Note: I will be posting a chapter from The Dangerous Life of Agnes Pyle each day until the book has been fully posted. I am doing this as a way to entertain those who have been coping with the new life of social distancing, social isolation, and quarantine in the world right now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once complete, I will hold the book on in full on my site until 1/1/2021. On that day, it’ll no longer be accessible for free.
I ask people to share links freely while the book is available, but please do not copy or do anything else without expressed permission from me, the copyright holder.
If you would like to skip ahead, you are always welcome to purchase a copy, just click the link HERE (or click up top at the menu bar) to go to the book’s page where there are links to where it is available in both print and ebook. Enjoy and I hope that you and your family are doing well!
The Dangerous Life of Agnes Pyle
by Jeremy C Kester
(c) Jeremy C Kester – All Rights Reserved
Brandt shook the young girl gently rousing her from her sleep. Agnes had fallen asleep on a small chair in the corner of the study. It was a horribly ragged piece of furniture that showed upon it the many years of use, but it suited its purpose still.
Slowly, the girl blinked as she moved from dreaming into the room. The light bothered her for a moment before she finally looked up annoyed at Brandt. “I was sleeping.”
“You don’t think that I don’t know that?” he shot at her. “C’mon,” he instructed. “I have something that I want to show you.”
The two walked down the narrow stairs that led to the basement. The basement was dark and dank. The smell of mildew gently drifted in the air. Brandt switched on a dim light that hung in the center. There wasn’t much of anything kept down there, so the dim light was enough to see where they were going.
It seemed to go on longer than a normal basement should go when they finally reached a small wooden door at one side. It looked disheveled and barely hung. Brandt opened it slowly. The sounds of wood creaking filled the echoing basement. “There’s never a need to lock this. No normal person would have seen past the false wall. You can see it because you have the sense.”
Agnes didn’t flinch. She had seen the same manner of hiding these rooms thanks to her parents. They were in a sense a spiritual doorway that passed through a physical barrier that joined two rooms. Mortals would have to use sledgehammers or other means to get through. Spirits and other Sentries would require the permission of the one who set up the doorway to pass.
Both Agnes and Brandt had to duck to enter the room. Cadence would have made it through without doing so if only by an inch. Once inside, Brandt lit a small torch with a lighter he drew from his pocket. The metal clink, the flick of the light, and the subsequent lighting of the one torch set off a cascade of lights that surrounded a large cavern. Inside the cavern were scores of weaponry that rivaled the best armory from medieval or Roman times. There were no pistols or rifles. There were some bows and arrows, but they were sparse. Stacks ranged from carefully organized to haplessly strewn onto the ground. Agnes was in awe over the sight.
“The two blades you took from your parents were sufficient weapons, they’ll allow you to channel your strengths, but they aren’t much more than that. Eventually we’ll have to find you your mother’s sword.”
Agnes perked up when she heard that. She knew her mother’s sword was a good weapon, but apparently it was better than she thought. “Why my mother’s sword?”
“I’ll tell you later. The only thing you should concern yourself with will be that it is what she would have wanted. But for now let’s at least get you a better knife. Besides, I am curious of something.” They passed by rows and rows of various assortments of blades. Some were as long two people. “Demon swords,” Brandt said as Agnes looked at them in amazement. “They’re a little too big to be wielded by a mortal. They are too big even for us.”
Agnes paused. Fingers reached out and touched the blade. Agnes recoiled as she was surprised by the dark energies.
Four feet ahead, Brandt turned and watched the young girl.
With caution, Agnes reached out again. Upon touching the blades again she winced. She did not recoil again however. The raw dark power that emanated from the blades astounded her. Fear, pain, hatred all flowed through the blades and into her. She felt herself wanting to surrender to the blade. Inside of her mind she held the feelings at bay, letting them only wash over her. She removed her hands removing the energies as well.
“How is there so much evil in there?” she asked.
“I wasn’t sure to let you touch them. Many easily surrender to their power. They are dark. But being created by demons would do that.”
“I wanted to, but I just didn’t let it,” she said as though it was something of little consequence. Brandt widened his eyes only enough to notice it himself. Agnes followed him further into the room.
