An Inglorious Death

To belong to the genus named Gloriosa must be a frightful thing Beckett pondered. A grandiose name that masked its malevolence. Standing in the doorway of a dusty hotel in Calcutta, a particular type of Gloriosa lay in front of him. Bishalanguli—the Flame Lily. With enough gathered it could tip the scales of life in either direction. Its slender scarlet petals, edges dipped in gold whispered future ills. Beckett stepped back—It’d only been a day but someone had slid this package underneath his door. I’m being followed he thought. It couldn’t be his master’s dogs, those three wretches lay in pieces strewn across the Sahara. Although he’d broke his master’s chains and escaped, somewhere from a deathly dark recess, Beckett felt the tug of a far more immediate threat.

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