The Queens Knights

The body has already gone cold.

The three girls arrive before the twisted figure, his body contorted into an unnatural position. Joints broken, limbs bent, and an expression of pure terror frozen on his once-handsome face. A trail of blood trickles from his severed jaw, and more flows from a cloak once white, now stained with his last moments. An icy chill permeates the air, and the girls' breaths draw taut by the gruesome state of his body. They expected it, but can never be fully prepared.

"He was here", Viktoria whispers, her voice giving out. She looks down noticing the blood she stands on and takes a step back.

“Who is he?” Kaya asks, placing a gloved hand to the man’s coat. She tears it off, revealing the full extent of his injuries.

His heart has been ripped out, leaving a hollow hole overflowed with blood and fluids. Just like the others.

“James Benson, father of the lady who sent the letter” Eva reads. She uses her journal like a shield, obscuring her view from the body. “She reported the usual. Paranoid behaviors, frequent disappearances, signs of distress.”

“So what is this, the fifth body? We still have no clue who’s doing this or why in the spirits names they’re ripping hearts out!” Kaya exasperates. When the queen sent her three favorite knights to catch the killer, it was Kaya who was placed under the greatest stakes. Find a killer and free another. Her sister; better know as the noble killer. Not because she was noble, but because of all the gentry she seduced and killed over her time in the castle.

“We don’t know who they are, but we have come closer to an understanding than three months ago” Viktoria says. “We knows he’s male based on witness descriptions. We even got a boy to make a drawing—“

“That was a crappy drawing.”

Viktoria lips roll tight against her teeth, picturing the drawing of a cloaked figure. It could have easily been one of them. “A drawing nevertheless. But most importantly, we know he uses shadow magic to get away.”

They all look down, indeed finding no shadow following them. It will only be like this for a few hours here, but it’s still unsettling.

Eva sets her journal back in the satchel, still refusing to look at the body. Kaya and Viktoria were knights, and though Eva had the title she was only the queens handmaiden. And niece.

“So are you going to do something, or just stand there princess?” Kaya seethes.

Eva shoots her a daring look. “I’m no princess. But if I were, I would have advised the queen to have never sent you with us.”

Kaya takes a step forward with white knuckles, then pauses. “There’s something on the ground” she says. It could easily be a shiny rock with her eyesight, but the killer has a thing for leaving messages. And though she pretends not to notice for all their sakes, she sees the way Viktoria flinches every time.

Viktoria bends down and picks up a little white lamb, the type that kids use while playing Jeva. The game is simple; throw the piece and see what square it lands in. Depending on the square you land in, you are given a certain amount of chances to use your piece and knock the other off the board. If you mess up and throw yourself off, you lose.

She hated using the white lamb as a child, since the one who played the wolf always had the ability to knock her off the board easily. The lamb was too light and unbalanced, while the wolf was heavy with a flat bottom. So her brother always let her use the wolf, and he used the sheep. Still, she always lost.

“Does this mean anything to you?” Eva asks when she stares at it to long.

Viktoria attempts to seem casual as she pockets the piece in her trousers. Only a handful of people would know about the sheep—one being her brother, and she won’t utter a word until she was sure of everything. “No, not at all.”

“Good. Let’s keep things that way.” Kaya swabs the mans blood from the slash on his chest to send back to the mages. “Guards will be here for his body by sundown. Let’s get going before another body appears.”

The three shadowless girls mount their horses, leaving yet another body with more questions.

Comments 0