(Welcome to the final chapter of Sand. Radric has vanquished his long-time enemy, the wizard Caswell, in a heated battle in the middle of the B’Kar Waste. DaRK PaRTY is pleased to publish the last installment of this adventure fantasy. Sand was originally published in Lost Worlds: The Writers and Artists’ Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum.)
“You killed him,” Quil said.
The Demimondaine bled from where he had struck her on the bottom lip. She stood over the dead wizard; tears flowing from her beautiful eyes. Radric, his flesh scorched from the lightning and fire, found safety in the shade of the outcropping. He bandaged the wound where Quil slashed him her dagger.
Caswell’s ring in his possession was already in Radric's pocket. The Lady Fflame would be pleased and he’d collect his gold.
“You’re free to go,” Radric told Quil.
She shook her head. “First, I’m going to kill you.”
He smirked. “No, I’m not going to die today. And neither are you.”
Radric tightened the bandage and stood. After wiping the blood from his blade, he slid it back into the scabbard. He stared at her and she turned away. He mounted his horse and took a long pull from his water skin before tossing at her feet.
“I’m heading to the Black Hills,” he said. “There’s water there and a Dwarfen mining village. You’re welcome to follow.”
“Murderer,” she said and spit in the sand.
He nodded. “The murderer is dead.”
He spurred his horse forward. If the Demimondaine wanted to die in the desert that was her business. He rode through the sand, the setting sun glittering off the mica, a thousand blazing stars. He tried not to think about the dead wizard or the Gypsy girl.
Behind him he heard the Demimondaine mount her horse and follow. She didn’t want to die after all. He wondered if and when she’d try to kill him and decided that it really didn’t matter any more.