Sunday, 5 December 2010


R's angular face is made of lines that are not quite cohesive. A disruption introduced by a slight imbalance across the eyes and cheeks, a sharp nose that does not quite follow the vertical. His irregular lips are tight with a tension he otherwise hides. He exhales, closing his eyes, the long, white hair that curves over one side of his face twitches.

The warrior facing R smiles. The scrawny boy in front of him is no danger. The warrior hefts a sword heavier than his opponent, its weight comfortable in his strong arms. The others in the room are looking bored. The mixture of spectators is mostly male, drawn by the prospect of violence, uncertain as to the sport of what they are about to see. Most are occupied more with talk and drink than the contest. There has been little gambling. The bookmakers's frowns are not the concern of the meeting, though; a challenge has been made and it must be answered, whatever the prospect for profit.

White orbs of different size float through the room offering light. The ceiling is low, the floor sloping towards the small arena space in the middle. It is made of worn wood and crudely assembled. The arena floor is darkened with stains from previous bouts.

There is a thin noise of a pipe. Glimmering shields rise up, a hiss of force that slices air, separating the crowd from the two men. The warrior growls, his cry becoming a scream as he lifts up the oversized sword in his hands and swings it with a practiced lunge. R tries to dance out of the way while loosening his own weapon in its scabbard. He falls, the warrior's sword slices through his leggings, tearing lightly into flesh. Pain sears but R sweeps his leg away. Blood slips down his leg, sticky and warm. He must finish this quickly.

R drags his weapon out. A dagger that screams its existence with a deafening roar, a blade that folds light around itself with a sense of darkness that cannot be directly perceived. The warrior frowns, dragging his sword upwards. The boy, R, sees his chance, leaping forwards he drives the dagger up, through the stomach of the warrior, towards his heart. THe blade cuts through the lacquered armour, sliding easily through gristle, flesh and bone. The warrior hisses, his muscles contracting and shaking with a loss of control. His blood spurts from the wound as R drags the dagger back out. It fizzes as it hits the screen and disappears with a blue spark. The warrior falls, still.

The crowd is silent. Watching. Shock quickly turns to anger.

No comments: