Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Hundred and Ninety Nine Days, from Songs For The Dragon King, by Vivian Hadding

She could hear the warriors breathing heavily, grunting as they sparred with each other, even before she saw them through the trees. She had walked this same path for a while now, it was always the same even in the changing seasons. How long had it been since she first encountered them...It seemed like years when in fact only months had past. At first it had been so difficult to work among them. Even now she had to consciously slow her breathing.

She focused on her path, her intent. She would be wiser. She would heal herself from the memories, the fears of the Emperor and the Dragon King. The fact that they were all warriors was one of the main reasons she had decided to join them...trust, one of several inward battles that still haunted her.

She both feared and admired them and more...she needed them. Needed their strength, dedication and belief as an anchor for her own. She had been both alone and lonely for so long. She was determined to wipe the pain from her soul and move on, but first she needed to be strong. She needed to feel comfortable in the presence of men...strong, determined, spiritual men.

They still noticed when she joined them...some still stopped what they were doing and watched her work, but most left her alone. They knew she was a recluse of sorts or had become one...the result of many battles. They weren't sure what kind of war she had fought in, only that she must have battled for her soul seemed as riddled with scares as her body was of ink. She never said a word just stood quietly in a corner and began to spar. They caught her sometimes glancing their way, watching their moves and then applying them to her own. She was not like them, and yet she was not like most others either. It was almost as if she had walked between shifting realities, her own and trying to exist amidst those that populated their world. She was still clearly uncomfortable and yet they could see that she was beginning to settle into their space.. beginning to breath a little easier, allowing herself to relax a little, ever cautious, but more open.

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