Written to a prompt from this page, which is the first sentence of this storylet.
I will be a noble, with my weapons and my bracelets, and it is disgusting.
I had planned to be a martyr. A martyr was an honorable thing to be, even if it made one’s father weep and one’s cousins nervous. Martyrs’ names were written on the great wall – or so we called it, though it was sun-baked mud and when the rainy season came, the names tended to bleed away down into the gutter. But so did we, and so we pretended it was poetic.
And yet when the fight came, I found myself doing the unthinkable. I saw a noble, a man no more than twenty years old, barely worthy of either the words “noble” or “man” and I threw myself over him, protecting him from the blast. I had meant to die on their soldiers’ bayonets, and instead I lived, and he lived. And worse, he thanked me, thanked me publicly.
I would never be able to show my face in the slums again, and so when his mother offered me a bayonet by the handle and not by the blade, when she offered me the wristlets of service, what could I do? I will be a noble, no matter how disgusting it is, and I will serve this man whose life I saved.
I might have meant to be a martyr, but there is no point in dying at the hands of my own people, and so my sacrifice will have to wait.
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