The Phantom Inker

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Wind in My Hair

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The sun began to inch over the horizon. How long had it been since the chasers had given up? A half hour? An hour?

No matter: They were surely far behind now, all of them. The castle where she'd been for twelve awful years. The cruel men who'd kidnapped her, who'd beaten her, who'd made her to scrub and clean and then starved her to within an inch of her life — the soldiers who'd left her in the dungeon for dead — and the wizard and his acolytes who'd experimented on her, who'd twisted her, who'd bent and warped her, who'd eventually turned her into this — all of them, all of those monsters were behind her, forever: They should never have transformed her into something that could run.

She breathed the cool breeze deeply as the autumn leaves blew past. There was no way to know what the future held. There might be people out there as awful as those she'd left behind, but she would encounter them on her terms, and somewhere, far from here, there was surely a place to call home: For whatever lay ahead could be no worse than what at last lay behind.

I felt like headachey garbage today. I took a half-day off work and finished shading her instead of doing anything productive. The lighting isn't perfect, but I still like how she turned out. Her backstory and her past are dark, but in my usual fashion, her future, the world ahead of her, is bright: I'm sure that's a rising sun, not a setting one.

As usual, high-resolution version is available on the Patreon.

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