It was old and dusty, and must have been hidden in the ancient trunk for centuries. For a while she contemplated the cover, cracked leather worn by the passing years, touched by the hands of long dead knights.
Around her was silence and the smell of decay. The sacred chapel’s walls shimmered in the morning light filtering through narrow windows. She placed the book on the altar, as the rite demanded, facing the nave.
She drew the Infinity Blade. A ray of light fell on the book. Far away she heard the light steps of Her she would soon meet, as the prophecy had predicted.
She open the cover, placed the Blade flat on the page with Her name.
The door of the chapel opened silently. The Queen walked slowly toward Isa, who fell on her knees.
“My child, I see you are ready for me.”
The Queen seized the Blade, and lightly touched Isa’s shoulder :
“Now, go and fight for me, and take this book, it will teach you how to overcome the Deathless.”
She stood, very still, in the shadow of the ruined tower.
The massive door was now wide open, no light came out from the depth of evil inside.
There, through corridors guarded by hideous titans, she knew the God King would be waiting, a corrupting and seductive smile on his lips.
There too, in the deepest, coldest dungeon, in chains, lied her brother, her lover, the knight she would soon free.
She had rehearsed every move, every corner of the sinister building, she could walk in blinded: but she would enter his domain, eyes wide open, the deadly sword firmly in her hands, a merciless warrior with an angel face.
Objects are evocative; they hold stories. The writing challenge this week is to begin with an object.
It stood, alone, in the middle of the circle of stones, at first in darkness. As Siris got closer he thought he saw a faint glow. Was this a trap? He was very close now, another step or two and he could touch the weapon.
Clouds masked the moon, suddenly the world was very still. “In silence”, had said Isa, “remember me, be aware, be ready to fight.” He was, all his senses on alert. He was able to lift his gloved hand, but stopped.
He could hear the low humming, and knew at once it came from the stone that held the weapon. In slow motion he surveyed the scene: he was alone, with IT.
He took off his glove and seized the handle: at first the metal – if it was metal – felt cold, and heavy. Slowly, oh so slowly, he lifted the Blade. It was heavy, and he felt a slight vibration along his arm, in his hand.
The Blade was getting warmer and lighter. He felt its warmth now in his fingers, stiff with frost. He held the Blade high, weighing it, slashed the air around him with it: he could hear the impact against the cold molecules, as if a fine silk had been split with a razor.
Siris paused, looking at the Blade he held in front of him, now shining in the obscurity that wrapped everything. How terribly beautiful was the Blade! The fog was rising. And he heard them: the Titans were coming.
But he, Siris, was now holding the Infinity Blade. Suddenly the Blade was lighter, its handle fitting tight in his hand. As he slained the first Titan, with one blow, in a shower of dark light, his thoughts were to the Worker of Secrets, who had, eons ago, forged the Blade.
This post, in the Five Sentence Fiction series, was inspired by the iOS game Infinity Blade II
Her thin silhouette was dwarfed by the monumental gate guarded by two huge robed figures with horned bull heads, holding burning torches, as she stood at the entrance of the castle, her face set in steely determination.
Slowly she walked in darkness, looking up to the distant dome of the ceiling, as the heavy doors shut behind her with the irrevocable sound of doom.
In the icy midnight air she checked her armour, adjusted her helmet, and felt the steel of the pair of arabic swords she’d chosen to fight the Titan: only speed could save her against the monster’s brute force…
Then she heard the heavy steps and metal heels resonating on the ancient floor, and he was there, fifteen feet of towering hatred, steel, leather and muscle, holding the huge battle axe high.
His attack was as sudden as expected, she parred the mortal blow, dodged low escaping oblivion by a whisker, then aimed the double blades up and deep below his jaws, and she heard the massive bones cracking open, she felt her blades slicing the softer matter in his skull, and there on the medieval stones, the Titan collapsed, a dead fiend.
He’s the central character of “Infinity Blade: Awakening”, and, of course, he is you, if, like me, you are addicted to the game. If you are, then you know how brave, childishly brave at time, he can be: but of course, what he can achieve depends on progress on building up his skills, that is yours.
This young man is the last in a line of discrete heroes fighting against the evil God King who runs the land, Drem’s Maw. His is the lineage of Sacrifice, soft voiced humans who for ever fight against the armies of the God King, his Titans, all inhuman things at his service. Siris is the Sacrifice, sent to die for his people, who themselves are reduced to slavery. “The Sacrifice didn’t need to win. He wasn’t expected to win. He wasn’t supposed to be able to win”.
What sort of hero is that? Well, he does take the sword, the magic Infinity Blade, and comes back to his town. I like several things, for example: “His mother and he were among the few in the town who could read. The Sacrifice had to be literate.” Although Siris does not know why it should be so, “he had not considered it an arduous requirement; reading and writing had come easily to him”.
The swordplay is magnificent – though I am not sure what it will do in the end to the shiny screen of my beloved iPad! If you want to join me it’s easy. Multiplaying is via your Facebook account. Have a go. It’s great fun to be a literate Titan slayer.
