Prompt for June 13, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

The sword was large, larger than I was used to, and heavier. The blade itself, a couple of inches wide at the guard tapering to a point from three feet later, was made from Damascus steel and had been honed to a razor sharp edge. A fuller ran ninety percent of the length of the blade and emphasized the patterning of the steel. The grip was small for a sword this size as if it had been intended for someone my size to use one-handed but it matched the size of the guard. It was a formidable weapon.

I demonstrated that fearsomeness to the dragoon who lay face first in the gravel beneath me. I grabbed his hair, pulled back his head and let the sword slice a very shallow cut into his neck. Deep enough to bleed, but not deep enough to do any real damage. He understood and immediately stopped resisting. He was almost half a foot taller than I would have been standing up, but down here, on the ground, with this sword at this throat, I was the dominant one. He wasn’t used to being submissive to a female, but I really didn’t give a shit about appeasing his rankled ego. I bent close to his ear, keeping the sword at the ready.

“Where are they?” I whispered the words quietly, slowly, letting each one sink into his brain before I said the next. The noise of the fighting surrounded us but here, in this moment, I knew that all he could here was my voice. The anger, the commitment, the lack of care for my own well-being. He heard Death.

He stiffened beneath me and, for a brief moment, I thought he would attempt to throw me off, but a quick flick of his eyes towards the sword, held every so still by my aching muscles, and he paused. It was as if I could see his mind working, see him work out the odds of being able to throw me off his back or grab the sword, see him think about each one and realize that even if he could dislodge me he would be free for just a moment. He had heard someone like me before, I could tell, and he knew that the only way to survive was to acquiesce to my request.

“The King is taking them to Perrigrin’s Peak.”

His words shook me but I didn’t let on this was worse than I had feared. Perrigrin’s Peak was where sacrifices to the elementals were made, where mankind renewed their pledge of allegiance to the old gods. But not this time. My children were not pawns to be used in obtaining the favour of gods.

“Thank you,” I whispered in his ear. “May your soul find the peace you never had in life.” The sword has indeed sharp and as the warm blood sprayed on the gravel I stood up, looking to the north, where Perrigrin’s Peak sat in the middle of the kingdom. Surrounded by armies.

“Never piss off a mother,” I said as I wiped the blade on the tattered cloak of the now deceased dragoon.

 

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