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bigperm
Jul 10, 2001
some obscure reference
I'm in for this week's. Popping my TD cherry here. Oh god what am I going to do...

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bigperm
Jul 10, 2001
some obscure reference
Final Luxury
1160 words

The Sun Nation wouldn’t let me fight Ahram, right away. Five blistering days, four grueling nights and three horses run dead into the ground got me here. I was drained of everything that sustained me. Cold sweat poured from me as I demanded my challenge. It was granted, but first I must rest. I was not thankful for this.

At first I thought they had marched me into a servant’s chamber but the Sun Nation had no servants. Only slaves. It was a small room with a rope bed piled with old blankets. They were worn and faded but they smelled clean. A tub was dragged in and little rag clothed slave boys fetched buckets of water to fill it. A little table was set next to the tub with bright white towels and a bar of soap. I could smell the heavy fragrance of the soap and my weariness multiplied.

The slaves had finished and left, closing the door behind them. I assumed it was locked or guarded on the the other side but didn’t care. I stripped down, leaving a pile of wet stinking leather and linen and stepped into the tub. It was too hot, it scorched my skin to redness instantly but once submerged it soaked into my muscles and eased pains I had been ignoring for months.

I was still in the tub, soaking, mind numb and nearly blank when the man came in. He was wearing a elegant robe of green and yellow folding in layers in from of him. I could only see half of his face due to a massive beard bushy and full extending to below his neck. Two guards adjoined him, hands on the pommels of their swords.

The man’s beard moved in what I assumed was a grin. “So good to see you taking advantage of our hospitality.” He spoke my language with a heavy accent.

I nodded at the flanking guards. “Are you afraid of a naked man?” Perhaps the man chuckled.

“You challenge Ahram, the blade of the Sun. Are you the blade of the farmers?” Farmers. That is what they called us. It was meant as an insult. Petty.

“Just a soldier”. I grabbed the soap and started to wash myself, ignoring him. It was musky and sharp and the dirt that had been ground into my skin scraped and dragged as I lathered myself.

The bearded man approached me. He kneeled down until we were on a level. “The Blood Court is being prepared. Six thousand Suns will watch you fight. Will this be a battle or a slaughter?” He appraised me. “Can you stand for a single second against the Blade of the Sun?”

I was hoping for a slaughter. I didn’t tell him though. Only stared back at him hard enough to stop his appraisal and meet my eyes. My bathwater had turned dark gray from the soap and the dirt. While our eyes were locked I flicked the water at his face. He blinked, shocked.

He took a moment and gained composure. He stood, grabbing a towel from my table and wiping his face. The guards moved in closer but he put a hand up to stop them. “You disrespect me with your foul water. No matter. Ahram will slay you in the morning in the light of the Sun.”

“That’s why I came.” I said. He left.

Finished with my bath I dried off and put on the robe laid out for me. I hadn’t been clean in months. I don’t think I had ever smelled this good in my life. I marveled at it. Instead of horse dung and wood smoke I only smelled the fragrance of the soap. It was a final luxury that I afforded myself.

There was a knock on the door. “Come in.” I said. A young woman wearing nicer rags than the other slaves I had seen walked in carrying a tray. The smell of the food hit me as soon as the door opened. The food of the Sun Nation was heavily spiced, smoky and rich. The girl was dark but a white smiled flashed as she set the tray on the table next to the bed.

“Food for you now, no food in the morning. Fight in the morning.”

“Thank you.”

She did not turn to leave but looked at me, struggling to think of the words she needed. “Tonight, you sleep alone?” She pointed at the bed and flashed those white teeth in a smile.

“Yes, alone. Thank you.” She pouted a little, but left.

There were three bowls of the stew that the Sun nation ate almost exclusively. Chunks of meat surrounded by a chunky gravy. A brown one, a green one and a red one. I didn’t eat any of them. I was hungry though and ate some of the flat bread stacked on the side of the tray. Some bread and some water. That was all I needed. Clean and full I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes. Sleep came quickly.
***

The circle arena of the Blood Court was packed with people even while the morning air was still cool. They did not jeer or boo my as I made my way out onto the sand floor. They cheered. They cheered for my death. I smiled and waved. I was giddy at the thought of ending my pain and grief. Finally.

