Posts Tagged ‘The Sword’

Your Next Assignment

April 28, 2018

Robin yawned as she turned on her laptop. It was eight in the morning and she was busy shoveling eggs into her mouth as she waited for the computer to boot up. She had finished her previous temp assignment a few days earlier and she was starting to get nervous. She was sending out applications for real jobs but several days of no pay wore on her nerves. She could also feel herself getting too comfortable at home as the days passed from when she last went to a job and acted semi-professional. Her computer finally booted and she brought up her e-mail with her stomach tightening at the potential of interview requests or requests for additional information.

In fact, there was none of that. Robin did not have time to be disappointed, though, because the only e-mail she had received overnight was one from her contact at the temp agency, Stacy. It was really vague but it talked about a new assignment. She looked for a date and time and the other usual details but that was the odd thing. There was a request from Stacy for a meeting and it was not an address she was familiar with. She asked Robin to show up dressed casual and the time was ten in the morning on the current date. That last bit made Robin’s eyes go wide and she nearly spit out some eggs. That did not leave much time to get dressed and get to the meeting. Casual dress probably did not include pajamas.

After a quick shower and a change of clothes, Robin hopped into her beat-up car and headed toward the meeting. In the frenzy of getting dressed, putting on makeup, and climbing into the car, she had had no time to consider what this job might be. She was used to tedious office work which was occasionally interrupted by actual research work where she felt a little like Nancy Drew combined with Indiana Jones. This was way out of the usual parameters and Stacy usually let Robin know exactly what was happening. This was weird and it set Robin on edge. She had spent her life making sure that her interactions with weird stayed strictly in fiction. Experiencing it now gave her a sour feeling in her stomach.

She arrived at the address and it was a series of storage lockers with no sign and nobody around. It did not even look like a business and instead looked like the kind of place junkies would shoot up. She warily got out of her car and that is when Stacy stepped out from behind a wall. The mousy office girl looked totally out of place in the worn neighborhood.

“Hey Robin,” Stacy said, looking up from a clipboard. “Welcome. I’m glad you made it.”

“Just barely,” Robin said. “You’ve got me really curious about this job, Stacy. I’m kind of feeling weird about all of this.”

“Well,” Stacy said. “I can understand that. Unfortunately, the name of the employer that is contracting you is to be kept confidential.”

“Umm,” Robin said. “How am I supposed to get my orders?”

Stacy smiled. “Well, I do have a solution here. The employer has included a journal in the welcome package that they say will tell you everything you need to know.” She held out an old leatherbound book and handed it to Robin. Robin looked it over an flipped it open and the pages were blank. She was more confused than ever. “Additionally, I am to give you this key and point you in the right direction.” Robin took the key in her hand and instantly felt strange.

“Point me in the right direction?” Robin asked. She felt as if she was suddenly underwater, all floaty but under pressure.

“Yes,” Stacy said. “In there.” Stacy pointed at one of the storage units and Robin felt herself nod.

Robin started to shamble toward the storage unit without another word. The world started to tilt side to side but she kept an eye on that storage unit door. She was still clutching the key and the journal as she struggled to walk toward that storage unit. Each step became harder and harder. As she approached the sliding door it slid open and she found herself desperately walking into the darkness.

It seemed like a moment later when she woke up and she realized that she was in a speeding car, heading down a highway she had never seen before. She reached down to grab a cold bottle of water and sipped from it as she drove. She held onto the wheel hard as she tried to look for some signs or some clue as to where she was. She looked down and the key from before was in the ignition. The journal was open on the passenger seat but she had no time to inspect it further. There was a post-it on the dashboard that said “turn here” and she almost missed the exit. She kept driving until she saw an open field to drive onto and she turned off the car and tried to breathe.

After a while, she took her seatbelt off and opened the driver’s side door to get out. As she started to slide out, something nudged her leg. She reached down to grab it and found that it was the hilt of a sword. What the Hell was going on? She settled back into the driver’s seat and grabbed the journal and as she did she saw a pen and a stack of blank post-its. She wondered what that was about. She looked at the journal and where it was blank earlier, there was now writing. A passage caught her eye.

