This is what Weekend Writing Warriors aka wewriwa and #8sunday and #wewriwa does so well. It works as a polishing tool for writers' prose, eight sentences at a time.
I won't swear that these words won't change before this story sees the pages of a book, but I can tell you that wewriwa (and the now closed sixsunday group) taught me a lot about preening my selection for errors before posting. When I'm at the end of looking for what's wrong, as my friend and editor, Steven Weissman, tells me to do, I ask myself how I can make it better.
This is a compilation of several weeks' postings.
*Note "chade" is a Rialtan word, rough translation into Earth English is, "bitch".
And Norstar is
one of the young King's guards, has been impressed by Rissa's tenacity and effort throughout the training.
Cuylrh, young King of the Rialtan Empire, two months ago, commanded that Rissa, the young woman from a place called Earth, is to be trained to fight with a sword--eventually to earn a place in the King's guard. Since then, she's been training. The method the
group is using to teach her is simple and brutal. Any of them can (and
do) draw on her anytime, anyplace, on any given day-- with very few
exceptions. They have all been warned to not draw blood on her. All have
complied, but Dhurstan has come as close as possible without earning
punishment from Cuylrh's sword. It has been a trial by fire of day in and
day out, eat, sleep, drink, breathe, sword.
By now, Rissa's exhausted, thin as a rail, and has been pushed to her limit by
Dhurstan's incessant tormenting. The ultimate in waking on the wrong
side of the bed furs occurs- finally giving Rissa the moxie to do what
she must. To best one of the group with her sword.
Growling, Rissa drove forward--her elbows bent in a two-handed power-grip like she was wielding a Louisville Slugger.
She met Durstan’s
steel with her own.
For what seemed like an eternity, their motionless and deadly standoff of
cold metal opposing cold metal played out, finally brought to an abrupt
end when Rissa dropped and rolled.
While Dhurstan’s broadsword
sliced the ground beside her, barely missing her hair, she grabbed a handful of dirt and ashes.
In a fluid motion, she scrambled to her feet and emptied her fist, flinging it
at Dhurstan’s face.
His unarmed hand flew through the cloud of caustic dust, and swiped at his eyes.
Seizing the opportunity, she shifted effortlessly--now second nature to her, attacking with the balance and grace of a
dancer merged with a sweaty, enraged wildcat.
flashed when she slammed his sword with hers--her undersized weapon
wielded by the most unmanly of hands, lifting his up and out,
and launching it from his hand. "
Black tears streaked down his ash
covered face as Dhurstan spun the whole way around, squinting then
blinking over and over, no doubt searching for his weapon.
In her opponent's weak moment, Rissa tackled him--
dropping her sword as she launched herself, toppling him to the ground. No
barred, she bit, she scratched, kicked,
slapped and she even pulled his hair. When he was reduced to cowering behind his hands, she leaned out, grabbed her sword, and laid it across his throat.
Through clenched teeth, a fierce voice came from someplace deep within
her, someplace that had never seen the light of day, resonating steel no
less hair-raising than the song of the executioner's sword. Her
breaths were deep and fast, and stinging sweat ran into her eyes as she
warned, “Do you yield? I mean it Dhurstan--you yield, or I swear to the Giver above, you
won’t live to torment me another day!”
More tears of ash irritation, or possibly from hot embarrassment ran from his eyes as he scanned the crowd of astonished onlookers, finally coming to rest on Cuylrh, then he blurted, “She... she cheated--it was a chade fight!”
Amid snickers that followed
Dhurstan's whining, Norstar quipped, “You say it was a chade fight, yet
by all appearances, you are the one who must yield?”
Cuylrh’s expression softened into one of growing amusement—the first time he had appeared
untroubled since Rissa’s swordplay had begun. A smile tugged at the corners of his lips and one eyebrow raised as
he looked at his friend’s face and with the slightest hint of teasing evident, calmly quoted the words Dhurstan had spoken
on the day Rissa’s training began. “I recall you announcing to all of us that
there was more to sword fights than swords?”
While those words settled out of the air, the defeated guard’s
defiant whining was set to rest-- along with any possible intervention on the young
King’s part. Dhurstan’s face flushed red then his gold eyes looked up at Rissa’s
where she glowered above him.
She was a wound spring, her teeth yet clenched, and her
knuckles were white where one hand gripped and twisted his braid, and the other
held a vice grip on her sword. She narrowed her eyes while she jerked his braid
again, wavering the pressure on his throat for one instant. There was no thought
behind it, no design of action meant to terrify him, just rage
I'll add to this as #8sunday posts have been commented on and edited accordingly.