A New Face
A New Face
“Okay let’s practice some new techniques today. Put this on.” She hands me a ratty old blindfold and I put in on without question. “We’re going to focus on your hearing today. The best fighters can fight with only their sense to guide them.” She makes sure the blindfold is securely fastened before she begins. A hard blow comes to my right side. I stumble backwards, and try an uppercut with the harsh water. I don’t hear the blow. I turn in a circle, trying to listen to my surroundings. I feel the water wrap around my foot, but just a second too late. I fall hard on my back and a blow comes down on my head. Not hard enough to knock me unconscious, but enough to make me faintly dizzy.
“Okay,” Johanna says disappointed “we’ll work on that more tomorrow. For now, show me what you can do.” She lunges at me. I veer off to the side. I grab her arm, and using her forward momentum against her, spin her around where she stumbles to the ground .she jumps back up and sends a torrent of water coming straight for my face. I duck and send it right back at her. She dodges it, but not fast enough. It hits her square in the chest and she falls flat.
“Wow, Es, you are getting good. But you forgot the fighting stances I taught you. If you stand facing me like that, it is easier to find a hole in your strategy. She demonstrates the position I should’ve been in instead. With her elbows in to her chest and her knees bent, you would have to wear her down and hope she gets careless. With the one I was in, there were many was to beat me. As we continued, the dull gray of the morning turned to the light sunshine of the afternoon. But, yet again, lessons came to a close and we started our march back up to the house. I still had a little time before my lesson with Caleb, so I went to the library on the second floor to get started early. The library was massive. I went to my usual table in the center of the room, and grabbed the history book again. I opened to the next page, took out my homework, and set to work reading the next section. I had only read to the second sentence when I heard someone come up behind me. I whipped my head around to see a complete stranger standing behind me. I jumped up from the chair and assumed battle position 1. I went to aim a kick at his knees. He jumped about a foot backwards in the air, holding his hands up in a defensive manner.
“I'm so sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you!” the stranger exclaimed. He looked to be about 30, maybe younger. He had shoulder length blonde hair, and light sky blue eyes. Slightly aghast at my reaction, he was eyeing me cautiously. He looked familiar somehow, though.
“Oh my goodness! I am so sorry!” I cried. Oh! Now I remember where I recognize him from! He was one of the guests form Aiethamus. He was the one I saw talking to my mother last night at dinner! Why didn’t I notice it before? Aiethamus people always had a slight disheveled, breezy look about them!
“You’re one of the guests from Aiethamus, aren’t you?” I probed. The stranger was wearing a cotton t-shirt and a pair of kaki baggy pants.
“Um, yes, I am. My name is Redmond. I traveled a long way to get here. All the way past the mountains. And I have something to tell you. Your mother doesn’t think that you should know, but this matter includes everyone he-“
He was interrupted by a loud bang at the door.