“To slay the beast, grasp the sword and do not back down”

She shook her head and slipped out of the car but grabbed the sword and drew it from its sheath. It looked really old so what was it doing in this car she had never seen before? She had no chance to think about it further as she heard a growl behind her. She turned to see some sort of dog creature, crouching in the tall grass. It charged and she dodged to the side as it sailed by. It lunged again and instincts took over and she slashed at it with the sword. It fell to the ground still and bleeding. There was a sudden pain in her arm as she watched a tattoo of the dog creature form. What was going on?

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The Sword Pt. 6

April 22, 2016

The shotgun blast sounded through the field and everyone flinched and froze at the sound. On the other hand, Katya was blasted off of her feet as she took a full load of shot to her chest. She tumbled into the corn and rolled face down and she was not moving. I moved first and ran toward her, ignoring conventional wisdom and rolling her onto her back. Her shirt was torn open and there was blood everywhere and all at once everybody started to shout. It sounded so distant to me as my fingers fumbled toward her neck to try and check her pulse. I had the experience of one Health class under my belt but I thought I could feel a faint tremor in her neck.

“I didn’t mean to hit her!” Farmer McCutcheon was yelling. “It was a warning shot! I slipped!” The gang started to close in around him as I held on tight to Katya.

“Lay off of him! He’s an asshole, not a murderer now one of you morons better call 911.” I yelled. He held Katya’s hand as she writhed a little and mumbled a completely incoherent mess of words. None of it was close to English and that worried me deeply.

“Oh shit!” Helen yelled as Ricky struggled to dial his cell phone. “She doesn’t look good, Ewan. What do we do?”

“We need to get her to the road. They’re not going to be able to do crap out here.” Jase said. He had scared away Farmer McCutcheon and was currently in possession of the farmer’s shotgun.

“I really don’t think we should move her, Jase. Get rid of the stupid gun too. It’s gonna scare the ambulance away.” I said, all but growling. I knew I was glaring at Jase as I said it. Katya was in my arms and I knew she must be slipping away toward death.

“Who’s in charge of this gang? Me or you? I’m not so sure lately with that sword on your back!” Jase had fully revealed the chip on his shoulder at the worst possible moment.

“You want to call the shots? You want the sword? Come get it!” I yelled and I grabbed the sword and plunged it tip first into the ground next to Katya.

The sword started to glow and I reached for the handle to pull it away. Before I could, that light started to leach from the sword and floated through the air toward Katya. I started to panic but as the light touched her she did not react like it hurt. In fact, she seemed calmed by the energy and then I watched as the wound in her chest started to knit itself back together. The sword must be healing her. Her eyes fluttered open and she struggled to her hands and knees, grabbing her tiara from the ground before she stood up. I stood up and after a few seconds, she started to glare at me. It was at this point that I realized that her shirt and bra had been destroyed.

“Stop staring, you jerk. Give me your shirt.” She said.

“Right,” I said. I did not have to think about it. I gave her the shirt off of my back before I grabbed the sword and pulled it out of the ground. I sheathed it on my back again.

“What the hell was that?” Jase asked. In the heat of the moment, I had completely forgotten he was there. I had also briefly forgotten having lost my cool which felt a little awkward and silly now. I wanted to apologize. We had known each other too long to hold grudges. Of course, Katya had other ideas.

“Shut up, you little pissant. He obviously saved my life,” She grumbled.

At that point, we started to hear the sirens coming closer. It sounded like the Sheriff and an ambulance and I looked around at all of us trespassing and Katya’s bloody clothes.

“Scatter?” I said and I looked at Jase for confirmation. “Right?”

He nodded. “Scatter!” He called out.
We all took off running through the corn. Jase tossed the shotgun into the dirt behind him as he ran. Everybody took a different direction through the field as long as that direction was not toward the sirens. Before we could separate, Katya grabbed me and pulled me toward her direction. The two of us ran high speed through the corn, leaves and stalks slapping me in the face as we ran. It stung but no good could come from sitting in the back of a cop car just so we could end up back with our parents. They had no solution for the problem at hand. My friends and I could be dead if we were split up for too long. This was the only alternative.

