This happens to be a little something that I finished for a writing contest being held at our public library. I hope you enjoy! 8D


They call me Espera because I wait.

I wait for sound opportunities, for the right moment to speak up, to swoop in, to take my prize. I travel on my feet; they take me places as the wind delivers the milkweed seeds on the air, seeds ready to someday settle down, take root, and blossom. Sometimes they never do. I used to wonder if, in the end, the world really cared about losing a few milkweed plants that never made the journey. Natural selection, as they say. Survival of the fittest.


Waiting is how my story begins, in fact. I was at rest in one of the local inns, sipping the tea I could afford with my legs set on another chair. My sword was next to me, as it always was, in its sheath leaning on a table leg. There was loud conversation around me, men drinking and women sitting and looking pretty, the usual company I see at taverns. The building in itself was in much better shape then most of the places I'd been before, with shelves and an occasional intricate design on some of the tableware. There were lit candles and a slightly more refined atmosphere. It comforted me.

Something one may want to know about me is that I have an ear for good tales. I've always loved myself a good story, a juicy bout of gossip from passers-by. It elated me to hear songs of past and present heroes- of challengers that may be waiting for me up on battlefield someday. I longed to become a subject of stories, too; a worthy opponent to the strongest of fighters. My dream was to master the sword, and anything else was merely a step up to my revered goal.

I remember everything so clearly. It all began as I was lying back in that tavern, my eyelids becoming heavy as I began to nod off. I was startled by a call from behind.

"Hey, kid."

My momentary doze broken, I opened one eye as a clever character does in books. "Eh?" I responded.

"Come here," he beckoned. I turned my head around; the barkeep of the inn was gesturing over to the counter. I sighed and stretched widely, then stood out of my chair. Unknowing of the significance of this particular event, I took up my sword- so as nothing would happen to it- and casually ambled my way up to him.

"What do you need, fine sir?" I asked; I always tried to have an air of politeness about me, so that I could garner more confidence, as well as a good reputation amongst the locals.

"You look pretty bored, y'know that?" He chuckled a bit as he continued to do what looked like attempting to wipe an eternal stain off of one of the big tavern mugs. "Not a people person, are you?"

"I suppose you could say that," I replied, though in retrospect I didn't believe that was true. I loved people; I believe I was just having an off day, as they called them.

"Well, I was wondering if you'd like to hear a little something I've been sharing with people lately. No one else seemed interested today."

"A tale, you mean?" My curiosity spiked significantly at this point. "Like what?"

He grinned. "Have you heard of the one they call the 'Singing Blade'?"

A beam of realization flashed through my mind. "You mean… that song?" I tried to recite the lyrics as perfectly as I could:

"Sarita is her name, they harp,

A heart of gold, spirit of light

A voice so pure, her skill so sharp

A win she earns in every fight."

"That's the one!" The man shouted enthusiastically. "So, you know of her as well! That's a surprise, it is!"

"I get that a lot," I said, wondering if the word had been 'blade' rather than 'skill'; I decided to shake it off. My own obsessive-ness would be my downfall someday.

"Well, all of that aside, yes, that is the song. They say she's been sighted in this area, searching far and wide for challengers. You know… the rumors state she's cut down even men, despite 'er bein' a woman and all—"

"Well, even women can wield swords," I blurted out, surprised at my own defiance. The man laughed even more.

"Oh, my apologies, I didn' even notice! Are you a wanderin' fighter, too?" When I didn't reply, his expression seemed to get a bit more serious. "Don't get me wrong, I just don't see too many woman warriors 'round here. Well, anyway, that's beside the point. If you're lookin' for a good challenge, I'm sure the information would come in handy!"

He was right- I was interested in the info, and I really was sincerely fascinated with what he had to say about this woman. I believed her to be just a legend at first, since I never heard anything recent involving her. In actuality, the legend of Sarita may have been the one thing that pushed me to where I am now. I idolized people like her, the famous heroes that inspire others to become heroes themselves; without inspiration to be the strings, humans are nothing but unmoving puppets with no ambition, no determination. I was like that once.

"They say she's supposed to be a beauty, too…" the barkeep muttered dreamily, his eyes staring off into the distance. Whatever other fantasies he was having I didn't pay much attention to; I simply gave him thanks and bid him farewell, to which he replied with, "I hope I was helpful!"

That last statement, in reality, could have been an oxymoron of both truth and a lie.


Only a month or so after my stay at that particular town, I was traversing a certain part of my home country run thick with forests and mountainsides. My thirst for adventure never ceased to amaze me. I learned how to survive anywhere, to live on anything, and that's just how I preferred to live.

That very fateful night I recall sleeping in the crevice made between two rather large tree roots that were exposed out of the ground. Though the forest was usually thick and dark, the moonlight on this night was beautiful; I drew my sword and brandished it up into the air, up against the light. It glistened so wondrously that my mind couldn't comprehend the beauty of it! I felt something well up inside of me, that feeling you get when you know something meaningful is about to happen. I could taste it on the tip of my tongue, though I didn't understand it at first. I smiled and sheathed my sword, then turned my gaze to dew dripping off of a leaf in a thicket, which lulled me to sleep.

