Drabble: Behind the Runes
The runes glowed in the darkness. She raised a hesitant hand over one particular symbol.
Behind the runes slept a man who could be a saviour or destroyer. Which role he took depended entirely on the one who freed him from his seal. In this case, her. Could she really do it?
Hurried footsteps reminded her that she wasn’t the only one who wanted to control him. The competition chased away her hesitation. She didn’t know if she was the right guide, but she would rather the guide be her than them.
She slammed her hand against the rune, searing it into her skin and breaking the seal at the same time. The glowing runes vanished and the man opened his eyes.
She moved anyway, because that was what people did when they got the shock of their lives. The sight of weapons aimed at her made her stumble back until she hit the man.
The man. She had a weapon too. She could use it. Him. Maybe she really wasn’t the right person to be his guide. Too late now.
“Protect me and get us out of here.”
The words sprinted out of her mouth. One of the latecomers shot her, only for the bullet to hit an invisible wall. The man lifted her against him with one arm and swept the other across him. Their attackers flew back to smash against the the wall with sickening cracks.
This was the power now under her command. The power that was her responsibility to guide to the right path. If she had any regrets at releasing the seal, it was too late now. She could only move forward and hope she didn’t mess up too much.
After years as a prisoner, it was finally time to go home.
Halfway through the story I realised this piece was very similar to The Target. Not that surprising, given that I wrote both stories with the thought: people wanting the same thing = drama. I spent the next half of the story trying to make them both more distinct. I hope it worked.