The Sword 5

February 23, 2016

The Sword

I led the gang out to the edge of Farmer McCutcheon’s field, the one where I had found the sword embedded in the dirt. The magical sword was proving to be both a blessing and a curse. It attracted those things but it also killed them easily. There might have been other strange things that appeared out in the field. It was kind of a crapshoot but if those objects existed then they could be useful against these shadowy creatures. If anybody was going to get the upperhand, it was the Kings of Landon County. My gang lays down for nobody and that includes things from another world.

“Let’s go. We need to start searching while lunch is on.” I said, looking around to make sure the crew was good to go. Recent events had proved that we were not as unshakeable as I had thought but Landon County rarely saw so much carnage. This was an opportunity for growth. I saw Jase who looked a little pissed that he hadn’t given the order so I added “Right, Jase?”

“Right. We need to add to our arsenal. Move out.” Jase said, reassuming some of his authority he got by being the son of a real criminal. I smiled a bit at his confidence returning. We were going to make it through this alive after all.

“Everybody be careful and listen out for McCutcheon. I already have enough piercings. I don’t want anymore holes in me.” Helen said. She had tricked a girl at the local mall into giving her six ear piercings and one nose piercing. Her parents had thrown a fit but what were they going to do? We started into the field slowly and in a line like a real search party.

“She’s got a point.” Jase said and she did have a very good point.

I loooked back at Katya who was still remaining pretty quiet through all this. She was still carrying the machine gun from the fair. If things got hot and heavy we would need to find a source of ammunition but so far it was alright. Katya did not look alright. In this mood, her dark makeup and near-permanent scowl looked even more dark and forboding. The leather jacket added to the image but the tiara definitely took away from it. She looked my way and I smiled encouragingly at her but she turned and put her focus back on her search.

I saw nothing on the ground in front of me. I reached up and touched the hilt of the sword slung across my back for comfort. As soon as I looked away we had reached the corn and I got smacked in the face by a stalk. Thankfully, since the corn was thick, nobody saw it happen. I swallowed the expression of pain and surprise and moved on. I could hear the rustling of everyone else around me. The five of us were pretty loud and I hoped our rustling couldn’t be seen at the top of the stalks.

“I don’t see crap. I’d rather be tagging down at the trainyard.” Ricky said. I could tell that he looked sullen and impatient without seeing his face. We were a crew of delinquents, did anybody expect us to be like Delta Force or something?

“We all want to be somewhere else, Ricky.” Helen said “Just try to have fun sneaking. It’s not like we haven’t stolen fruit from McCutcheon before.”

“This is not fruit. This is veggies and I’m not interested in that.” Ricky replied. His tone was grumpy and bordering on insubordination. Well, it would be if we had any official rules or authority. We walked a line between being democratic and just doing what Jase or Katya wanted us to do. It worked most of the time.

“Here’s the spot I found the sword.” I called out. I tried to make the sound carry but not too far. Jase and Katya walked over to me and I pointed down at a barely noticeable hole in the ground. They both looked at each other and then back at me.

“Are you sure, Ewan? There’s not too much to it.” Jase said. He poked at the hole with his foot but nothing changed.

“Yeah. I marked the spot with a rock.” I said and pointed to a pretty angular rock which Jase picked up and examined. Katya sighed and started to look around on the ground. Jase eventually put the rock down which is when they started to hear footsteps running toward them. They barely had time to turn toward the sound when the gunshot rang out.

The Sword Part 4

May 19, 2015

The Sword

The streets were full of shadowy thingies. Kori stood pressed against her bedroom window while Lindy freaked out behind her, kneeling on Kori’s bed. They had barely arrived at the fair when these things had crawled out of nowhere. The things had started to wreck the place and there was screaming and chaos everywhere. The two of them had run back to Kori’s house and now they were stuck inside.

The streets were empty of peope but Kori watched as one of them tore at a parked car with claws each at least a foot long. They had no eyes or else their eyes were as black and dark as the rest of their body. They moved like multiple insects had a child with a coyote.

“Get back from the window! They’ll kill us!” A familiar refrain from behind her now.

