Short Story: The Little Candidate

Follows after The Little Applicant. Read this first for context.

Written in response to the Inktober prompt #6: Spirit.

~The Little Candidate~

She kept up with their gruelling training, followed the strict diet they created for their candidates, pushed herself until she puked or passed out or both, did everything they asked of her and more for the sake of a stronger body.

But there were some instincts that were hard to overwrite, and even a fiery spirit couldn’t completely stop her full body flinch in the face of a threat. After much deliberation, he called their smallest candidate to his office for a chat.

“I don’t think you should be a bodyguard,” he said bluntly.

She held his gaze, face deliberately blank, fists clenched so tightly her knuckles turned white. “I can be better.”

“I don’t doubt that.” In the short time she had spent with them, she’d bulked up considerably from the scrawny lass who first signed up for their program. “But that doesn’t mean this is the best path for your potential. I have a suggestion.”

He handed her an envelope.

“You want to be stronger so you can’t get hurt. With your size, you’ll always be at a physical disadvantage in a direct fight. But combat isn’t the only way to neutralize a threat. You can learn to sprint faster and longer than your attackers, dodge out of danger, slip out of restraints or unpick locks, just to name a few. I know a friend who can teach you all of this. Together with what you’ve already learnt with us, that’ll be enough to keep yourself safe. Thoughts?”

She ran her thumb over the envelope.

“I’ll think about it.”

~End~

Genre: slice of life

Inktober attempt:

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