Prelude #5

Psst! Come with me. There is something I want to show you.

It was still dawn and the sun hasn’t yet risen. They crept slowly through the shadowy woods, taking extreme care not to make any noise. The younger one started getting anxious.

You know we are not allowed to go this deep into the woods.

Don’t be a sissy. Stay close to me and nothing will happen.

After almost an hour of moving stealthily, they reached a clearing, near a lake. Two figures were silhouetted against the rising sun,  the lake shining like a glass mirror behind them. The two kids watched with wide eyes as the two figures faced each other.

The tall, slim figure belonged to a woman. With the air of a predator, she observed her opponent. Had they gotten closer, they would’ve seen, that despite her bold stance, her eyes were cautious, cautious as they studied him intensely.

The short, strapping figure was undoubtedly male. He stood stock still, maintaining a low stance. He was much shorter than she, and his wild hair gave him a savage look. There was definitely something animal in his eyes.

The two young voyeurs watched them breathlessly. For a long instance, all was still. The audience. The two fighters. The lake. The sky.

With a loud battle cry, she launched herself at him. His eyes narrowed as he effortlessly blocked her kick, even as she spun and delivered two more in rapid succession. One of them broke through and hit the man on his ribs. He staggered back, but quickly regained his stance. That brief instance was enough for her to launch her next attack. Blow after blow, she drove him back, her attacks faster than the eye could see. Yet, hardly any connected as he skillfully defended himself, parrying and blocking most of the blows. After a while, her blows came down less harshly, her face now covered in sweat.

She drew back and fell into a defensive stance. With an animal growl, he attacked. His attack was swift and brutal. She dodged most of them, only catching a glacing blow in between. With each missed blow, his rage grew, but he kept it in check. He threw a weighted punch to her right shoulder. She fell for the feint, dodging, only to catch a kick from the right. A gasp escaped her lips. She pulled back a little and launched into a renewed offensive. She was obviously no match for him in power. What she lacked in strength, she made up in skill. They danced for a while more before backing off.

Even as they studied each other, the man suddenly went stiff. He sniffed the air and looked right at the boys. Terrified, the two stumbled backwards, turned around and ran into the woods.