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 Sneak and Shove, Stanton or Obie
Sodapop Curtis
 Posted: May 3 2017, 11:24 AM
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by: Brock
Soda never touches a drop—he doesn‘t have to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.


May 3, 2017 - 6:00 AM


Last night, a small group of Anecdotes had been summoned for an assignment. The month of May was the last good opportunity until school resumed in the fall for the gangs to promote their books and rid the library of others' works. As the other gangs would take the chance to attack the Anecdotes, the fiction gang had no plans to let May slide by without doing the same in return.

The Anecdotes had plans. Among them was the idea that one of the best ways for the Anecdotes to fight against magical characters was to not fight against them at all but instead to go after their books. To that end, the gang made plans to damage books and to push, pull, and shove them into places they could be overlooked. At random throughout the month of May, the Anecdotes would focus on these two initiatives. Fights and talks would occur as they happened to come about, but they weren't the primary objectives this month.

Sodapop fell in with the "Make Them Missing" group, partly by choice and partly by request. So that morning, well before the library opened, he and five others left one by one for the fantasy section. They had selected their targets the night before: a series of paperback books on the shelf third from the top. If they could push the books behind the others, which were in mild disarray like most other shelves of books were, then they might be able to hide it for days or even weeks. If they were luckier, they could lift the book, push it over the top edge of the shelf, and watch it fall down between the bookshelves. The chances of it being found there were extremely slim.

One by one and with ample space between them, Soda and his five peers climbed the shelving on either side of their targets. As always, they had to be careful lest they fall to their own (temporary) deaths. Once there, they hid behind larger books. If they were seen, they had cover stories that they hoped the fantasy books believed. They made up a fantasy book that would exist at the end of their section, well away from where their target books sat. If questioned, the six Anecdotes would tell a general summary and their role in the book. Luckily, a lot more could slide with fantasy books than could with fiction books.

Soda was the fourth Anecdote to reach the shelf, so he waited behind a tall hardback book and observed the area. Fortune was on their side. Of the five-book paperback series, the third book was already pushed further back from the edge of the shelf than the rest of the series was. It wouldn't take as much effort to maneuver it behind the taller books. Perhaps they could push it all the way to the left-hand corner where, hopefully, it would be more difficult for the Fantoms to retrieve it.

Once the other two Anecdotes arrived, the group passed word along down the line. They agreed to push the book into the corner. They had to work quickly in case a Fantom noticed them. Thankfully, the shelf was far enough away from the window that it was still dark enough to go relatively unseen. The hardest part would be to remain quiet and not knock any books off the shelf until they were ready to do so. The sound could alert others to their presence.

The six Anecdotes placed themselves on either side of the book and began pushing and pulling it backwards and to the left.
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Omer "Obie" Ostrov
 Posted: May 22 2017, 03:38 PM
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by: Brock
A pristine power raced over him, sheathing his body in ancient and sacred illumination. The primordial force strengthened his spirit, leaving him exalted and resolute, and willing to die for the magic that empowered the runes.


Obie couldn't sleep. With summer approaching, war lurked on the horizon. As much as Obie loved a good battle, he had three people to protect instead of one. Inna needed protection from magic, while his mother and Allison needed physical protection. Obie knew his mother could handle herself if need be. In fact, she was still a better rune master than he was. But that didn't stop Obie from worrying about her just as much as he worried about Inna and Allison. How was he going to protect them?

The best way, he decided, was to protect his book. As long as the women stayed inside the novel, then they would be safe. Well, provided, of course, that nothing happened to the book itself. In that case, though, they were all doomed.

To reassure himself, Obie closed his eyes and focused, summoning up all his strength to cast as impenetrable a shield as he could for his book. One by one, he marked runes in the air and chanted under his breath. The smell of burning roses—the scent of magic—filled the air around him, calming him. Obie cast the protective spell forward, and the runes, glowing like embers, traveled to his book, and encircled it. He cast the spell two more times, then added two other spells of safe-guarding just to be sure. Each ring of runes wrapped itself around the book until his novel was wrapped in glowing chains of ancient letters.

