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Opening Moves of White Pawns and Black Queens

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This story is No. 2 in the series "An Ode to a City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Being the First Part of our Heroine's Adventures in a Wicked Place

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Drusilla-CenteredbatzulgerFR132214,264105426,84828 Dec 0929 Jan 10Yes

A Castle with no Moat.

My beast sometimes defies my madness and my focus, and drives me to visit a particular building. I can smell the burnt wire odor of lunacy as I approach its high walls. Armed men stand a weary post at the heavy wrought iron gates.

This night the clouds taste thick and heavy, like sodden wool, and what weak light from moon and stars that passes through them, is swallowed by the leaves of the ancient and battered trees that fill the grounds.

I am past the wall in a trice. Dancing up and over the rotting stones and rusting spikes. I float through the grounds, slipping past another watchman, before arriving at the building proper. Standing in a nook, concealed from view, I listen for noise and watch for spirits.

The building cries and moans as the cool wind pushes against it. In the distance is flashes of lightning against the clouds and the promise of cold spring rains arrives. The sounds from inside are less structured, less clean. There is muttered obscenity and profanity, threats, curses, and promises, sentences that sound like they should be full of power but are only lunacy and nonsense. Occasionally a scream can be heard. Not of pain, but rather of despair; as if the one uttering it has finally, fully realized his or her lot. And then I hear the laughter.

It starts slowly and quietly, like to faint ticking of a deathwatch beetle. In a moment it gathers itself and fades only to return another moment slightly louder and stronger. I can see the madness floating in the air. Compared to it, I am as gentle and kind as a new-born kitten. The only one I have ever felt that intensity of cruelty from is my sire.

The laughter fades and builds, much as the wind is beginning to gust. In five minutes it has gone from a beetle's click to a mad dog's yelp. In five more to a hyena's cackle, and in five more I can feel it resonating through my beast, sating it, calming it, at least for now.

I start to move away from the building, back towards the wall, when a shadow passes over me. It is him. Still watching. Still following. Still not decided on my role.
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