Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Stones of Peace"

Her best friend lay on the warm stone ground, her blood seeping between the cracks. They had both been Guardians, keepers of the Stones of Peace. Now she was dead, her stone passed on. Tasha gazed at her through bleary eyes.... People had said they looked like sisters.

The brush of wind against her cheek, cold on this spring night, carried the scent of mint and pine. In a moment Jadeyn appeared from around the corner, out of breath, his white hair and leather cloak streaked with fresh mud. His eyes widened when he saw Reyna splayed upon the ground. Kneeling on her other side, his hand came to rest over Reyna’s forehead while the other pressed against her wound.

Tasha watched him numbly, knowing he felt no breath rise under his hand. Jadeyn looked up at her, but Tasha could only feel the hum of Reyna’s Stone in her hand.

Jadeyn closed his eyes and whispered something over Reyna’s body. A prayer, Tasha suspected. He opened his eyes again. “We must leave,” he said, helping Tasha to her feet.

She slipped the Stone into her bag. “I’m sorry,” she said, as if Reyna could still hear her. They knew they could not carry her body all the way back home; the weight would slow them down too much.

“Come on, Tash.” He pulled her by the arm and she fell into step behind him. But they had only just reached the end of the street when a Tarot Warrior stepped into the lamplight.

In one hand he held a serrated sabre that glistened like ink in the garish light. In the other he held Reyna’s robe. The robe each Guardian wore like a uniform, the one which symbolized brotherhood, unity, and honor. A Guardian stripped of their robe was stripped of their dignity.

Tasha could see the rips in the robe. The Tarot Warrior had torn it from Reyna’s body.

The Tarot Warrior made a face like a grin, but with features distorted by piercings and spikes, the expression looked perverted.

Before the warrior had time to blink Tasha pulled her whip-chain from her belt, still holding tightly to her bag with Reyna’s Stone. Jadeyn’s sai daggers were already drawn, as if some force had bonded them to his hands.

The Tarot Warrior let the robe fall to the ground.

Tasha attacked.

Her whip lashed out like a tongue of golden lightning, the snap ringing through the air. She gave her wrist an angry flick, setting the whip off again. Snap! Snap! Snap! With every lash she moved forward a step, but the Tarot Warrior did not. Tasha snapped her whip again and it curled around the warrior’s neck. But then the Tarot Warrior wrapped an arm around the whip and yanked it with a ferocity that brought Tasha on her hands and knees.

“Tash!” Jadeyn’s voice sounded far away.

Tasha gasped at having the wind knocked out of her. She tried to swallow, but her stomach would not contract. Distantly she felt her whip slip from her fingers and the Tarot Warrior stood over her, his distorted face blocking the light of the moon. His serrated sabre pressed against her cheek.

Something barreled into him and suddenly all Tasha saw was the starry sky. Managing to turn, she saw Jadeyn and the warrior fighting a short distance away. His sai clashed against the serrated sabre, but Jadeyn was a hair faster.

Tasha then felt the ground rumble. Finally catching her breath, she turned herself onto her hands and knees and saw, not far away, the horde of Tarot Warriors massing on the city. Tasha pushed herself to her feet. Jadeyn was forcing the Tarot Warrior into an alley, but Tasha pulled him back.

“They’re coming!” she shouted, pointing to the army.

Jadeyn growled and spat at the Tarot Warrior before following Tasha. They gathered the contents of Tasha’s bag, which had scattered when she’d fallen. Jadeyn yanked her to her feet again just as she swiped the last vial from the cobblestone. Running without pause, the Guardians fled to the chapel where lie in wait the remnants of their dying race.

(Well, I hope you enjoyed that, dark as it was. I decided to challenge myself today by using a picture as a writing prompt. This one stood out to me. It's not part of another story I'm writing [found it on Pinterest]. It just sort of... happened. Anyway, I hope you liked it.)


  1. Boy have I missed your writing!! Grace, I loved this!!!! As always, your style is refreshing and your writing, amazing. The storyline is great, and I do love your dark side! Let's see lots more of these!!! Bravo!

    1. Thanks Karen! I loved doing it. I'd like to do more of these, but it probably won't be anything regular. Maybe once or twice a week. It's still a cool exercise, though. :-)