Perpetual Motion – Part 3

A new piece. Tiny due to the fact that I was brainstorming most of the time but I hope I´ll start adding more chapters slowly as I´ve grown infatuated with this story. As always, trigger warning: this is an unedited piece.

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“Good morning, Matheo,” Jill’s curly hair, tied in a ponytail, bounced from side to side as she merrily searched for the key to my locker, “I heard from a very reliable source that your rematch is today.”

“Wow, you sure are well informed but tell Alexander that this wasn´t a big secret or anything,” I inspected the blade of the sword, “everyone knows already.”

“Who said it was Alex?” Jill winked.

Sheathing my sword, I walked to the door, “I´m not sure myself. Minister Tatiana seemed so eager to watch us duke it out. I think she enjoys seeing me getting punched into submission.”

 

Every squire ran up to their respective floors, entering their classrooms. Their boots clicking against the floor, as the clanking of swords echoed across the building. I walked into the classroom but it was empty, except for one person who was sitting idly by, reading an old book. Alice slowly turned the pages, carefully caressing it´s texture. As I walked by her chair, she got up and walked towards me. Moving her hair from her face, Alice fixed her short golden strands, tucking them beneath her small cap.

 

Extending her left arm, Alice offered me her hand; the same way she did after she pounded my skull during our last confrontation, “I hope you don´t hate me because of what happened last time. Whoever wins, let the best mage win.”

“Sure,” I responded, ignoring her hand.

Taking off her gloves, her fair skin was as smooth as silk. Alice offered her hand once more. I shook it, “May the best magus win, alright.”

 

As Alice turned around, I noticed she wasn´t carrying her sword today.

 

“You must really think you´ll win if you didn´t bring your sword today.” I grabbed the hilt of my sword, “it´s common etiquette between mages to show some respect on the battlefield. A sword is a must or do you think you are better than your opponent?”

Alice slipped her hands into her brown leather gloves, “I´m not much of a swordswoman but when it comes to hand-to-hand combat: I have no doubt in my ability.”

“We´ll see about that,” I replied.

 

***

“Okay man, it´s all you. You can do this, Matheo. You can beat her.” Luther commented over and over, as he patted my back, “this is your day of reckoning.”

 

I stepped into the arena, as Minister Tatiana placed a small piece of paper on the ground. Muttering an enchantment, a seal burned on the paper, activating a larger seal that encircled the arena. A short magical barrier was erected around us.

 

I tossed my sword over the barrier, as Luther caught it.

“You´re not going to use it?” Luther asked.

“Alice won´t use a weapon and neither will I.” Fixing my collar, I scanned the arena.

 

Striking a pose, Alice readied herself.

 

“Ready, Squires? Begin!” Minister Tatiana shouted.

 

I ran towards Alice as my fists were blocked with a quick reaction of her arms, counterattacking with quick jabs. I evaded her attack and made some distance between Alice and me. Those jabs seemed normal but last time I learned what exactly they were: mana infused punches. One jab from those and Alice disrupted my mana flow and muscle control. That´s how she defeated me the last time we fought.

With a swift kick, I tossed Alice over to a side, yet she cartwheeled herself back to her feet. Not missing a beat, she ran towards me, pushing herself with an impressive force. There was no doubt that magic was involved. Her movements were graceful, as if she was dancing in front of a cheering crowd, as her dodges synchronized with her counterattacks – multiple knifehand strikes in quick succession; I blocked most but some hit me directly on the left side of my torso and on my right leg.

Perpetual Motion – Part 2

So, here´s part 2 of my current project. It´s been a while since I´ve written anything, I´m pretty rusty. I´ll be uploading more of this story throughout the week. As always, be warned, you are threading unto unedited territory.

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“You should have seen Alice today, she was awesome,” Luther commented as he quickly unbuttoned his shirt´s collar, “I mean, no offence Matheo, but there´s something about her.”

“The girl´s talented and it helps if you´re a big nerd, as well.” Judith added, all the while sipping her drink.

Rolling my eyes, I faced Judith, “well, if you´re done kissing her boots, shall I enjoy my lunch?”

“Matheo, I think you´re taking this competition a bit too far,” Elize grabbed my shoulder and sat next to Judith, “it´s all fine and dandy but this seems more of a grudge.”

“I have no grudges against her, I just don´t like her.”

“She seems nice,” Luther kept on struggling try to eat a chicken leg with a fork and a knife.

“Everyone I know says that she´s a great person,” Elize said in a whispered tone, “look at her, her smile seems so… so… so genuine, you know what I mean?”

“No, I don´t.” I replied.

“I´ve talked to her a few times,” Judith continued, “and she´s a nice person. She´s got a great sense of humor, never speaks of her achievements, always looking out for everyone; Alice has even said, on multiple occasions, that she admires you but that you don´t seem to like her very much.”

