Y'Bent City of Thieves
Laerien "Eri" Amaerwyn
Urgh. Of course they were all looking at the pretty little elf girl, with her voice full of sunshine, her hair and eyes shimmering with light, and that laugh that made her skin crawl. It seemed to have the opposite effect on the others…they all grinned stupidly, somehow bound by her siren song.
Isolde leaned back, the sneer clearly painted on her narrow face and studied William’s latest little trinket. She looked young. Too young, almost…but who knew with these Elven races. She was a triple threat, apparently: tight rope walker, sharp shooter, and a contortionist. No wonder they paid attention to her. A sword swallower was yesterday’s news.
William always liked them young, naïve, and ALWAYS manage to thread tapestries of false eternal love through the very fibers of their being…which is why they stayed. Which is why Isolde stayed. Which is why “Eri” had to die. It was just as she had this thought that the Elven girl looked up from her gaggle of men and locked eyes with Isolde. Her breath hitched…was it possible that this little elf girl could read minds…? That look was piercing. It felt like she saw right into her core. But then Eri smiled somewhat shyly, nodded, looked away, tinkling a laugh at whatever Gerald was trying to impress her with. Any doubts Isolde may have had of the little Elf girl even having a fragment of intelligence disappeared. An inch work seemed more competent. Her death would be a mercy killing.
* * *
Isolde found that the task of ridding the world of sickeningly sweet Eri was proving increasingly more challenging. At first, Isolde was subtle, sprinkling all sorts of fast-acting concoctions into her meals…the girl would accidentally and infuriatingly drop it (how is someone so seemimgly graceful and acrobatic one moment but really stupidly clumsy the next?)
There were days where Eri’d gobbled own belladonna-laced porridge and loudly compliment the company’s chef for his art that day—once she even asked for his secret ingredient.
Isolde knew. Isolde was furious.
She then began creating more noticeable accidents around her: she led the circus’ lion to Eri’s room to wait for her. When Isolde came back later to confirm the carnage, both Elf and Lion were cuddled on her heaving cot, the lion purring while Eri scratched him right behind the shoulder blades.
“It’s his favourite spot, you see,” Eri explained to Isolde in her singsong voice once she spotted her lurking in the doorway, her face a mask of horror. Eri giggled. “Looks like the big kitty got out because he needed skritches!”
Another time, the sword swallower ha waited until Eri was to perform one of her death defying high wire acts…not one she could simply walk away with a broken ankle, no: it had to be a broken neck or nothing! Eri’s act involved both aerial silks as well as the high wire. She would dance along the silks before landing on the wire and gliding along it…over a fiery chasm.
When Eri landed on the wire that night, it snapped and was engulfed by flame. The little elf girl’s reflexes where better than Isolde anticipated. Far better than anyone id, apparently, as there was a collective gasp from the audience as she momentarily lurched before snatching the central silk from the air and swung in a magnificent arc around the ring. Isolde was begrudgingly impressed that Eri’s improvised aerial silk choreography was far more beautiful than the staged routine, that even William kissed the girl publicly, right on the damned lips, and told her that he loved the new routine and to keep it up.
Bitch, Isolde MADE her!The stupid little elf girl just had to be lucky. Had to. But then again, she was…literate. If she wasn’t by William’s side, performing, or practicing a routine, she scribbled away on that annoyingly ornate journal of hers…perhaps this would have information to her undoing…
At first, Eri would carry that blasted journal everywhere with her…that is until recently where she’d only carry it on evenings. Hmm…
* * *
Isolde was always attuned with the shadows around her. Though an over-the-top performer with her flashing blades disappearing down her throat, she knew how to blend in as well.
Eri’s room was unlocked. How typical and trusting she was. The journal was on her desk. Hmm. Something felt odd…her desk wasn’t usually this tidy. No time to think about that now. She picked the journal up and began to read:
Congratulations, you have officially gone batshit crazy and by picking up my “journal,” have contact poison on your hands. Don’t worry, it won’t move too terribly quickly through your bloodstream. You’ll have enough time to finish reading this and coming to find me for the antidote.
Isolde, dear, I am so very sad it’s come to this. I would have hoped that one day we could truly be friends, hell, even run away together and start our own act of sword swallowing and contortionist work. Yes, you may now take that as you will.
I did enjoy our games of you attempting to end my life and my thinking of ways to outdo you. But I think I’ve won this round, don’t you agree? The poisons were all so very cute, but I’ve built up an immunity to belladonna.
We wood elves have a natural affinity with animals and that lion really did just need affection. I will commend you on your tightrope work, however…but if you really want to make sure I fall in the fire next time, be sure to loosen the silks too.
I don’t fully understand why you’d wish to kill me. If this is about my replacing you as queen bee, rest assured I do not intend on staying long: William and I have been having issues and my wandering spirit calls to me.
I hope that as colleagues you can understand that my work will give me enough capital to keep moving and you stopping your attempts on my life on a daily basis will allow me to do so.
Since we obviously cannot be friends, I hope we can respect each other as colleagues. If not, I too have ways of making sure you choke on those swords you so eagerly swallow…starting with this poison that will soon start attacking your respiratory system.
I’m in your bedroom.
Laerien “Eri” Amaerwyn."