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
The blade bounced off of the trunk of the tree yet again. Neither girl was able to gain any success beyond a mistake here and there. With each failed throw, Agnes grew more frustrated.
Cadence was conversely calm.
“You won’t get it right away, not without the right teacher,” Cadence said calmly.
“I know,” Agnes hissed as she threw another dagger resulting in the echoing sound of steel ringing as it deflected off of the trunk and into a bush nearby. “I just don’t know why I could throw Hyde and kill something but now I can’t get it to do it.” Her voice sounded whiney to Cadence, although she didn’t mind.
Behind the pair inside of the house, Brandt looked on disapprovingly. He did not bother to chide either of them for the attempt. He felt it was a waste of their time generally, but then again, so many things have shifted in the days prior to that moment that he was questioning whether he would live much longer. Throwing for the young girl might give her an advantage in fighting, even if it only creates openings for her to attack.
Still, he didn’t like it.
Despite his instruction not to do so, he knew that the girls would disobey him.
Again and again he watched them fail at their task. It was such a thing of fortune that Agnes’ weapon rang true in that moment against the fire demon. Had it not, she may have never tried again.
There was indeed something so strange about the girl. As he stood in the window, he began to piece together the seeming randomness of it all. Her parents were killed shortly after Sentries began to be killed or go missing. Agnes was attacked herself shortly after being entrusted to his care. The number of his missions had grown in number. He was attacked by two rogue Sentries after an encounter with an ammit, a rarity itself. Agnes was attacked at school. He was forced to take her on the last mission, then the pair were attacked by the very demon that attacked them before.
Another clang rang through the air as Agnes missed the target again. Dust billowed while she kicked and yelled out in frustration. Cadence shook her head amused.
Having seen enough, Brandt stepped out into the back yard. “I knew you would ignore me,” he said loudly. Cadence hung her head guiltily while Agnes jumped from the sudden intrusion.
“I can throw,” Agnes insisted. “And you wouldn’t teach me.”
Brandt shook his head disapprovingly. “You can practice, but I think that you’ve had enough for right now. You need to get your basic swordsmanship up to an acceptable level before I let you go much further trying to throw blades.”
“So you’re saying that she’s allowed to try?” Cadence asked.
Brandt nodded. “Can’t force her not to. It might come in handy having a skill not normally used by Sentries too, especially in today’s climate.”
Agnes looked at him with a gaping mouth of disbelief. “What made you change your mind?”
“Don’t question it. I already don’t like the idea.”
A pop sounded behind Brandt. His face instantly turned sour. “What are you trolls bothering us for?”
“Another job. All three must come.”
“No. They stay,” he said pointing at Agnes and Cadence. “Agnes’ life was put in too high a risk last time and you said it would be a simple task. She is not going. Cadence can remain here to protect her.”
“Unwise. Movements to kill more will lead them here. Safer with you.”
“They cannot harm her here. She stays.”
Brandt sensed something off in the conduit’s request. He couldn’t place it right away, but he didn’t trust the instructions.
“She must go,” Krag insisted in a shrill voice similar to an ungreased trash compactor.
“Verywell,” he said begrudgingly. “If it is what you insist.”
The conduit then vanished.
Agnes was smiling when Brandt turned back around to face the girls. “Another mission?!” she asked excitedly.
Everything became clear. “They’ve betrayed us,” Brandt stated plainly.
Cadence nodded. She had placed the pieces to the puzzle in the correct places as had he. “They intend to kill us, don’t they?”
“Yes. They want her,” he said pointing at Agnes “We can’t let that happen.”
Agnes’ smile faded. Her entire body was tense with excitement moments ago. Fear now gripped her once more.
“I never liked those vermin,” Brandt continued. “Agnes,” he said directing his sight to her. “You need to stay with Cadence. No matter what happens, I need you to stay with her. Do not try to venture off on your own. Do not let yourself get separated. Focus on keeping your defenses intact and at the ready. Wherever we are going they are going to try to take you. I do not know what they have planned, but I have a strong sense that it involves you.”
“Are they the reason my parents are gone?”
“I would have never thought that before, but I believe it now.”
Anger flashed across her face. Agnes suddenly wanted to lash out at the world and particularly at the little spirits whom she felt forced to trust, that all of them were forced to trust.
“Don’t let that knowledge blind you. If you survive, you can work to find your revenge, but you need to train more. You need to hone your skills. I’m afraid we were given too little time to get you ready. Do not waste the chance if we are given it again.”
Although her anger didn’t recede, she nodded.
“Cadence,” Brandt said. “You have a natural talent for the blade. Use it. Protect Agnes at all costs, except your own life. Your death will not save her. Both of you need to survive this.”
“What about you, master?” Cadence asked of Brandt, her tone fighting against the fear that was building in her.
“I do not expect that I will survive.”
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.