The Kantis Legend – 200 Word Tuesday

The Kantis Legend – 200 Word Tuesday

This week, I’m sharing a little something different. (I know, I know, I’m sharing something that says 200 Tuesday on a Friday, how bizarre!)

Every Friday I participate in a hashtag game on Twitter known as Friday Phrases. Every week the lovely MusaeMosaic posts a theme and everyone submits a bit of microfiction that fits it. A few weeks ago I received an amazing – and highly flattering – request from the game’s host to expand one of my submissions for MusaeMosaic’s other writing challenge – 200 Word Tuesday.

It was a daunting prospect. As you can probably tell from this intro, brevity is not my strength. But I just couldn’t resist such a lovingly crafted request, so I cracked my knuckles and got down to it. The resulting story was published by MusaeMosaic’s first Double Trouble edition, in case you’d like to read the other submissions.
. . .

The original Friday Phrase tweet was: Legends say they found him in the middle of the murdered village, not more than ten years old and barely able to hold the bloody sword. How else could they explain the slain bandits but the touch of the war god’s hand?

. . .

“It hardly seems possible,” Shashir murmured as she stroked the sleeping child’s head. He was still covered in blood, though they had doused him with what water they could spare. Would the stains ever fade?

“Did you see anyone else alive up there?” Derkas retorted, voice dead flat.

They had searched the village thoroughly when they arrived, knowing from the silence and the smell that something terrible had happened. Luckily, rot hadn’t set in, or they might not have found the boy. Those crazy, isolated kooks believed the mountain would protect them. Not one still breathed.

Except the boy, who stared solemnly at them from the center of the slain bandit hoard, his eyes bluer than the sky. He still clutched the crimson-soaked sword in his fists, though it was taller and heavier than him. How had he managed to swing it?

“He looks ten.” Shashir tucked a blanket around the boy’s shoulders, hoping the gentle sway of the caravan carts would keep him asleep. “Twelve at most.”

“The bandits didn’t kill themselves. It wouldn’t make sense.”

“And Litaio’s touch does? What does the war god want with a child?”

Derkas lifted his chin. “He’ll be a Kantis one day. The greatest warrior of our time.”

“He’ll have to be a child first,” Shashir said, pressing the boy against her side.

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