Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Dice Games, Day 1: “Liberty”

I’m busy trying to survive the end of the school year, but I wanted to tiptoe in and post this bit of flash fiction for ‘Timony Souler’s June edition of the Dice Games. The rules are simple:


You will roll a die – THREE TIMES

Each number you roll will give you a PROMPT (Which can be found HERE)

You will post a piece (between 250 and 750 words) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

For Day 1, I rolled a 6, which gave me the following: You fly off to a foreign country to meet a stranger – how does that work out?

The fill is 739 words long, with a bit of dialogue swiped from one of my favorite films. Many internet brownies to those who can identify the movie. 😛

There are nine other writers taking part in the challenge, so be sure to check out their work as well.

-oOo-

“Liberty”

The air is oppressively heavy, weighed down by the stench of sweat, smoke, petrol fumes, and a thousand other scents too foreign for Ara to identify. Five minutes beyond the air-conditioned confines of the ship, and her shirt is already plastered to her skin with perspiration.

The docks are a microcosm of the madness that has overtaken the sprawling, overcrowded nation of Hynnash. Here, a multitude of bodies collide and coalesce, swirling together in a melee that is dizzying and disorienting.

Ara’s only comfort is the thin silver blade concealed within her left hand. Solid and cool to the touch, it steadies her frayed nerves like an old friend, a confidant that holds all of her secrets. In a way, it is true. Her blade knows with deep intimacy all of the blood she has spilled over the years, the identities of every man and woman to fall beneath her fatal blow.  There is no other companion that she trusts more completely.

If she is lucky, there is but one more life to claim: the fugitive warlord known only as The Stranger. Intelligence states that he is aboard his personal yacht, where he will remain for the next three days before slipping deeper into Hynnash’s impenetrable jungles. The task that she faces is a simple one, save for the challenge of finding the yacht amidst the thousands of dinghies, boats, and watercraft of all shapes and sizes lining the three-mile stretch of shore.

But Ara has never known failure. With fluid grace, she melts into the press of bodies, slipping through the crowds with otherwordly ease. Fifteen years of the hunt has honed her into the perfect predator, calm, cool, and patient. However, it is not the thrill of the chase that propels her forward, but the tantalizing promise of freedom.

How long has it been since she lived for herself? How long has she killed, hoping with every strike of the blade to destroy yet another shard of her shattered heart? She can hardly remember what it was like before she was a servant to the Hierarchy, one of the many cloaked assassins sent in to do their dirty work.

If she can complete this last task, her final dance with death, she will be free. Likely she will spend the rest of her life dodging old enemies, avoiding new ones, confined to the shadowy, dark places in the world. It is a bleak future, but it is hers. She can’t help but cherish it.

The sun is making its downward arc into the sea when she sees the yacht. It is a splash of pure white against the blinding blue sky, with a single word painted on its side in crimson: Liberty. Her lips quirk in the barest hint of a smile. Ironic, but fitting.

There is a bustle about the boat, with workers bustling to and fro, loading crates into the hold. Her curiosity is piqued, but she quickly suppresses it. Her business is with The Stranger.

In spite of the bodyguards stationed on either side of the entrance, Ara slips through the doors unseen. Her pulse is rapid, adrenaline coursing through her body as she seeks out her prey. She bypasses empty rooms, her intuition leading her up narrow stairs and out to the upper deck.

The Stranger is there, alone. He stands with his back to her, facing the water. His silhouette is long and lean; the gentle breeze stirs his long, dark hair. At the sight, memory wakes within her, the pain sharp and piercing in that place where her heart once beat: the thrum of passion, the ecstasy of love, the wrenching emptiness of death.

She knows him.

He turns towards her then, though she knows she hasn’t made a sound. Those blue eyes cut straight to her soul, sharper and more deadly than the blade clutched in her hand. When he smiles, those lips curving into a benediction that is all at once gentle, loving, and welcoming, she feels her knees threaten to buckle beneath her.

She manages to remain upright, but her voice is guttural when she speaks, rough and raw with unshed tears. “Where the hell have you been?”

His answer is simple. “Waiting for you.”

Somehow, no other explanation is needed. She hardly feels the blade slip from her fingers, doesn’t even hear its splash when it sinks beneath the waves.

Liberty. It is a fitting name.

 

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15 Comments

  1. I love love love this, so glad you’re taking part. You write so beautifully!
    ‘Timony Souler recently posted..#DiceGames – Day OneMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, my love! And a huge thanks for putting on another wonderful flash fiction challenge. I always have such a blast responding to your prompts. 😀

  2. An interesting twist on things… And a cool challenge. =) I’ll watch for more.

  3. A very interesting and lovely piece. It is so nice that you were able to make good at this challenge.
    David recently posted..blues guitar sheet musicMy Profile

  4. That was beautiful. I loved how it ended. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the movie you mentioned, though.
    Esther Jones recently posted..Plugging Slowly AwayMy Profile

    • Esther, thanks so much! The film I reference is Ocean’s Twelve, with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. I wasn’t sure how obvious the reference would be, so I thought I’d better add a disclaimer just in case. 😛

  5. What a cool story – love the surprise ending! You prose is lush and descriptive, without being weighted down or slowing the pace. Looking forward to seeing your novel when the time comes!
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Misfit Monday: How to Watch Misfit MoviesMy Profile

  6. Just beautiful, Lena. I hope you continue with the story in following posts! End of semester yet? Summer freedom? Hope all is going smoothly with job, schooling, and life.
    Nadja Notariani recently posted..Researching For Romance ~ Action SequencesMy Profile

    • Thanks a ton, Nadja! This will be a standalone piece, at least for the moment. And uuuugh, no summer freedom, at least not yet. I’ve got another week and a half to get through, but soooon… So soon, I will get to relax (somewhat). Hanging in there till then, though!

  7. You have such a lyrical turn of phrase.. “her blade knows with deep intimacy all of the blood she has spilled” is just beautiful, and I love the way you use the knife imagery and it’s associations of companionship for him too… wonderful sense of completion in the story. I did #DiceGames too but missed out on adding myself to the links. Boo!
    Meg McNulty (@charitygirlblog) recently posted..Dice Games 3: Achilles ChoiceMy Profile

    • Meg, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. I really enjoyed this fill, and that blade kept nagging at me, so I had to find a way to weave it in. I’m so glad to know that the imagery worked as well as I wanted it to. 😀

  8. You did an amazing job with really immersing us in the sensual details of this one–though given the instant perspiration and fact that I thought she was keeping the blade against her skin I was a little curious how it would still be cool to the touch.

    Anyway I loved the description of her stalking, hunting and just flowing invisibly through the crowd. It’s a pretty exhilarating feeling and you captured it excellently.

    Also happy with the liberty she found in the end. I’ve said it before, but I’m a sucker for love stories and I’m glad that whatever history they had they were able to come together in the end instead of her going through with the hit.
    David A Ludwig recently posted..Dice Games June 8My Profile

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