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A Warrior and her Tea

 
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Erin Dunbridge
Adventurer
Adventurer


Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 50
Barmaid, Jeweler
Location: Undecided
7,643 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: A Warrior and her Tea Reply with quote

Erin rolled her shoulders as she watched the gentle sway of the punching bag. Rolling her neck, which got more and more sore as she fought, she reset her feet and crouched again into the small position. Concentrating on her breath was the hardest part, she needed to punch as she exhaled: both because if she took the return hit, it would be easier to catch her breath once it was knocked out and because it helped her release the tension in the muscles.

Erin was a small woman, even she knew that. As a small woman, it would always be hard to pack a punch that would hurt the numerous large men in the Outback. In the Arena, at least, she had the advantage of a blade. If she were quick and skilled, hitting more than she was hit was a given. But, in the Outback, she could deal punch after punch without tiring her opponent, and his one could level her to the ground.

Harris had instructed her to run. A lot. In fact, the Englishwoman was finding it harder and harder to finish his regiment. The weather was cold, and it chilled the bones in the leg that had now been twice shattered. Her knee was stiff, and the pain of continuing was more frequently outweighing the pleasure of finishing. Sure, the running, and stretching and breathing saw her calmer, happier, and more relaxed than she had ever been-- but to lose the ability to fight and to exist easily was something she was wary of. Sometimes.

Inhale, rear back, exhale, punch. It was becoming routine in a way that her gentile family would never have suspected. The small girl who spent her time dancing, knitting and singing was now attempting to deal the most painful blows she could to the underworld of RhyDin. It was surprising, certainly, but to Erin it felt natural. She was angry, and here was an endless supply of people just as angry, as hurt and as screwed up as she was. And they wanted her to beat on them.

That she could do.

The creak of the chain on the bag brought her back from her thoughts, and again she ducked down, popping up to deal a blow. The soft thud and gentle sway told her that it wasn't hard enough. She needed to go harder. With a sigh and the dropping of her arms, she took a moment to fall back. Perhaps Harris was right, for now running would do her best. Best to run. She planted a foot and turned, scooping up her water bottle, and the towel she had brought. One was placed around her neck and the other drank from heartily. If she could replicate the anger that caused her to floor Alyson, or attempt to toss Locke from the beams, she could be successful.

Best not to think of that. Best to run.

And so with a sigh, she sat on the floor and pushed out a leg, leaning forward to grab her toe. At least she would stretch this time. The scream of pain from when her foot hit the pavement the day before taught her that. Stretch, ice, rest, careful. There was nothing more embarrassing than an injury in training. While running. The bruises on her face, her abdomen, her knees-- those were okay. Those were badges of honor from her five win run. Those were badges of honor from her return to the Outback to prove that the laughing stock of the IFL could do something, be something. She wasn't just a warlord. She was a warrior.

Erin leaned her head forward and closed her eyes for a moment. Perhaps a cup of tea before she ran. Yes, tea. Even warriors needed tea, right?
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Erin Dunbridge
Adventurer
Adventurer


Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 50
Barmaid, Jeweler
Location: Undecided
7,643 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I'm cold."

"Of course you are... Why are you fighting so hard...?"

"Because someday there will be something to fight for, and I want to be ready. Because I'm so tired of being tossed like a ship on the waves... how else can I get control of my life?"

"Erin, you'll never have control of your life. Not really. When are you going to understand that..."

"Just..."

"C'mere."


The water lapped against the rocks and the day passed as many had. Knitting, fighting, running, and then appearing... It was hard to live up to the reputation she had made for herself. It was hard to compete with egos and expectations. She wanted to be one of the people of the Arena, of the Outback. But the past wasn't there for her... it never would be, not really. And she would always be the somewhat awkward little girl that bounced about rings like a ping pong ball.

But fighting was something to do, and there was nothing in her life that at all seemed logical. She was settled into a place she couldn't believe in and it ate at her. It created the persona of herself that she couldn't even recognize anymore... but nothing familiar was left. Not really. Lydia was a shell of herself, and Carley barely talked, Ivy was bitter and quiet and the cold war with Charlie cut deep. There was no firm ground under her feet, and it was hard to get traction on what she had.

Feet pounding on the sand, she kept up the run. It was amazing how fast she could go now, and how long. If she thought about the miles and miles she pushed through the morning mist, it would sicken her. Running from something and nothing all at once, around in circles. Her life felt somewhat similar, actually, and it pushed her faster. The pain in her knee was just another reminder that she was alive. Alive and mortal.

The skies were bright for the winter, and the cold air turned steam that came from her nose and mouth seemed out of place in the morning sun. She was late for work. She was always late for work now. But there was nothing in it for her... the friendship that had grown in the place was but a shell of itself, and it ate at her when she was there. Lydia and Carley, her and Ivy. All she wanted was comfort where there never seemed to be any. But maybe that was the problem, anyway, nothing ever stayed comfortable for long, and she just couldn't adjust to life. That was never Erin's strong point.

And her feet pushed on. And on. She'd have to swim, too, that she knew. But for now it was her and the sky and the ocean and her thoughts. For now she wouldn't have to face her own fake smiles. Her inability to let herself be happy. Her inability to be the friend her friends needed or the woman she was always promised she would be. Maybe she was beating herself up, giving up her life, throwing it all into a sport that she wasn't even sure she could ever be good at. Not the way she was talked about. Not the way she talked about herself.

The pain threatened to take over her mind, and the nausea washed over her faster than perhaps it should have. She choked and came to a sudden stop, bending over to grasp her thighs. Spitting into the sand, she caught her breath. Ragged, quick... it was best to quit smoking. Must quit smoking. Fix the knee... thoughts were fragments now. Bits and pieces of a creation that never was.



"Do you really believe in all this?"

"I don't know. I don't know what I believe..."

"Working for G, fighting... is this what you were raised for?"

"I was raised to be a doll. I can't be a doll anymore."

"No, now you're just an action figure."

"**** you."

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