The cheers died and silence fell on the Blood Court. Ahram was making his way to the center. He was thin but muscular. He didn’t have a hair on his head and it was hard to tell how old he was. Maybe 30, not young or old. He wore a red robe with no sleeves and a leather belt with a scabbard hanging on it. His bare arms showed scars that seemed to sit on top of the lines of his muscles. The silence continued as he approached me.

“They will not cheer for me until I draw my sword.” He said, his face serious. He didn’t have nearly as much of an accent as the bearded man had. “It is a respect they pay me.”

I didn’t understand why he had told me that and stood silently.

“Why do you come here to challenge me?” He asked, his face still hard. It was a question to big to answer, and I could have lied easily. I could have said that I came for justice. Justice for a wife and children slain in their homes. Justice for a brother lost in battle. Justice for a King and Queen murdered. For the war that wrecked all that I knew and loved. I did not come for justice. I did not come for peace. Those were not options and neither would end my grief. I came to end my grief.

“I come for oblivion.” I said at last. He nodded and drew his sword. The crowd erupted.

bigperm
Jul 10, 2001
some obscure reference
Thank you for the crit Bompacho (and SurreptitiousMuffin). This was the first thing I've ever written and 'put out there'. It got away from me a little bit.

bigperm
Jul 10, 2001
some obscure reference
In but I will need a song.

bigperm
Jul 10, 2001
some obscure reference

Kaishai posted:



Nah, it's the point at which you indecisive souls learn your :eurovision: fates. Behold!


For the record I was being lazy adventurous not indecisive.

Also :siren: Spinning da wheel! :siren: because I am in love with you EB for minecraft reasons.

bigperm
Jul 10, 2001
some obscure reference
Danes Odhajam
560 words



Dear Mama

If you are reading this, then I have left. I am leaving for good. I am going to Austria, but most importantly, I am going away from you. I simply can not take your insanity any more. Yes. Your insanity. You are insane Mama.

You seem to get by. You have a career, I am sure. Although as your daughter of 19 years I feel like I should have some at least a vague idea of what it is that you do for a living. I don’t. Isn't that strange? I have no idea what you do for a living. I assume you do something, because you leave the house most days and we have food to eat and a place to live. I even had my own bedroom. Thank you for that at least. It let me stay far enough away from you that I could leave without feeling too bad.

Some of your crazy I could have dealt with. The meat candles, the cryptic whispers in the middle of the night “forever is never...” and the cloudy tea-juniper-soap mystery beverage you made me drink - all of those were at least tolerable.

The final straw was last weekend when you tried to set me up on a date. And then you decided to accompany us. Then you drove us. To an asphalt plant. I don’t care that it’s the nicest asphalt plant in all of Slovenia! When I asked you why you drove us, me and this guy who I've never met - Ignac, to the asphalt plant you just pulled out your flute and played it at me! What the hell were you thinking?

Also, I love how you made us get in the loving pit of sludge and swim around. I am sure that really impressed Ignac. Show him how loving gross I will get when my mom tells me to. You didn't tell me to bring a change of clothes either, but I noticed that you (who did NOT get in the sludge pit by the way) changed into your weird horse whipping suit while we were in the sludge pit. I had to throw away the clothes from that night. I guess I could have tried to wash them but as you may not be aware - our washing machine does not work. Remember how instead of getting it fixed you filled it with dirt and tried to grow a single stalk of corn in it? Yeah. I am so not going to miss you or your crazy.

So that guy you set me up with, Ignac? Gay. Super gay. Thanks mama. He did offer me some make up tips and asked if I was into stromming. I don’t know what that is. Needless to say, he hasn't called.

Mama, I am normal. I realize that you may not understand this, by capacity or willfulness one. I am leaving to have a normal life. I am going to get a job, and tell people what I do. I am going to answer their question not with a flute or dancing but with answers. I am not going to call or come home. I pawned all of your jewelry and have a enough money to make it for a while. I will not miss you. Do not try to find me.

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bigperm
Jul 10, 2001
some obscure reference
I was really at a loss for what to write, and with the busy weekend I figured it would be better to post the only idea I had than to shamefully withdraw. Even if I lose I think this is great practice.

I think will muster up the courage to do a crit in the morning so if anyone wants one from me let me know or I will pick one at random.

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