Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Sword Gods," Awakening, pt. 3, 428 words

A building cracked loudly and crumbled directly behind him, as the flames consumed the wooden skeleton that held it in place. Without thinking, the smith threwswamflewmoved himself aside as a flaming support beam from the roof crashed through the wall and hammered to the ground where he had stood. The beam's other end still leaned against the wall, an invitation into the burning hellinfernoabyssbuilding dietherewillDIEtheredieDIEdieDIE.

The smith threw a profane gesture at the god, and leapt upon the fallen beam. Flames licked around his ankles, but couldn't burn through his boots. He ran up the beam, still mostly intact, with inhuman balance. The god followed, blade flashing in the firelight eyesflashinginshadow.

The floor had burned out in several places, pieces of old planking dropping to the ground below. The smith leaped across one of the gaps, his back exposed, daring the god to follow. Another plank went out from under his foot as he landed, and he barely avoided crashing through the floor. Part of the board levered up as the plank tilted to descend, and he kicked it up and across at the onrushing god's face. The god wasted a split second in thrashing the flaming board aside, and the smith was upon him.

Even in the hands of a sword-god, the falchion was not made for defense, especially in an even fight. In an uneven fight, distracted and in a hostile environment... In the hands of a sword-god, a heavy, chopping blade like a falchion was an expression of the wielder's aggression. To be thrown on the defensive left one at a disadvantage. And the versatility of a longsword, and the calm and balanced will that it expressed, became an advantage.

The falchion came up in awkward deflection, parrying the longsword by spare inches. That left the god wide open as the smith slipped his shorter blade in. A single sharp jab and the god was stumbling back, tripping over the burning remnants of the fallen roof.

The blow would have gone clean through a mortal man's liver and left him gasping on the floor, but a god would not shamepityrelief be felled so easily. The god hooked his free hand on a support and used it to swing his momentum about and out of the smith's path. When the smith came around to engage him, both blades up and ready, the god struck. A kick to the knee, identical to the one that the smith had delivered outside, audibly cracked the bone and sent the smith back, back and down a hole in the floor.

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