Piece of the Week:
It was her worst fear.
Alarmingly, it didn’t even cross her mind at the time, the possibility of taking a life. She was only concentrating on defending Hiko and herself. The night shadows flickered with the light from the fires. She could hardly even see a city anymore, just columns of fire congesting the sky above with thick smoke. And the enemy: there were five surrounding her. No…six. Ten. Hundreds. And she somehow knew that if they brought her down, she would never see Hiko again.
She fought her way through in a whirl of kicks and punches, every resource of tribal combat flowing out of her naturally like breath through her lungs. It was exciting, more so than she ever imagined it would be. She liked it.
But someone’s hand halted her kick. Another stopped her punch. She couldn’t move, and they were all encroaching on her. Heat waved over her face, as though her opponents emitted the very fires they had caused. With no other course, she drew her sword and thrust it forward into the enemy standing before her.
All other opponents vanished. She yanked out her sword, and as the red blood met her eyes,
she realized what she had done. The blood darkened to rust, and spread across her entire blade like moss, until her weapon was dissolved completely away in her hand. Her heart throbbed at the base of her throat as she stared into the dying face of her enemy. It was her father! No…not hers, but she somehow realized that he was someone’s father. The pained face before her had a wife and children, people who cared about him.
In his final agony, he reached out and grabbed her wrist. Where he touched her, she turned to rust. It crept up her arm, shedding her flesh to the ground as it went.
Indra bolted up in her bed, her chest thumping. It had only been a nightmare.
Yet, sadly, it wasn’t far from what had really happened.
Rust. This prompt was suggested by lynx_child. It made me think of metal, then of sword, then of my fantasy novel character Indra. I don’t have this piece anywhere in the novel, but it does describe an instance that happens. This novel is currently posted on Authonomy.com.
Work in Progress:
I’m working on Part Five of The Great Drift, the piece I have going on RunesOfGallidon.com. It tells of an annual event which transpires in the swamp region known as the Stretch of Shadow, where multitudes of people--generally around the age of eighteen--move away from home, traveling across the Stretch in boats and sightseeing along the away.
The Totem Tide Pool is the most mysterious region of the Stretch. No one knows who carved and placed the thirty totems here, nor why. Legend speculates that the totems were carved in the likeness of the Spirits which reside here. The Spirits, being offended by the caricature representations, cause the unsteady rise and fall of the pool’s tide.
The totems were truly miraculous--they were stone. She had always imagined wooden totems, naturally, but all thirty totems, standing six feet out of the high-rise water, were hewn from white, moss-covered stone. And each face, some resembling a creature more than a person, was so distinctively unique, that it was like witnessing an assembly of foreign ambassadors, set throughout the area in a classroom fashion.
“How tall do you think they are?” Ilya asked, trying to peer into the water.
“From the bottom under water, to the top out here…” Esfir speculated. “Probably at least twenty meters.”
Yakim took out his compass. “They’re all facing dead west.”
“Not that one,” Kuzma pointed out.
There was one totem, set at the outermost border of the area, facing east. It was a more definitively human likeness, with a square jaw and seemingly random scrawls—like scars. For a moment, Luka turned to Enzo to compare, but she shook her head to clear the absurd connection from her head.
Becker on TV.
Still working on Beastly.