Friday, October 4, 2019

#FridayFlash - Defender

Sigurn waited for the bandits on the edge of town, hands on her hips, weapons sheathed. The artisans living behind her were dedicated to peace and beauty, perfecting their crafts far from the distractions and temptations of the city. They owed allegiance to their families and their gods, offering harm to none.

Men who would prey upon people like that were the lowest of the low.

They sauntered down the path, laughing and jeering, giving her plenty of time to study them. Eight men didn't seem like a large enough group to terrorize almost a thousand people, but even one was enough to steal from pacifists.

None of them were in the best of health, though none appeared to be lame or disabled. In Sigurn's experience, only the physically weak preyed on these types of innocents.

Clearly they were weak in the mind.

The group of men, if they could even be called that, stopped when they saw the warrior woman. Their leader smiled, revealing crooked yellow teeth. "I knew there was gonna be treats, but I did not expect something so yummy."

Sigurn arched one brow, saying nothing. She stood taller than all of them, better fed and better equipped. If they attacked as one, they might overcome her defenses, but the odds they understood how to make a coordinated attack were slim.

"Ain't you got anything to say?" the leader asked, taking several steps away from the rest of the bandits. He leered. "Not that you'll say much more than my name in a moment."

She shook her head. "I don't suppose I should expect much better from the type of cowards who victimize peaceful crafters."

His eyes narrowed, and he took another step closer while drawing a simple dagger. "Just who do you think you are?" Anger turned his face red.

Sigurn laughed, seeking his snapping point. "Is that the best you have? Or does a real woman frighten you?"

He lunged and swung wildly, exactly as she expected. No skill to his attack, just fury. Sigurn dodged aside, grabbed his wrist, and disarmed him with one move. He cried out in surprise; the noise turned to a gurgle when she clamped a hand around his throat. Dagger at his gut, she glared at the remaining bandits.

They grew brave in that moment, charging her with weapons in hand. She killed the leader and threw his body to the ground, drawing her sword. The bandits never stood a chance, and in less than a minute Sigurn stood amidst eight dead men.

Several of the town elders approached, hands clasped, eyes saddened. A silver-haired woman spoke, the only one willing to meet Sigurn's gaze. "There was no other way?"

The warrior bent to clean her sword, setting her jaw before replying. "The language of violence is peculiar. You and yours don't speak it, but men like these-" Sigurn nudged one with her toe. "-it's all they understand.

"You asked me to help, Mother, because I'm an interpreter."

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