It came to an end in the Corazon Valley.
On a flat rock wider than she was tall, propped on top of two boulders, Tenchi carefully portioned out a meal of rainbow trout. No one spoke; they barely moved; they hardly breathed, so that the light rustle of clothing, the soft clank of weaponry, and the burbling song of the creek were the only noises – that, and Tenchi’s deathly-sharp knife sliding through the fish and into the rock.
Everyone focused on that knife, on Tenchi’s precise movements as she sliced, and scooped, and slid the iridescent meat onto cheap camp plates. Their lives depended on those precise movements.
She laid pieces in front of Connor, and Laird, and Stulpen, who sat stone-faced and still around the rock as if it were a high council table in a fine hall. As she sliced the final two pieces apart, the knife stopped, with a tiny clank that echoed through the valley.
Any tiny movements stopped. Tenchi pulled the knife carefully from the fish, and held it up, first for the four at the table with her, and then higher, so that all could see. The little knife, so strong and sharp it could cut through bone without failing, bore a large dent in the blade.
“So mote it be,” murmured Cassia, who sat fourth at the table.
“So mote it be,” echoed Tenchi, and Connor, Laird, and Stulpen.
“So mote it be,” echoed the gathered soldiers. With the still-sharp tip of her knife, Tenchi carefully extricated the obstruction and held it up for all to see, flakes of the fish flesh still falling off of it.
274 words. Just not sure where it’s going, or what it is.