Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
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Flash Fiction
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Duel in the Midnight Rain

by Deanna

Rain poured down from the sky
As if the sky had begun to cry.
Ominous clouds blocked the moon’s light
Foreshadowing the impending fight.

The ship’s lookout leaned against the mast,
Moisture dripped down his face
And flattened his jet-black hair against his skin,
Breaking his cover and revealing the tips
Of sharply pointed ears.
Elf ears.

The pointed tips were seen
By the man who loathed elves
For reasons only he knew.
But being themselves
Even if said elf was part of the crew,
Was a crime in itself.

Dara had seen Ash’s pointed ears
The elf had been
Betrayed by a storm for the second time.
First his lightning had been revealed
Now his elf ears.

“A rough night to be in the crow’s nest.”
Dara remarked as he approached the tired lookout.
My chances to kill him are best.

Ash froze at the sight of Dara.
His body stiffened
And he watched as the hatred glistened
In the swordsman’s black eyes.

Twin rapiers flew from their sheaths,
One sharp tip lifting the curtain of midnight locks
To reveal Ash’s right ear.

“I’ve known of your tainted blood for weeks.”
Dara mocked as he slid his free rapier to Ash’s throat.
The lookout’s green eyes were dark
Like a castle’s protective moat.

“That may be true. But it still took you weeks to find the truth.”
He replied coldly
His voice ringing out boldly
In the dark of the night.

Dara’s eyes narrowed.
“Arrogant elf,” he said angrily.
“Tonight ends your existence!”

Sharp silver blades
Drew back to strike
At the defenseless lookout.

“I will not die!” Ash snapped,
Unsheathing two daggers from his boots.
He would not be trapped.
Not like this.

“Arrogance again. Resign yourself to your fate.”
“It’s too late.”
Dara said coldly as the rapier’s tip
Pierced the skin
Above Ash’s hip.

Their battle had begun.
Human against elf
Bo’sun fighting lookout
Dara, armed with rapiers
And Ash…
With only two daggers to fight
He couldn’t take flight,
Not from this inevitable duel.

© 2008 Deanna

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