Friday Flash Fiction – Unity

Friday Flash Fiction



To save her city, save her people, Alena Petrova Dubov, Imperial Princess of the Rodin must submit to the coronation ritual. All right, she has to admit, it isn’t exactly a tortured rite. After all, what other ruler ascends the throne by enjoying two men bred for her personal pleasure?


It’s 18+ so I’m putting it in after the jump. You have been warned…;-)

Continue reading “Friday Flash Fiction – Unity”

Friday Flash Fiction – Lost Gods

Hobbits got in the way of flashing this Friday, lol, so here’s a snippet from the latest wip being prepped for submission. Oh and there’s a naughty word in the mix. You have been warned…

Lost Gods
(c) 2008 Kim Knox

“And we have about thirty minutes of air.”

“Yes.” He unstrapped from the chair and climbed down. Gripping the ladder, he balanced on the exposed struts of the floor. “Or maybe less. Can you hear hissing?”

I held down a groan. Yes, I could. “How inept are we?”

“I refuse to answer questions that may incriminate me.”

My lips pressed down on a grin. The man was crazy… and some part of me liked that. I was obviously as insane as he was. Humour left me as I realised what we had to do next. “The only option left is the Sky Rail.”

“I know.” He grabbed his jacket and shrugged into it. “So you get to be the one with the insane idea this time.”

“It’s not accessible from here is it?” His wry sideways glance told me everything. I expelled a slow breath. “No, of course it’s not.” I pulled the straps free and edged across the thin supporting struts. The air grew warm and the first trickle of sweat ran from my brow. Yes, there was definitely less than thirty minutes of air left. “How the hell did I get myself into his situation? I was happy in my tube, no cares, no worries, no running out of oxygen. Lovely.”

James snorted. “I’m sure that’s what you want me to believe.”

“Can we not have the ‘I set you up’ moan again, please? Losing oxygen? Drones? Maybe a working Sky Rail? We have other priorities.” Standing at the sealed door, I the shuddering of the surrounding metal ran though my bones. Something battered the outer walls. “They’re breaking in.”

I could only state the obvious. My brain had tipped into meltdown. In a way, James was right, too many things were going wrong. It did look deliberate. “There’ll be no air once we open this door.” A laugh broke from me, strained, edged with panic. “Though that probably won’t matter too much, as the drones will cut us down in seconds.”

“Relax.” James dropped heavy hands on my shoulders and their warmth bled through the fabric of my suit. “Relax and when I tell you, breathe out as much as you can. This platform is fixed to Deimos’ southern pole. The Sky Rail terminal is across the corridor. I’ll deal with the drones, you concentrate on getting the door open. It’s a DNA entry system.”

I stared up at him, not wanting to admit that his touch had calmed me. “There’s air in the terminal?”


“And you know this how?”

“Katya…” He leaned in close and his breath stirred my skin. “We need each other to stay alive.” I caught his sinful smile from the corner of my eye and it had heat pooling low in my belly, my flesh growing tight with fresh need. “And I still have to have my revenge.”

Arousal fought with fear, my nipples pushing hard against the soft fabric of my suit. Damn, this man made me crazy.

His hands slid down my arms, his light touch teasing. Yes, his monster had slid back into the shadows again. “Are you ready?” I nodded. The door shuddered and the lights surged lower. “Just in time.
Breathe out.”

“But it’s a vacuum, we’ll only have about—“

“We have a different design. Trust me.”

“About as far as I can throw you.”

“Very sensible. Now breathe out.”

I exhaled until my chest ached. I was trusting him. Something had pumped the air out of the rest of mining platform, but to breathe in as I entered a vacuum—my memory kicked in—would rupture my lungs. I had about fifteen seconds before my lungs started to pull oxygen out of my blood and I passed out.

James looked at me. I nodded. Then he opened the door.

Friday Flash Fiction – The Wait

I wrote 4k on my Nocturne Bite yesterday and I’m steaming ahead this morning…so it’s just a quickie today *grin*

The Wait
(c)2008 Kim Knox

I must wait.

My long vision focused up into dull silver sky. A carrion bird cut its wings through the air, the splatter of blood still rich and red on its hooked beak. Beads of scent drifted on a cool breeze and I fought the tantalising copper tang of animal blood, denied its magic on my body.

I must wait for Maro. My skin crawled with the consequences of disobeying him.

