Bright Sun and Shadows

Wrapping the July prompt call: A sword duel. Not for hate or honor but for life and love.

The duel bounced around the ruins, over fallen stones and under archways. He bounced off the walls, swung on a vine only to have her cut it,

The ruins sang with the sound of their blades. His heartbeat thrummed in his ears, his boots moving deftly over the stones and moss and thin air – falling lightly to roll and come up running, turning the chase into an ambush that sent her running in the opposite direction.

He caught her up against a wall, and kissed her, and she grinned at him, short hair wild around her head.

“Another, lover?” she asked.

“Another,” he agreed, and backed away to give her space to take her starting stance.

Once upon a time, he’d been a different kind of swordsman, whose sword had taken lives and ended dreams. Today, he had a student, a gifted athlete and wonderful woman, whose sword was for skill, not for victory.

The sun was setting in the western sky as he maneuvered her around to her defeat, and joined in her laughter.


“Nice job you have here,” said his brother, fading out of the shadows.

“Yes, it is.”

“Bit of a let-down for you, isn’t it?”

“Not really. I’m enjoying it.”

“I have a job for you.”

“Not interested.”

“It’s important.”

“Then you do it.”

“You’d be better suited.”

“I have my own work to do.”

“Sports, brother? Not exactly hard work.”

“It’s enough.”

He found it ominous that his brother left without argument.