Obie began another spell, but he couldn't get through it. Drained of much of his magical energy, he decided to stop for the night. The book was as safe as he could make it by himself, and his mother and the other Obies needed to save their strength in case of an attack.

He decided to head into the next book in his series to let that Obie know of his plans and then to get some sleep. Before he made it there, though, he heard a sound. It was faint and came from somewhere above. Obie froze in place and listened. Ten seconds later, he heard it again: a shuffling sound of some kind. It could very well be another fantasy character out of covers like Obie was, but it could also be a sneak attack on their genre.

Eyes peeled for danger, Obie's hand creeped to the hilt of his father's sword, which he refused to leave behind whenever he entered the library. In the darkness behind his book, Obie melted into shadow and slinked up the post that held the shelves. The first shelf he passed had no activity, but on the shelf to his left, he caught motions.

Curious, Obie tucked himself into nearby shadows and watched. A group of people where pushing and pulling on a paperback book. He couldn't tell for what purpose, though. They could be maneuvering it back into place in preparation for any future attacks from other gangs. On the other hand, they could be another gang, in which case they were trying to hide the book.

Adrenaline seeped into Obie's veins. If they were enemies, then they had found a fight. But Obie needed to be sure first. He also needed to know what gang he was dealing with. If they had magic, they didn't seem to be using it; nor were they utilizing any futuristic weapons. They only pushed and pulled. That wasn't enough to determine what genre they were from, but it gave him and his sword a distinct advantage if they truly were "mortal".
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Sodapop Curtis
 Posted: May 22 2017, 03:51 PM
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by: Brock
Soda never touches a drop—he doesn‘t have to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.


As they worked, Soda and his friends cast continual glances over their shoulders and all around them in case they had been or were about to be discovered. They had worked the book from its place, but so far no one had noticed them. If that could last another few minutes, they would have successfully pushed the paperback behind the other books. Then they could work on dumping one over the back of the shelf. Provided, of course, no one saw them before that.

The paperback neared the corner where Soda and two other Anecdotes pulled. They motioned for the others to stop pushing for a minute. Soda and a peer boosted their partner up, and he pulled himself to the top of the shelf. He reached down for the next Anecdote, and Soda helped him up as well. Then they reached their hands down for Soda, and together the three of them pulled him to the top. Once there, they shuffled along the back of the shelf towards their friends. They were careful not to fall off the back to their deaths.

Once they reached their friends, the trio slid down and helped them push the book back into the corner. Soda wiped his face with the bottom of his plaid shirt and grinned at his partners. 'A job well done!' their expressions read. They checked their surroundings one last time and gestured to communicate their next plans. With a nod from each of the six, they moved to another paperback in the series. Together, they started pushing it from the edge towards the back of the shelf.
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Omer "Obie" Ostrov
 Posted: May 22 2017, 04:20 PM
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by: Brock
A pristine power raced over him, sheathing his body in ancient and sacred illumination. The primordial force strengthened his spirit, leaving him exalted and resolute, and willing to die for the magic that empowered the runes.


Within a few minutes of observing them, Obie saw the people push the paperback book into the corner of the shelf where it was sufficiently hidden behind larger hardback books. The librarians liked to "front" the books, as they called it. That meant they pulled the books to the edge of the shelf and straightened them for easy viewing and, he assumed, to look nice and neat. If they came and did that to this shelf, they might not notice the missing paperback. The hardbacks were long enough to reach the back of the shelf, or even to reach the hidden paperback novel. Unless the librarians knocked the hardcover books backward by mistake, the six characters' treachery could go unnoticed.

Obie knew now that these men were no friends of the fantasy section. The Profs were the Fantoms' allies, so the odds that they would sneak around at night and hide fantasy books was minuscule. As he highly doubted they were Terrors, that meant they were Anecdotes, Detectives, or Thrill-Chills. But as long as they were unarmed, it didn't matter. Obie could win. And even if they were armed, he could turn to shadow and evade them. They were going to lose.