That evening, I walked home with Luther and Alexander. The street was silent, as a few cars drove by, disappearing into the shadows of the overwhelming darkness. The sun was falling on the horizon as orange flames lit the clouds in a spectacular glow. The first start, the star of the north, shown brightly as the darkness enveloped the light.

The dusty, pot-holed streets were barely capable of accommodating any form of transportation. There was a bus that would circulate around the town, devoid of passengers, save for rainy or cold days. A few lampposts illuminated the way as they sometimes flickered on and off.

“Alexander, could you tell Matheo that that imaginary competition he´s having with Alice, is not good for his health?” Luther moved his hands out of his pocket, “it´s just so silly.”

Alexander stared at me, “this is still a thing?”

“I don´t want to talk about it,” I replied. Alexander was like a big brother to us. Being the only son in a long line of alchemists, he was expected to continue the family tradition. In short, he wasn´t a Mage like us but his heart was in the right place. “It´s like she intentionally mocks me.”

“How old are you?” Luther responded, all the while, looking bewildered at what I had said.

“Her sly smile as she tries to surpass me. It´s irritating!”

“Matheo, I didn´t want to say this but I do believe you hate her because she reminds you of yourself.” Alexander explained, “each time we find mirror images of ourselves, we reject them. I believe it´s natural, like having the positive ends of two magnets close to one another: they repel.”

I saw the bus stop a block away, with it´s like flickering.

“That´s dumb.” I parted ways and walked to the bus stop, staring at the night sky. Everything they just said, that couldn´t be true, right? I buried my head on my hands, trying to make sense of everything, trying to find something to shake-off that strange feeling that crept over me. The small metal bench was cold and uncomfortable, and the small tin roof above me, creaked with the passing wind.

That night, I fell into a deep sleep.

Perpetual Motion – Part 1

It´s been quite some time since I wrote anything, let alone, uploading anything to this blog. I´ll be more active these following days; uploading more of this story. As always, the warning: it´s unedited.

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The streets where silent, as they had always been in the past five years. A few people walking by, too little for the remnants of a once grand metropolis. The grey skies, whose colors seeped into the very material of every concrete building and every street it shadowed, soon darkened. It was probably going to rain, as a harsh breeze lifted the dust from the road, and into the very same skies it fell from.

Buttoning my jacket, I sighed. The academy lay just over the horizon, standing tall, it was a symbol of hope: a hope that someday things would go back to the way they were a few years ago. It´s windows were barred and the front gate was a one-foot-thick steel barricade. It had signs of weathering in the shape of massive gashes, some only superficial, others went right through.

Standing before the gate, were two men, wearing a padded armored vest on top of their uniforms. A large red cross running across a white background with small silvery straps holding the vest together. They grabbed their muskets and aimed them at me. I looked around, and sighed again.

 

“This is sometimes just so inconvenient,” I slid my hands out of my jacket´s pockets. “What if I was in a hurry? I´d really hope to make this a more of an easier pro- “

“Stop with the bullshit and answer these questions: Who do we honor?” One of the guards interrupted me as he raised his voice.

“His Holiness, Augustus Reig: the unifier of our forgotten city.”

“How do we honor him?”

“By upholding the law our god has blessed us with.”

“Why do we honor these laws?”

“To prevent another Falling of the sky.”

 

He signaled the camera, as the gate slowly slid to a side. Lowering his musket, he stepped to a side, “you may proceed.”

“You´re an asshole, did you know that?” I kicked some dirty on his boots as I passed by.

“I´m just doing my job, Matheo.” He grinned his teeth at me.

“Then don´t take it so seriously…”

 

The outside was dull and dreary but the inside was a whole other story. Carved stone tiles on the floor, painted in a gun-blue hue, with beautiful wooden walls decorated with large red flags with a golden cross in the middle. As I made my way down the hall, I turned right into the armory. There Jill, a friend of mine, was starting her morning shift.

 

“Matheo, good morning! Came to get our sword?” She was always so energetic, moving her head from side to side as her curry brown hair bounced all-over the place. “I noticed it has a piece missing from it´s guard. Should I send a repair request?”

“Nah, it´s fine. This is the third time this happened, the first time was an awkward mistake.” I replied, opening my locker with a key she had given me.

Her eyes glimmered with excitement, “do tell.”

“The first time it happened, it slipped from my grasp and it fell all the way from the fifth floor. Everyone laughed so hard I was called Clumsy McFingers for a whole semester.”

She covered her mouth with both hands, hoping she wouldn´t burst out laughing, “and your recent misadventure?”

“Alice kicked my ass so hard, the sword hit the roof of the fourth floor and fell on the same spot.”

“Alice´s different… She´s real nice but still different in her own way.”

“That´s a funny way of saying that she´s a few cards short of a deck.”

 

As I walked out, I buttoned my jacket and sheathed my sword. My heels tapped on the surface of the stone floor, as I entered my classroom. I was late. Everyone stared at me and stared back at the Minister. He grabbed his attendance sheet, circled my name and motioned for me to find my desk. History, ah, the only place where I could feel alive.

