For Whom the Bell Tolls

Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I write code full-time and words in the gaps in between.

A bell rang in the distance, and Malika rose from her cot, plucking Morduth up from where it lay beside her. She knew the sound of that bell because she had heard it regularly most of her life. This was not quite like the bell in her village, though. The timbre was deeper, richer, and its call was more insistent.

She headed out onto the street and into the flow of people heading for the chapel. Many gave her strange looks, shuffling away from her so that she had a sort of bubble of space around her.

Methinks the people are wary of a girl carrying a sword, Morduth said.

"Can't say that I blame them," Malika replied. "We really ought to talk about acquiring a sheath for you."

Moments later they arrived at the chapel, and Malika slipped into a back row as surreptitiously as she could. Sure enough the holy man was at the lectern, looking completely in his element here. He had done this hundreds of times, she was sure.

She set Morduth point-down on the floor, hilt against her shoulder -- and waited.

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