Waiting for his opportune moment, Obie watched the six men choose another paperback as their next target and begin to push it towards the back of the shelf as well. Seeing a chance, Obie swooped down as fast as he could towards the group of men. He whizzed by their heads, and one of them shouted in surprise. That man stumbled backward, tripped over his feet, and fell over the edge of the shelf. He screamed on his way down, and as Obie circled around to the rest of the group, he saw the character hit the ground. They were so high up, however, that the sound didn't reach them well.
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Sodapop Curtis
 Posted: May 22 2017, 04:34 PM
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by: Brock
Soda never touches a drop—he doesn‘t have to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.


The Anecdotes on the left side of the book shouted, and Soda and the other two on the right side immediately stopped what they were doing and looked to their partners. As he was the one closest to the edge on their side, Soda saw one of their guys plummet to the ground. He couldn't hear the thud his friend made, but his stomach momentarily sickened as he imagined it. He had no trouble with that. He had heard the sound more times in his life than anyone should have.

Soda had no time to dwell on his lost friend. He and the other five abandoned the paperback and scattered. Out of the corner of his eye, Soda saw a black shape speed toward his partners. Was this a Fantom, or was it a Prof or Terror? Perhaps even a Sketch? What did it matter, though? They couldn't fight off a shadow!

Their escape plan kicked into action, and Soda and his friend boosted their buddy up towards the top of the shelf while the shadow was distracted with their two pals at the shelf's other end. The friend grabbed hold of the metal frame and reached down for the next man. Soda helped that guy up, too.

Before they could grab Soda, they saw the shadow fly towards them. "GO!" Soda shouted, and they didn't hesitate. They started their hasty descent. Soda saw that, at the opposite end of the shelf, his two other friends were making their way to the top of the shelf so they could climb down as well.

Backed into a corner, Soda watched the shadow fly at him. Soda's heart pounded as he imagined what would happen to him when the shadow collided with him. Was it a ghost that would take over his body? Would fiery pain erupt within him as the shadow obliterated him?

The shadow raced ever closer, but at the last second, it veered upward. Diving over the back of the shelf, it raced down towards his friends.

Seeing his chance to escape, Soda raced to the other side of the shelf where they had pushed the paperback into hiding. "Wait up!" he called to his remaining partners. One had already taken his first step down the shelving. The other stopped and reached his hand out for Soda. If only Soda could make it before the shadow returned!
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Omer "Obie" Ostrov
 Posted: May 22 2017, 04:54 PM
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by: Brock
A pristine power raced over him, sheathing his body in ancient and sacred illumination. The primordial force strengthened his spirit, leaving him exalted and resolute, and willing to die for the magic that empowered the runes.


The characters ran in two separate directions, and Obie chased after those closest to him--the ones on the left-hand side. He swooped all around them, causing them to stop, double back, stop again, and run towards the corner once more. Obie would have laughed at their fright had he not been focused on punishing them for messing with his genre.

The two men wedged themselves in the crevice between the hardback books and the paperback they had hidden away. Obie let them be and turned his attention to the three men who had run to the right. Two had already climbed to the top of the shelf. With luck, he could knock one of them backwards.

Obie raced to the other side, but the two men saw him, abandoned their friend, and started to climb down. Seeing the opportunity to scare another enemy, Obie flew directly at the remaining man. When he was within arm's reach of him, he quickly veered upward. He flung himself over the back of the shelf and almost immediately came upon the two fleeing men.

The one below looked up and saw him there, and he shouted a warning to his friend. They clung tightly to the shelving while Obie sped up and down beside them. He circled around them, but they didn't move. Deciding for now that they weren't worth the effort, Obie opted to confront the lone character he had just tricked.

Obie flew back up to the shelf and saw that the man was running to the other side of the shelf. A friend waited at the top of the crevice to pull him up when he got there.

