Tuesday, September 28, 2004

And now, a completely spontaneous short story.

..really, though. I logged on because I realize that I need to update this page, and I just decided to write an impromptu story. Why not.

* * *

"I'm trying to help you." He stood over her, one hand on the hilt of his sword. Though the rain dripped from his eyebrows, his eyes never left her face. The padding under his sparse leather armor began taking on water, he noted with resignation. Maybe if he had the full suit, instead of a pauldron on his left arm and a vest, he might have been closer to waterproof.

She was soaked through, and had been before she had sprawled into the puddle. Rain beaded and ran on her simple steel armpiece, which reflected the surrounding alley. Her eyes caught his, hard and cold as the stone of the walls. The scabbard attached to her hip scraped the ground as she stood. Her shoulders set.

"I don't need your goddamn help."

For a moment, he merely looked at her, confused. He'd seen genuine anger before, but never like this. Never from someone he'd tried to help. He half expected the raindrops falling between them to freeze and shatter on the ground. She stood there before him, looking as though she had never slipped and fallen. Or, at least, trying to look that way.

He made an effort to remove his hand from his sword. "I'm... sorry." At the moment, he couldn't think to say anything else, yet he scrambled to figure out where his misstep had been. "My name is Orrin. I was only-"

"Keep walking before they see you!" she whispered harshly. Her voice was suddenly more urgent. And then, he realized his mistake.

Behind him, a clink of chain. A flail being readied.

For every raindrop that hit his shoulders, another image flashed through his mind. They flashed behind his eyes as he gripped his sword and turned. The woman hurtling down the street, the five armed men two steps behind. Her quick dodge down the alley which sent them running past. And her slip, the clang of her armor against the stone.

The man with the flail had turned his head, and was opening his mouth to call down the street. Orrin whipped his blade from its scabbard into a backhand stroke, catching the first link of the flail's chain. The flail flipped into the air as Orrin spun about on one foot, whipping the other about in a roundhouse kick. The armed man made only a choking sound as his jaw was knocked out of socket. He went limp, his head bouncing disturbingly against the cold pavement.

Orrin glanced down the street just as the last of the woman's pursuers ducked into the wrong alley, continuing their hunt. As he dragged the unconscious man further into the alley, he heard the woman's footsteps splashing away from him. He looked up to see her retreating back, shoulders squared.

And as he watched her go, she peered over her shoulder. Her rain-slick black hair fell across her eye, and she shook it out of the way.

Orrin sheathed his sword, time beginning its return to normal speed. "You going to be all right?"

"Yes." was her only reply. With that, she turned the corner.

Orrin shook his head, as much to clear his thoughts as to shake the droplets from his brow. He looked down at the unconscious man, then back at the puddle where the woman had fallen.

So many questions.

* * *

May make a habit of impropmtu storytime. There may not be a cohesive, let alone coherent plot, but this could be a good exercise. We'll see.


minmaxticus said...

I agree.

Third said...

i'm not entirely sure what happened.
i thought i might find news of my friend Brian.
Instead, i'm ambushed by this story, which is quite good, but equally unexpected.

i'm reeling rather like a man mugged in a meadow.

Needless to say, impromptu storytime is heartily encouraged, as i'm vehemently in favor of any effort, conscious or otherwise, that enacts social darwinism.


P.S.: Lenny mentioned that you're getting bored up at your Dad's from time to time. i've got a spare GBA i can pass your way if you like.

Anonymous said...

Where's the Death story, hmm? *grinz*
Pop by my blog some day, hmm?