Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Extremely Short Story 13

Lormar smiled, knowing he was sure of Gentyl now. She had suspected at first, known that the sword in her hands did wonders that had nothing to do with her own skill, knew that her words were not inspiring enough to account for the army’s frenzied joy and that her beauty was not great enough to explain the adoring madness in their eyes. But they had adored her, cheered her, followed her, almost made her forget the bitter years in her father’s house; and in her joy, and in her wish to forget, she had let the sword suck the soul from her.

There she stood now, tall and proud at the army’s head, prepared to lead them to their final victory. Only Lormar knew that they would march forever through the desert, fighting foes that existed only in their minds, cheered by crowds that had never been, until they died of the hunger and weariness that were hidden from them by the sword-song.

A wave of excitement ran through the troops until someone in the back began cheering until the entire army seemed to join in the chant.

The only thing Gentyl heard was the Siren Song.

I told you, champion. All is well.

The sword began to sing Lormar's song to her; the notes, exquisite and beautiful, rang in her mind.


--Joanna/Julie

8 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

Actually, of all the endings, this one really works for me. Even though I don't know what came before, I know that it is bad to come. very chilling!

And the beginning works with that sense perfectly. It gives the whole of a story that goes with this ending.

Dave F. said...

I like the lyricism of Joanna's opening to the plainness of Julie's ending. The contrast works.

Julie Weathers said...

My, stars and garters that was an awesome opening. I am honored.

Thank you so much.

Thanks, WW. Didn't Joanna do a beautiful job?

Dave, it really is a very plain ending. It's at the end of a difficult journey and a devastating battle. It just seemed short, choppy and plain matched the catching their breath scene.

Ellie said...

Holy CRAP, Joanna.

*shivers*

Awesome.

Robin S. said...

This worked beautifully together!

Joanna said...

Thanks! Julie, it's good to know the opening worked for you. Is there any chance of your publishing the piece you took the ending from soon so we can see how it really began? That ending was vivid and open-ended--I enjoyed thinking about the different things that could have led up to it; and unlike WW I really wasn't sure if it was meant to be a triumph for Gentyl and/or the army (didn't know if they went together) or a tragedy...tragedy's easier to wrie.

batgirl said...

This works beautifully as a single piece. I hope EE's going to include these in his next compilation. And seriously, I think this is worth sending out to some of the zines that publish flash fiction.
-Barbara

Julie Weathers said...

Thanks! Julie, it's good to know the opening worked for you. Is there any chance of your publishing the piece you took the ending from soon so we can see how it really began?

The opening is up here somewhere, Joanna. It's the one that starts with, "Bad news always rides a fast horse."

It is meant to be a triumph for Gen. She survived the military training and a deadly plot, plus the women have earned a permanent spot in the army after distinguished service in their first battle.

Thanks again.