Unrelated Fiction: Sparring in the Tall Grass

Hello, friends.

It is almost the end of the year.  And thank God.  If this year goes much longer, we won’t have any celebrities left.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and remained in a foul mood the whole day.  I snapped at a couple of people online that didn’t need to be snapped at.  My work laptop stopped working, and I wound up having to go in to the office.  Once IT managed to get my laptop recovered to a restore point, I kept my head down and pushed through the rest of the day.  My primary focus was to say nothing I’d regret later.

I decided that tonight, I’d write some Unrelated Fiction using an old character that I used to love.  Some day, he will have his own book.  Tonight, I’ve resurrected him to spar in a fragment of a scene.

There isn’t much to it.  In my head, there is all of this backstory.  That’s not what these Unrelated Fiction posts are about.  It’s just fun stuff.  Today, I wanted to beat things with sticks.  So tonight, I resurrected an old character that is really good at doing just that, and I didn’t even use his name.  Hope you enjoy it!

One robed warrior attacked another. A heavy wooden staff hummed through the air. Twin wooden clubs met the staff in the air, beating it back with a loud crack. The warriors moved, their deadly dance obscured by the tall grass around them.


The warrior with the staff, the taller man, took advantage of his greater reach. He stepped forward, thrusting with the staff, forcing his opponent to give up ground.


“Focus, Aven,” the taller man said. A strange accent colored his words, softening the consonants and drawing out the vowels like a song.


Aven focused. The clubs in his hand moved, whistling harmony to the larger weapon’s melody. When wood struck wood, the clack and clatter sounded the percussion. Aven gave up ground, dancing back when he saw no other way.


“I can keep this up all day,” Aven said. Sweat ran down his cheeks, matting his hair, darkening his tan robes in spots on his chest and back.


The staff wielder did not respond to the quip. He pivoted, shifted his grip, stepped forward. Twisting at his waist, he drummed out three rapid attacks: high, high, low.


Aven responded. Clubs met staff to the left, to the right. He jumped, dodging the strike meant for his knees. For the first time since they’d started the bout, Aven’s opponent stood within reach. Aven extended, swinging to end the dance with one swift stroke.


The staff came up. It caught Aven in the chest, lifting him up. Aven’s clubs swept the air in front of the taller warrior’s face, missing by hairs. At the same time, the air rushed out of Aven’s lungs. He flew into the air and flipped over. Blue sky and soft clouds filled Aven’s vision. Then his back hit the ground. His vision blurred. Before he could move, the taller man’s staff pressed against his throat.


“Patience,” Aven’s teacher said. “Focus, and patience. You will learn. Or you will die.”


Aven dropped his clubs to the ground and raised his hands in surrender.