Friday, November 30, 2007
Friday Flash - Damascus Vision
Friday Flash

Damascus Vision
(c) 2007 by Maura Anderson, all rights reserved

Ryan stifled a moan and closed his eyes for a moment. It seemed like forever before his stomach returned to its accustomed place and ceased desperately seeking to evacuate his body through his nose.

Goddess, he hated it when Niall decided to transport him. A hundred years of it and it still took every bit of willpower he possessed to not puke.

Experimentally, he cracked his eyes open just a little. No sign of nausea. More confident now, he opened his eyes fully and looked around. He’d been lucky this time. He stood atop a small hill, shielded from casual view by a fairly dense group of trees.

Of course, secrecy was everything, even when Ryan was running his cousin’s errands instead of his own. At least it wasn’t the middle of a slimy pond or inside a Port-A-Potty this time. No matter what Niall said, that could not have been an accident.

A few steps took him to the edge of the trees where he could see the buildings below. One good-sized house, few small outbuildings and a large barn sat in a clearing.

He shook his head. Not at all the place he expected to find Niall’s weapon-maker. Ryan’s Tuatha cousin had spoken of the smith’s work in nearly reverent tones and kept driving home the honor bestowed by the summons. After the sixth repetition, Ryan’s eyes practically rolled back in his head. A weapon made on request was honor enough but a weapon made because of a need seen by the smith was nearly unknown. And for a half-human, yet.

Ryan looked around carefully. Nothing more threatening than some songbirds appeared interested in him. Thankful for the leather pants, heavy boots and long black leather duster, he made his way around several clumps of large purple thistles and down the hill toward the house.

The short hair at the nape of his neck stood up and a shudder ran through him at the border to the house’s clearing. Wards. Stronger and more powerful wards than he’d ever felt in his life.

“Oh man.” Maybe there was even more to this smith than Niall knew.

Hearing rhythmic clanging from the barn, he bypassed the house and headed that direction instead. Uncertain of his reception, he stopped at the threshold of the open door. A remarkably slight figure stood at an anvil, tapping steadily with a large hammer. Blows became lighter and lighter until the smith merely tapped delicately, clearly refining what looked like a spear point. Picking it up with a pair of tongs, the smith sighted along one edge, then flipped it over and sighted down the other. He adjusted something on the forge and placed the item back inside the brightly glowing center.

Ryan couldn’t see much of the man’s form but it was not the hugely muscular, strong one he’d expected. Clearly strong and skilled, the smith’s arms were narrow and sleekly chiseled, the sweat on them highlighting the flowing muscles and tendons.

A long, thick braid of red hair hung down the smith’s back. Ryan realized the smith wasn’t wearing a face shield or protective glasses.

“Welcome, Ryan.” A woman. The sacred smith was a woman?

She turned to face the door and pulled off the leather apron she wore to lay it on the nearby workbench. Wowsa. Her delicate bone structure was clearly Tuatha but it was overlaid with muscles beyond those of most. He could just see the delicate points of her ears. But a Tuatha could not stand cold iron. Weren’t her anvils and tools made of iron or steel?

She chuckled, a throaty sound that caressed him like a lover’s touch. “I can see your confusion. You may call me … Ciara. My mother was Tuatha de Danaan but my father is Creidne.”

Ryan took a moment but finally came up with the reference. “One of the smithing gods. But even he didn’t work in iron.”

She nodded and stepped closer. “But he discovered his bastard half-breed was even more talented than he. So he cursed me in a fit of jealousy. I am cursed to provide arms and armor to my mother’s people but all my magic is limited to metal. Even my sight.”

A few steps closer and she stood an arm’s length away. The sunlight fell on her face, revealing the truth of what she said. Eyes of swirled Damascus steel stared back at him.


  1. Great flash :) This is my first week playing along. Stop by my blog & check it out!

  2. Love it Maura, once again you do not disapoint :)

  3. and i can't spell

  4. This is just awesome!!!

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