The Assassin Within

Someone yelled at me to move out of the way, and I was shoved aside.

A wild scent more herb-drenched musk than pungent sweat whipped me out of my bemused state; I watched as a terrifyingly tall violet-skinned being dressed in a smart suit strode past me. A trussed and muzzled peacock was slung over one shoulder. I did not want to think about where he was headed nor what he intended to do to the peacock. He went round the corner of a curved street flanked by huge mushrooms and toadstools of many varieties, with windows and doors and signs and many other things one does not expect to see affixed to a mushroom. I could not stop staring at him. But around me there were even more impossible sights.

Unless of course, one has spent one’s childhood reading faerie tales.

The faerie who had accosted me at the Crossroads leading towards the Mykologosia had deposited me in the center of chaos.

It had taken me some time to recover from that frightful sensation of being suspended mid-air and watching fierce dragons swoop past me; my first impressions of the mushroom glade consisted of a blurred combination of colours, smells and cacophony. What was this new world I had found? I asked myself this more than once but I also knew that I had been given a second chance, of sorts. A new beginning, a new life. What was I to do with this reprieve?

The street curved, so I could not see very far into the distance.

All around me were fantastical creatures, lovely, comical, frightening and grotesque. A cheeky grey imp hung upside down from the roof of a mossy and rotting mushroom stall and made a rude face at me. I turned away and saw a large brown mushroom that resembled a plump freshly baked mushroom-shaped loaf of bread. The carved wooden sign that hung from the part of the mushroom pad that jutted over the door read `Gnomish Cassander, Bread-Merchant’.

A troop of laughing faerie children emerged, carrying loaves of bread. The fresh, yeasty smell was enough to make me hungry. My eyes followed as the children walked past a forbidding looking mushroom of dark green and black, which had a brass sign swinging in the wind, proclaiming “Jezemiah Irlinus, Dealer of Poisons, Love Philters and other Charms”. The narrow and slanting marble pillar-flanked doorway led to the darkness within. Just outside, a short goblin woman wearing a crisp white apron was busily sweeping the doorstep, the billows of dust she made causing her to cough.

I stared for a while at the pale green goblin and her shiny trousers of silver before my attention was diverted by the scowling Sidhe noble who stepped out of the doorway, dressed in cloth of gold and holding what looked to be a blackened femur in one hand. Behind him a flash of green light fractured the darkness within the doorway.

I turned away, not wanting to see more, not wanting to believe what I had seen.

All texts are the copyright of (C) Nin Harris. All Rights Reserved.

The Featured Photo is by (c) Nin Harris.

The digital art divider is also by (c) Nin Harris. All Rights Reserved.