This forms part of my NaNoWriMo novel. For full details, follow the story from the start on Mistress Moon
Tanissa slid into her creamy silken bedsheets uncomfortably. Although she had just bathed, been extensively massaged and the sweet music of her musicians still lingering as they walked down the hallways, she was uncomfortable, prickly and twitchy.
She threw one of her overstuffed pillows onto the floor and punched the other down. The direction of the council, their decisions and their thoughts made her increasingly uncomfortable. She was unsure as to why – something had changed and she was afraid that it was her.
Tanissa drifted off to an uneasy sleep and felt her limbs sink into the soft bed. The sheets crept up over her arms and silkily slid over her bare thighs caressing her stomack.The soft bed closed in over the top of her and she could hardly breath; the air slowly being crushed out of her frame.
Xanths bloated red face appeared above her head; her eyes bulging and mouth opening like a goldfish, gasping for air
A snatch of fresh air blew over her face and a drip of water melted on her parched lips.
A voice booming in her ear – "The prophesies of your childhood are to come to play soon. beware of the one to bring balance."
The sheets smothered her, closing in around her face, pinning her to the bed as she fought free herself.
A wet cloth sponged her face as she flung her arms up and knocked the bowl of water from Keiles hands. Shur held her shoulders and was shaking her, his usually dispassionate face creased in concern.
Tanissa sat up and rubbed her hands through her long tangled hair. It was the same dream. The words were always altered but had the same meaning each time.
Damn the Sisters and Damn the Prophesy. She had never asked to be part of it
“Bring me my Dark green outfit Keile.”
She held her hand of for Shurs support and pulled herself to a standing position.
“You dealt with Xanth in an appropriate manner Shur?”
A shadow of surprise flittered past his face, but he quickly disguised it, bowing his head slightly, “Yes Lady. She is at peace with the Goddess now.”
“I saw her, in my dream, she spoke to me.” Tanissa said distractedly.
Shur remained aloof and silent.
“You strangled her then.”
Shur bowed hi s head once again. “Your powers constantly amaze me Lady.”
“Please Shur, of all people, don’t you pander to me. I have no powers - that is a Sisterhood thing and certainly nothing to do with me.”
Tanissa shrugged on her dark green jacket and pulled the pants up her slender legs.
“I need to clear my head. Keile – summon a confider from the Palace. With the First Blooded Ceremonies about to start, there will be many visiting Sisters within the grounds. Don’t hurry, but arrange for her to have breakfast here and then come and get me. I need a cleanse.”
“Shur” Tanssa said without turning, “bring my leather. The time for being pleasant is over.”
Tanissa made her way down into the lower parts of her villa, allowing Shur to light any lanterns needed along the way.
She unlocked the huge padlock securing a heavy wooden door and creaked it open. She strode in without waiting for Shur to light the way and kicked the prone body on the floor.
“Get up you miserable worm”
He screamed in both pain from the surprise attack, but also in agony from the bands of servitudes pulsing vibrations coursing through his body.
Shur handed her one of her leather thongs and she whipped it in a blindingly quick arc, landing on the prisoners unprotected flank.
“Show me this male dominance!” She screamed; whipping him again.
“Mistress men do not possess that ability” he cried piteously.
She swung round him, wrapping her leather thong tightly round his throat. The knots dug into his arteries as she twisted it rigidly.
Tanissa brought her lips close to his ear, hissing, “You men are nothing. The Oracle lies, The Prophesy is a fantasy. Men never ruled women and never will.”
His arms flailed helplessly as he gasped and gurgled for air. Tanissa brought her knee into the small of his back and arched his body backwards, pulling the thong even more tightly as she went.
Tanissa lowered his body onto the floor and whispered into his ear, “You tell the Holy Ones when you see them, they are responsible for your death, filling mens ears with lies and deceptions.” Expertly, she hitched the thong quickly to one side and smiled as she heard the resounding crack from his neck.
A final croak and shudder and he lay still. As his body relaxed, warm fluid melted from under him and the air became acrid with the smell of urine.
Shur stood in the doorway with a flaming lantern, holding a selection of leather goods; his face as always, unreadable.
The bands around the prisoners wrists gave a hiss and opened slowly. Tanissa bent down and picked them up and handed them to Shur. Have these returned to the Empress. With the new Chosen Ship landing shortly, she will need these. Dispose of the body in the usual manner.
“It will be done”,Shur thumped his chest in salute.
“Oh and Shur,when you have finished come to my room. I will need your bodys warmth after the Confider has left. Those sessions always leave me shaking.”