January 7, 2012 by greenhouse04
Not a great title, but it has a lot of functional flair. You see, I really enjoy writing, but can often be unmotivated to write. There are just SO MANY good books out there! But in failing to write I feel like I’m missing out on the joy of using a gift that God has given me. So this year I’ve set myself the goal of posting a new short story every month. Expect a lot of randomness. I’m just seeking to stretch my abilities so I’m trying a lot of different genres and writing perspectives. I have a nagging feeling some of them won’t be as good as others. But, over the course of the next year I hope to see my knowledge of writing styles increase and find out which ones fit me best. Enjoy! And if you really behave I just might be motivated enough to post an extra one now and then.
Stormbringer looked through his long, grey-flecked black hair at his foe across the arena. Only two iron gates and a hundred empty feet of blood-smeared dirt separated him and his destiny. The crowd in the stands above, safely protected by a sheer nine-foot stone wall, were already crying the name of his opponent. “Lightning! Lightning! Lightning!” Their yells were like thunder, and they bothered him not. He knew what to do. He was no novice to fighting, and he had never once been defeated. It had been prophesied that he would die undefeated.
A smile crept across his lips. Sensing the time approaching for the gates to rise, he began rapidly tightening and loosening his muscles. Belted to his waist was his famed sword, Sleep. With it he has killed over a 100 gladiators in the ring; Men of valor, all. In his hands he held a short spear. In the typical rants of proud speech before the battle, he let it be known that Lightning was not a worthy enough opponent to taste the merciful sting of his sword. A simple hunter’s spear would do for him.
A loud clank was heard as the locks were released on the rusty gates, and then they slowly began to rise. The crowd rose to their feet. They had no expectation that this battle would last long enough for them to sit again. Lightning was young rookie, but as Stormbringer looked in the eyes of the spectators, he saw that to a man they all believed Lightning would be the one to spell his doom. Focusing back across the arena he saw in the casual way Lightning stepped into the arena that he certainly thought so. Lightning had only fought 12 battles so far. Each of them against top ranked veteran gladiators. Lightning lived up to his name, demolishing each of the 12 in matter of moments. And his trademark? Killing them with their own weapon.
As he stepped into the ring, Stormbringer couldn’t help but feel old …and slow. It was time to test the validity of that prophecy. He dug his toes into the ground and charged.
Lightning stood his ground, with a proud smirk on his face. He had not even bothered to draw his sword, claiming that the old man’s was all he’d be needing.
Stormbringer, though old, still moved like the wind, and as he came close, he leaned one direction and then flung himself the other, his spear a blur as it slashed toward Lightning’s right thigh. Lightning slid his right side back, just barely out of range, and then stepped in as Stormbringer rolled to his feet. Nuckles connected to a nose, a knee and elbow connected to a wrist, and with a twist on the spear and kick to a knee, Stormbringer’s weapon was now in Lightning’s hands. And then in was shoved through Stormbringer’s stomach.
Stormbringer fell to his knees, feeling his lifeblood pore out of him. The kick was well placed; he could tell his knee was broken. Willing himself not to draw his sword, He looked up at Lightning, grimaced a smile, and began to wrench the spear back out.
“No need for that, old man.” Lightning gestured up toward the crowd. “My fans demand speed and they shall have it.” Living up to his name, Lightning’s foot shot out with inhuman speed, not to connect with soft tissue, but to expertly hook Sleeper’s crossguard, flinging it out of the scabbard and into Lightning’s waiting hand.
He held the sword high in his right hand, leaned in close, and with that irritating smirk, said, “Any last words for the crowd, old man?”
Coughing up blood, Stormbringer, still wrenching on the spear, could only think of one. And he spoke it with as much gusto as anybody with a spear through their gut could. “Poison!”
The blood drained from Lightning’s face. He knew immediately it was true. Now that he thought about it he could feel the sticky substance on Sleeper’s pommel, working it’s way into his hand. He could feel its effects on his body. Already!
“Yes,” said Stormbringer in a now gravelly voice, “It’s very fast acting. You’ll be dead shortly.” Then he put a smirk on his face. “And since I gave the killing blow first, I defeated you, not the other way around!”
Sleeper hummed through the air, and two bodies fell in the dirt. Silenced echoed through the crowd.
“That’s not fair!” Shouted Jimmy with a whine that only a 10 year old boy could master. “You cheated!”
Tommy smirked and matter of factly said, “We never said poison couldn’t be used! My action figure beat yours fair and square.” His grin grew wider as he leaned across the table. “Now, according to the rules, your action figure MUST face the magnifying glass!”
Jimmy stuck his bottom lip out and whined. “I still say it’s not fair.”