So That’s Why You Have a Sword In Your Chest



This week’s delayed winner of the Tuesday:Picture Poll, is ‘Desolation’. This is a continuation of the previous Sunday: Smoke-Long Story of the Picture Poll entitled:


Now, it’s not mandatory that you go back and read that one, but if you at any moment feel lost along the way, you are welcome to. After all, flash fiction can come in at the middle of the story, so if you choose to leave the history a mystery, rest assured there will be no trickery in the swiftly written delivery. 

Oh yeah..that just happened.

Anyway here we go:


Thirty Years Later…..

“So that’s my story,” I said as I looked down at the man bleeding out on the ground in front of me.

“That’s how I got here, and that’s why you now have a sword in your chest. Any questions?”

“Ummm, yeah,” my shadow asked, “I guess I’m getting the blame for this one again, right?”

“Well yeah, Shay, I mean you totally just stabbed this guy.”

“Right, but I mean, it was clear that he was going to attack you.”

“Shay, we were playing with fake wooden swords. This is why we don’t go on vacation or participate in public events… you get too caught up in the moment.”

I reached down and grabbed the guy’s phone to check out the photo he had taken before it all went south. He was dead now. The more I thought about it, he really had been a bit of a dick on the bus to the castle. Flirtatious I could handle, but he was quite rude to Steve and Bob, that gay couple sitting in front of us. I’m not sure if Shay was even around then as we were driving East. Maybe she had sensed something before I did. Maybe she had saved my life again. Or maybe, I was being to slack with her.

“Well at least the picture looks pretty cool,” I said as I showed Shay.

“Oh hell yeah! We look amazing! I mean that helmet is obviously way too big for you but I look super skinny in this photo.”


“You know you always look better after 3pm, Shay, when the sun hits you in that flattering moment.”

“True. I also usually tower over you then. Shorty, hahaha.”

I realized I was still holding the wooden sword when Shay began taking fake jabs at me.

“Ow!” I said, rubbing my left arm, “Geez Shay, you really need to lighten up. You’ve been getting more and more out of control lately. I know you said you’d always have my back, but it’s really becoming borderline psychotic now. What’s going on with you? This is the third kill this month…Over nothing, I might add.”

I could see Shay’s profile now. Something wasn’t right…

“What is it, Shay?” My stomach dipped and I had an unbelievable feeling of dread.

“Look, Emily, we should really clean this mess up before the other people in the group come back from lunch. I don’t like the look of those clouds coming in. That’s the look of snow ahead and the blood will be harder to hide.”

I looked around. Shay was right. While the blue sky behind us was full of hope, the clouds on the horizon were all too familiar. I knew deep in my heart, that they were coming back.

“I saw a jeep in the parking lot,” I said as I looked around to make sure we were in the clear, “Head or the feet.”

“You go ahead and take the feet, Em. This was my fault. I’ll take the poor bastard’s head.”

I looked at Shay as we lifted the man who would now be referred to as poor bastard.

For now.

“He really was a dick, Shay.”

“I know. He rubbed me the wrong way ever since the lighthouse.”

We carried the body to the jeep.

I always found it incredibly amazing how no one ever caught us. You know, like in this movies when something is very obviously amiss and there are plenty of witnesses yet no one seems to notice?

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to dwell on living in the land of “Oblivious” while my shadow and I carried a corpse across the castle grounds, over to the parking lot, and into the jeep I was about to steal.

I threw my duffle bag in the back seat and the poor bastard in the trunk.

As I started to wire the car, I noticed the clouds roll in. Fast. The sun wouldn’t be with us for very long.

“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to be with you here, Emily.”

“I know, Shay… But look, you need to tell me what’s been going on with you, no matter what it is.”

“I will. Look, do you remember about 200 miles West of here? That abandoned looking farmhouse that you pointed out when I was next to you on the seat? You mentioned how lonely the tree looked in the middle of such vast emptiness and desolation. I remember you said that because I thought you sounded like a fu*king loser.”

I looked behind me to Shay as she turned so I could see her profile laughing. I grabbed the bottle of Vitamin Water that the unsuspecting person whose jeep I was stealing had in the middle drink holder, and threw it on Shay.


We both laughed.

We didn’t make it more than 20 miles before the clouds completely owned the sky. Shay was gone, in the absence of the light. The snow was coming down hard as I pulled up to the little farmhouse with the solitary Maple tree. I looked around to make sure the farmhouse was indeed, deserted and grabbed a shovel as I headed back to the jeep to grab the poor bastard.

As I started digging, I thought about what Shay had said to me before we got to the castle.

“This has been a great trip, but we can’t really ever escape.”

Her words haunted me. Why was I so quick to blow that off?

As I finished digging the grave, I turned around to retrieve the poor bastard.

Just then, enough floodlights to light up a football field were switched on. I was temporarily blinded as I looked out and saw two shadows headed in my direction.

One, was the poor bastard.

The other, was Shay.


What do you think? Was it worth the wait?





Right here—> Did Not See That Coming


By the way, as usual, I will reveal the origin of the original photos. The shadow fighter photo is obviously a cut from the photo of me with the sword and shield posted above. This was taken at Eketorp Fortress at the end of last summer. Inside the fortress, you can participate in mock sword fights, archery contests, tug of war and various other viking-like activities. I didn’t partake in any of them, but as a practicing member of HEMA (Historical, European Martial Arts), I thought the gear they had looked fun so I threw it on. 

The Desolation photo is just a random lonely tree I saw out the window while Mr.P and I were driving from the East Coast of Sweden, to the West Coast of Sweden.  

39 responses to “So That’s Why You Have a Sword In Your Chest

    • I ran out of words, I had no choice. Plus, how else was I to string you along 🙂 So were you happy with what I did with the photo that you voted on? New picture poll is up 🙂

      • I have again voted. Now that I know to expect anything, I would not be surprised to find out, in the end, that all these stories turn out be connected, zombie gnomes, the drunken stuffed animals, Emily’s shadow. We might just be getting bits of a much larger story here.

      • I won’t lie…the thought has crossed the mind of one of the people who live in my brain on more than one occasion.
        It all depends on the winning photo…
        Thanks for voting 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback!
      Well it’s hard not to look small in that helmet, if I’m honest. But Emily’s shadow is so incredibly vain. She insists on having photos taken when the sun is in a certain position only. Freakin’ diva.
      Did you read the first part of the story?
      The new picture poll for the week is up if you’d care to vote

  1. Oooooh! What happens next?! First I thought Emily is dead and that’s why she sees Poor Bastard. But then Shay is there too – can a shadow die? I want more!

  2. Pingback: Tuesday Picture Poll: Feb-11-2014 | The Playground·

  3. Pingback: I’m Not Afraid of My Own Shadow…But You Should Be. | The Playground·

  4. Ooooo!! Shay the Shadow has gone nuts! How did Shay set it up? What is going on? Tell me MORE!!! (Yes three exclamation points were needed to express how much I want to read the next bit.)
    Fab continuation of the story incorporating the new photo. Can’t wait to see how you incorporate the next photo.
    Clever writing, clever lady. 🙂

    • THREE exclamation points??? I’m flattered as indicated by the CAPS and three question marks 🙂

      I can’t tell you yet, but I shall not leave you hanging for long.
      Thank you so, so much for reading, for the feedback and for the compliments. As mentioned early on, flattery will get you everywhere here :-D.

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