by Kailey Alessi

“Don’t touch me!” I back up, my knife comically small compared to the sword brandished by the invader.

“You’re brave, girl.” The invader removes her helmet and blonde braids cascade down her shoulders. She glances at the cooling body of my father and grimaces. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. He was a worthless drunk.”

She peers at me more closely and I itch to pull down my sleeve to cover the bruises.

“No one ever lays a finger on a shield-maiden,” she says, then walks away. I pause a moment. Then I sheath my knife and follow her to the ship.


Kailey Alessi

Kailey Alessi has lived in Michigan, Kentucky, Idaho, and Florida. An archaeologist by day, by night she writes disturbing fiction. She is the author of the Of Vampires and Men dark fantasy series, and her flash fiction can be found in numerous anthologies.

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