He would fail, though, if Obie had anything to say about it.

Speeding towards them, Obie saw the friend point in his direction, and the lone character turned. A swear escaped the man's lips, and his feet pounded harder against the shelf.

Obie flew over his head and materialized inside the crevice, arms crossed. Twenty feet away, the man skidded to a halt.

"There's no use running." Hearing a sound from behind him, Obie quickly turned into shadow and swooped up at the character, who had pulled a gun on him. The man shot at Obie, but Obie evaded it. He flew at the character, who lost his footing and tumbled from the top of the siding onto the next shelf over. Obie left him there. It would be difficult for him to get back over the edge as the top of the siding was about twice the man's height.

With his panoramic vision, Obie saw the remaining man try to flee into a book. Obie raced towards him and materialized between the book and the man.

"I said, there's no use running."

The man pulled a small knife out. Clearly he hadn't seen Obie's sword. Calmly, Obie grabbed the hilt of the sword and drew it from its sheath. Holding it before him, he added, "And there's no use fighting."
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Sodapop Curtis
 Posted: May 22 2017, 05:06 PM
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by: Brock
Soda never touches a drop—he doesn‘t have to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.


His friend pointed behind Soda, and Soda spun around to find the shadow chasing him. He swore and ran faster than he had run in weeks. It was useless. Within seconds, the shadow had transformed into a man about Soda's age. That was better than him being a shadow, though, wasn't it? At least now they had a chance of killing him, as Soda's friend realized. He slowly drew his gun, and Soda did his best to keep his eyes on the stranger so the man wouldn't know what was coming.

It didn't work, either. Even Soda heard the gun accidentally hit his friend's belt buckle. The man instantly burst into shadow and flew at Soda's buddy. The surprise of it knocked his friend backward, but not before he fired a shot. Soda ducked in case the bullet went astray, but luckily it didn't hit him. Unluckily, it didn't hit the shadow, either.

While the shadow was distracted with his friend, Soda sprinted towards the nearest book. If he could get inside, he could hide away for a few hours. He needed to be back to his book in three hours, which was when the library opened. He wondered now if he would make it in time. Darry would be worried sick if he didn't show up at nine o'clock.

The shadow materialized in front of Soda, forcing him to skid to a halt again. From his back pocket, Soda withdrew a switchblade. It didn't phase the shadow-man, who produced a sword that Soda hadn't seen. Soda clenched his jaw and tried to think of a way out of the situation. The man obviously had no problem killing, and what good was a knife against a sword? Unless...

Soda had one chance and once chance only. He had to bide his time and wait for the perfect shot to open up. He also needed to give his friends a chance to climb down, recover their partner's body, and get out of the fantasy section. Soda doubted he could stall that long, though.

"Let me go," he bargained, "And I promise I won't come back here." He meant, of course, that he wouldn't return to that specific shelf, but he didn't let the stranger know that.
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Omer "Obie" Ostrov
 Posted: May 22 2017, 05:20 PM
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by: Brock
A pristine power raced over him, sheathing his body in ancient and sacred illumination. The primordial force strengthened his spirit, leaving him exalted and resolute, and willing to die for the magic that empowered the runes.


Obie chuckled a single time. "Let you go? I've already let three of you go. Four if you count your friend on the next shelf over. That's four too many, in my opinion. I have no reason to trust your word, either."

He shifted the sword in his hand. The warrior inside him itched for a skirmish, even though Obie knew a sword against a knife wasn't a fair fight. But this man had snuck into his genre and attempted to hide fantasy books. That couldn't go unpunished.

"I'll give you credit," he said as he took in the man's stance. He knew the stranger understood he couldn't win, but he wasn't backing down, and he wasn't showing fear. That earned him Obie's respect as a warrior. "You're brave. You know you're going to lose, yet here you stand."

