“On James Street”
This job was more difficult than she had anticipated. The dealer had not informed her that the long-abandoned city was falling, sinking into the sea. The towers collapsing, buildings that had stood for centuries being pulled under the waves. She had had to dive into the muddy water and swim through a window of the old palace. Even in the murkiness, the sword had shown, glowing with an inner fire from the algae coated wall where it had been left in the rush to evacuate. She had grabbed it and surfaced, gasping for air. After handing the weapon to her brother, she pulled herself onto the rooftop where he waited.
The sword was marvelous. For ceremonies, not battles, the hilt was encrusted with jewels, intricate carvings covered the blades, it practically pulsed with power. The legendary Gladius, forged by dwarves, set with gems from a dragon’s hoard, engraved with the words of victory, but only for the worthy. And she knew of none who were worthy. The sword brought ruin with it. The last King had conquered civilizations, but lost his family, and eventually his mind, in the process. His golden city was in ruins, his name faded from memory, spoken, if ever, in hushed, pitying tones.
Her brother slid the sword into the scarab and pulled the cape he habitually wore across it, fastening the fabric closed at his chest. She rested on the warm slate for a few minutes, feeling her strength returning, the sun warming her, drying her clothes. She nodded to her brother and the both stood, back to back. She gathered her energy, closed her eyes, concentrated on James Street and felt the fire run through her, familiar but painful nonetheless.
When she felt the solid stone beneath her feet again, she opened her eyes. No one was in the dark alley, aside from the two of them. Good. They walked purposefully through the labyrinth of streets lined with dingy shops and bars until they reached Blanchard’s. They pushed open the door and squeezed into the small musty room, tightly packed with all manner of books and bones, shelves filled with jars and jewelry displayed in a grimy cases. Blanchard himself thumped across the floor, a heavy cane helping support his weight, his greedy black eyes barely visible under bushy grey eyebrows. He handed her a stack of notes which she rifled through quickly. He was an thumping across the floor, a heavy cane helping support his weight. He was an odious man, but he did pay well and promptly. She glanced at her brother. He handed over the sword, and then the two left, no words having been spoken.
They did not see the customer who entered the shop after they left, the man Blanchard had expected, the man who paid well for his chance to conquer the world.
Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take. Yeah, I know I went a little long today. Sorry.