Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Prompt: The Fight Within

“Don’t come any closer, or I swear I’ll let her fall!” Evan shouted in strangled tones.

The girl floated in midair a few feet away from the tenth floor balcony, surrounded by a sickly green light. Her mouth was open in a silent scream, and her eyes locked on Malcolm’s as he raced toward them, begging him to save her. He hoped she saw confidence in his face.

Evan stood loosely against the balcony, drenched in sweat, with his long blond hair hanging in unkempt strands around his face. He held his left hand outstretched, holding his glowing talisman. Malcolm faltered. He knew in that moment that Evan was finished. It was one of their most sacred rules: never reveal your talisman. He surged forward and stopped suddenly, as if he had run into a wall. He pounded his fist against it.

“Evan! Don’t be a fool! She’s just a kid! Let her go before—”

“Like this?” Evan sneered, and waved his hand sharply toward the girl. She dropped down and screamed aloud. Still screaming, she stopped with a jerk and fell to her hands and knees, still suspended in midair.

Malcolm felt the fury rising in him and tried to quench it. He dared not touch his talisman with so much anger. He took a deep breath and reached for the pouch at his neck. Throwing out his other hand, he released a bolt of sizzling fire that burned bright yellow against Evan’s shield. It collapsed in a shower of sparks, and Malcolm threw his hand toward the girl, surrounding the green glow around her with yellow fire.

Evan slashed his hand down, and she fell again. Malcolm swept his hand to the side, and her descent slowed until the touched the courtyard floor below, where a crowd had gathered to watch. He didn’t take his eyes off Evan to check on her.

Evan sank to his knees, dropping his hands in front of him, still holding the glowing talisman. Despair hunched his shoulders and bent his head forward. He said in a voice thick with tears, “Please, Malcolm. Help me. I can’t control it any more. Save me from it.”

Malcolm flinched. It was rare for a talisman to take over, and there was only one way to save Evan from it. To save the world from Evan.

“Evan, no! We’ll—”

“Mal, I want it to be you. You deserve it, not the Morlenbane. They’re coming. Please, do it now!” Evan sobbed.

Malcolm squeezed his talisman tight. He couldn’t refuse Evan’s pleas. They’d been friends too long for him to leave Evan to the merciless justice of the Morlenbane.

“I’m sorry, Evan,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Me too, Mal. I wouldn’t have hurt her…I don’t think...”Evan said. His face twisted as he held up his hands and the talisman.

Malcolm nodded once. His fingers bit into his own talisman through the soft leather pouch. He flung a bolt of blazing yellow fire straight at Evan. It flashed against his hands and flared around him in a vortex of green and yellow light. Evan howled and fell writhing to the floor as the fire burned. Finally, he lay still, and the yellow light surrounded the green and arced back past Malcolm’s outstretched hand to the leather pouch at his neck, pouring the energy from Evan’s talisman into his own.

He dropped his hands and bowed his head, walking over to Evan’s still body. Released at last from the battle he’d fought for so long, his young face was unmarred by the struggle or the talismans’ fire. His outstretched hand offered up his talisman to Malcolm.

Malcolm reached down to pick it up, and at his touch, it flared once, then fell dark. He would deliver the cursed thing to the Morlenbane, but Evan was finally free.

Allegro Classical Fall 2011 Sampler

Time writing:
~35 minutes

September word count:

No comments:

Post a Comment