Kori walked away from the window slowly and deliberately. If the thing had eyes, she didn’t want them drawn to her large windows. ” They’re going to kill us anyway, :inds. If they find us.”

“What are we going to do? This can’t be happening!”

Kori threw her hands up in the air and let out a frustrated sigh. “I don’t know, Lindy! Since when do we quit though?” She was pacing, something she had always yelled at Austin for doing. It all seemed so petty now. She briefly wondered where he was and if he was alright. Maybe all of that didn’t really matter anymore. She could never be with him again but maybe she could just let it go now. She looked down at her hands.

When had she put on the gauntlet?

“What’s that?” Lindy asked, pure confusion piercing briefly through her blind terror.

“I don’t know. A glove? I found it in the football equipment shed. I think it fell from somewhere.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know. I actually forgot I had it. But you know what? It makes me feel stronger.”

“Kori. None of this makes any sense.”

Lindy wasn’t panicking anymore. Her voice was the cold numbness of shock setting in. Maybe it was that same shock settling into Kori’s body as well because she felt a deep calm take over the center of her body.

“I know.” Kori replied. “I mean I don’t know. I mean I know we have to get out of here before those things tear us apart.”

With that she pointed at the window to punctuate her sentence and it promptly exploded outward. She and Lindy just stood there and stared at the broken and smoking remains of the window with their ears ringing and the smoking partly blocking their vision. Kori staggered to the hole in the wall that used to be a pair of wide windows. She looked outside but she had to be careful because the edges were still red hot.

She looked out into the night and she saw one of the creatures lying on the ground. More accurately it was half of one of the creatures writhing on the ground. Where its right leg and left arm should have been there were only burning stubs. It’s other limbs were in no condition to really help it out. The thing shrieked and squirmed and thrashed but it wasn’t going anywhere.

“What did you do!? How did you do that?” Lindy cried out.

Kori turned slowly from the window. The calm inside had been replaced with exhilaration and the certainty that she had the power to deal with her problems. The gauntlet hummed and glowed with an exultant light. She looked at her friend with the biggest grin on her face.

“I’ve got spirit. Yes I do.” And with that she leapt from the second floor and into the street.

The Sword Part 3

April 22, 2015

The Sword

Kori was the last one out of her cheer leading outfit and into the shower and therefore was the last person left in the locker room. It was kind of creepy to be the last one in the building but Kori really had nowhere to be at the moment. She grabbed her bag and headed out the back door to the athletic fields. Her house was on the other side so it was the easiest path. Of course, that meant walking right past the football field which only reminded her of Austin. It had been two weeks since they had broken up and Kori felt like an outsider. She didn’t know how to relate to things. It felt weird cheering for the quarterback after he had cheated on her with somebody from the glee club.

Kori had trouble even getting angry about it anymore though she felt like she was angry at everything else. She stopped to take a deep breath and then breathed out the bad energy. She closed her eyes slowly and opened them and she swore she saw something shiny glint in the sun over by the equipment shed. She started heading in that direction. Maybe somebody had dropped some jewelry while they were out on the field. Maybe it was that glee club witch. Pawning anything owned by her would actually be nice. The thought certainly made Kori smile at that moment.

She searched the ground near the equipment shed and couldn’t find any shiny jewelry which was kind of a let down. Instead, her eye was drawn to something shiny on the wall of the shed. On closer inspection, Kori found that the object was not on the wall but actually embedded in it. There was a little bit of metal sticking out of the shed. She grabbed on with a perfectly manicured hand and pulled. She was astonished to pull a full metal glove from the shed. What the hell was this thing and how had it made it a softball-sized hole in the shed? She wished she had the answer but decided if she didn’t know, it wasn’t worth knowing.

She tucked the glove into her backpack and had almost forgotten about the whole thing by the time she was home and on the phone with Lindy. Lindy was just about the only friend who had truly stuck with Kori. The two of them had been tight since they were little and they almost always talked on the phone or in person before their respective curfews. Austin was a taboo subject now so they talked about a planned visit to the mall two towns over instead. It would be fun to get out of town and see somewhere else for a change.

