Thursday, January 17, 2013

Persephone Grief and Arsenic Blythe: The Deal

Arsenic's punishment for for the strange happiness he'd felt at watching Duchess Sinistra die was having to resurrect her again, which meant he needed to find Leila. It wasn't hard. 
She was in her favorite graveyard, but she seemed to be meditating (or, more likely, plotting) so Arsenic didn't disturb her. Instead he watched as she whirled around, catching nothing by the wrist. Or at least, it looked like nothing.
He grabbed a thick branch and cut a slab out of it, carving the symbol for sight and holding it tightly.
A girl with shoulder-length brown hair was battling Leila, and easily defeating her. Arsenic smiled slightly. That was fine by him, but he was curious. 
He came from behind, and pointed one of his knives at her neck. "Why did you kill her? I'm not angry, but I want to know who sent you."
Persephone tried not to swallow, and looked the man directly in the eye.
"Good afternoon," she said. "My name's Persephone. What's yours?"
"Arsenic Blythe," he replied. "And you didn't answer my question."
"I was sent by the Sanctuary. Sorry about killing your girlfriend, but I needed the money," She smiled at him. "Can I go now?"
"She wasn't my girlfriend. So the Sanctuary found out?" Persephone frowned. She didn't want to say that she didn't know anything about why Nightshade needed to be killed.
"Of course," she replied. "I'm freelance really, so can I go now? I don't work for the Sanctuary, and you obviously didn't  care for her, so..."
"Not so fast. How do I know you aren't trying to kill me, too?"
"Why would I want to do that?" Persephone memorized his behavior an appearance in case someone did hire her to do it.
"I've done terrible things in my time." Arsenic lowered his knife, but did not sheath it. "I'm in too deep to turn back now, the Sanctuary would kill me as soon as look at me. If you're not here to do the job, run along. If you are, at least have the decency to admit it."
Persephone nearly turned to go, then looked back at Arsenic.
"Have you ever met someone by the name of Gustav Halt? I'm looking for him, and the Sanctuary isn't being very helpful. I can pay you, I do have some money."
Arsenic looked at her.
"Well, who do you work for? I need to find him."
Arsenic pondered. Was this his chance to do something right? "Who is this Gustav person?" 
"Ah, now you didn't answer my question." Persephone laughed. "He's my brother. He's a little taller than me, has brown hair, hazel eyes, and glasses. Someone took him from me, and I'm going to get him back."
"I work for Mevolent." The words came out of Arsenic's mouth bitterly, hopelessly. "I haven't seen your brother. I stay away from the prison cells, too much of it falls on my shoulders. I'm sorry, but I can't help you."
His face stony cold, he started down the cliff, then stopped to look behind him. Persephone was an assassin, after all.
Persephone frowned, then ran up beside Arsenic. 
"So what's it like working for Mevolent?" she asked him. "What kind of boss is he?" She pretended she didn't care, but a small part of her hoped that he fit the description of her employer, that she would know where Gustav was.
Arsenic stopped walking and looked at her. "He's one I can't afford to mess with, Persephone. I'm sorry." There was pain in his eyes, but also resolve.
"Wait," Persephone said. "You rather obviously dislike Mevolent, so shouldn't you want to work against him. Even if you don't want to work for the Sanctuary, you can help. I personally don't want to fight Mevolent. I don't want the Faceless Ones to return, but my brother is what really matters."
Arsenic didn't reply.
"As much as I hate to admit it, I can't do this alone. The Sanctuary's too slow. I need your help."
"The Sanctuary also wants me dead. You've obviously never heard of me before. If you knew what I did you'd be trying to kill me, too." Arsenic looked away.
"Whatever it was, you obviously regret it, and it's not like my record's completely clean, either. I'm an assassin! Please help, I want to find my brother!"
There was a moment of silence, then Arsenic said softly, "Ok, I'll do what I can."


  1. Aww, I like this! Already blurring the line of good and evil. If SP has taught us minions anything, it's that it's never that clear-cut. Keep writing!

    1. I'm not even sure what side I'm on....
      I work for Serpine and the Sanctuary, but I'm working separately to save Gustav....

    2. Arsenic is also pretty shifty...