 

After class, Minister John pointed out that this would be the last warning I´d get. I was not surprised but somehow he was. “You´ve been an exemplary student, what´s going on with you?” That´s the only thing he said. If I had an answer to this question, the I wouldn´t be feeling like crap every morning before coming to this place.

 

“Okay Squires, today we´ll see how much progress you´ve made with the technique. It´s a fairly simple technique, something you guys should be more than capable of doing on your own.” Minister Peter grabbed his sword, unsheathed it´s blade and buried it on the soft soil of the training ground. “Alice, you´re up. I have my hopes on you.”

“Yes, Minister Peter.” Alice walked in front of the class, unsheathed her sword and shouted, “Avibus Album.”

The blade of her sword briefly lit up and fired a beam of golden light from the tip of the blade. Striking the iron dummy before her.

As she fixed her small squire cap, moving the tassel to a side; she sheathed her sword, and returned to her place.

“Bravo, Ms. Crux, I was not disappointed. See Squires, that´s how you use the Avibus Album spell.” Minster Peter made a stabbing motion with his sword, “you imagine stabbing your enemy with a long sword. That sword is a materialization of your energy, your mana. Matheo, you´re up.”

Yes, right after miss perfection over there went first, I´m second in line. As I walked to the front of the classroom, I saw a slight grin protruding from her pink lips. It made me angry. I couldn´t let her shut me down like that.

I unsheathed my sword, raised it over my shoulders and swung it down into the floor, “Avibus Album!”

A crescent white beam collided with the dummy as Minister Peter smiled, all the while nodding in approval, “that was very creative, and a spot on strike, as well. You and miss Alice never disappoint.”

Ne Pleure Pas: Shifting Sands – Part 4

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Ladies and gentlemen, here we have another small chapter… I really thought I was not going to be able to continue on this one. Proved myself wrong and I am so glad. Here we are, let the games begin!

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The room echoed with our footsteps as large rooms covered in steel-like doors and metallic windows with weapon-like gadgets pointing inwards, dotted the passage way. I was scared, no, terrified. This little girl was a monster in disguise not to mention that she could eat me whenever she wanted. What was I thinking of coming over? They offered me money but it’s not worth it if I have to risk my life every day.

“Having your doubts, son?” The general spoke, breaking the odd silence that had ensnared me. “I wouldn’t blame you, men and women who have served for many years have lost their minds inside this facility.”

“And what makes you think I’ll last longer?” I replied.

“It’s inside your head, deep within your brain tissue… beyond neurons and neurotransmitters.” Niege commented. Her voice, serene and clear, it was an ominous feeling.

“What exactly am I supposed to do? Isn’t she like a living antipersonnel unit?”

The general fixed his hat and replied, “You are her cockpit.”

Outside, the rain was pouring hard and fast. Lightning blasting through the corner of my eyes, accompanied by the loud drumming of heaven’s thunder; she was like a goddess of death. The back of her dress ripped, as the rest of her clothes fell down on the floor. Large metallic appendages, three on each side, appeared. Lined in a semi-luminescent substance, bright white blades appeared, like sails made of glass or dragonfly wings made of crystal. My fingers began to tingle as she floated towards me. What was this feeling?

She touched my forehead as images zoomed before my eyes. Too many, too fast, too complicated to even begin to understand; my warmth was hers as her heartbeat was mine. Strange black lines appeared on my wrists, burning their way up my arm. The pain was almost unbearable, that was if my senses hadn’t been dulled. Echoes of voices and strange tastes filled my body. A cold that was too strong to bear and warmth that was too deep to care; were these her innermost feelings or was I going nuts?

“Niege, stop! You are overwhelming him! The Synchronization process should be slowly introduced into his psyche.” A doctor interrupted her. “Show some restraint!”

“Why? We need him! We don’t have time to go over the whole process.” She replied, her wings grew bigger and brighter.

“That’s it for today… Everyone is dismissed. Grab the boy and take him to the infirmary, Niege, you and me will have a little chat, and you, Peter, start making a Type 1 Regression Suit for our new member.” The general grabbed my shoulder. My body had grown numb.

I was overcome with a deep grief. Was it my grief or hers? Confusion, disorientation, fear, paranoia, cold-heartedness, pain and loneliness – the emotions of a young girl bred to fight. If she had chosen another life, what would she have desired? I am stuck here, with an abomination, but still… I won’t go hungry; the pay is good and I have no one whom I can say will shed a tear for me if I were to die. Maybe my future was here though; I will most certainly never grow accustomed to these ‘things’.

So caught up in my thoughts was I, that I hadn’t realized that my surroundings had changed. I’m not sure when or how but I was dragged and laid to sleep on a small bed inside a creepy-looking clinic. Saws and blades, needles and spikes; just a few of the things that made this place akin to a mad scientist’s laboratory. This has got to be dream.