Somewhere around the time they started talking about the upcoming county fair, Kori reached into her backpack and pulled out the glove. For half a moment she couldn’t remember where she had gotten the glove but then she remembered the field. She slipped the glove on. She could have sworn that the thing was too big a moment ago but it fit perfectly now. It looked good, smooth lines neat designs engraved into it. It was like the armor that all those knights from history class wore. Kind of like that Joan of Arc person. She felt strong wearing the glove and she smiled as she imagined slapping Austin hard with it. She thought about showing it to Lindy but she wondered if even she would understand.

The Sword Pt 2

March 9, 2015

The Sword

The sword’s edge cut through three of the tin cans on the fence but it didn’t erupt into flame again like it had at the fairgrounds. I was disappointed but I looked around and everybody actually looked impressed though most were trying to hide it. Jealousy is a hell of a thing and it was part of why I had hid the sword since I found it. We had not talked much since the fair the night before but we had spent the night in the clubhouse to be safe. I know I felt safer with the Kings than with my family. I easily used the point of the blade to carve my initials into the fence post.

“Whoa, you’ll dull the blade, Ewan.” Ricky nearly yelled. He was short, bald and looked kind of like a bull mixed with a bulldog if that makes any sense. He was tough and usually our heavy but not last night.

“Yeah, you have to be careful with something that nice.” Jase said calmly. He was tall and thin and was almost always hungry. Though the Kings had no real leader, we usually followed him because his dad was in jail and he had the most street cred. Of course, it was only for stealing a car but this was Landon County.

“Relax guys. That thing looks pretty sharp. It’s probably not getting dull anytime soon.” Helen said. With a huge knife collection, Helen was our resident blade expert. She had shocking red hair out of a bottle and I knew for a fact that she could out arm wrestle most of our crew. She was the opposite of Katya, our more courtly member.

I turned and leaned on the fencepost and looked out at all of them and then I zeroed in on Helen. “What kind of sword is it anyway?”

“I’d say it was a arming sword which is from medieval times. Except it also has a wave in the blade like a Flamberge but that doesn’t make sense. It might be a transitional weapon between the two swords but those two styles are centuries apart so that doesn’t make much sense either.” Helen said casually, her eyes glued to the blade as it bobbed a little in my hand.

“And yet you get C’s and D’s in school.” Jase said with a smirk that earned him quite a mean look from Helen. “So what does that mean, exactly?”

“I don’t know. All I know is that it carves up shadow demons pretty well or aliens or dream eaters or whatever those things were.” Katya said, finally breaking her silence. She was still clutching the machine gun from the fair which made it stolen property. It was arguably the biggest item our little gang had stolen but it hadn’t been so hard. Between the chaos and the dark of night there had been perfect cover to get away from the fairgrounds and off to our little clubhouse in the very back of the dump. Katya had changed into a brilliant scarlet dress, probably to win back some of her good humor. It did not seem to be working yet.

“What were those things?” Ricky said, clenching his fists in a mix of emotions that definitely included fear and anger but also fleeting bits of more complicated things. I know how he felt, I still hadn’t settled on just one emotion myself but I wish I could. I knew that Ricky especially liked things simple but we all hated not know what was going on.

“The hell if I know.” I answered with a shrug. “I don’t know where the sword is from either. All I know is that it hurts them bad and they want it. It’s god damned magic or something and we have to hold onto it in case they come back. I don’t know if Katya and I took them all out or not.” Which was true. It had been dark and they were basically shadows so one of them could have slipped away to rat us out. That is, assuming there was somebody to rat us out to.

“Four people died at the fair.” Katya said in an uncharacteristically soft voice.

“We couldn’t have done anything about that.” I said. “Where was everybody else during the chaos?”

“We boarded up in the haunted house with a couple of other people. We jammed the doors shut with some spare parts we found. Sorry we weren’t there to back you up.” Jase said.

I sighed. “I was kind of mad at first but I really can’t blame you. If we weren’t so heavily armed, we probably would have hid too. At least, I would have.” I smirked and shot Katya a look which actually made her smile.

“I would have thought about hiding too. Those things were nasty.” She said with her usual regal flair.

