Andrew Girle's Blog

Crime and Speculative Fiction Blooking

The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 1

Posted by Andrew Girle on February 27, 2011

“A very long time ago,” the sword began, “in a Roman town found right on the border with the barbarian lands, there lived a little girl. This is her story.”

 

The sound of running feet echoed through the entrance hall of the Town Governors villa. The governor’s wife, Francesca, looked up sharply from where she was directing the gardener in the placement of plants along the summer wall of the garden.

“Francesca! Lucca! Come, come see!” the voice that rang out behind the noise of the sandals on the flagstones was that of the Governor, Francesca’s husband.

“Oh, for goodness sake! What is it now?” Francesca waved a hand irritably at the gardener, her pleasure in precisely placing the seedlings destroyed. “I will come back, the instant this desperately urgent matter has been dealt with appropriately.” The gardener nodded his head and went back to tilling the soil with a small hoe.

“What is it, father?” Lucca was a pretty eight year old, and still of a nature to dash from place to place instead of proceeding more gracefully like her mother.

The governor held out his prize for them to inspect. Francesca eyed it critically and Lucca with wide-eyed awe.

“A soldier’s gladius. Is that what is so important, Mikel?” Francesca’s voice dripped with ice.

“No mother, look closely,” said Lucca, “no soldier would have a sword like that. It is beautiful!”

“And just when did you become an expert on soldier’s equipment young lady?” The icy tone was directed at Lucca this time.

“I have had the guardsmen Quintus and Sextus showing me how to use their gladius.” Lucca adopted an attack pose like a soldier in a carving, her left arm up as if it held a shield and her right fist balled around an imaginary hilt at her waist level. With a shout she punched her fist forwards, waited a moment then stamped her feet ferociously.

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