I awoke to the sound of someone nearby; or maybe it was just the feel of it, either way. I did have a tendency to wake up when I could sense someone next to me, albeit it might just have been that instinct for survival that was instilled into my being since I was but a fledgling in my training.

What helped me confirm that there was another presence was a distant sound of a songbird fluttering away into the breeze- it alerted me awake and onto my feet in an instant. I kept one hand onto the hilt of my sword, just in case, and sidled my way around the tree. My heart was beating so fast I feared I would start trembling- I became uncoordinated and clumsy when my nerves got in the way. I tried my hardest to shake it off and peered ahead into the brush.

I sighted a shadow swiftly weaving its way toward my direction. Oh no, it must have detected me somehow was my first thought to this situation. I decided then that there was no more use in hiding- I would confront this adversary head-on. I quickly drew my blade and to my challenge proposal I heard the acceptance not too far away now- my opponent was another skilled in the sword. I felt the adrenaline rush as a made a mad sprint forward and a leap off of a hill into the air, meeting my challenger head-on.

Our blades clashed in mid-air, leaving a ringing sound that permeated all throughout the otherwise peaceful atmosphere; I heard wildlife scuttling amongst the bushes and inside of the canopies. We were hanging up in the air, momentarily suspended by invisible threads as our eyes met- she was a female, with piercing, green eyes that could see directly into the core of my soul itself. We landed opposite ways onto our feet, and hurriedly spun about to face each other again. Her frame moved with such vitality, such vigor! We lunged forward again and exchanged another couple of blows before we settled, our heavy breaths being the only sounds that could be heard for miles. Then, after a few minutes, I heard her sharp, melodious voice. "Who are you," She asked me, "that possesses such ability so equal to mine?"

"How could you," I paused in between a breath, "say 'equal'?"

"It is rare for another to attempt what you just succeeded," the woman replied. "I judge my enemies' skills from the first strike we share. In yours, I felt caution, swiftness, determination, and… waiting."


"Yes. You wish to know who I am as well, do you not?"

I admit that I both did and didn't, for this woman's majestic eccentricity was already working its way into my heart, to the point where it confounded me. I hesitated only slightly in my response. "I suppose so, though I almost feel that I am familiar with you…"

"… I see." Her voice suddenly lit aflame with a spark of pleasured curiosity, "Do they still sing about me?"

I started. Through every corner of my mind, my body, my soul, I was exultant to finally have found my confirmation.

"You… is your name… Sarita, perhaps?"

"Yes, you have it. That is my name."

"The 'Singing Blade'?"

"Yes, that is the alias by which I am known. And you, my dear friend, must be Espera. The 'One Who Waits'."

I froze. "… What?"

"That is what they call you, is it not? I've already found the proof in your first blow- that you wait. And that is how I determined who you were."

I was so shocked by this close observation, by her interrogating intentions; it almost frightened me to the point where I was completely speechless- albeit, what might have struck me the most of everything else was the fact that I had a name. Where did it come from? Where was she from? Was I really so well-known? I was so dizzy with recognition!

"Yes," she continued, "from the stories I have heard about you, you wait for what comes your way. You wait to see who's worthy, to test your skills. You are the patient one. Nothing ever fazes you."

"I wasn't aware that I—that I had rumors too—"

"Tell me, Espera…" I will never forget the tone in her voice as she brought forth the question, "would you… like a duel?"

As I stated before, I tried to keep my look of confidence- though it was a very rigorous task- as I stated, simply and eagerly, "I would accept your challenge, Sarita, the Singing Blade…"

She grinned, and prepared her attack stance. "Was your waiting for nothing, or was it for something? Let us see!"

"At your ready!"


The battle raged on for longer than I can remember. I don't know how she did it- she never tired, and so I tried my very hardest to be as durable as she. The fight began in a massive flurry of blows and strikes and parries and by the time it all melded into the middle I found it to have evolved into what I found to be a graceful dance. The way she executed her moves and her strategies made me feel inferior in comparison. Jump, rest, lunge, rest, avoid and counter-strike, rest. My mind began to register it as a pattern. For a while it was all I could think about.

It might have been fatigue that impaired my memory for this next part- I honestly cannot fathom why we kept at it, as we both were exhausted. I don't particularly enjoy retelling this part of my story, but why would I end now after I have reached this far? Bear with me, however, for as I've stated before, I might not have things in exact chronological order.

First off, there was something about Sarita that changed- it must have been her disposition or somewhat, as I had the impression that she was concerned about something. Her voice was rasped and a little strained. "You… you're not what I'd imagined you to be…"

Somehow, the way she approached this rendered me a little uneasy. I caught my own breath some before I spoke. "What do you… mean by that?"

"I underestimated you. That… I have never done that…" I heard the slightest bit of defeat in her muttered statement.

"We're not all perfect…" was all I could think of to say. Suddenly, the Singing Blade stood one more time.

"You and I… one more round."