I pulled at a long grass stalk and slid my thumbnail down its length, feeling the outer skin split and the cold juices spill on to my skin. It calmed me. As it had always done.

I am… no was… a member of the Imperial Guard. The Guard was an elite force; turned, twisted by Sorcery into an army that held the Lands together. But that was long ago. Several mortal lifetimes, I think. The Guard never needed much of a memory. It was a blessing.

Because of this, I don’t remember how the Empire fell apart. I know that I fought. My memory is a haze of red, thick with the power of blood. Then Maro had charge of me. I try not to think of him as my master… but that’s difficult. He was my Commander before the Fall; given more brains, more self control.

I’m a grunt. Designed to obey.

And so I must wait.

Friday Flash Fiction: Enemy


(c) 2008 Kim Knox

The sun had not yet risen on a winter day and the cold, dank air chilled me to the bone. The smell of rotten potatoes, of the damp thatch on the roofs of the tumble of houses worked their way up my nose. I ignored them. The narrow alley, grey-brown like the rest of the stinking City twisted away into the distance.

The slither of a rat’s foot over the fungal floor made me twitch. Taking a calming breath, I stopped just outside the circle of weak yellow light cast by the single torch. The solid wooden door lay thick with bolts. New iron gleamed, no rust spots on the inch thick padlock.

I scratched a hand through unwashed hair stared at the dirt that smeared the pale skin of my fingers. My bones ached. I leaned back against the wet stone and shivered as the water seeped through the hole worn through my leather armour, through the rip in my once-white shirt. My own breathing rasped and fogged the air.

He was behind that door.

I twisted the gold earring, feeling the cold metal push through the flap of skin. A symbol of who I used to be. I winced against the sudden pain as the gold dug deep into the skin. My fingers came away darkened with blood. I let out a slow breath. I had to stay calm if I was to finish what I’d started.

My spine straightened and I pushed myself away from the wall. I was…had been…a Commander in the Imperial Guard. Now I was just a hired sword, working a city I hated. But it got me closer to him. He wouldn’t recognise me now, not with the scar that lined my jaw; a savage run of tissue, silver against white skin.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have skulked around a little known back door waiting for him to appear. I, my family, had been important, respected. Until I made the mistake of bringing into my circle a man I thought I knew. I know I was besotted. He had a pretty face and a mind that could twist and turn to make me laugh.

My family—we were Council Members, high ranking Civil Servants, Captains. A tight group, wealthy and moderately powerful. And I destroyed that. My eyes narrowed on the silent, bolted door.

I had help.

Marton’s clever words turned one family member against the other. The Court was a dangerous place to work, we all knew that, and rumour lost fortunes, cost lives. He took My family money and little by little robbed us of our name. Until even I, just a soldier, couldn’t ignore it.

What made my gut burn is that I didn’t know; that I turned to him to try to find help. Family’s always carried vendettas; it was accepted. But I was the chink, the simple, simple Guard.

I had to resign my commission as my family found further disgrace in the supposed embezzlement of Imperial Funds. Now we were scattered. My parents hid somewhere in the north on a plot of land hidden from the bailiffs. My brother and cousins wandered in the eastern desert. And me? I still haunted the City, living hand to mouth, working for any lowlife whose loose tongue could tell me of the man I sort.

He used me to worm his way into the heart of my family. I never thought that I was so gullible, but I didn’t see the workings of his mind. The evidence came later, after. Through him, I found myself in a stinking alley waiting for him to appear, fresh from the latest scheme.

It had been almost a year. I believed I was close.

The door opened, a slow, groan of shifting metal in the silence of the pre-dawn air. More light seeped out, brightening the yellowed glow.

My body tensed. The short sword slipped into my hand, fingers tightening around the worn hilt. A relic from my time as part of the Imperial Guard…a professional’s weapon. Years of training made my movements cat-silent, using the deepened shadows beyond the light to hide me.

My heart lodged in my throat. Finally, I was here. The scene I had rehearsed over and over in my head would soon happen.

There’d be no gloating, no shouting his name. He was a fine soldier and he’d have bodyguards. I’d stab the blade deep into his chest. Perhaps his eyes would stare, perhaps even recognise the woman he’d destroyed. If he did, that would be a bonus.

I wanted him dead. Dead for my mother, my father, for my grandfather who had died of the shame of his disgrace. For myself.

