Rose’s Thorn

      It is quiet in the room.  The low rasp of steel on leather mixes with the cool hiss of the sword itself as it is withdrawn from the simple sable sheath.  Light flashes off the silver, mirror-bright blade, reflecting the face of the wielder.  The clear, sharp, metallic tang of steel and the distinctive scent of brass fill the air.  Warm hands clasp the satin-smooth rosewood hilt beneath the crosspiece, lovingly rubbing the brass inlays on the simple hilt.  They are pleasing to the eye without being gaudy, showing a tiny golden rose adorned by nothing more than the elegant curves of its stem.  This unembellished ornamentation lends an elvish air to the blade.  

     I place the flat of the tapering blade against my burning forehead.  The icy kiss of steel calms and sharpens my feverish mind, reducing the insanity of the world into simple lines and cold equations.  The sword cuts a flashing arc through the air, singing its subtle song of steel.  The heft and balance are perfect, an unparalleled match.  It is twenty inches of solid lightning, and the sword knows all the moves of the dance.

     Suddenly, the sword’s flight is halted with a clear ringing crash.  The vibration runs down the shuddering blade through my shoulder.  The two swords disengage only to leap again at one another.  Speed and balance are everything.  Silver reflections dance as the sword weaves a pattern of song and steel around its enemy.  The deadly point sees an opening but it thwarted.  Around and around the spinning blades whirl until a sudden accord.  The ringing echoes fade as the swords salute one another.  I bow and slide my steel friend back into her home of ebon leather, hearing the song of steel ring faintly again.  The sword’s weight at my hip is comforting.  

     There is an air surrounding swords, a feeling of power and confidence, of pride and invincibility when one is in your hand or at your side.  When I wield a sword, it is as though I have touched something from deep in the past, a relic from the days when the world was young, when elves and men fought side by side, and when dragons flew the skies.  A sword is more than a length of heat-tempered steel wrapped in cunning engravings.  It is an embodiment of a time when life was filled with heroes, magic, and adventure.  It is the answer to an unknown yearning within me for those days of yore.

By Hikari Katana

(Originally published on Deviant Art)