By Alanna Tieschmaker
Volume 3 Issue 2
December 23, 2022
The fire in the ceremonial brazier crackled, casting a warm glow on the objects in the area. A figure ran into the room, a cloak covering all of the defining features. They looked around for a way out, but the room was a dead end, and they were quickly surrounded by three guards. Their outfits signified their allegiance to the king, a tyrant ruler who scuffed out any magic he would find.
“You have nowhere left to go, thief!” shouted the first guard, hoisting his spear and pointing it at the figure.
“Turn to face us! Then lower your hood and put your hands up!” The second guard raised their sword, ready to fight the wretched intruder. The third guard also readied to fight without saying a word.
Knowing they had no choice, the figure turned to face the guards. Their hands reached up to grasp their hood. “You boys have no clue what you’re dealing with.”
The smooth voice cut through the air as the hood was lowered, revealing a brunette with medium length hair, dark skin, and hazel eyes. The rest of her features, except her eyes, were still blurred despite being in clear view.
“Your king has stolen something that isn’t his. He needs to return it before something terrible happens.”
“Be silent and surrender!”
” Return the king’s artifact and we may spare your life!”
She sighed, knowing there was no reasoning with the ignorant men blocking her exit. She reached into her cloak and pulled out a clear glass orb. Seeing it, the guards inched closer, ready to take it away from the thief.
“If you want the artifact so badly, then come and take it” Her voice was barely above a whisper. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in, then out. Over and over, she inhaled and exhaled, and slowly, something began to respond.
The guards, beyond confused by the sudden silence of the intruder, reached out to take the orb from her hands. Yet the moment the first guard touched the orb, her eyes snapped open. Once-hazel eyes glowed with an unnatural orange. The guard suddenly shot backwards, crying out in pain and startling his companions.
“What did you do?!” Spears were thrust dangerously close to the woman's face, who ducked to avoid them. She quickly used the broken circle to put more space between her and her pursuers.
“I did say you have no clue what you’re dealing with.” The orb began to glow a soft orange, and the flame in the middle of the room suddenly grew to thrice its original size. Seeing this, the other guards quickly backed up to where the first guard was.
The woman raised her hand above her head, and the fire seemed to jump out of the brazier to circle her. Then she pointed her hand towards the guards and the fire followed.
Seeing this, the first guard yelled “Scatter” and the three jumped in separate directions. The fire quickly began to spread where they had been previously.
With the time she had brought for herself, the woman began to search for another way out. She couldn’t go back the way she came, that was certain doom. Maybe…
Scanning the room, she noticed something she previously had missed. Instead of a wall, an ornamental mural of the king was displayed, depicting the vile man as a kind and caring ruler.
‘Looks like she found a way out.’ she thought, a smirk appearing on her face.
Looking around, she grabbed the dropped spear of the third guard and broke the window. The shards fell to the bottom of the courtyard. There was another building on the other side of the drop below that looked perfect.
She backed up, making sure to check behind her for threats. Once she was far enough, she took a deep breath, took a running leap to the roof of the building.
The landing was far from smooth, and she stumbled a bit before regaining her balance. Wasting no time, she began to run across the roof. If she could just get to the rendezvous point, everything would be fine. Unfortunately, this is not what happened. Before she could even reach the halfway point, she felt something tear through her shoulder. She went down hard, clutching her shoulder and the orb close to herself.
Footsteps were heard approaching, and she tried to climb to her feet. Before she could do so, she found a spear pointed at her throat. It was the first guard, holding his spear in his other hand. His dominant hand was a rusty iron, signed fingers crumpled painfully. Despite this, he seemed determined.
“As I said before, surrender!” The spear almost broke skin. “...and my king may allow you to live.”
Her eyes darted around frantically, trying to figure out what to do, but the fire was too far away to be of use, and she was out of tricks. Sighing, she uncurled and raised her hands in surrender.