Sorry about the delay, I blame exams and writers block and the Goldenlake Drabble Tournament.

Also thanks to my new beta reader Sarcastic Rabbit. Hopefully I'll get more writing done this summer. Enjoy

Disclaimer: If I were Tamora Pierce this would be published


It was hard to accept death, Benek knew that. His wife had died years ago. Family and friends passed away as he grew older. People treated him as though he were dead when he stayed with Sarra instead of casting her out.

Not that there was anything wrong with the way they lived: he had a wonderful granddaughter. She was talented, and Benek knew she would be great if she could manage to get out of their village and find a new home. He now understood what was special about her, although the price of that knowledge was his death. The Black God's realm was actually very nice: he got to see his family and friends again, even if he missed Daine.

The Cowled God dropped Benek in a forest. The snow piled up to his thighs but the old man walked with ease, as if the snow didn't exist. The village in front of him was familiar. It was where he had grown up and died. Every building was exactly where he had seen it last. Some of the houses had a new coat of paint and small children playing outside who hadn't been born during his lifetime.

Benek turned to go home but the world spun. He was again in a forest, instead of the customary pines there were deciduous trees now bare of leaves. Instead of a small village, there was an empty road, curving upwards, unlike the village he had never seen it before. Up the hill he could see two people riding: men, guessing by their clothing.

Behind him, Benek heard a blood-curdling scream. He jumped. The two figures also looked up and, instead of running, kicked their horses into a gallop.

He could see the riders clearly now. One rode a spotted horse; he was very tall and dark in complexion. The other rider was, in fact, female and looked exactly like...

"Daine," he yelled, forgetting the danger. "I'm over here. Daine!" His words were carried off by the wind as his granddaughter pulled back her bow and loosed an arrow.

Her companion's hands glowed black and silver with fire, and the bolts he shot killed the spider-like creatures immediately.

Benek's mind froze as he recognized the creatures: spidrens. They reared and kept on coming. One particular female threw a thin wire of silk at Daine, it hissed as it flew through the air. Benek reached out to grab the silk but it flew through his hand, inches from her face it was engulfed in mage-fire.

Wheels turned in Benek's head as he tried to comprehend why there were spidrens in the world: creatures out of tales told to frighten children; but before he could find any lore in his memory, Daine and the man clambered out of their saddles, the man nearly falling, and went to check on the bloody corpses.

Benek followed Daine and watched as she cut the throat of a surviving spidren, efficiently killing it. She moved onto her next enemy. Before she could act, the creature spat up blood onto her hand. Daine cried out in pain, and her companion was immediately at her side, checking over her hand. The skin under the black blood was blistering and Benek could smell burning flesh. The mage dumped the contents of his water skin onto her hand and started to clean it.

Daine whimpered slightly, but the man kept a firm grip on her wrist to keep her still. The old man tried to grip her tiny hand in his as well but it passed through her as well. Leading her back to the horses, the mage started to wrap the wound in bandages. When he finished, he kissed her forehead lightly and started muttering to himself.

"Numair," Daine spoke. "Don't drain yourself; I'm not hauling you back to the nearest fief."

Numair grinned. "Nothing serious, love. Just going to burn these corpses. Then we'll go find a nice place to sleep."

The woman nodded and leaned against a spotted horse, watching calmly as the entire clearing burst into flames. Numair was obviously very powerful but gods help him if he flirted with his granddaughter.


Benek followed the pair for about an hour before they finally stopped to rest on the side of the road and eat. While Daine cleaned up, after the meal, Numair set up a bedroll.

One bedroll. This was unacceptable! Numair was much older than Daine, and the man was only setting up one bedroll. What was he thinking? If he could have, Benek would have strangled the mage and taught him a lesson about flirting with his granddaughter!

Unlike her grandfather, who was still invisibly fuming, Daine happily snuggled into Numair's bedroll and let him wrap his arms around her. He gave her a kiss on the ear before tucking her beneath his chin.

At this, Benek began to feel his body fade and leave for the next realm. He yelled at the mage with all his waning strength, "You'd better take care of her!"

Well thats all for now, I'm hoping to do Tristan Staghorn or one of the Contes next. Cheers.