Battles, Pt.3


“I think I have been in hiding long enough.”

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The Woman and the Stranger


The town’s size was exceptional; exceptionally small. You could go around it in a couple of hours and know every stone on the cobbled main street. Strangers pass by it in order to get to the next town or the city a few miles off it; but nobody new stayed. The permanence of the town is its people, generations settling down and barely changing surnames.

She lived in the town for as long as she lived, in a small house with her mother. Everybody knew everyone in that place. Life had been simple, and she was a simple girl, with dreams of permanence in this simple town.

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Battles, Pt. 2


There were still so many, and I was greatly outnumbered. I see everyone else around me, blood-streaked, in many parts, wounded.

But the snarls and the heavy steps and the gritted teeth gave their courage away.

I, on the other hand, was exhausted. I can hardly look up after striking one when another comes barreling in. Honestly, when can I have some air?

A sword plunged through my side; I had little sense to see the damage. All I knew is, there was a roar, a sickening crunch of armor, a sharp pain, and I was falling, falling backward…

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“Harsh, man. And then she stopped talking to you?”

“Yeah. I mean, what the heck. I played nice, I sat with her in all our classes together, even sought her out in their college fair the whole day, just to be around her. And she had this really confused look when I gave her that gift. I mean, didn’t she see all the signs?”

The two boys talked animatedly as they returned books from their cart to the library’s shelves. They laughed and joked around about the girl, not expecting the subject herself to appear as they rounded on the corner.

“Oh sh- Hi, Maven.”

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I panted heavily, exhausted from the battle. My vest stuck onto my body, helmet weighing on my head, making sweat run down my face and on my eyes, making me blink. I stared at the bloodshed before me, wishing I was still as ruthless as I was in the beginning, wishing we were all standing upright instead of doggedly fighting. Instead, I see fallen bodies, merciless captors, people just as tired as me.

I knew I couldn’t pause even for a second, and sure enough, the enemy stood towering before me, eyes glinting with malice. “Are you done here? Because it seems that you’re too tired to fight.”

My jaw clenched as I stared at him grimly, not answering. For sure, anything I say he’d twist to his advantage. And right now, anything I say I feel I could say with less conviction.

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