This is a FridayFlashFiction from a prompt at terribleminds.com January 28, 2013. We were given three lists of ten categories for Setting, Motif, and Subgenre to be chosen randomly. I’m not going to tell you what I rolled. If you want to know, you can check Chuck’s site for that date. Word limit 1000, mine 998. This is a continuation of back story for one of the main characters of my wip, Dragon Dreams. Previous short back stories posted on this site are Wild Wild Horse, and Red Spiders of the Stone Forest. shortlink http://wp.me/p1BAlV-42
Queen of Swords Louise Sorensen January 28, 2013
Justice Maria Tang, Maria to her friends, loved her summer job. The Pirate’s Cove Amusement Park on Lake Ontario gave her flexible hours, a great Pirate Queen outfit complete with an excellent replica cutlass and the opportunity to sword dance.
Her job included security, posing for pictures, and performing in the nightly show. Audiences enjoyed seeing her tiny character defeat hulking pirates with her swift thrusts. It was fun and supplemented her substitute teacher’s income.
The park was crowded this hot Saturday afternoon. Ready for her break, she almost missed him. A good looking twenty-something she’d noticed the previous two Saturdays; he seemed to show up a lot around her. The first time he’d been with a group of friends, the second time, an elderly couple, his parents, judging from the family resemblance.
Both times she’d noticed him staring her way. Now he accompanied a man and a woman who looked to be his sister. The couple was swinging a little girl dressed in pink between them. The little girl shrugged from their grip and held up her hands to her mother to be lifted. Her mother shook her head, smiled and spoke to her brother who immediately picked the child up, buried his face in her tummy and blew loud bubbles. Tossing her head up, the child screamed with laughter.
Maria shivered. She’d love to feel those wet kisses.
She shook her head. Too good looking. After a number of failed relationships with hot guys she was done with men forever. Especially hot ones. She risked a peek through her eye lashes. He was staring back intently. She blushed and looked away. Then she glanced behind her in case he wasn’t looking at her after all. Parents with children crowded the area, but she saw no one obvious. She turned back. He was still staring at her, pleading, humble. Their eyes locked and she felt like she could see infinity. His sister tugged impatiently on his arm and the spell was broken. He followed his family into the restaurant.
Disappointed, she took her break, eating her apple on a stone bench in the shade of an old tree. Bees tumbled in the roses, birds chirped. Tall, but not too tall for her. Lean, muscular. Thick black hair. Grey eyes. Or were they green? She’d never been close enough to tell. She put her sunglasses on and closed her eyes. Nice smile. That goofy Hawaiian shirt. The fine hair on his arms limned with gold by the sun. Those strong arms around her, warming her, fingers running up and down her skin, goose bumps, fire, caressing her lips, fondling… Stop thinking about him, he’s not for you. Fine, I won’t. Muscular tanned legs. But not a fencer. A surfer.
Molten. Just when she’d sworn off hot guys. They came, they conquered, they dumped you. No, Surfer Boy was too perfect. If she ever crossed swords with a man again, which she was never going to do, it wouldn’t be him.
She took a last look around before heading for the evening performance. The scent of moonflowers cut through the humid air. Though she thought it unlikely they’d stay, considering the child, she searched the thinning crowds for Surfer Boy and his family.
She spied them on the walkway leading into the theatre. His sister was stabbing her finger at the amusement area, then stabbing it at him. His head hung down, he kept shaking it no, then looked up and spoke calmly. His sister slumped in defeat, shaking her head. Maria couldn’t hear them, but the body language was unmistakeable. They continued in, and Maria hurried to the back entrance.
Maria played the Pirate Queen, a role she’d won through lightning reflexes, a fit dancer’s body, and an unconquerable spirit. The show was fast, authentic and more brutal than the audience knew. There had been a pirate king starring in the role, but Maria had beaten him relentlessly in rehearsals. Their choreographer Maurice had thrown up his hands in despair, but saw the benefits of a beautiful little pirate queen as his star. Now the former king played her opponent, and put every ounce of his strength and cunning into his swordplay. He might have been better off with a club; Maria infuriated him repeatedly by laughing when she danced away from his blade. His cutlass never even kissed her skin.
After the show she peeled off her sweaty outfit and showered. When she came out the back stage door, she was startled by a hand on her arm; Surfer Boy’s sister had her in a tight grip.
“My name is Erin Donihee,” she said, staring into Maria’s eyes.
Maria shook her off. “So?”
“Sorry. I don’t know how to say this.”
Maria looked around. Performers trickled out the stage door. She felt safe enough to listen to this woman. “Just come out and say it. Is something wrong?”
“It’s my idiot brother.”
Surfer Boy! “Is he okay?”
“Yes, he’s fine. Thanks.” Erin smiled. “It’s just that… well, he’s extremely shy. He’s been dying to ask you out, but he just can’t get up the nerve. He’s a decent guy… but he got his heart cut out and handed to him. You’re the first woman he’s been interested in for a very long time.”
“That’s a little hard to believe,” Maria said. “And you’re telling me this because he asked you to talk to me?”
“No,” Erin laughed. “He’d kill me if he found out. I just wanted you to know. You can do something about it, or not. But if you do, you’d better not hurt him.” She turned and walked away.
Humph. Maria headed towards the exit.
He was sitting on the stone bench, alone in the dark, the loud Hawaiian shirt unmistakeable.
She marched over and held out her hand. “Hi. My name is Maria.”
The sunshine of his smile banished the night. “Hi. I’m Lloyd.”