You know how sometimes you watch a movie or a video and you just have to write? Yeah. That happened to me. Martial arts movies are influential I guess. =P Anyway, this is a post for this character contest over here. Basically we’re supposed to create characters from three pictures. I just chose one, the first one, which you can see below, and wrote a short little piece. Enjoy. 🙂
Every wrinkle on his face spoke of an event in the past that had left a scar. Everything that had happened to him left a permanent mark nothing could erase. Though visibly aged, his eyes were bright and piercing, never having lost their powerful gaze. The older, the wiser, the saying goes. He was definitely wiser than when he had first begun. Approaching his mid-seventies, one might have thought him weak and feeble, but that was not the case. As he sat now, on the stool, legs tucked under him in a kneeling position, he reflected on how all his years of experience had come down to this: the last fight. How many of these had he had? How many students?
The room he was in was a simple rectangle, not very large, but accommodating enough for two people, and that was all he needed. His thoughts were broken by a clatter on the steps outside, and a young woman burst through the door. She wore loose and comfortable clothing, and her lithe body spoke of regular athleticism. Stopping short, she gently closed the door behind her, faced the only other occupant in the room, and bowed.
“Your haste will get you killed, Maria,” the old man said, rising to his feet.
“I’m sorry, master. I will pay more attention to that in the future. Are you ready?”
He inclined his head, then raised his fists. She mirrored the movement, and they circled the stool at the center of the room.
Anyone looking at the two might have thought that they were horribly matched. The man was two inches shorter than his opponent, and she was much younger and stronger than him. But he had been teaching her for five years now, and she had learnt long ago the diminutive man facing her packed a lot more punch than one would think.
Lightly she pushed off the ground and landed on the squat, three legged stool. One minute on the stool without touching the ground, that is what she had to do to qualify. Quietly, her opponent flipped an hourglass, then without warning lashed out with his foot.
Though not expecting it, she recovered quickly, grabbing his leg as she nearly lost her balance. Returning his kick with one of her own, she managed to regain equilibrium, and took on a defensive stance. He started moving around her, slowly, deliberately, gauging her position carefully. It was satisfactory to see that his pupil had learned well, but just how well he was about to find out.
With the height advantage, she would have to use her legs more, and that is exactly what she did. He stepped forward, and in an instant she swung out, her foot flying towards his head. Ducking, he stepped close and directed a fist at her midsection. She crouched slightly and blocked with her elbow. From her position, she launched a punch at his head which he deflected.
Being inside her blocking circle now, he started to wrap a leg around her leg in an effort to take her down. This was the tenth match they had had in a month though, and having wised up, she twisted, pulling her leg free. With her right leg now in the air, and her left leg standing unprotected, she was in a dangerous position. He noticed this, and prepared to take advantage.
Brow wrinkling and eyes focusing, he predicted her next move, and true enough, she hopped off her left foot, replacing it with her right, and directed a kick at his midsection. He blocked, grabbing her foot, and pulled. She came down all the way, doing a full split between him and his hands, and the stool. The wave of defeat that coursed through her at this was unmistakable. All he had to do was drop her foot, and that would be it.
He dropped her foot. Sighing, she dismounted from her perch on the stool and bowed. He bowed back fully. This threw her off guard; he never bowed back. Before she could say anything, he looked up, smiling gently, and spoke, in an old, weathered voice:
“One minute and eleven seconds. Impressive. Welcome, Sho Maria, to the Qurin.”
Her jaw fell open, and she gulped at his use of the title. One minute and eleven seconds? Impossible. He saw her surprise, and the corners of his eyes crinkled as he laughed.