Face to Face at last

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
One of my early pieces, written in High School to be descriptive

Submitted: January 10, 2008

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Submitted: January 10, 2008

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Dark it was as the grass slowly rippled outward in the breeze. The moon’s light allowing just the barest hint of movement to show to the naked eye. The icy breeze changed, growing stronger, a rushing sound building in their ears. Cold they were, yet both colder and harder then the gale that shrieked around them, their cloaks fluttered, one’s streaming out behind him the other sweep forward over his right knee.

Almost perfect reflections they stared at each other, one with a glint of silver at his left hip, his counterpart a sparkle of blue at his right. Neither was seen to move at all, the only sound that pervaded the dark field was the frosty howl of the blowing wind. Around the two figures russet flames flickered in rough 3 legged torches, casting a harsh but faint glow into the impending confrontation.

Kheldar Dagashi, Defender of the Light, Guardian of the Tower, stared impassively through his hair, long hair that partially obscured his eyes, his long narrow eyes. The air stirred them, causing his world to flicker. Always however, he stared at his mirror, the reason for his presence.

His would be opponent however was not someone to be trifled with either. Though at first glance, many would doubt that assessment. Moonlight flickered off his shiny blonde hair, his almost boyish face and ready smile all the more reason to fear him.

Standing five foot, nine inches tall, Syther Loran his hair cropped short, was no stranger to fighting, but never, to this day, had he met someone with the reputation of Kheldar. His fingers caressed his sword hilt in anticipation; and maybe a touch of fear.

With a steel rasp he drew his weapon, the blade four feet of solid steel, it smelt of metal, and that faint after image of blood that stains all swords. The hilt was rough but familiar in his hands, wire bound with two bands of leather to improve his grip. Already he could sense his heart beat accelerating, the sweat began to bead under his arms. Suddenly he could taste blood and rapidly stopped gnawing his own lip. He called out, attempting to keep the tremor from his voice, “step aside, I have no wish to hurt you.”

Kheldar just stared, face impassive and without emotion. Then a small smile flicked over his face before it was gone. Before him was a boy who was more a foot shorter then him, with a boy’s face, and frame. He looked soft, yet his eyes and stance betrayed knowledge of death and how to carry it out. Slowly the Defender drew his own sword. Light, fast yet it lacked the reach of his opponent’s weapon. Measuring only four feet from the pommel to tip, he was still the most feared swordmaster in the world. He licked his upper lip, tasting the sweat that beaded there, bringing his blade in front of his face, tip pointing to the sky and blade facing his enemy. It was then that he realized that while he held a double edge sword, this young upstart only used a single edge, it gave him that much more confidence.

“Come”

The world came to a standstill; the flames seemed to stop moving. With that one word, the battle had begun, and it would all happen in the space of a heart beat.

Like lightning, the older man sped at his adversary, blade outstretched, seeking Syther’s heart. The walls rattled with the force of sonic boom and such a wind followed that the torches were extinguished. All in a heart beat.

At the sound of that word, and with the agility of youth, the juvenile threw himself to the right, his blade pointed top down. As he began to feel that coming enemy’s rush in the very air, he swung his blade left, arm sweeping over his head, and caught the searching thrust. All in a heart beat.

Time slowed even more, as the lights flicked out. No sound was heard in that instant, the noise generated from the clash of swords not even a millimeter from its source. As Syther’s weapon connected to Kheldar’s the duel was already decided.

Sweeping his blade, still point down, around his body, Syther uncoiled his arm in a full armed slash aimed to bite into Kheldar’s shoulder and shear through his body. It was only too late did he feel bite of a sword in his side, as the Guardian’s foil recovered from its parry and streaked to flesh. The older man stepped lightly to the side even as Syther’s blade bit into the air where Kheldar had been moments before.

Time resumed.

Syther could feel the blood seep out of him, just a second before he crumpled to the ground. A rank taste seeped into his mouth, the foul taste of death.

He opened his eyes to peer at into the gloom of the darkened room, his still keen sense of smell picking up traces of sulfur from the torches and sparks from their swords. It was amazing what things you thought of before you died.

 A pair of boots crunched in the floor in front of his eyes. Then a body, who was this dark eyed man? A memory long distant brought thoughts of a childhood together, of a learning to fight, side by side. His brother, Kheldar. What was he doing here?

Kheldar stared, outwardly unaffected by the death of his younger brother. It saddened him that his own blood would have joined the enemy. However death was better then damnation, maybe the boy would thank him in the afterlife. Glancing at the torches, they flared alight once more. They gave off neither heat nor smoke. An illusion like the rest of the building, a concept of someone’s twisted imagination.

Footsteps echoed as the lone figure walked on down the way he had come, his sword at his hip, left hand resting on his pommel. The smell of his cologne wafted through the hall, a smell that left a taste in your mouth, the taste of death.


© Copyright 2017 Joseph Knight. All rights reserved.

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