David Evan Harris, author of the acclaimed stories “The Mudslinger” and “Seeker of Fortune,” returns to our pages with the tale of a daring confrontation between the dread Baron Weller and a mysterious assassin known as Arland, “The Gentle Sleeper.”
“You are Arland,” the Baron continued. “First Elder of the House of Elementals in the Kingdom of Corland.”
“You are mistaken, my lord,” said Arland.
“Marraine described you perfectly,” said the Baron. “From your height, to the tangled hair. She claimed you were much stronger than you looked.”
“My name is Edward,” said Arland. “I am a fabric merchant.”
“You are an assassin,” said the Baron casually. “The Gentle Sleeper, they call you. A man of little magical strength but with perfect control, who can stop the air from reaching a man’s lungs. You’ve come to kill me, I expect. And I expect you realize by now that you have failed, and that an unpleasant death will begin for you quite shortly.” The Baron leaned back in his chair, holding the bell against his chest.
“Does this mean you don’t want me to find you some clothing?” Arland asked.
The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, John C. Hocking, Michael Shea, Peadar Ó Guilín, Vaughn Heppner, Aaron Bradford Starr, Martha Wells, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, E.E. Knight, C.S.E. Cooney, Howard Andrew Jones, and many others, is here.
“The Gentle Sleeper” is a complete 5,000-word short story of adventure fantasy. It is offered at no cost.