A couple of drabbles


on Flogging

“Didn’t you ever wonder what it was like?”


The museum guard had wandered off some time ago, leaving them alone among the items not currently on display.  Cardboard boxes and plywood shelving and dust.  Jim took the cat out of the bag.  Its intricate rope handle was dark with human grease.  The thin, almost frail thongs disappointed him.  It couldn’t do much more than sting.

“Where’s your imagination, Andy?  You could be the cruel captain and I could be the rebellious tar.”

“‘Seaman Staines?'” Andy smirked, straightened from his slouch by a cannon and held out a hand.  He weighed the cat thoughtfully then lashed out with sudden savage grace.  A blur of movement, the sound of air tearing, and the four inch plasterboard plank leaning against the wall gave a sharp crack, splintered, snapped in two.  As the broken pieces clattered on the floor James swallowed, romance knocked out of him merely by sound.  And yet… “OK.  Painful.”  He licked his lips, his breath short, his skin itching with hot sweat.  And yet….


 Saxon slash

Thin rain slanted across the marsh, bowing down the reed tops.  The sullen pools rippled with a purposeful heaving of black backs.

“Water elves.”  Tostig wiped back his rough brown hair and tried not to look afraid.

“Wyrms, more like.”  Alfstan eased his sword in its sheath.  “Dragons beneath the water, elves above, and on the fertile land, the Norsemen.”

“Alone then, between wave and welkin wandering, like the grey geese.”

Alfstan took off his helm, pale hair flying, and grasped his friend by the shoulder, smiling.  “No,” he said, “While I live, you will never be alone.”

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