf. He had almost reached the corner when he heard Delcarta scream at him from her window: “You bastard!”

He turned back, and his grin vanished. She was leaning out the window, the fear in her eyes tempered by indignity and seething hatred. “Bastard!” she repeated. “You leave me here to die, bitten by those things–you’re no better than he was!”

And again, Luo felt a terrible pang of sympathy, and of guilt as well. No matter how base and double-dealing she was, he couldn’t do this too her. It was far too cruel.

He shuffled rapidly back, and in a moment he had hoisted her out the window and held her about the waist by one powerful arm.

She breathed her relief, and caressed his face with her cheek. “Oh, Luo… I’m sorry… I’m so sorry… I don’t deserve this–”

He pulled her back. Alarm grew in her eyes as she saw his stony expression.

He nodded. “You’re right. You don’t.”

She shook her head furiously. “No–no, I–”

And then he let her go.

Her scream sounded down the whole street as she fell. It was interrupted by a loud splash as she landed in the deep latrine pit back-first.

Luo laughed wildly as she thrashed about in the sewage and hurled curses up at him, as she invoked the wrath of every god and demon she could name. He laughed, as he swung up onto a roof, and raced off into the night, with all the curses known to man and demon following him.

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