“So bullets and flaming swords hurt these things. What else?” Ricky asked.

“I don’t know if you want to lay fists on these things, Ricky. Other than that, I hope we never have to find out.” I answered.

“So what’s the plan? We can’t hide out forever. Afterall, we’re the Kings of Landon and we’ve got shit to do.” Jase said.

“Let’s go search McCutcheon’s field for more magic stuff?” Helen suggested.

“That’s the first thing I’ve heard that makes sense today.” Jase said. “I say we gear up and make our way over there.”

“Yeah, I’m not as afraid of Farmer McCutcheon’s shotgun anymore.” Ricky said with a laugh

The Sword

January 21, 2015

The Sword

The sword had appeared in Farmer McCutcheon’s field six weeks ago.  It was embedded deep in the soil as if it had fallen from a great height.  If I hadn’t taken a shortcut and risked McCutcheon’s shotgun, I would never have stumbled upon it.  If I hadn’t found it, who knows when McCutcheon would have found it.  He could have even run over it with his stupid tractor.  I figured that I kind of deserved it.  Finders keepers and posession is nine tenths of the law and all that.  Besides, whenever I picked the thing up, the runes glowed bright blue and an electric thrill went through my body.

I had taken some scrap leather and hooked up a pretty decent sheath for the thing.  At least the sword didn’t cut anything up when I shoved it in my backpack.  I had to carry it around because I was pretty sure my brother went into my room while I was out.  I kept it pretty hidden even from my friends.  I still wasn’t sure that this thing wasn’t stolen from somewhere.  It was a really nice piece and I had never had anything so nice.

My name is Ewan McCloud and I haven’t amounted to much in my life yet.  Well, unless you count a record of petty theft, vandalism and getting into fights.  The local police rarely saw fit to arrest me or my friends.  They didn’t see us as a threat.  I was tired of school and thankful for summer vacation.  Despite my best efforts, I had still not been expelled from school and believe me, I tried.

My friends and I called ourselves the Kings of Landon County as all of our spray paint efforts illustrated.  Nobody ever noticed our tags much.  They just painted over them  and moved on.  Nobody respected our little squad but we soldiered on regardless.  We went out each day to raise a little hell and we didn’t stop until we caused some trouble.  I still believed we were destined for greatness.

Today I was heading to behind the gas station to meet with Helen, Ricky, Jase and Katya who was the self-proclaimed Queen of Landon County.  That was our crew.  We were going to the county fair and we were going to conquer the games by hook or by crook.  If they tried to cheat us, we would cheat them right back.  The Kings always got what they wanted or trouble got started.  I had a feeling we were headed toward trouble.

When I arrived at the meet up, only Katya was still there.  She leaned against the wall and slowly smoked a cigarette while looking disinterested.  She wore the same leather jacket that she wore all year even on a day when it was over ninety degrees out.  She also wore the dime store tiara in her bleach blonde hair.  She had picked it up somewhere after the last day of school.  It strangely suited her and I had never seen anybody make fun of her for it.

“You’re late, Ewan.  You’re also an asshole.” She said before she looked up.  She dropped her cigarette and stamped it out with the nicest shoes in Landon County.

“Whatever. Pretty sure I’m mostly on time.  Did the others head over to the fair?”

“I think so.  That means you can escort me personally, by the way.”  She said.  She made a show of standing straight and holding out a hand with freshly painted nails.  I rolled my eyes and took her hand briefly.  We all let her have these playful little royal fantasies.  It didn’t hurt anybody but it could be annoying sometimes.

“Come on, ‘your highness’.  Let’s go to the fair.”  Which got her to stop leaning against the wall as she grabbed her purse.

“Yeah, we should make sure the others aren’t screwing it up.”

So we made our way through town and across the Smith’s west field and headed toward the fair.  Our little gang was lucky in that we all managed not to be the children of farmers.  Those kids had a crap load of chores to do and usually rarely any leisure time.  We lived in the small town of Gable which was all of four blocks by three blocks.  That was surrounded by a glut of houses and those houses were surrounded by farmland and we didn’t really care what was beyond that.