The man said nothing. He only continued to meet Obie's gaze. It was defiant, cautious, and calculating, but Obie detected the fear and worry behind it. Fear was a contagion, and in battle, Obie wouldn't allow anyone to feel it. Once one person freaked out, the resolve of the rest weakened. In a fight, they couldn't afford even a second's hesitation.

"Because of your bravery, I'm offering you this: to die as a warrior. Clean. Quick. Honorable. Not like your friend way down there."
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Sodapop Curtis
 Posted: May 22 2017, 05:29 PM
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by: Brock
Soda never touches a drop—he doesn‘t have to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.


Worry slithered inside of Soda, but it wasn't for himself. It was for his partners. For their safety. For the safety of his friend's body. It was for his buddies back in his book. It was for Darry, who fretted over them more than anyone else did. The chances of Soda making it home uninjured were slim. The chances of him being home in three hours were almost none. If he escaped alive but hurt, climbing down and back up the shelves would take all of his time and energy. And if he died like the stranger soon suggested he would, then Soda wouldn't make it home before ten in the morning at best. That left Darry one hour to worry his head off.

What could Soda do, though?

"You didn't give my buddy a chance to die honorably." He had no idea why he pointed that out, except to stall for time. At all times, he kept his gaze on the stranger, and he steeled his expression like he did anytime he needed to look tough.

"Just let me go, and neither of us has to get hurt."

Another curt chuckle left the stranger's mouth. "You think you can harm me?" he asked, and Soda knew he wasn't looking for an actual answer. "I can turn to shadow faster than you can blink."

Soda grit his teeth. He had witnessed that very feat moments ago. He knew the stranger wasn't bluffing. Soda had to catch him unaware. But how?
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Omer "Obie" Ostrov
 Posted: May 22 2017, 05:37 PM
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by: Brock
A pristine power raced over him, sheathing his body in ancient and sacred illumination. The primordial force strengthened his spirit, leaving him exalted and resolute, and willing to die for the magic that empowered the runes.


"Why waste your time with me?" the cornered man asked.

His question exasperated Obie, but he wouldn't let on. He wanted a fight, not to talk! "I don't consider this battle a waste. Now answer my question. Will you die honorably, or will I be forced to draw this out?"

The stranger didn't answer immediately. Part of Obie sighed at his apparent choice--to die painfully. He had respected this man's bravery enough to offer him a quick death. A warrior's death. And he wasn't taking it. But the portion of Obie that itched to fight loved that the man hadn't yet opted for an honorable end. Though it would be a quick battle, it would at least be a little bit of action.

Ten seconds of silence passed. Obie raised his eyebrows patiently, silently asking if this was really the man's choice. Another quiet ten seconds slipped by.

"I see. So be it, then." Obie shifted his stance to prepare himself for the inevitable. He allowed the man one final chance to change his mind, but Obie knew he wouldn't. The option of a battle afforded the man the hope of winning, of life, and of escape.

As Obie predicted, the man remained silent. A soft smirk slid onto Obie's lips. At the same time as he raised his sword, Obie's feet pushed him forward, and he charged at the brave but foolish man.
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Sodapop Curtis
 Posted: May 22 2017, 05:44 PM
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by: Brock
Soda never touches a drop—he doesn‘t have to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.


The stranger offered Soda multiple chances to take the easy, honorable way out, but Soda didn't respond to the gesture. He wasn't sure he could trust it. More than that, though, agreeing to his proposition meant certain death, unless Soda was able to get a quick shot in at him with his knife.

Thinking back on it as the man shifted his stance, perhaps agreeing would have been the better choice.

But then thoughts of fighting slipped across Soda's mind. In battle, he had a chance to outmaneuver someone. He had a chance to hurt them or to evade them, and if he could evade him and make it to a bit of shelving, Soda could climb down. As a shadow, it didn't seem like the man could harm him. His only concern once he escaped would be on the next shelf, if he found the man waiting there with sword in hand.

Fighting, Soda thought, was his best option, so he remained quiet.

