Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"You have found the Hall of the Headsmen..."

Anishkar stroked the feline head that crowned his staff. He gazed at the shrouded figure before him, who knelt because of the spear against his back. Another prisoner hung its head, chafing its chin on the iron collar around its neck.

"You have found the Hall of the Headsmen, but I do not think it is to join us, as your friend says," the priest told the two.

"You are correct," the bald man on the ground confessed.

"Why do you come, One-Who-Cannot-Lie?" Anishkar asked.

The prisoner raised his head. Despite the bruising around his eyes, the priest noted how black they were, flecked with silver. "How do you know what I am?"

The priest leaned forward over his staff, staring into the prisoner's eyes. "The eyes tell everything about a creature. Yours betray honesty, while your friends are filled with lies."

Tenet picked up on the emphasis in the man's words. He glanced around the cut stone throne room and noted the moss in the grooves. His wool cloak kept most of the chill of the air from his body. He shifted his gaze to the amethyst eyes inset into the black jaguar figurine. They glowed with an otherworldly light that hinted to ageless intensity. An intensity matched by the insatiable hunger in the priest's eyes. An intensity Tenet knew too well.

Tenet spoke, "So it is true."

Anishkar tilted his head, "What do you deem to be true?"

"You are among those who have taken a taste for Fallen flesh, and I am right to have come," Tenet answered.

With a sleight gesture, the spear that was behind Tenet was in his hands and he leaped at the priest. His partner took the signal and emitted a soul-piercing shriek at her guard, who crumpled into death's embrace. Anishkar had seen all of this.

Anishkar the Headhunter came prepared.

Story and Characters: (c)/by Corey Blankenship, Tenet (c) Brannon Hollingsworth


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