Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Xenicena

     Xenicena darted to her left.  Grass flattened under her feet, the surface glossy with morning dew.  Her eyes were puffy and red.  The small branded diamonds below her lower lashes nearly disappeared.  Tears streamed down her pale cheeks.
     Growling overcame the sound of mockingbirds off in the few stray ash trees in the field.  Xenicena didn’t dare to look back at what pursued her.  She knew well enough.  The giant scar on her right forearm looked like snow despite the lightness of her skin.
     “Please go away,” she whimpered as she stumbled down a knoll.
     An owl hooted in the sky, his brown feathers ruffled and missing in places.  Xenicena sighed, her eyes sparkling anew.  “I bear grave news, milady,” said the bird.
     Xenicena stopped in her tracks.  “No help,” she said.  It wasn’t a question.
     “It is time.”
     “But my skills have only just developed.”  Xenicena’s face was damp from sobbing.
     “The wizard said that you are the strongest mage he’s met in decades.  You must use your skills.”  The owl swooped around, shooting into a dive at the creatures only yards behind Xenicena.  He pecked at the gnarled head of the lead monster.
     Xenicena whipped around.  She lifted her shaking hands and formed her fingers into several gestures.  “Levin, I call you forth!”  Power filled her voice, the boom of it mingling with a crash of thunder.  A lightning-bolt shot from the sky.  One fork hit the broad torso of a creature; the other set the grass to flame.  Howls destroyed any chance of silence after the strike.
     “Bravo, milady,” the owl cheered.  He dodged a swipe from one of his opponent’s massive paws.
     Xenicena smiled wildly.  “Pyro, engulf and burn!”  The dying embers from the lightning-bolt blazed anew, spreading into a circle of perilous heat.  A single beast exited the fire, his back only singed.  The owl perched on its head.
     “Venom, stop its wicked heart!”
     The creature stared at Xenicena, his black eyes locked to her blue.  Blood dripped from his jaws, the first drops hitting inches from her feet.  It collapsed in a heap.
     “I must disagree with the wizard,” the owl said.  “You are the strongest mage I have seen in centuries.”


  1. Interesting. I like how the main character seemed to develop despite the short length of the story.

    1. Thanks. I wanted her to have an arc that was clearly steep, but still reasonable.