The Sword of Water
By Tom Liberman
Copyright 2012 by Tom Liberman
Barnes and Noble Edition
“They’re everywhere!” roared a little man with a thin, black moustache wearing a red tunic emblazoned with golden fire at the fringes. He knelt before a beautiful woman with long hair that looked like flames leaping from a bonfire and her eyes were black like lumps of coal. She leaned lazily back on a throne of flames that rose from the floor and shimmered around her as she smiled, revealing perfectly white teeth, snugly spaced and aligned in a continuous, even row.
“Yes, they are bold little creatures; the Tree Shepherds and half-breeds aid them. Has my brother been informed the humans are attacking our citadel?” she said yawning and tapping her lips with the nails of her right hand.
The man kneeling on the floor looked back over his shoulder to where the sounds of battle echoed down the marble halls, “He is in the aerie, meditating. We cannot hold against them, it is the son of Silenia with the Sword Which Cannot be Broken. His sons are with him and many fierce warriors. Please, call your brother, rouse him from his contemplations, he must help us. You must go up and speak with him!”
“I must?” asked the woman her black eyes dancing under raised eyebrows while a broad smile appeared across her face and her hand, with bright-red painted nails, went to the whip handle at her side. As she drew it out a licking flame flickered from the tip towards the supplicant.
“I meant … what I wanted to say is that if you wish to prevent the humans from taking your palace you might call upon your brother,” said the man putting his head directly on the marble floor as sweat ran down his face and his eyes bulged. “Great Eleniak, beautiful Dancing Flame, we cannot stop them without your help. They will capture your citadel. They will put us to the sword as they did your father and his minions.”