The fair looked the same as it did every year.  It was a bunch of striped awnings with a ferris wheel and a tilt-a-whirl towering behind them and several smaller rides scattered around.  There was a tractor pull or monster trucks or something but once you had seen all of that it was not worth seeing again.  Most of the fair wasn’t worth seeing again.  There was only so many times you could disrupt the livestock auction or make fun of all of the 4H projects before it got dull.  The only thing worth it was the food and the games.

We decided to skip the line and I climbed over the barrier when nobody was looking and then lifted Katya over.  The queen does not climb over barriers unless we’re all running from the sheriff.  We casually slid out from between two tents and into the crowd and started looking for the other guys.  It was the usual mix of townspeople and farmers with clashing fashions and attitudes.  We belonged to our own little culture and it was no surprise we usually got into a fight at this thing every year.

“Why do you carry that backpack around all the time?” Katya asked.

“What?” I said which was a transparent stalling tactic.  If I wasn’t careful she would get too curious and demand to see what was inside.  I really didn’t want her to do that.

“The damned backpack.  Don’t ‘what’ me.”

“I usually carry food around in it.  It just got to where I hardly realize I’m carrying it.”  Which was mostly true.  I did have a lot snacks in the backpack and the sword was so light that sometimes I forgot that I had it on me.

“You’re a god damned nerd, Ewan.  Wait, what’s that?”  She pointed and at first I was relieved that she was changing the subject.  What we saw was hard to explain.  There was a shapeless mass that I quickly realized that was a lot of something.  I realized that it had suddenly gotten very dim out and it was hard to make out what these things were.

A woman to our right screamed and something sharp burst through her chest and blood sprayed everywhere.  I could feel a faint mist as the spray hit us and I nearly lost my lunch right there.  Katya started to stammer but I grabbed her and pulled her behind a tent.  I idly thought that this was something I had been daydreaming doing with her for a while but not like this.  Katya was still stammering and the fair was in chaos which made it really hard to think straight.

I don’t remember grabbing the hilt of the sword but I felt that familiar surge of energy that made me feel good.  Then the blade burst into flame and scraps of my backpack and burning snacks fell everywhere as I stared in shock.  I no longer felt in control of myself as I charged back into the midway with a burning sword.  Reality no longer meant anything, not with what I was seeing.  There were dead bodies everywhere and the ground squished under my feet.  Most of the screams were receding which I hoped was a good sign.  I couldn’t see the things anymore.

“You are not him.  You can’t be.”  A voice said.

“What?” I asked and realized it sounded less than impressive while I stood there holding a flaming sword.

“You can die anyway but I thank you for bringing us the sword.”

In my minds eye I saw a fully armored person holding the sword.  It was hard to tell if it was a woman or a man because the armor covered everything and was so thick.  I saw them using the sword, the blade cutting into enemies effortlessly.  I squeezed the sword’s grip tighter.

“I am a champion of this realm and you will not have this sword.  I will make you pay for the lives lost here today!”  I wasn’t sure where the words came from but the last few were shouted louder than I have ever shouted anything.

With a shriek, shadows quickly unfolded themselves from the ground and surrounded me but I was ready for them.  I started to slash wildly with the sword, using more skill than I knew I had.  The things shrank back as if startled but pretty soon they were on the offensie again.  I had a burning sword but I could only cut them down so fast.  I pulled the sword from one as it gurgled in what I hoped was death.  I was very sure that the one behind me was about to cut me down in revenge.

There was a series of loud pops and a shriek from behind me and I turned as the shadow melted into the ground.  I looked past it and saw Katya holding a rifle with a determined look on her face.

“Fuckers try to kill me.  Let’s fuck ’em up, Ewan.” Katya growled, taking aim at another shadow.

“Of course, your highness!” I shouted as I went back on the attack.

Before long, nothing rose from the shadows to attack us and we found a bench to rest on.  I noticed neither of us let go of our weapons. Katya carefully settled her tiara back in place. The sword was no longer on fire and was just a cool, dull metal again though I was pretty sure it should have still been hot.  There was absolute silence and we just let it wash over us before we decided to move again.


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