Second Place: Blood Into Ink Writing Prompt Challenge/Blood Letting/Eric Syrdal

My apologies for being slow to judge the stunning entries submitted for the Blood Into Ink Writing Prompt Challenge.  My thanks to all the writers who participated as well as my Guest Judges Kindra M. Austin and Aurora Phoenix.  It is always a pleasure to see the creative ways writers interpret a challenge and an honor to publish your work on Brave and Reckless.

once again
summoned to this place
against her will
never shy from battle
never austere
in the face of consequence
ever rising up against
that which would seek
to pin a name tag on her

yet again she finds
she is brought back
to answer for deeds of which
she is guiltless
the crime is tied
to the drawing of steel
ambition to claim
far beyond what the universe
decides is available

pursuit of oneness of mind
control over her vital organs of reproduction
more so
to decide
reliant upon her own free will
to cover her curves
behind plates of iron
hard armor protects supple skin
from the caustic glare of
an angry and jealous world

or might she
remove her breastplate
and cast it to the earth
her vorpal blade
slicing effortlessly through
the hide straps that
cling it to her
the metal clanging to the
ground and growing cold
devoid of contact
with her breasts
that now
wear a glossy sheen of saltwater
and rise and fall with determined breaths

in the golden days of her youth
and amid the roar of pitched battle
she was a flash of a blade
in the midday sun
she moved like the rippling air
over an open flame
none cast upon her
a withering glance of disdain
none dared to draw her ire
nor to tempt her martial prowess

on this stage
in the light of her will to be free…

free of torment
so readily clothed
in the excitement
of past lives
She turns her sword
to butchers work
carving cleanly
and fluidly
with surgical precision
she sets about her task
an apothecary
She now assumes the role
of healing her soul

she places the razor-sharp blade
on the ground next to her
within this arcane circle
on her knees
the echo of her battle cry
like rolling thunder
she holds aloft
the throbbing septic organ
as she watches the crimson drops
of life’s honey roll down her arms

her heart
seized in her own hands

She squeezes
and marvels at
the ruby pools of dreams
that collect in her greaves
and run over
onto the thirsty earth
of this battlefield

Eric Syrdal is an independent poet/author. He’s an avid gamer and Sci-Fi enthusiast. He enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy literature and spends a great deal of his writing time focused in those genres. He is from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives with wife and two children.  You can read more Eric’s writing at My Sword and Shield….

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