Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WIN (02/14/19)
By Shari Armstrong
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Gulping, I glanced at all the weapons the others had hanging from their belts, sheathed. “Defend myself? With a sword?”
Tarron chuckled, “You aren’t ready for steel, yet, little one. One step at a time.” He took a stick and drew a large circle in the dirt. He motioned for another girl to join him in the circle. “Jastira, stand in the center.”
Jastira took off her dagger belt, draping it over the log where she had been sitting. Standing, she gave a single nod and jogged into position.
“Come here, little one.”
“Yes, sir.” I walked slowly to the circle. It felt much smaller as I stood next to them. “What do I do?”
“Simple, you stay in the circle. You win by not being moved out. You may use grappling moves. to move her out first, or avoid Jastira moving you out.”
Jastira whispered, “Wrestling.”
“Oh! Like my brothers used to do. I’ll try. They never let me wrestle with them, but I watched.”
“You can only really learn by doing. But I would be a horrible instructor if I didn’t show you some basic moves first, would I not?”
I giggled. “True.”
“Jastira, step back. Gorwin, step up.”
A barrel-chested man joined Tarron in the circle, facing him. Tarron called out various moves, and the two men went through them, step by step.
“Now, the two of you.”
We faced each other. Even though I was only a year or so younger than Jastira, Jastira had at least six inches on me. “Breath deep,” I thought. “You can do this.”
We both walked around the circle, looking for an opportunity to move the other out of the circle. Jastira finally leaned forward to grab for my waist. I sidestepped, leaving my foot in a position to trip her. However, Jastira simply hopped over and circled around behind me.
Trying to spin to face Jastira, I lost my balance and landed in the dirt. The dust that swirled around me made me sneeze. Jastira’s arms snaked around my arms and neck. I tried to wiggle free, but Jastira was stronger and more experienced. “Think...move.” I started pushing backward, scooting along the ground, kicking up more dust. I could feel Jastira moving backward with me, inching toward the circle’s edge. The dust finally reached Jastira, causing her to sneeze, too, with the fallout showering me. “Eww....”
“Sorry.” She released her hold.
“Girls, you can’t let disgusting things keep you from facing an opponent.” He frowned, “There will be worse things than spit. Face off again.”
“I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t think I can do this.” I wiped my face with my shirt tail, only in part to clean my face. I just wanted to hide the tears that were threatening to fall.
Tarron entered the circle and placed a hand on each of our shoulders. “Sometimes winning is a matter of just making a stand. Try again. Lean into each other and just push.”
We squared off again. Neither of us seemed to gain any real ground. We did this little dance back and forth by inches. My muscles started to ache. I couldn’t hold on much longer.
Just when I thought I was going to fall over, I felt a hand touch my arm. I looked up and Tarron was standing in the circle with us.
“Hold. You both did well.”
Taking a deep breath, “But, neither of us won.”
“No, little one, you both won. What did I say before you started?”
“ ‘You win by not being moved out.’ Oh! We both stayed in the circle. We both won? But can’t only one can win a contest?”
“There isn’t always just one winner. You both did what was asked. You stayed in the circle. There will be times when a win is when you overpower the enemy, but sometimes all you need to do is to stand.”
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