The firelight caught in the slender blade, a streak of molten gold in the cool silver of steel. Ulrich ran his finger over the intricate carving of its hilt, trying to follow the course of knot work it represented, complicated and unending(more). The ruby at its center gleamed red, the color of blood when it first rises thick from a cut.
The Sacrificial Blade of Nemric- now his.
He wrapped it in dirty linen and tucked it in the inner pocket of his vest. It was said to be cursed, but he didn't care. He would never have to worry about money again. Never again would he have to hear the hungry cries of his daughter as he and his wife tried to sleep with growling stomachs in a bed infested with fleas and mildew. No longer would he have to watch the rich ladies lick the sticky pastries off their bejeweled fingers as he shivered on the street corner begging for a coin- just one fucking coin.
He grinned as he slipped past the sleeping guard and down the privy hole, so narrow that only in his emaciated state would he fit. He didn't even mind the smell of shit and rotten death that greeted him at the bottom, oozing into his shoes, squishing between his toes.
They said the blade was cursed, but to him it was a beautiful thing.
I felt the loss like a dagger to my brain, a crude lobotomy that left me crippled. Emotionally stunted and without initiative, I wondered around as if her death physically effected my balance.
We were told she was in a wreck. There was an accident involving the ca(more)r she drove and a semi-truck. They slammed into each other with a metallic screech as car frame crunched under the flat front of the freighter. It must have been rather like getting hit by a steel brick wall on wheels. She had her seat belt on, her passenger father did not. He flew through the windshield to skid and roll across the highway like a rag doll. She died in the car. We learned about it on an announcement made to the whole high school while we sat in our first period classes. The rest of the day was a blur to a handful of us.
She wasn't the first death and she wasn't the latest. It's impossible to say exactly what makes that experience stick out in my mind. After all, I was knew to the friendship. Looking back, I barely knew her. Perhaps it was the bond of grief that grew among a select few of us there in the school. Perhaps it was the loss of a possible friendship. Though it may have been the first time I realized that you could see someone one day and never see them again and the only way you would know you had lost something was if someone announced it over an intercom.
My server, "July," was a shapely and impossibly short woman with crunchy red hair and skin the pearly pink shade of a conch shell. She smiled anxiously as I took my time looking over the top o(more)f the newspaper in my hands.
"It's Dagmar, actually. It's Nordic," I added, her childish way of rolling back and forth on her feet softening me.
"Oh, yes. You've got the hair." She gestured towards me with the coffee pot, dislodging the thick grounds that lay at the bottom and swirling them around the pot like flakes in a snow globe.
"You haven't seen anyone that looks like me in here lately, by any chance? Same build, dark blonde?" I cringed as I realized Elaine might have colored her hair since the last time I saw her, which was a year ago.
July looked at me blankly.
"She smells -- " I inhaled sharply, willing my voice not to break. "She always smells like lilies." That also might not have been true anymore.
July's expression swiftly cracked into one of deep sympathy. She put a hand on her heart.
"Oh, honey, no, I don't think so, but I'll ask around, okay? Why don't you give me your number?"
I quickly scrawled on the nearest napkin, avoiding her sympathetic eyes which affirmed the sentimental desperation of my plea.
"I'll hang onto this, okay sweetie? Now what was your sister's name?"
"Elaine," I said, looking out the window. The desert stretched for miles.(less)
A hunger so deep and inwardly twisting
it consumes itself and leaves nothing but gravity tugging and yearning
like a dagger thrust through soft flesh.
We each carry a piece of the weakness,
though most do not know it.
(more) We are linked through pain and a feeling that we cannot see with eyes open.
As I drag my share of burden
I look to you for wisdom.
Finding only silence
and a darkness so complete that it consumes itself like
hunger that knows no satiety
I find myself back at my beginnings,
quietly hoping and waiting.(less)
The hilt was made of black stryofoam and all the endges were dull and rounded. The blade was light grey plastic, flimsy, hollow, and streaked with the blood of Joshua Green.
Joshua was eleven years old — old enough for him to be left home alone for th(more)e first time. That's what his mom said when the babysitter cancelled. It was a grown up thing to be left alone, she told him, and he took the responsibility with pride.
He cooked his own dinner that evening, fried eggs and toast. He washed the frying pan as soon as he was done eating and put it in the proper cupboard. When he sat down to watch TV, he kept his back straight and his hands crossed on his lap as if his teacher were watching him. On the coffee table in front of him sat the dagger that his mom bought him last month. In case he needed to defend himself.
So when his front door was kicked in and a man he didn't recognize screamed at him to not move, he wasn't scared. He grabbed the dagger off the table and raised it to show the stranger, who showed Joshua a knife of his own.
Joshua charged and poked his dagger into the intruders chest. It bent and cracked, and then Joshua's stomach exploded in a sharp pain.. He fell down, his dagger clutched in his hand while the stranger cursed and ran back out of the house. He didn't take anything, at least. He even left his knife.