Nera Demali – Chapter 1

Here’s the beginning of a story. Please comment if anyone thinks I should continue. Thanks,



He has trimmed his mans’l
the compass was set
the horizon clear
but Nera Demali stood restless.
Could it be the trials lying in his wake
or those yet to appear?

– an exerpt from Nera Demali Sails by Kag Anjanrum

The lean youth moved quickly but stealthily along the upper catwalk of the building. The iron railwork had been built onto the lower roof of the structure so a caretaker could clear snow off the roof but it provided an excellent path from one wing of the upper stories to another. Turning a corner the girl was nearly knocked off the railwork by an unexpected gust of wind but a quick crouch and a steadying hand to the shingles restored her balance. What could be seen of her face under the jet black hood showed no reaction to her close call.
A few minutes later she reached a spot beneath a gable and carefully climbed up the shingles to reach a window that was slightly ajar. Soundlessly, she slipped into the garrett, closed the window and quickly peeled off her clothing. The sweaty clothes was quickly stashed in a cardboard box by her bed. A slight sound from the hall made her freeze but only for a moment. She took a quick cat-like spring into the solitary bed. She quickly composed herself under the sheets and forced herself to slow her breathing to a slow paced sleeping rhythm.
The door opened quietly and a tall man entered, pausing only a few minutes to let his eyes adjust. He walked over to the girl prone on her bed and bent down to squint at her. Disappointed he turned and walked toward the door. He stopped as if considering something. He turned and quickly strode to the window and checked it thoroughly. He then returned to her bedside and reached under it for something. He examined the soft leather boots found there and shook his head with annoyance. The boots were returned and he slunk out of the room.
The girl fully opened her eyes and took a quick breath to shake her light headedness.
-That was a close call, Diona.
“Demali??? You saw him?” The girl seemed surprised.
-Of course. Do you think I don’t keep a close watch on my investments?
“But how could you see him?”
-Ha! If your ‘acquisitions’ please me I may even tell you. Now sleep and we shall meet after your chores tomorrow night.
The girl settled herself down again and went to sleep in a short while. The room grew quiet and the shadows from the moon outside lengthened only a bit when a strange flat object soundlessly detached itself from the wall. It looked like a round and ragged piece of paper, very thin but coloured the same as the wall. It floated down and seemed to stick to the floor. It did not pause, however; it moved quickly across the room and through the space under the door.
The object’s colour changed to match the carpet as it slid along the hall. A flight of stairs were descended with quick undulations. The sound of a TV could be heard from the common room just down the hall on this level. The thing slid around a small corner into the TV room. It immediately changed colour to match the new carpet and sensing that the lone occupant of the room was intent on the TV and facing away from the door, it moved quickly to take up a position on the rear of the sofa immediately behind the tall man who had sneaked into the girl’s room before.
The program on the TV was a late night talk show and the man did not appear to be paying much attention. In fact it seemed the TV was on to help him fight off sleep.
After nearly half an hour the telephone rang and the man was quick to pick up.
“Petroff here,” said the man on the couch.
“Any evidence?” The inquiry came from a man’s voice made only slightly tinny from the telephone’s small speaker.
“Are you sure she is leaving the room at all?”
“I’m not positive but she is the most likely candidate.”
“We’d best not take any chances.”
“What do you mean?”
The voice over the phone became suddenly loud, “I mean you are going to arrange an accident.”
After a pause: “I see. How much time can I have to arrange this … ‘accident’?”
“It must happen before Friday night.”
The line went dead and the man stared at the handset for a few seconds and then abruptly banged it down onto the set.
“Three days!” he murmered to himself and got up. The TV was quickly silenced and the man left the room swiftly.
The object detached from the sofa and followed the man.


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