from Love and Honor by Noree Cosper, one of eleven stories in our new supernatural/dark-fantasy anthology

“Sister!” the woman’s deep voice carried over the music.

Mist sighed and made her way to the bar. “Kara. I didn’t know you’d chosen this place”

Kara threw he head back and laughed. “Still as stiff as ever, I see. Sit, have a drink. The mead is excellent here.”

Mist perched on the stool and nodded to the bartender standing behind the counter. Behind him was a door covered in runes that her eyes perceived as flickering with a yellow light. In order to do her duty, she needed to get past that door. The tender provided distraction from the added obstacle of Kara’s presence by setting a mug filled to the brim with frothing liquid in front of her. She sipped it, letting the honey drink roll along her tongue, and smiled. The perfect blend of sweet and bitter.

“So, how long has it been?” Kara asked.

“Fifty years,” Mist replied.

“That long. It’s a shame. In the old days we would ride together.”

“Those days are over.”

Kara swirled the last dregs of her mead, her brows knitted together. “Once, the Valkyries were revered. It was an honor to be Chosen. Now we’re all but forgotten, forced to oversee the smallest of scrabbles.”

“Doesn’t matter. We still have a duty.”

“Aye, to the Allfather. But how can we know if they are truly worthy for him?”

“They believe.”

The bartender set another mug in front of Kara and she lifted it to her lips, smiling over the rim. “You know, I should tell you to leave, but what fun would that be?”

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About JRWesley

JR, aka Jesi, is the founding editor of Crimson Melodies Publishing – a micro-press for dark-fantasy with heart. Her formal education was in Information Systems and Technology with a minor in Business, but her passion has always been for all things literary. Outside of Crimson Melodies, Jesi is the PFWA’s Chief Information Officer. When not editing, reading, or attempting to uncover all the writer groups in Greater Philadelphia on behalf of the PFWA, Jesi is a writer, a Dungeons and Dragons Role-Player, and small business technology consultant. There aren’t enough hours in the day, but she works with what she has and one day hopes to be able to publish her own book alongside the authors she’s proud to work with.