Normally I write my Flash Fiction piece on the Friday evening, just before posting it. Today I had some time to kill in the afternoon and typed it all up then, butI wasn’t connected to the internet at the time so I’m posting it now. It features, once again, my D&D character Seshmet:
The gravel crunched underfoot as Seshmet stepped into the training arena. The basement was dim; she didn’t feel the need to light all the lamps that were ensconsed in the walls, just the two by the door. She wished she was out in the open, under the bare sky or better yet under the fans of some palm, but selfconsciousness kept her from taking to the outside to train, even in this early hour when the streets would be mostly deserted.
She unsheathed the rapier and stood in the middle of the arena. She inhaled deeply and assumed the starting position. Picking from a wide selection in her mind, she choose the choreography she wanted to practice that morning. Blade dances, they called them in Ashem; patterns of movement, of steps and jabs and leaps and thrusts designed to teach an individual to be as one with their weapon, to move in ways that allowed both tool and wielder to function with optimal efficacy. They had been a compulsory part of her education, trained as she was for the active acquiring of new knowledge from unknown lands as well as the processing of said knowledge. She’d always been good at it, could’ve been good enough to compete if she’d worked harder at it. She’d never imagined she’d get as frequent use of those skills as the last few weeks had show…
The blade shone with a pale light, almost colorless. As she moved into the first step of the dance, it sparked to life, crackling with a bright energy, like lightning tinted purple. It had taken her a few days to learn how to work the blade, a few days of burnt fingertips and singed whiskers before she’d learned how to predict its pulsing and sparking, learned to get the energy to arc away from rather than toward her. She’d worked with it every morning since they moved into the guild hall, in the early hours before the others awoke, down in the basement away from eyes. She wasn’t sure yet whether she’d learned to control it, or just learned how to work with it. She hadn’t really dared to try to bend it to her will, but all the same, blade and bard flew as one through the steps of the dance, lightfooted across the gravel.
Its name had come to her, finally, just three days earlier. With the final step of the dance, a diagonal upward slash from a semi-crouched stance, fit to make guts spill, lightning lit up the arena for a fraction of a moment. Clarity.
I haven’t played with this character in a while, but on Wednesday it’s time again. Looking forward to it!