Meditations in Action

K. Ryan

No need to speak. Forms and strikes, dust swirling up past their knees and sticking darkly to white cotton. In-out-forward-shift-impactsmackand-slide away. Strike. Block. Turn. Breathe. There was a faint gasp of laughter as the shorter component slide back on the defence, out of reach of her opponents glaive, but no words. Her own glaive was simple and unadorned. Raw, almost, with none of the lustre and weight of the taller womans, but she held it strongly, bracing her body for blows that, even slowed down, shot threads of liquid protests through her wrists and arms and shoulders.

Effort pooled in her as she met blows. She matched, familiar with bodies and knowing when to bend and when to urge, even if she did not know the language, here. Energy, the Yamani ladies called it, with the same air of infuriating mysticism that Liam had displayed, long ago, talking about the skills she had so very much wanted to learn. Strike. Take. Shift. Give. Alanna slid her weapon under Kels just long enough to twist, and change, the rhythm.

There was no need, Alanna knew, to name such a thing. She was old, and she was scrappy, and she knew. She was grinning. A bead of sweat trickled down Kels still face, and Alanna knew the effort it took to put that there. And she was proud. Her grin was pride, and delight, and the knowledge that soon they would tire and end. Kel would use her years of practise-turned-instinct, Alanna would use her wits and what ungentle speed she had, and there would be an end. A drop of weapons. Onlookers would clap and Kel would bow, and Alanna would still be better with a sword if given the chancebut no, no chances. Just her hands tangling in Keladrys short hair as their silence broke into another sort of promise for later, after they had cleared the dust from their skin.

Note: Written for the first round of Goldenlakes SMACKDOWN: A fanfiction fight for Kels non-canonical hand. Competitor: Alanna of Pirates Swoop and Olau. Characters are in no way mine. The competition is the brainchild of Goldenlake message boards. They, likewise, neither own nor profit from these characters and/or their geographies.