Choking on War and Peace

Author’s Note: I sometimes follow other blogs as inspiration. The Drabble has been particularly interesting. The post from 11/27/2015 served as my springboard into this piece (

She was a warrior clan matriarch, borderline berserker in a region full of pacifists and xenophobes. She looked him up and down.

Her heart beat a little faster yet always in rhythm with the War God, and she felt her throat close. Her scholar had just asked the one thing she knew she couldn’t do.

He was a classic scholar, thin and pale and hunched at the shoulder. They’d had so many talks about history and nature and the gods and goddesses. He was smart and funny and faithful and almost attractive in that studious scholar way.

She knew the requests she wanted in her soul would never cross his lips.

He could have begged her to bed him, to bear his child, to be a partner in the study of life and history. That would have been an utterly unimaginable and unspeakable challenge of joy and creativity.

Or he could have asked her to battle the politicians that constantly hid his documents and made his precious knowledge and information so hard to find. She could almost taste the blood of his opponents mingled with the salty joy of proficiency in the kill.

But no…

He asked her to offer incense at the altar of the Goddess of Peace every day for 13 moon cycles. He said he needed this to survive the special training in politics he would be taking. And he made the request in front of his yearmate.

She could feel her scholar’s green eyes, looking at her, waiting for her answer. And his yearmate… by the look in his brown eyes, she knew he’d probably give her what her scholar never would… not that she’d want it.

In the part of her mind constantly connected with the War God, she went through every curse word she knew made her scholar cringe. Then she asked the War God for some answer, any answer, knowing full well she couldn’t lie to her scholar but she could never grant him what he asked.

She felt the answer flood her heart, even as she choked on her own vomit. The color rose and tinged her cheeks crimson.

She knew he’d be gone, wallowing in a sea of mass confusion, and despite the best of training, she’d never see him again. If the sagas were right, even in eternity their heavens would be different. The loss of their friendship would haunt her every year during his Peace Festival and her own War Games.

She tilted her head and averted her blue eyes, knowing that tears would not come until she unlocked her heart and gave them permission. But she could not add to his pain by letting him see her soul’s agony.

“You know I can’t do that. But with every kill I make, I will ask the War God to dispatch your enemies.”



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