Blood pushed faster through my veins as I edged to the open doorway. A man, dressed in a black— No, not him. I let out a tight breath. He stood in the light, blond hair glowing in the guttering torch light. A burly bodyguard his hand on the jewelled-pommel of a sword. His dark eyes scanned the darkness assessing the threat

And then he was there.


My heart lurched. Still the same face that I had cursed every night. Sandy hair in that untidy mop with his tall, lean fighter’s frame. The same pale blue eyes, one’s that I’d thought so clever. My stupid emotions hid their coldness and calculation.

“All clear—“

“Not quite.” The tip of my blade grazed the bodyguard’s neck. “Is Marton paying you enough? Enough to die?” I saw fear in his dark gaze. And then he was gone; escaping into the shadows. “Obviously not.”


That surprised me. Marton remembered. I held those pale eyes and saw something else I didn’t expect. Want. And… love…? I ignored the burst of memory. Those feelings had burned to ash a year ago. They had.

He took a single step forward. “Why did you leave me?”

Fingers tightened around my sword hilt. I had to remember that the man couldn’t be trusted; that he had destroyed my life, my family. “Leave you?” I barked the words. “Because of you, my family was disgraced…slaughtered.”

“Milla…” The voice that could slip over my skin like honey. Involuntarily, I backed away, my blade lifting. He would not weave his magic around me a second time. “I tried to warn you.” He scratched fingers through his loose hair and let out a ragged breath. “But my life just erupted. Soldiers. People I thought were friends turning away; or worse blackening my name.” His eyes held mine, almost entreating. “And you were gone.”

Lies. More of his lies.

“I searched for you. I gave up all hope of ever seeing you again.” His fingertips stroked along the edge of my jaw; tracing the run of scar tissue. “So much pain,” he murmured. The brush of his palm against my cheek. “When we could’ve been together.”

To melt into that touch; let the pain of the year ease away… Tempting. So very tempting. His scent wove again through my senses and with it came the remembered taste of him. My eyes closed. And I let Marton underestimate me. “Together?”

“Always,” he said. His voice softened and his body slid closer, bringing back too many images. Ones I had denied. “The way it was meant to be.”

He thought I was still the love-clouded idiot he had gulled so many months before. “Meant to be.”

Marton’s fingers edged over my body, my spine, so slowly… And I almost smiled. A faint clink. Something the manufacturers had never been able to disguise.

He staggered away. My short sword slithered out of the hole in his gut. He stared at hands covered in is own blood. The thin blade, triggered by the movement of his wrist still jutted out over his right palm.

“You should have thought to grease the mechanism,” I said, watching as his knees buckled and he crumpled to the wet-cobbled floor.

“I did search for you, Milla.” He coughed out a spray of blood with a harsh laugh. “I almost stopped…all of it. For you.”


“I loved you. But I knew you’d kill me.”

I wanted to laugh, but the man sickened me. Weaving his lies to the end. “You were about to stab a hole in my back!”

“Damn it, Milla I was scared.” A trembling hand, scrubbed at his face. He stared again at the blood coating him. He sank back against the damp wall. The glow of light washed over his paled face. “This year’s been a nightmare. Knowing you were out there. Hunting me.” His eyes closed. “I was stupid to take the contract.”

Yes. I wanted to know just who had paid him to destroy my family. “Who hired you?”

Marton’s weak laugh had my gut tight. I didn’t feel sorry for him. I didn’t feel anything for this man. I didn’t. “Don’t worry.” His voice was fading. “Councillor Sandea paid for involving me in this mess.” His pale eyes found mine again. His breathing came shallow and more of his blood stained his mouth. “Forgive me, Milla.” Almost his last breath. “Please.”

I wanted to hate him; feel the burn of anger that had fired me for a year. But I found myself kneeling, water soaking through to the skin, watching my own hand hover over his jaw. I felt the brush of stubble under my fingertips. “I’m sorry we met, Marton.”

A smile tugged at his lips. “I’m not.”

His chest rose and fell. I watched a strange peace drift down over his face.

He was gone.

My throat ached with tears I would not cry. I cursed. But still tears burned and then slipped over my eye lashes to wet my cheeks. Marton was dead. I pressed my lips to his cool forehead and tried to tell myself that my heart hadn’t cracked. Again.

The noise of the alley, of the tumble of rooms with their golden light, penetrated my senses. I heard the low murmur of voices. “Goodbye, Marton.” And I allowed myself the last touch of his cold face before I stumbled away.

