Fifteen Minute Word War

30 Nov

Prompt from:


Your character has returned from a journey only to receive news of the death of a relative or close friend at the hands of an enemy.

The woman’s hair fell in her face as she looked away.  The matron never called anyone into her office unless something horrible was about to happen, or already had.  She didn’t need this– she just returned from the front lines of battle.  Vivid scenes of trying in vain to save the lives of so many soldiers flashed through her mind.  Not one of those men had a face in her mind, but the wounds were all too real.  The stories they told of their lives were too real.  She saw them each time she closed her eyes.  Eyes filled with fear, sorrow, and hurt looked up to the ancient, but strong matron.  The woman before her was like those old trees from stories of elves and fantasy.  The matron’s eyes were gentle as she caught them, filled with regret.

“Anastosha, I hate to tell you this so soon after your return to us.” the old woman began.  She slid something across her desk. “There has been a death of one dear to you.  Your Mama Elita was captured in combat, and her head adorns a pike now, for she was decreed traitor by her former countrymen.”

Anastosha’s eyes widened, and she slowly approached.  Her movements were wooden as she reached for the bound records of the Mama Elita’s life and deeds.  She thumbed through, murmuring as she did.  How could this happen?  The Mother Supreme, who had taught her and drilled her for hours upon hours in the art of becoming hidden, was gone?  She could not hide herself in time?  No, it could not be.  Anastosha’s mouth slowly stopped moving, and a tear slid down her face. “Mama Presida.  I need time alone.” she managed.

The old matron nodded. “Take the time you need, girl.  I will see that your daily duties are fulfilled by another.  Go, mourn, rest, and pack your things.  I will send you back to your family for a time.  I know that you were closer than most teacher and student pairs.” She forced a smile that was not quite reassuring, then returned to her work, a clear dismissal.

The young woman, now bereft of her teacher, turned and walked from the room.  Nothing good came from a call to the office of the matron– the Mama Presida.  A tiny growl escaped her throat.  To be sent to bed, and home, was an outrage.  She should be sent to the lines again, to pick up slack!  She should be sent to do the spirit of her Mama Elita proud!  She hardened herself, and forced her legs to take her to the Mess.

She ate there, and ignored attempts by others at conversation.  Her ears let none of their words penetrate until one mentioned their own Mama Elita.  Anastosha looked up and began to listen as the foolish young girl complained.  A mighty twitch deformed Anastosha’s forehead for a moment before it faded, and her face was once more even. “Be thankful that your Mama Elita is so strict.  It ensures you learn.” she snapped, her voice more hard than intended. “If you manage to pass your tests next end season, her lessons will ensure you survive if you are sent to the front.” Her tone was cold, and all took note of her quiet words.

One near her jabbed her elbow into Ana’s ribs. “Simply because you once kissed upon the arse of yours does not mean we all must.  Be more kind in your words!” she scolded.

White fury filled Anastosha’s gut, and she whirled on the other girl, one arm raised before she caught herself and slowly lowered it.  The mere act of dropping her arm took far more effort than raising it, and she found herself in awe, deep within her mind.  How could she be so quick to anger? She sat and lowered her head. “Please forgive my outburst.  I mourn, and thus have lost my sense.  I will depart, before I can cause more disruptions.”

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Semihistorical Fiction


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