I enjoy parties. Love the noise, the people – well, the ladies, particularly. And of course the music. So that party might be rather fun. The invitation, from a friend I had almost forgotten about, the way one forgets, said something about a masked gothic night. Gothic? Guests were expected to wear a disguise, as well as a face mask. I thought about this for a little while. Visions of “Eyes Wide Shut” came to my mind. Then I sought the opinion of my darling wife. “Well, she said, the invite is really for you, nominally, and says nothing about partners, wives, or husbands, for that matter. So, do feel free! As far as the “gothic” thing goes, you have a nice uniform to use!”
My wife was referring to my old Dracula outfit. I ruminated for a few more minutes. There was still time to plan – or desist. The friend – Oscar – had requested RSVP by Thursday night. The party was on Friday, starting at 8 pm. It was now 10am on Thursday, the day before.
I had a busy afternoon. In the evening I told my wife I wished to go, would she mind? “Of course not dear, as a matter of fact, I have a book club evening tomorrow, you know, with my chums?” “O yes, I replied, that bunch of nice women!” Indeed the club was a nice bunch… I emailed my friend I would join the party.
On Friday morning I had a few meetings to attend to, then a working lunch with a big customer. The day went by quickly. I was back home by 7pm. Time to breath. I had a shower, relaxed, playing Infinity Blade for an hour on the old iPad. My wife popped in, getting ready for her club. “Enjoy yourself, dear, and don’t get too drunk!” I smiled, and wished her a nice evening.
I got myself kitted out as the old Count. Took me a little while to get the make up right. You know the pale cheeks, the red lips… The eyes mask was perfect.
I got to my friend’s house, a smart place in Mayfair, parked the Aston Martin in the underground and walked in, as the party was getting into speed. The bar was well suited to a “gothic night” with plenty of vodka, Hungarian champagne and delicious caviar. There was a live band. Everyone was masked. The dancing space was facing the garden with large bay windows open to a terrace, and to the late summer evening. I got a bit tipsy on champagne, observing the dancing couples, feeling my way through a crowd of charming people. The costumes were delicious, ranging from true gothic – razor blades and stuff – to ghostly appearances.
Advising a lonely female silhouette, dressed up in a revealing Medusa outfit, I launched into my first invite of the evening. We spoke as we danced, she appeared to be Russian. After a while I realised she was probably a tart. She left me anyway to dance with a tall, muscly vampire. A bit relieved, I walked around listening to conversations, observing the ladies. I drank a few more glasses of champagne, then switched to vodka. The party was now in full swing. I felt happy, and free. The band was playing metal rock and club tunes in turn. I undertook to visit the house, followed a staircase – marble and chandeliers – up to a first floor that consisted of a long corridor with many doors. People were coming in and out of what were, in all appearance, bedrooms. Indeed looking into one of the rooms, I withdrew in a haste, from the sight of a bed covered with half naked bodies.
Back in the main room I stood at the bar, looking around. Suddenly I saw her. The succubus, her disguise was amazing: she looked the part, at the same time bleak and – sensually – appealing, a mystery woman. Her black hair tight into a bun, the very white forehead, the rest of her face hidden behind a hideous mask. She was sitting, alone, observing the dance floor, as if lost in a dream. I seized two glasses, one of champagne, the other of vodka. I walked to her, smiling, introduced myself as the Count, offered her the champagne, which she accepted. I started talking some nonsense about what a lovely evening that was, and how good the band was. Then I continued talking about the music, and the atmosphere of the party.
She remained dead silent. I could not see her face, so had to assume she was listening. I drank the vodka – must have been glass no 12 or so – and invited her to dance. We walked to the centre of the floor, in the middle of a large group of masked dancers. We moved slowly. Her scent was vaguely familiar but I did not enquire. I talked more nonsense, then decided I would have a go. Her body was supple and she danced well. I got closer, and she opposed no resistance, following my steps gracefully. I felt elated to hold her so close. More minutes passed, and I was closer, perilously. She was still silent. I offered more champagne, and she acquiesced, silently. So I went to the bar, got the drinks, walked back. We stood, silent for long minutes. The room felt now rather hot. I talked to her, in a low voice, about the instant, the pleasure I had in dancing with her, how beautiful and mysterious she looked.
Her silence was exciting, and provoking. My succubus was the real article. I offered another dance. Now the band was into serious metal. We rocked, her pace was very assured, while mine was getting more hesitant. I felt a bit dizzy. I offered the terrace, for fresh air. Silently my “partner” agreed. We crossed the room, her holding my arm, reached the terrace, found a bench. The air was cool outside, exactly what I need to dissipate the vodka’s fumes. The tunes were reaching us, the noise of the enchanted crowd inside, a dimmed backdrop. I realised I wanted to make an offer. Succubus was sitting upright but visibly at ease. Her presence was… stimulating. I said I was free for the evening, and would be delighted to go further if she so wished. Succubus was silent. I took my chance, an arm around her shoulder, meeting no resistance. Minutes passed. I slowly turned towards her: “ I cannot kiss you with that mask on” I said somewhat hesitantly.
“Then why don’t you take it off old fool!” said my wife with a laugh, taking off her mask. “And by the way I pinched your car keys, so you’ll have to walk home!” And Succubus went into the night.