Chapter 2 (4 of 5)

"They brought your uniform," she announces excitedly, unfolding the cloth, which I can now tell is a dress, and holding it in front of her. It is plain white and floor length, with extremely long sleeves that fanned out at the end. The collar of the dress is curved and looked like it would set low enough to show the top of my breast. It also looked like it would be tight until around the waist and elbows.

"I hate it." I state with a scowl on my face.

"Why?" Mom asked, with a pout of her face. "It's so pretty. The one I had to wear just looked like a white potato sack."

"I'd rather have a potato sack. That thing looks like it's meant to show off the goods so the men know what there getting."

"Because it is." she retorts, and smiles as I turn my glare on her.

"What did Margaret mean by packing if we have a uniform? I was hoping to at least get to wear my own clothes on the ship."

"You can pack things of emotional value and toiletries. And maybe some of your own clothes. You may have free time to explore outside of the Academy. Who knows what they do now." she answered absentmindedly. "Try it on!" she demands, her smile growing larger and her voice higher. Oh dear. She's having a girly fit.

"No!" I refuse, getting up to put my empty bowl on the stone counter.

"Why not?." she whined. It seems that no matter how much etiquette they had pounded into my mother at that academy, she still kept her demanding attitude. It's her weapon against me and my dads own pessimistic attitude.

"I want to procrastinate for as long as I can. That horrid thing isn't touching me until the very last second."

Our gaze lock, and for a whole minute we have a battle of wills. And as always, she wins.

With my head bowed in defeat, I hold out my hand, "Give me it."

She squeals as she hands me the cloth of horror and shoos me to my room. I enter it and close the door with a sigh. Leaning back against the door, I look around my room and start taking mental pictures like I did back at the Main Hall. There was nothing special about it. All stone. All dark wood. My bed consisted of a white pillow and a brown blanket. Blades of all sizes were on my walls. My work table sits under the only window in the room and was covered with papers that had drawings on them. And on top of those laid the weapon my father built just for me.

It's a set of what looks like gauntlets, but they are much more than that. First of all, they were more slender and delicate looking then normal gauntlets, and they were used for offense instead of defense. I throw the dress on my bed and walk over to pick up my most precious possession. I strap the set on, putting the protective, and extremely thin, leather sleeve that fits from my wrist to elbow on first. After I get everything strapped on, I hop onto my work table, jump out the window and stroll over to my usual spot in the open, grassy area behind my house. With a flick of my wrists, twin daggers pop out of the gauntlets and into my hands. I widen my stance and roll my shoulders, getting ready for the work out. Swinging my arms out, I release the daggers, but they don't go far as the small chain connecting them to me pulls taunt, and my dance begins. I spin and twirl, swinging my daggers in great swoops and arcs, the blades catching the light of the moon and sparkling. A grin forms on my lips as I feel my muscles stretch and strain, and adrenaline begins to pump into my blood. The prospect of a slight mistake causing a blade to make a deadly slice was exciting and scary at the same time. When it was time for the dance to end was when it got even more dangerous, as I had to find a way to sheath the blades without losing a finger. I slow down, causing the chain to get shorter has it coiled back into the gauntlets, and locked it in place by grabbing the chain with the tips of my fingers. When it got short enough, I drifted my arms toward the ground, and allowed gravity to make the blades slip back into the gauntlets in a straight, and safe, line.

I roll my shoulders again and make my way back to my bedroom window, feeling lighter than before.


The End

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