Many of the blades looked amazingly ornate almost similar in grandeur to Iliad. Most others were plain and ordinary. Still others were worn and disheveled so badly that Agnes wondered the value of keeping them.
There were racks of spears, shields, a multitude of polearm weapons, and many more styles that Agnes couldn’t even recall.
They walked for what felt like near a mile. Agnes couldn’t be bothered as she touched and examined hundreds of the weapons they past. None felt right for her, but they nonetheless fascinated her.
Finally, they reached a rack that had hundreds of knives. They were as varied as the remainder of the weapons themselves. Agnes wondered which of them was intended for her. She looked up at Brandt to see what he was going to choose. Instead, he stood there and said nothing.
“Choose,” he instructed.
Agnes looked back at the rack. “How can I? There are hundreds.”
“Close your eyes. Feel them. You’ve been doing it so far. You’ll find the best one if you trust your intuition.”
Agnes wasn’t sure if that would work, but she abided by his direction. Once she closed her eyes it was as though she suddenly saw the room through an odd pair of glasses. Instead of seeing knives or weapons directly she saw their stories, their strengths, and their weaknesses.
It wasn’t the first time that she experienced anything like it, but rather the first time she was surrounded by such multitudes of energies. “Do you see them?” Brandt asked from behind her.
“I do!” Agnes said excitedly.
She moved forward keeping her eyes shut tightly. She let her fingers drift out to the side and touched each of them as she walked by. After examining many, she came upon one that was immensely powerful and troubled. The blade seemed to shift between light and darkness as though it were unsure of which side it truly belonged. Agnes was frozen by it. She touched it and felt her soul intertwine within the steel that shaped the blade. Finally, she opened her eyes to see the physical object that connected so well with her. It was a dagger of nearly 14 inches in length. The blade was blazingly bright and held a glow of a faux serrated edge to it, adding to the blades dazzle. The handle was wrapped in leather and gold thread accented around the silver scabbard. The feel was light, weightless in Agnes’ hand.
“That is Hyde.”
“Hyde?” Agnes questioned. “I don’t see a clear picture of the spirit.”
“I am not surprised being the blade of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” Brandt explained. Agnes knew of the story, although the battle that the blade seemed to have within itself kept her attention rapt. “His soul became so torn during his time serving as a Sentry. He went completely insane and was eventually murdered with his own knife, a knife he had attempted to use on multiple occasions to take his own life. It was a tragic story that that piece of fictional crap only began to touch upon.”
“It’s fitting to me,” Agnes said as she gently caressed the blade in her fingertips.
“It is larger than you would expect, but one of the remarkable qualities of this one in particular, is that it can all but disappear when one is trying to conceal it. It will fit into your pocket with ease.” Agnes tried to conceive the physics of how that was possible.
“It also straddles between the realms. That is how it can do that. Most of its power is with the mind. Only one who understands it can impart it. The switching between good and evil makes this blade tricky. But if you master it, its wounds can impart your desires into the minds of your opponents. You can trick an adversary into believing that you have vanished, giving you time to either escape or deal the fatal blow.”
“It twists them,” Agnes said, reading the blade.
“What?” Brandt inquired.
“It twists their intentions. If they are bad, it twists them to do good, if they are good, it can twist them to do bad. It makes them forget who they are.”
“Very good. You are extremely intuitive.”
Agnes played with the knife for a few minutes absorbing all that she could from the blade. It fit her; it felt perfect. This was the blade that she was meant to hold.
“No other Sentry could adequately handle this weapon,” Brandt continued to explain. “I’ve seen many fall under its power before it came into my possession. I couldn’t read it as effectively as you could, nor could I even touch it without it affecting me, so I kept it down here to prevent anyone else from using it. No one, not even me, ever could understand it. I had a feeling that you’ll do well with it.”
“I like it,” she said quietly.
“Then it is now yours.”
If you would like to skip ahead, you are always welcome to purchase a copy, just click the link HERE (or click up top at the menu bar) to go to the book’s page where there are links to where it is available in both print and ebook.