The Phoenix


Imagine sunset on the river about
one mile away from Orleans. Two friends
sit near the water holding hands. Neither says
a word. In fact, they don’t have to speak. He sees
a ship approaching and nudges her. She looks
that way, furrows her brow and sniffs the air, then
shakes her head and pulls a flower out of her
hair. It’s short. The man doesn’t care. It’s all right.
He’s her Knight. She’s his lady. They are noble,
despite being born “Common,” as “Nobles” would
claim. Knowing the boat is no threat, they relax
and appreciate the day’s final moment.
She takes a deep breath and scoots closer to him.
In her brain she thinks, “It’s a shame there’s a war
going on. I’d love to start a family
with you, sir. You’re not a bastard at all.” The
man gulps and his neck turns red. “Did you hear that?” she
asks in her mind and he nods. She nods as well.
Both of them blush, smile and turn away. For
just one moment the moment becomes awkward.
The man and woman adjust their garments and

avoid each other’s eyes, then he says something
like, “Have you ever read any of Michael-
angelo’s poems?” The woman shakes her head.
He nods, pulls a book from his satchel and turns
to a random page, then he clears his throat and
quotes, “To dust the dust has been returned by death,
the soul to Heaven; in trust is given to
him who loves me still, though dead my beauty and
fame, to eternalize in stone my earthly
sheath. The sacred beauty of Braccio here
I guard…. And … uhhh … hey Joan? How long is your blade?”
The woman glances at the weapon laying
on the ground next to her and shrugs her shoulders.
“Who knows?” she answers. “I’ve never measured it.
I don’t use it often. It’s mostly just for
show, you know? People see a chick like me with
this sword and they know who I am right away.
Anyway, why do you ask?” The man just grins.
“No reason,” he says. “But I’m guessing the blade
is 58.36 centimeters.
My friend, have you ever heard the legend of…”


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