After dinner, when the adults were sitting by the fire, his grandfather with his feet up and his mother with Cala in her lap, Cy slipped out into the alley behind the house. His father’s saber gleamed in his hand, the only thing that seemed to make sense any more. He raised in front of him, and started the first of the sword drills his father had taught him.
His aching back started to loosen. Cy wasn’t sure he’d had a single good day in the last ten months, but today had been worse than most. He had tripped and put his hand through a piece of silk still on the loom, and his grandfather, normally restrained about Cy’s shortcomings as a weaver, had blown up. His mother had said she could salvage it. Cy knew better than to believe her. His clumsiness had cost them probably two weeks’ work in materials.
He was probably the world’s worst weaver. He was the only one of them beside his mother who was big enough to work the loom, but the work he did made his grandfather raise his eyebrows and shuffle it into the back cabinet. They were accumulating a disturbing number of second-best sheets and rug rags. Even his spinning was a total loss. Brevar was better at it than he was, and Brev was only seven. Cala would probably be better at it as soon as she started walking.
He heard the door open, and a square of light fell at his feet. He ignored it, and led the saber into the next exercise. An irritated huff came from behind him, then a soft voice. “Let him be, father.” An inarticulate grumble followed, then his audience withdrew and the light disappeared.
The saber cut cleanly through the night air. Up. Across. Spin, and down. In his mind, the pattern stood out like a lacework of light, and for once, things were simple.
1: a garden or park walk bordered by trees or bushes
2a (1) : a grassed enclosure for bowling or skittles
c : an area in a baseball outfield between two outfielders when they are in normal positions
3: a narrow street; especially : a thoroughfare through the middle of a block giving access to the rear of lots or buildings
This one follows on last week’s response. Thanks for reading!