Education can be cuthroat at the best of times.

Just Another Wednesday

Alicia Bruzzone

For The Trilogy Award Part 1


He was waiting for me when I walked out of the lecture hall.

Cameron ‘Cam’ Luxen IV.

His long, dark hair was pulled into a ponytail at the nape of his neck, black t-shirt straining at his biceps. That wasn’t what caught my attention though. No, I was a little distracted by the shiny silver blade now pointed in my direction.

“Adeline,” Cam called, and the others in my class parted to let him through. No one else wanted to be near the crazy dude with a sword, but apparently leaving their fellow student alone in his company was acceptable.

This was why I freaking hated people.

I sighed and took a step in Cam’s direction, already resigned to my fate. He knew too many people who were happy to leave him to the usual antics. Could you call it a sneak attack when he did this to me every Wednesday? “I really don’t have time for this,” I complained, searching for any sign in his face that he’d back off and let me by. As usual, I didn’t find it.

“You love it,” Cam teased, his mouth pulling up one side of his face in a lopsided grin as he swished his weapon around in lazy arcs. “I mean, unless you’re worried you’ll loose.”

The taunt was all I needed. He really had an ego problem. Thankfully, I had just the device to whittle it down a little in size.

Eyes narrowing, I reached over my shoulder for Castor, my trusted sword. Not that I’d been expecting this or anything, but I had been the only person in my lecture with a freaking scabbard on her back.

Cam rushed forward to attack before I had a chance to adjust my stance, putting me immediately on the defence. Metal clattered as I clumsily parried by throwing my right arm wide. Unfortunately, it left my side open for attack, and I knew my opponent wasn’t above trying to punch me while he could. We might be holding swords, but winning was winning, and this wasn’t a fencing tournament.

Cam’s smile pulled a little further up his face as he jabbed at my ribs; my blunder no doubt a source of great amusement.

I blocked him again and kicked at his kneecap before retreating into the hall I’d just exited. It was unlikely anyone would interrupt, but if I got a few good hits in it wasn’t exactly ideal to have witnesses.

Cam raced in after me, grunting enthusiastically as he lunged and drove his sword down to meet mine. The reverberation clanged up my arm, forcing me to grind my teeth as I clambered over a row of seats to separate us.

“You really aren’t into this today, are you?” Cam said, lowering his sword as concern flooded his face.

That as all the opening I needed. I jumped forward, thrusting the tip of blade at his throat. Apparently I acted with a little too much gusto as I wound up toppling him over backwards, landing on Cam’s chest. I winced as the edge of his blade sliced into my thigh. At least I hadn’t accidently slit his throat in the fall. “Is that all you had, Coach?” I said as I climbed off his sprawled body. Usually his training was a little more brutal.

Cam sat up and tightened his ponytail as someone coughed behind me. Turning my head, I found five others watching us, all with swords of their own drawn and pointed in my direction.

I sighed and took up a fighting stance. Looked like the intensity of my training session had been kicked up a notch. “You brought backup.”

“Ah, Addy?” Cam commented, sliding his feet over to stand next to me. “Slight problem.”

My knuckles cracked as I tightened my grip on the hilt of my sword and faced the newcomers. Please don’t say it.

Cam’s shoulder bumped mine as he widened his stance and held his weapon at the ready. “I don’t know any of these people.”

Lucky I’d had a warm up. There was a slash in my favourite jeans, and I was now in the mood to stab somebody.