I would head for that hidden plot of land in the North. I knew nothing about farming; but the thought of feeling grey-black soil between my fingers; of watching something grow and prosper swelled threw me. I wanted to put death far behind me.

I glanced back to the body still slumped in the doorway. My Imperial sword glittered in the cast light. I pulled at my earring and crushed it under my boot heel. That part of my life was over.

Briefly, I closed my eyes.

One day the guilt might fade. I quickened my pace, running as raised voices followed me up the alley. And on that day, I could forgive us both.

Friday Flash Fiction – His Favourite

(c) 2008 Kim Knox

He stroked back my real hair with tender finger and I watched the smile curl at the corner of his wide mouth. He always called me his favourite… Again he was pleased with me.

The lids of my eyes rolled forward with a faint click, taking him from my view. The softness of the tissue paper already enclosed my clean, silken gown. I would always be his favourite.

What had I done to deserve this honoured state? I will tell you, if you don’t think it too boastful of me.

Dust-laden air rushed over me with the dying ring of the brass bell. The door to the shop slowly closed over as Mr Pitt lifted me out of my wooden box and laid me out, with care, on the polished wood of the counter.

My eyes rolled back.

I found myself staring up into the anxious, eager face of a tall, thin man. He squinted at me through thick, dirt-stained glasses, his fingers twitching to prod my joints; rub at the fine silk of my gown; pull at the careful stitching of my scalp.

“Her features are so finely carved.” He broke off his scrutiny and glanced up at Mr Pitt.

A smile inched across his narrow mouth. “She looks almost human.”

“She is very rare and precious,” said Mr. Pitt in his soft, cultured voice. “The most treasured possession in this shop.” His arm swept over the darkened interior filled with antique tables and chairs, tallboys, clocks, vases, mechanical toys who trotted through their routine, happily chopping, slicing, stabbing…

“She is beautiful,” the man murmured wistfully.

They set a price and my new owner signed the little red book.

Mr. Pitt carefully wrapped me in soft paper and replaced in my long resting box.


Eager fingers tore at the pale tissue when my box opened again. The man, Edwin Shaw, lifted me up to the stark light, his sharp, green eyes shining. I could see spittle on his lower lip.

“Perfect. Perfect,” he murmured.

He twisted me, making me see the polished cases that lined one wall of the dark-wooded study. A wide, scrape-scratched table stood in the far corner, a glaring lamp showing a dismembered creature. Her limbs littered the surface, her glass eyes staring. Fret and coping saws hung from heavy hooks, along with needles, scalpels, a chisel.

“These are your new friends,” he said, pointing a bony finger to the blank, painted faces of the dolls who sat in their individual cells. “This is Charlotte. That one is Emily. She is Victoria.”

I stared into vacant eyes trapped behind glass. My cell waited for me. Continuous searing light; no privacy; none of the cool, dark comfort of my polished, brass hinged box.

Edwin Shaw sat me behind the glass, staring at me with his yellow-green eyes. Finally, he moved to his bench. I watched him pull on thicker lenses, pushing his eyes wide and round.

The case door was easy to push open, having no lock. Carefully, I slipped out, dropping to the wooden floor on cat-silent feet. Edwin Shaw did not see me. He had eyes only for the soft, waxen head his needles pulled and stitched.

The handle of the chisel slid easily into my china hand . Silent, I climbed on to the table. Edwin Shaw’s rounded eyes blinked as he watched me glide over the rough surface toward him, silken gown softly rustling in my wake. He tried to back away. He stabbed himself in the thumb. His mouth moved incoherently.

Mr Pitt has told me that I should make a big hole in the base of the skull. Edwin Shaw had little hair and the bones were helpfully prominent.

The chisel was very sharp.
One. Two. Three. Four.

Edwin Shaw’s face lay on the table. I pulled away his eye glasses. Bright green eyes stared at me, calm and peaceful. I smiled and wiped away the redness that dribbled down his cheek.

“That’s better,” I said.

I climbed back into my wooden box. It would take me home. Mr Pitt could remove the strange, sticky redness which always coated my silken gown and spattered against my smooth wood. He would brush his thin, pale hand over me, making me shiny and new once again.


I was almost covered in my soft tissue when the brass bell rang out again. My head turned to watch an old woman pick her way through the furniture obscured by the easy darkness of the shop.

