A nightingale trilled somewhere outside as I hefted my satchel and straddled the windowsill.
I took one last glance at our room in the stone fortress where I had spent seventeen years. She was sleeping, my roommate, and I would make no noise to wake her. By morning, I would be nothing more than another shadowed memory. They’d make sure of that.
But I had left her clues. She would find them and remember.
After all, they could not steal what they did not know she had.
The boat waited for me at the river. Beyond that, the dragon. Then, the unknown being who would be my only companion for the rest of the journey.
I breathed deeply and slipped out the window.
I hit the ground with nary a thud, as I had been trained. One does not simply become an assassin without acquiring the skill of silence. At least, not a good one.
And I was good. Very good.
I ran to the river, the night wind sending my long hair streaming out behind me. I refused to keep it bound, liking the feel of it hanging down my back. I leapt over the side of the boat and untied it from the dock. It began to drift lazily downstream.
I pulled an outfit, similar to the one I was wearing, out of the satchel, then tied it shut again. Once the boat went over the falls, I would be thought dead.
I whistled the prearranged signal, and the beat of leathery wings could be heard above me. It was no small feat to transfer me from the unsteady surface of the boat to the scaly dragon’s back, but we managed.
I pulled myself upright and smiled grimly. If all went according to plan, I would be far away by morning. I would no longer be their assassin.
I glanced over my shoulder, at the lantern swinging from the bow of the boat. A tiny pinprick of light, bobbing in the darkness.
The breeze picked up, catching and tugging at my hair. I smiled. I love the wind.
And gently, softly, the killing wind tossed my boat over the edge.
Sierra Blasko is a lover of finding the fantastic in the ordinary. She always carries a book, notebook, and assortment of pens in colors to match that day’s mood. She blogs at flightsfromtheaerie.blogspot.com