[begin blog post #17]
‘And what’s your name fellah? I’ll call you Blacky. That will do.’ He does not read thoughts at all so I don’t have to do the ‘white noise’ thing with him. The centering trumpet blows. I move across from where he should be but he does not move. The handlers have to come back and push him to stance. Could they not have taught him that much? We wait, my sword raised up, his he holds tight across his midriff with one hand, the blade over his left shoulder. He’s mocking proceedings, that’s it. Showing he despises not just me but all of Hyrete, all of Elbre. A roll of drums is followed by three trumpets announcing the beginning. My heart gives a loud thump and I get ready to… do what?
He does not move. I have to attack him but I know it’s the play dumb trap. He wants to decapitate me at the first move. ‘Good luck Blacky and take this.’ I lunge at him only to be parried with a lighting move. Ahah, now we fight? I whirl and lunge again, a bit higher and to his left. He has a little more difficulty but also parries my blade easily. Now comes the really tough part. I have to make him chase me. But he knows that game and won’t move. Damn. I have to buzz him like a fly then. Jab, thrust, jump back, turn, move in. I may as well be fighting our wooden man in the compound for all the reaction I get for my efforts – except that the wooden man doesn’t have a lightning fast reaction to my thrusts.
The only way I can get him to move is to make him angry. For that I must cut him, make him bellow, shame him. I know some tricks. I come at him full front as if I’m going to throw myself in his arms. His sword is still across his chest. I feint a stab at his throat, he parries but neither I nor my sword are there. I dive under his blade and sliding my sword down in rapid motion cut a slash down his thigh then jump back on a low crouch while his blade passes over me with an angry vibrating whine. I feel the displacement of air. That was too close.
The mosquito has drawn blood and now he’s going to try to swat me. Of course, being a female mosquito I can’t leave now. I need a full belly of blood to reproduce. I stare at his face and when he finally looks at me I smile, then laugh softly. I have to anger him and get him to move or I’ll be so tired I will become a sitting duck for him. ‘Come on big boy, chase me. Think of that juicy female meat you want to cook and eat. Did they promise you could barbecue me in your snake pit wherever they be keeping you?’ He knows I’m teasing him but can’t understand. But at least I’ve got him moving. His sword is slashing through the air as he comes for me. I stand still until he commits himself to aim for my neck and duck, spin and cut him across the back before he can turn.
Now comes the bellow! He literally charges at me, flailing the sword, throwing up sand. I dance in front of him, my breasts bouncing slightly. That seems to enrage him even more. I raise my arms above my head, holding the sword as if it were a dagger, pointing at his chest and continue to dance back, watching. This is dangerous: I don’t know his moves yet, or if he has any more to display. He sees this slim female body completely exposed and lunges low. I hadn’t expected that and barely escape the heart jab followed by a cutting swath. I jump as high as I can – and damn that soft sand to hell – turning and throwing myself down and just out of reach. I’m still fresh and not cut. His own cuts are superficial but I can tell he is becoming truly enraged, dangerous now.
Seems all he knows of fighting hand to hand is with killing blows. No feints, no skill, no finessing around. He approaches me as if I were no more of a challenge than a fence post. I’ll have to trust my intuition on that and offer him more tantalizing openings and feints. I continue to tease, following through after his predictable jab and swing, and cutting him a little each time. So much like a bull, I feel I’m a toreador, as much as I despise that particular “sport” of Túat Har.
I’m totally into the fighting now, dancing, enjoying the feel of breeze and sweat on my skin, feeling the sword in my hands as it becomes more a part of me with each stroke, the carefully crafted handle absorbing the sweat from my hands, keeping them dry and the grip firm. At this moment you’d think I was the one bred to be a fighter. Well maybe I was, in some distant other life?
Yes, I remember that one. In what was called Nippon, later Japan, C-14 Old Earth, I learned how to use the famous Samurai sword then, and what a deadly weapon that was. I was a woman then too, a Geisha in training, and what I did was considered immoral. When they discovered my secret I was forced to commit seppuku with the very sword I’d used to fight men and kill men while defending a women’s compound from slavers and head hunters. If remembrances are good for anything, this is as good a time as any to incarnate my ancient skills. May they serve as well today as they did then. I was able to save the lives of a dozen women that night so long ago, but not my own. Now I can even that score and save my own life.
From mosquito I’ve become the wasp. I buzz around him, seeking to sting, for the wasp is not bound to one sting. She can bite over and over and my sword sings when it connects with his. I pull back, draw him out, swing to draw his eyes away from mine, then whirl, pulling the sword tight against my body to present hardly any target. When he lunges I use his great weight against him, going with the thrust, letting him believe he’s got me only to roll around and cut again. This time deep in the right thigh, a real cut. The blood pours out freely. He turns to look at the damage and I get him across the forehead, bringing blood into the eyes. He raises his arm to wipe his eyes and I swing with all my strength at the exposed wrist, cutting off the left hand.
From then its just finishing strokes. When he is finally down I raise my sword to the crowd to ask for mercy for their fallen champion. He could still live. No mercy is forthcoming and I kill him, turn and walk to the end of the ring to be escorted back to the compound.
As is customary and absolutely necessary, I inventory the damage done to my body. In these fights the adrenaline runs so high we often overlook many severe cuts or other damage. My damage? A blister and broken toenail that’s bleeding. ‘Well Blacky, wherever you go I hope for your sake you don’t ever underestimate a woman again. It’s not healthy. Size, speed and the ability to roar does not a fighter make.’
[end blog post #17]