Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WIN (02/14/19)
- TITLE: Stand
By Shari Armstrong
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Gulping, I glanced at all the weapons the others had hanging from their belts, sheathed. â€œDefend myself? With a sword?â€
Tarron chuckled, â€œYou arenâ€™t ready for steel, yet, little one. One step at a time.â€ He took a stick and drew a large circle in the dirt. He motioned for another girl to join him in the circle. â€œJastira, stand in the center.â€
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.
â€œCome here, little one.â€
â€œYes, sir.â€ I walked slowly to the circle. It felt much smaller as I stood next to them. â€œWhat do I do?â€
â€œSimple, 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.â€
Jastira whispered, â€œWrestling.â€
â€œOh! Like my brothers used to do. Iâ€™ll try. They never let me wrestle with them, but I watched.â€
â€œYou can only really learn by doing. But I would be a horrible instructor if I didnâ€™t show you some basic moves first, would I not?â€
I giggled. â€œTrue.â€
â€œJastira, step back. Gorwin, step up.â€
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.
â€œNow, the two of you.â€
We faced each other. Even though I was only a year or so younger than Jastira, Jastira had at least six inches on me. â€œBreath deep,â€ I thought. â€œYou can do this.â€
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. Jastiraâ€™s arms snaked around my arms and neck. I tried to wiggle free, but Jastira was stronger and more experienced. â€œThink...move.â€ I started pushing backward, scooting along the ground, kicking up more dust. I could feel Jastira moving backward with me, inching toward the circleâ€™s edge. The dust finally reached Jastira, causing her to sneeze, too, with the fallout showering me. â€œEww....â€
â€œSorry.â€ She released her hold.
â€œGirls, you canâ€™t let disgusting things keep you from facing an opponent.â€ He frowned, â€œThere will be worse things than spit. Face off again.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know what Iâ€™m doing. I donâ€™t think I can do this.â€ 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. â€œSometimes winning is a matter of just making a stand. Try again. Lean into each other and just push.â€
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 couldnâ€™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.
â€œHold. You both did well.â€
Taking a deep breath, â€œBut, neither of us won.â€
â€œNo, little one, you both won. What did I say before you started?â€
â€œ â€˜You win by not being moved out.â€™ Oh! We both stayed in the circle. We both won? But canâ€™t only one can win a contest?â€
â€œThere isnâ€™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.â€
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