Dangling far above the jagged rocks, back pressed against the stone face, saved only by a crochet scarf, Nikki Supanova’s nerves were starting to fray.
So was her lifeline.
Launcestor Skullgrave’s thin fingers plucked away at the thinner threads like the angel of death at his harp. The rogue was all to happy to lend gravity a helping hand, which was more than he’d ever done for another living soul. And as another thread was cut, Nikki realised that was something she wouldn’t be for much longer.
Despite her reluctance to learn any form of domestic skill, once she learned how to do anything, Nikkia Supanova made damn sure she could do it better than anyone else. And her father, Max Supanova, made damn sure her daughter always had the best equipment.
Kicking out from the rock face cost her at least a dozen threads – much to the delight of Skullgrave – but it also let her twist around to face her predicament.
It also allowed her to retrieve something slender from her vest pocket.
Stone, which had only known the wear of centuries past, met the singular focus of famed Supanova will and four inches of titanium-alloyed crochet needle. It didn’t stand a chance. The needle buried into the rock and clinging onto her improvised piton, Nikki Supanova looked up at the shocked and sorely disappointed Skullgrave.
“You look pale, Launcestor. Maybe you should rug up.”
With her free hand she unravelled the scarf from around her neck, barely wincing at the burn that would no doubt form once this deplorable deed was done, and with a flick of her wrist, turned the lifeline into a noose that snaked around over Skullgrave’s bony shoulders.
Launcestor Skullgrave tried to grab onto anything within reach; the only thing being lichen covered stone and as his fingernails scraped and bled, he was pulled over the side by Nikki’s strong left hook. The woolen noose choked off his last words but not the sickening sound of something wet bursting against the rock below.
Dangling by one hand, Nikki Supanova fished out the crochet needle’s twin; and as she agonizingly climbed her way to safety, resolved to start work on another scarf without delay.
She also resolved to thank her father for the extravagently expensive needles.
If she could ever find him again.