Wednesday, September 7, 2011

550 - The Spirit of the Sword

I managed to doze in the air on the way home, with no dreams that I could recall, and my flyer woke me well before we had to transfer, so I was wide awake for it.  Kallijas was smiling so big, I said  to my new flyer as we soared up into our proper position. “I can see his teeth from here.  This has been one of the best things for Him!”  He’d been almost manically happy, from Chevenga’s ceremony.  Not only was Chevenga seeming free entirely of his foreknowledge, Kall was going to be bringing Laisa for family visits to Yeola-e.  I had to smile myself.  It was about time.  Kallijas always took things so carefully, unless he had a sword in his fist.  This time it would be a split ring, on an unarmoured glove that he wielded -- sometime soon, I thought.

In the air, half asleep, I suddenly remember the song of the Imperial Sword that I dreamed.  Having seen the Yeoli ceremony, the half-remembered poetry of what I thought was merely a dream -- was suddenly, bloodily real.

I woke all the way, the memory of the sword and I dancing, singing to each other, arguing with each other, shimmering in my mind like a bowl full to the brim with blood, that I could see my reflection in.

“We will make ourselves your soul...”

“We?” I circle with the beautiful fiery sword over my head, dancing with it, loving it, drawing it into me as though I needed the steel to live.

I truly was doing that, as the Mahid taught me to take the steel in.

“We then,” It says. “We the Great Swords. We the mythical swords, the doom of heroes who live by us die by us, the lifeblood and lifesteel of Greatness, of being lifted out of the ordinary, flying on impressive death... life and death held in one hand... the soul of the warrior life’s edge fleeting existence on a razor’s edge a choice thinner than a hair.”

“You are mad,” I tell the sword even as I cradle it to me, holding it like a lover to my breast, kissing the hilt as though it were a lover’s lips. “I know you. To my bones. To my heart. You wind through my skeleton and your temper rings in every heartbeat as though struck by the hammer of the Gods, being forged.”

No wonder Chevenga wept and fought to let go of that.

“We are the same.”

“No, we are not.”

And the sword weeps rusting teardrops.  I know I will make it so much part of me I will never be able to tear the steel out of my soul…  Unless...

There is another way… I may live with the sword… that I suspect I carry in me, now.  That was hammered into my blood and my bones by my own will and by 2nd Amitzas’s hand.

“You are not a thing merely of steel and fire and sweat and spark. You are humanity’s dreams and lusts and wills. You are their fears and their nightmares... You are both the edge between dark and light and the edge that destroys either. Or both. Your edge is the depth of Hayel, the soaring height of Selestialis. Every time a human mind, in fear says ‘SWORD’ Hayel is created. Every time a human mind says ‘NO SWORD’ Selestialis is built.  If I deny you, I create, rather than breathe your steel edge and shard. I will breathe more than splinters of steel, fragments of rust, drops of blood of the slain. I choose to breathe air instead of blood and air as tyrants breathe.

But I carry it still, inside me.  I close my eyes and probe and test and feel nothing.  I cannot see it in me.  Chevenga’s ghostly spirit Chirel, smoking away into the air of the School of the Sword… Mine must be like the Imperial Sword.  It is what I was trained with.  The wings arcing over to protect my hand, encaging my fist.  I shall have to write Chevenga and ask him… if he thinks this I have a sword in me.  A ghost of the Imperial blade. Once he no longer is in seclusion.

In my dream the sword turned in my hand and plunged itself into my heart. “See?” It whispered. “I am already in you. The Mahid just sharpened me. The Mahid just pulled the dross away so you could see I was already here.”

But Arko is going to want this in me.  Arko voted me in, as I am.  Can I even find this in me?  Would I even want to try and get free of it?  Just as it is so carefully trained into every sinew of my body, every drop of blood that carries iron, so does it also carry the spirit of the sword.


  1. wow. Astonishing. The images you create here are haunting.

  2. Brrrrr. Chills. Loving it.

  3. Thank you, guys, the idea of the sword is something Minis is going to be thinking about a fair bit.