Kayla knew four absolute truths. One, this sword, she swung the falchion in a whirling pattern, was hers. An extension of her will in blade form and no one else was going to touch it. She halted precisely on her mark, swept hilt balance neatly between her palms. Losing it would be like losing her ability to breathe. She held the pose and counted her breaths. Her reflection in the long mirror held as still. She smiled in satisfaction. It was about time she’d done that set perfectly. She gathered her thoughts as she went into the slow sweeping motions of her second practice form.
Two, her family, whoever they’d been, were dead. Even if it weren’t for the time passing, she knew. Knew in her gut that something horrible had happened to them, even if she couldn’t remember their names or the circumstances of their deaths. That truth stuck in her heart like an anchor.
Three, the Duke and Duchess were lying to her. Kayla cut the air in dreamy dangerous arcs. Nothing they’d told her about her past resonated. Nothing breathed. Nothing struck her. And it was in the way they watched her. Not like a loyal soldier returned to them. No. They watched her like you would a trained beast that still held onto a trace of the wild lands. The Duchess smugly. The Duke with caution. Kayla frowned. There was some secret buried there that they were loath to share.
Lionel walked into the room. Four. She and Lionel were friends. He smiled at her and picked up a practice blade. “Mind if I join you?”
Kayla swooped through the last few turns of her set. “Not at all.” She finished with a flourish, sheathed her falchion, and picked up a practice blade. “I’d enjoy the company.” No matter that his parents were lying. Lionel was her friend, and the world would be damned before it broke them apart.
Thievery! My friend Bek stole the first line of this piece to write “Truths.”