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Satchel

 

The tools of the trade are kept in a leather satchel, carried always by the warrior.

A compass. Maps.

A passport. Sometimes, more than one.

Matches, and several small candles. In place of matches, some may carry flint.

A holy book, the origin of which is chosen by the warrior, though most traditionally choose those of the Abrahamic faiths.

A bit of quartz. Warriors will often choose those with healing or protective powers.

A packet of salt.

A pencil and a small notebook.

A tarot deck. One notable warrior carried a planchette, though none before or since have.

Maddie also carried a copy of the Constitution. Why leave anything to chance?

 

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Posted by on October 7, 2018 in October 2018

 

Leather

She liked boats and cars and planes. A decade in this business and these were the things with which she was comfortable.

She set her foot in the stirrup, hopped twice, and swung into the saddle, the leather creaking as she settled. She took up the reins in her right hand (her first riding instructor would be so disappointed in her) and urged the horse forward.

Night had begun to fall, the shadows turned inky black. She rode out toward the chapel where she knew she’d find Valdyr and his companions. She’d not sent word of her journey, but he’d know, and he’d welcome her request for sanctuary.

The first of his sentries, a dog as large as her unnamed familiar, fell in beside her as she rode within sight of the chapel. She knew him, and he her.

The second was there at the gate to the chapel yard. She dismounted, and the two sentries flanked her as she approached the chapel steps.

Hand on her dagger, she smiled to herself. Ten years in and she’d still not gotten used to the werewolves.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2018 in October 2018

 

Canine

“You have to give him a name, Maddie.”

“If he has a name, I’m sure he’ll eventually tell me what it is. Giving him one is just presumptuous.”

 

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Hearth

The woman pointed to the stone hearth and Maddie sat, waiting for her to speak.

The space in the cottage was small, filled with any manner of things that would make it look as though it were the perfect Hollywood set as noted in a screenplay as “Int. Crone’s Cottage, night.” The only thing missing was the cauldron that should have hung over the flames in the open fireplace.

“Warrior child,” the woman said, and Maddie closed her eyes briefly. This woman was, perhaps, the only person in the world who still saw Maddie as a child.

“Warrior child, you’ve come a long way. What do you seek?”

“Grace,” Maddie said. “And peace. And hope.”

“These things. Are they lost?”

Maddie hesitated. “I hope not.”

 
 

Warmth

The last bit of summer was drifting away, the light faltering, colors turning to bronze and gold before the inevitable cold started to take hold.

Orange leaves on the dirt path, dulled by the coming darkness. She paused to look at her compass. She wondered if she’d ever get used to this, this constant reliance on outdated technology. Would that she could just carry an iPhone like normal people.

She slipped the compass back into its pocket and felt for the dagger at her hip. Still there. The path lead her forward.

Ahead, she knew, was a small cottage, older than any could possibly guess, where the woman lived. The hearth was warm there, she remembered, and the woman wise.

 
 

Woods

A small branch snapped under her foot and all other sounds, the night sounds, went quiet.

“Careless,” the voice said to her, not quite angry, just shy of taunting.

She stopped dead. It had been a very, very long time since she’d heard that voice. She began to fall.

 
 

Come hell or high water.

The decision should have been made days ago. But it wasn’t.

A contingency plan should have been in place a week ago. But it wasn’t.

And now, Thursday, with the storm beginning to hit, we finally have an answer. But it’s not even close to ideal.

The North Carolina Courage was the dominant team in NWSL this season. That they have to travel across the continent for a playoff match is absurd, and that the decision was made this late has left everyone bruised.

Perhaps all other options have been explored, or perhaps the league just waited too long to make the call. Maybe it was NCC dragging its feet, holding out for home field advantage just a little too long, that finally forced the league to reschedule the NCC-Chicago Red Stars semifinal and move it to the other side of the country, out of the way of Hurricane Florence. And maybe Portland was the only “neutral” ground offering to host.

But it seemed no one was willing to take charge and make the call. Yesterday in a preview conference call, Chicago coach Rory Dames was unsure who would even be making the final decision as to when and where the match would be played. And this morning, NCC president Curt Johnson was on Twitter, suggesting that Dames “quit stirring the pot” and insisting “Drainage WILL NOT BE A PROBLEM” after Dames posted video of what appears to be a water-logged NCC pitch in July.

Nashville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Atlanta. I cannot imagine there were no reasonably-sized, out-of-harm’s-way stadiums available in the eastern United States.

Portland will never be a neutral venue for a team from North Carolina. To pretend otherwise is silly.

North Carolina fans are angry, as they should be. Their safety and the safety of the team they support was put at risk and those who may have been able to travel had the game been rescheduled days ago are unlikely to do so now. It sucks to see your advantage be eliminated. It shouldn’t have happened this way.

 

 


I’ll lay out all my biases. I’ve never been shy about them:

I do not believe a NWSL team should have been placed in North Carolina, a state to which many of my LGBTQ friends do not feel safe travelling. I am as frustrated now as I was when the move from Western New York was announced. That frustration is heightened by the fact that this NC team harbors a player who holds homophobic views. 

 

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2018 in NWSL