The man sprung into action and charged him with his sword at the ready. Soda gripped the handle of his knife until his knuckles turned white. He stood his ground and used the few seconds of time he had to glance for an escape route. There wasn't a good one immediately available, but he could always dodge to the side.

His eyes landed back on the stranger, who was almost upon him. At the last moment, Soda jumped forward and to his right. He held the knife out and swiped at the man as Soda tucked into a roll. Springing to his feet, Soda spun around, held his knife at the ready, and braced himself for a counterattack from the man.
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Omer "Obie" Ostrov
 Posted: May 22 2017, 05:54 PM
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by: Brock
A pristine power raced over him, sheathing his body in ancient and sacred illumination. The primordial force strengthened his spirit, leaving him exalted and resolute, and willing to die for the magic that empowered the runes.


Foolish or gutsy. Obie couldn't decide which this man was, but he was thankful either way. He hadn't been in a good fight in months, and he hadn't been in any fight in weeks, other than for training. Too bad he wouldn't be able to test his sword skills effectively on this guy, though.

Obie expected the man to dodge his strike, so he didn't swing until he knew which way he was going. It was to the right and also forward. Obie brought his sword down towards the stranger, but the man rolled instead. He ducked just in time to spare himself from Obie's blade. Obie stepped away, turning as he did so, and grimaced as the guy's knife knicked his calf. At least his jeans protected him from any serious damage.

His opponent faced him down again. After his lucky strike, Obie was through playing games. This man would die, and he would die now. Obie let out a battle cry, one that his people, the Goths, had used to intimidate their opponents and bolster their own courage. Obie incorporated it into some of his band's songs, but it felt purer when used on the battlefield.

He charged again, and he noticed an opportunity. If he could get the man to back up and to Obie's left (the stranger's right), he could trap him with books on either side, Obie in front of him, and the shelf ledge behind him. That moment of fear, of realizing his defeat, Obie would savor far more than a brutal killing.
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Sodapop Curtis
 Posted: May 22 2017, 06:04 PM
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Pens
by: Brock
Soda never touches a drop—he doesn‘t have to. He gets drunk on just plain living. And he understands everybody.


Soda had only a split second to notice that his blade had struck the man's leg. He was infinitely relieved. That meant the guy could be harmed. Soda had feared that, because he possessed magical abilities, that he was immune to injury. Now that he knew he wasn't, determination swelled within him. All he needed was one good strike, and he could take the guy out.

Biding his time, Soda waited for the man to draw close again before he stepped out of the way once more. This time he stepped backwards and to the side. If he could lead his opponent onward, suddenly and in varying directions, he might be able to trip him up. Or, at the very least, Soda might have the advantage of surprise when he finally attacked again.

The man followed Soda, swinging his sword here and there as they moved. Briefly Soda glanced over his shoulder so he knew where he was, and once he bumped into the edge of a book. Quickly he took a step forward and to the side, then he continued his unpredictable shifting.
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Omer "Obie" Ostrov
 Posted: May 22 2017, 06:09 PM
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by: Brock
A pristine power raced over him, sheathing his body in ancient and sacred illumination. The primordial force strengthened his spirit, leaving him exalted and resolute, and willing to die for the magic that empowered the runes.


Did his enemy realize he was playing right into Obie's hands? Each step he took brought him closer to the books. Closer to the opening. Closer to the edge. All Obie had to do was respond to his movements correctly. He had to make it look like the man was in control of the fight, all while making sure Obie was actually the one guiding him. Instead of a small step one way, Obie took a bigger one. Or vice versa. Anything it took to trap the man where he wanted him.

Nearer they drew. Obie swung his sword at the man's feet, causing his enemy to hop backwards to avoid injury. Perfect. Just a little more.

To distract his opponent from his plans, Obie called out, "Quit dancing around and fight me like a man." He had the stranger almost perfectly aligned with the opening. If he could prevent him from moving much to either side, Obie could back him into the space and trap him.

"I thought you were brave," he taunted, "But perhaps I was wrong. You keep fleeing like a frightened rabbit."
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