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by on February 17, 2016

The otter stood on the white-washed sand, staring out at the gently rolling amber waves. Beside him rested the red sword. He had stabbed it point down in the sand, and there it remained, quietly humming. Its hum sounded almost content. It had done a good day’s work, it felt. An entire fleet of starships had been quite thoroughly smashed. It couldn’t understand why the otter didn’t seem to be happy.

“Yellow water,” the otter said gloomily. “Usually not a good sign.”  A fish splashed lightly out of the water, and then plopped back into it. “Something’s living in it, anyway. Not fatal.”

He took a step towards the water. Then he paused, and looked back at the sword. The humming shifted one hopeful octave higher. “I don’t usually need a sword to go swimming,” the otter said. Then, as if he might change his mind if he waited a moment longer, he lunged forward and dived.

The sword shifted uneasily, sending little rivulets of pale sand running towards the sea. It wasn’t made for uncertainty. Strictly speaking, it was made for Armageddon, the ultimate showdown between good and evil. Until that happy time, it occupied itself with various wars big and small. It smashed other people’s weaponry, it amplified feelings of anger and violence, and it had a pretty good time doing so. However, the basic fact was that it remained a sword. It had a pointy end. It either stabbed people, or it didn’t. The sword had never had a problem with this. Now, however, the otter who held it apparently didn’t like stabbing people. The sword couldn’t understand, and felt almost hurt. It hummed in quiet bewilderment as the otter swam.

Then the new god of war burst out of the water and ran towards the sword. “That wasn’t the whole fleet!” he barked, snatching up the blade in a spray of sand. “They had other ships. Bases. Outposts! They must be destroyed. All of them. The entire Corps!”

He raised the sword towards the sky, and it chirped in excitement. It rocketed upwards, burning like a red star, carrying the otter with it. Finally, the sword felt certain again. For a pointed piece of metal endowed with powers of supernatural destruction, it felt almost happy.


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  1. Oh, I do love inanimate objects with personality!

  2. I love animated objects too! But I think I missed something in the end. Did someone else come out of the water and become the new god of war, or was the otter changed by the weird yellow water?

    • It wasn’t that someone else came out; I think I was aiming for the idea that it’s still Mr. Stamper, but he’s becoming affected by the sword and its pull, so instead of swimming about in the sea he’s going off to do more righteous slayin’. (Or not righteous, as the case may be).

  3. I never thought I would care about what a sword was feeling. Well done!

  4. Jennifer G. Knoblock permalink

    I’m really enjoying the deepening complexity of Mr. Stamper’s character. And to have this glimpse from the sword’s point of view is brilliant.

  5. Uh-oh. Stamper is talking to swords now. Perk of being a god or sign of a burden on his sanity?

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