I thought I'd write about Eelistle again. You know, the elf from the first prompt? I changed the prompt so the verb tense would fit.
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There has never been a worse time to sneeze.
The guard’s footsteps grow closer.
I breathe silent through my mouth as my nose itches with the incoming force.
If Cordon were here to laugh-
The guard’s boot tip comes into view.
No time for sneezing.
I leap from behind the wall and sink my sword into the man’s chest. Just don’t look him in the eye. As I withdraw my sword, I let the blade sling out behind me. The metal rings against the sword of the other guard. He’s much too loud to sneak up on anyone.
My nose wrinkles. I disarm him with ease.
“Ah- Akchoo!” The offensive germs explode everywhere while the short guard scrambles for his sword. Bleck! That wasn’t disgusting. I sniffle.
The man swings at my head. It’s a high target for him and I step aside. In him, I see everything that Cordon warned me against in my training. Another sneeze tickles my nose. I deflect the guard’s angry thrust with a flick of my blade. I glance to the heavens. This cold will be the death of me.
“Eelistle?” Brayden picks his head up from the squat post where he’s been tied.
I fake a lunge at the guard. The man scuttles back.
“Brayden.” I bow my head, sneeze, and raise my sword just so.
The guard jumps right into the blade. He slumps to the ground and I hate myself for how well I can always time that- Someone’s death. I swallow hard.
“You came back?” My friend sounds a little delirious. But then, Brayden was just freshly whipped two hours ago. I wish I could’ve come sooner. But it’s a star’s chance I’m here now. A bad taste fills my mouth to see my friend – a prince on his knees- sagging against that post with his hands bound around it. A lump forms in my throat. But that could just be the cold.
I yank my sword free and stumble back with a sneeze. “Yes-“ another sneeze- “I wasn’t going to leave you.”
“I’m sorry. Did you just sneeze at me?”
I eye Brayden. With the lazy cadence of his voice and his hair matted with blood, I can’t tell if he’s just delirious. Or if Brayden’s humor survived the whipping.
“The atmosphere in your realm doesn’t agree with my immune system.”
“You have a cold.” He says it flatly.
I free his hands and rub my face. I breathe deep through my mouth because the passage of my nose is dammed up. When I drag my fingers from my eyes, Brayden undoubtedly smirks.
“Oh, shut up!” What was I thinking? Brayden’s humor is invincible. “Or next time, you can rescue yourself.” I pull him up.
He stifles a yell with a grimace. “If you insist on saving me, you mind taking care with those wounds?” He winces again as I walk him out of the courtyard.
I don’t mean to be rough. The lash of a whip is the most painful infliction, perhaps because it comes barbed with shame. But we have to get out of here. “Humans,” I say to keep him talking. “You’re incorrigible.
Brayden grins again. It once again appears delirious, but Brayden always grins like that. Still, his words drag in the exhausted, slurring way of a tortured person. “I know you don’t believe that. Or you wouldn’t have come.”
He’s right. I don’t believe it for a second. “Well- Akchoo!“ I snuffle. “Don’t spread it around, right?” I try to hold him up.
“Right.” Brayden’s head lolls to the side.