A sharp smile stretched her wrinkled face. “What a beautiful doll,” she said.

I am Lamia. His favourite.

Friday Flash: Weaving Words

(c) Kim Knox
An unedited excerpt from Weaving Words – coming soon from Samhain Publishing

Kaede moved close again. They only had a short time now before Tarou would want to return to the Lodge. “What is your real name?”

Annaliese dug her hand into her side, twisting against the tight pull of the final belt. “How did she wear this bloody thing?”

Kaede scrubbed at his face. “Damn it, lady, if this mistake is found out, both of us are dead.”

“Yes, I thought that was probable.” She straightened and pushed her hair from her eyes, grimacing as the ornate curls of thin gold caught on her fingers. “I only know that my name is Vara. Nothing else.” She gave him a short smile. “I remember a tower, snow,” she stared down at her shimmering robe, “and a leather cuirass.” Vara… turned over her hand, stretching her palm. Her brow furrowed. “I should have sword calluses.”

“You’re a soldier.” He waved at her, at her clothes, her hair. “Are you… erm… female?”

Vara gave a soft laugh. “Are you worried, Witch Kaede?” Her gaze slid down to his breeches and he stopped his hands moving to cover himself. The soft scent of her camomile perfume wrapped around him. His penis twitched and he held down a curse. “I can’t pretend that I didn’t notice your reaction to this body. Were you and she…?”

Kaede shook his head and tried not to notice the glitter of gold edging her cheek, the way it sparked in her wicked eyes. “No.” He straightened. His lack of control made no sense. Annaliese Gaute had married his lord five years before and she had never once affected him. “And this is inappropriate.”

“Really?” Her warm breath brushed his neck, her tongue-tip tracing along the underside of his jaw. He hissed and stumbled back from her. She grinned at him. “I’d call that inappropriate.”

They were dead. Tarou would take one look at his smirking wife, demand a sword from his guard and slice her head off himself. His lord would save the Seven Words for him. “You were brought back for a reason.” Kaede forced his mind to focus and push from his thoughts the need to have this new Annaliese hard up against the cavern wall, showing her how inappropriate he could be. Even with Tarou standing only yards away. “And I don’t know what that is. I have my books, I’ll try find out more about what… you… were trying to do. Why he’s risking resurrection.”

“Yes, he,” she nodded to towards the lake, “doesn’t seem the doting husband.”

Kaede couldn’t look back, afraid of what she would do if he turned his back on her. “He’s not.”

“We have a problem.” She hitched her belt around her waist and smoothed back her robe. “I’m ready to go, Kaede, it’ll look suspicious if we delay too long.”

He blinked. She was being sensible now? “Witch, just call me witch,” he muttered.

“Witch…” The drawled word flushed his face and he held down the surge of fear. Vara’s red mouth twitched upward and the wicked spark returned to her gaze. She stood back from him and her chin lifted. “Aren’t you going to ask me if I’m a woman again?”

Kaede bit back a curse. They weren’t going to live to see the night.

Friday Flash Fiction

I’m joining in Maura Anderson’s Friday Flash Fiction
Wordpress won’t let me add linkies…so I’ll add you from your comment links *grin*

(c) Kim Knox

“Which one?”

“How the hell should I know?”

“Maybe because it’s your stupid face pressed up against them?”

“Insults now?”

“Given the situation, it seems appropriate.”

Jake let out a slow breath. “Fine.”

His cheek dragged against the rough stone until he was staring at the row of carved symbols cut into the face of the rock. They still made no sense.

“Can you hurry?”

He held back a curse. “Just hold on.”

“Easier said,” Anna muttered.

Jake forced his gaze away from the wall and stared up into the darkness. The rope snaked down, thin and strained. In the silence of the cave, its stretching groans had his already white knuckles tightening their grip. He twisted his body, trying to support Anna.

Her face had flushed and she had her eyes crushed shut. Words grated out. “I should have done it…”

“You know, that isn’t helping right now—”

“… but you have to think you’re the one. The only one that can solve this. And now we’re hanging from a rope, in a cave with a thousand foot drop.”

“It’s an illusion, Anna. Just…”

“No. Just press the bloody symbols.” She glared at him. “Or I will.”

Anger fired his gut. “We decided—”

“You decided.”



In one slam, her hand impacted the wall.

“You stupid—”



Until the rope vanished.