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The Girl and the Fire--A Scene
Kaley swiftly picked her axe up from the floor. She took her stance with her axe strategically leveled in the air as Jahnsey cornered her. She squinted to try to avoid the sweat from pouring into her eyes. Jahnsey approached closer with her weapon in her hand ready to strike. In the niche of time, Kaley raised the handle of her axe to stop the blow. The pressure from the hit knocked her to the ground, also cracking the handle of her axe. Jahnsey hovered, seizing the advantage she had over her. Kaley’s heart plummeted to her stomach, but she was not ready for defeat. She was not ready to die. Not this way. Especially at the hands of a beloved friend.
Kaley quickly swooped through Jahnsey’s leg to get behind her, and then just as quickly, she rose from the floor. Jahnsey turned back only to received a punch in the face, flailing her backward into some shelves on the other side of the room while losing her weapon in the process. While in her temporary unconsciousness, Kaley picked up Jahnsey’s weapon and raised it above her head. But once Jahnsey jutted open her eyes, it filled with fear and complete helplessness. Softened by her pleading gaze, Kaley lowered her weapon. She shook her head and wiped the sweat from her forehead. Slowing down from the heat of the fight made Kaley aware how hot and musty the air was.
Jahnsey rested in her slumped position, her back up against the broken shelves. She let out a breath when she realized her life was spared. She looked over to Kaley who had her head in her hand. She looked deeply conflicted and Jahnsey knew why. She remained silent and afraid to move until Kaley finally spoke.
“I just…can’t. I can’t bring myself to do it…” Kaley muttered but avoiding eye contact with Jahnsey. “You know I love you Jahn. I can’t kill you…” She breathed and quickly wiped the tears from her eyes. “You were one of us…I DON’T UNDERSTAND!” She broke and hid her face in her hands. After controlling her breathing she finally looked over to Jahnsey, who still was slumped over in the shelves. She just stared hopelessly at Kaley, unable to respond. “I just don’t understand…” She whispered gazing right into Jahnsey’s eyes. Feeling safe enough to rise, Jahnsey stood up. She cleared her throat to sound confident.
“I cannot explain why.” She uttered in her thick Caribbean accent. Kaley violently tossed her weapon to the ground. “Yes Jahn. Yes you do. You know why you left. You know why you switched sides.” Kaley grunted more angry than sad.
“It is a reason you will not understand-“
“Then make me understand…Jahnsey, you had so much going for you.” Kaley sympathized.
“Like what? Taking orders of how to be perfect from people who were far from perfect? Or doing things that I hated just to not be appreciated for what I sacrificed?”
“They aren’t teaching us to be perfect, they’re teaching us to be transparent…why cant you understand that and get you, yourself, out of the way. Jahn, we ALL sacrifice for this fight, just because you don’t get glory for it, doesn’t mean it isn’t appreciated.”
“It’s just a fight that I cannot afford to lose.” Jahnsey finally answered after a few seconds of pondering. Kaley slightly chuckled.
“By switching sides you’re almost -scratch that -ARE guaranteed to lose. Did you forget what you used to fight for? Do you remember where you were found?”
“Of course I remember,” Jahnsey answered quickly, “I was an orphan child, just like you. No home, no family, no direction…”
“Then answer me this Jahn…what changed? Why did you forget?” Kaley carefully pried. Jahnsey found a seat on a nearby stool as she searched for an answer.
“I was just so…tired. I was tired of fighting for something that should have just come so naturally. I wanted to just cut loose, I guess. Have fun. Stop caring and fend for myself. I no longer have to take orders from a bunch of nobodies.” She spat. Kaley’s eyes watered and throat ached at her choice of words.
“Nobodies?” Kaley shook her head, “So let me ask you…how did you feel before you were found? Didn’t that change when you came in the kingdom? Jahn, you had love, you were cherished, you are wanted…and whoever told you otherwise is a liar.” Kaley urged to step forward to give her friend a hug once she saw how much Jahnsey pondered.
“That might be true.” Jahnsey accepted. Hearing her response, Kaley saw that as an invitation to wrap her arms around her friend and hold her tight.
“There is always a place for you at home Jahn, don’t forget that.” Kaley squeezed her six foot friend in her little arms. Jahnsey had to bend over in order to properly hug her.
“I don’t know why I do the things I do…” Jahnsey began, “I joined my enemy. I joined the side I used to fight against…” Kaley rubbed her course hair to coaxed her.
“No one is perfect. As long as you realize that, and turn from your mistake to do better…” Jahnsey lifted her head from Kaley’s embrace, “that is what makes a strong warrior.” Kaley smiled.
“Traitor!” A sudden burst from the entrance of the door disrupted them. Turkos held a sword in his hand ready to strike. “You traitor! Conversing with the enemy!” Turkos accused Jahnsey with his sword aimed at Kaley’s throat. “You both shall be killed!” He charged at them, but with the quick aid of her helmet, Kaley used it as a shield from the sword’s blade.
“You do not understand Turkos. I am no trader!” Jahnsey cleared. Kaley snapped her attention over to her while avoiding several jabs from Turkos’ sword.
“Jahnsey!” She exclaimed in shock. She quickly kicked the sword out of his hand to delay his attempt to end her life. Her attention was focused on Jahnsey.
“Jahnsey, what side are you on? There is no middle ground.” She stared directly in her face, unaware that Turkos was right behind her. He swiftly brought her to the ground with her hands behind her back. He regained his sword and handed it over to Jahnsey.
“Prove your loyalty. Kill her.” He proposed with a shrewd smile. Jahnsey held the sword in her hand, weighing her options. She wished she hadn’t glanced at Kaley’s face. Her eyes convicted her. They were not pleadingly like hers was when Kaley had spared her life. Kaley’s deep brown eyes were stern and full of disappointment. Jahnsey raised the sword up to Kaley’s neck. She shook her head and look up to Jahnsey one last time. This time with a tear in her eye.
“Before you do…I just want to know something; do you finally feel like a somebody in this kingdom? Or do you still feel like the nobody you used to be?” Kaley said her final words. Jahnsey pondered her question, the sword still hovering under Kaley’s chin. Impatient, Turkos rolled his eyes.
“For the love of-“ he blew out air and frustratingly pulled the sword from Jahnsey’s hand and struck down.