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Lotus Takes Position



Yet another image I can't quite get out of my head. For once, the names were very specific.




Her cry was barely louder than a whisper. I'm surprised I heard over the thundering of my own heart. "Hold!" her guard ordered, and we did, taking the moment to regain our breath as Sergeant Danath knelt at her side. "Dame Lotus?" he asked, curtosey dripping despite the circumstance. Never mind that the woman was my grandmother, mages of any rank or class were not people to idly piss off.


"Twisted my ankle. Haven't run in decades; it was almost inevitable." She grimaced as she stood, trying not to put her full weight on it. "Surprised I kept up as well as I did."


Dame Lotus had lived almost all of her life since marrying my grandfather inside our ancestral castle. One the mercenaries under pay of the theives guild had invaded, to teach a lesson to me in particular and the rest of the nobility in general. My guards exchanged glances with each other, and both Lotus and I could read those glances without being told. There was no way we could outpace our pursuers with a limping old mage along. But what else could we do?


"Go. All of you. Leave me here." She ordered.


"But--," I started to sputter, but Sergeant Danath grabbed my arm and waved the rest of my guard forward. She pulled herself erect, turning away from us already. There was a slight bend in the corridor here, built there for just such a circustance as a fighting retreat out of the castle. Her hands began to glow her magic even as I watched. "But she's my grandmother!" I protested.


"And right now, she's your court mage. And it's her choice."


"Listen to your guard, boy. I can only buy your so much time. I'm only an old woman, after all." She smiled, as did we all. Dame Lotus got her knighthood by merit, as one of the fiercest battlemages our kingdom possesed. Forty years of peace hadn't dulled her edge by much.


I stopped struggling against my guardians, much to their relief. "God's fire, Grandmother," I said before beginning to run again.


"Goddess Grace, boy. And if you want revenge for me, outlive the bastards!"


The slowing fading screams of the dying followed us on our escape. No one commented on my tears when they finally stopped.


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