"One more? Are you… mad?"

"I… have to know something. Something that can only come from fighting you…"

"I… don't understand…"

"Have at you!"

And she attacked me one more time, which is but a slight wisp of memory still loosely tethered to my brain. Before I blacked out, I remember her weary expression in her otherwise lithe frame, and a single sentence that she may or may not have uttered:

"I think… you might… have won…"


My consciousness weaved from in to out and back again for a few days afterwards. If I had any dreams, they elude me at this point; the only one I would retell would be the one where I slept inside of an elegant flower, waiting for my dreams to unfold as my petals came into a full bloom. There was a flower next to me not having quite as much luck; its color was slightly muted, not as vibrant, and it looked as if it already started to wither. There were milkweed seeds being helplessly manipulated wherever the wind desired to carry them. This has always been the main reason why I conveyed the world as cruel; so many people were used and abused.

The first thing that I saw when I finally came to was a boy's face; he had a look of morbid curiosity about his countenance, as if he were waiting to determine whether or not I had died. It perturbed me slightly, but I guess I couldn't blame him- we're all a little like that we we're young, just learning the ways of the world, the difference between life and death. He looked no older than about seven or eight years, maybe nine? I tried to focus my vision on him; it took a few minutes to finally get the hang of it. He cocked his head to the side. "Oh, are you alive?"

I wondered if I still had the voice or even the energy to speak; I hurt so badly that it was really hard to tell. I decided to give a shot at it.

"Hello." Oh, there it was!

"I guess you are. You were asleep for forever, lady!" I chuckled a little inside at his dialect. It was cute; I couldn't deny that.

"How long?" I managed to ask, though he had already run out of the room by the time I finished the question. I sighed and studied the little shack as I waited for him to return. The particular space I was in wasn't too small; there were shelves with various types of items on them: souvenirs, candles, and herbs, just small things that were either important or sentimental. Most of the candles were already used; the wax was melted into abnormal shapes that made what used to be candles look instead like abstract sculptures. It almost reminded me of where I grew up; a nostalgic feeling began to engulf me.

I turned around as I heard footsteps coming from around the outside of the home. I heard worried whispering, however I couldn't make anything out of it. The boy then returned with whom I assumed to be his mother, who was staring at me carefully, as if she were watching me to make sure I didn't try to set the whole place on fire. Her gaze suddenly softened, and she approached me.

"Oh, have you awoken?" She asked me, a rather polite tone in her voice.

"I believe so," I answered, though I sounded almost mocking. She didn't seem to notice, which was a good thing on my end.

"Do you remember anything?"

I winced. "Is that a trick question?" My head suddenly experienced a terribly sharp pain, like a realization tore my skull in two. I had to lie back down.

"Well, I found you passed out kind of near here… it looked like there might've been someone wi' you but the time I went to go see, the other person seemed to of vanished." It took me a moment or two to clasp the woman's words together, as my mind kept spinning without cease. Suddenly, it hit me.

I bolted up, ignoring the excruciating pain that was persistent in trying to defeat me at my own game; I simply didn't care to the point where I didn't feel it. "Did you see another girl with me? She's all right, isn't she?"

The woman shooed the boy away, presumably to both give us privacy and to do chores outside. I didn't like the grave look on her face; I felt severe qualms of illness down to my stomach.

"You know, t' be frank," She began, clearing her throat, "I'm not sure where she went, but I doubt she's still alive. It's all kind of strange, but it seemed she had to have dragged you here… I saw 'er do it and wan'ed to help her, too, but she declined help… and by the time I took you into m' home, she was gone."

Gone, gone… all I kept hearing in my mind was that, all that passed through my ears was the idea that she was 'gone'. I couldn't understand. Why was it that, though I met her only once, she impacted me so greatly? I wanted to badly to see her again! My soul clawed at its walls, at the walls of desire, haunting me with such a fervent passion that I was so terrified of my own inner being.

The woman must have seen the appalled look I was wearing just then; she told me it might have been best to leave me alone, to rest longer. I was too stubborn, for the next morning when she and her son were out working on their fields I left, despite my injures, leaving nothing but a scrap of parcel that read 'thanks' and a coin or two I carried around with me in case of emergency. They needed it more than I did, after all- they lived in the area where food was scarce and you needed to know the land incredibly well to survive. Sympathy, as one would call it, was probably the main factor.


I began my tale in waiting and end it in waiting as well- I waited to meet someone I aspired to be, and now I wait for the day we might meet again. I do not hope that she is alive, but rather know that she is still alive out somewhere in the world. I am still dumbfounded as to what her motives were before, though the ambiguity is slowly solving its own puzzle inside of my mind- that the ardent horror of being defeated in combat might her strive to get better, to be driven by the strings of inspiration once more. In my blunt opinion, she won the fight and not I, for I passed out first; but the fact that the clarity in this story evades me even now becomes rather redundant, and thus I draw to a close.

Let this be a lesson to you, however, that when you idolize someone to never be afraid of them, and to always follow a sense of adventure; for without inspiration to be the fuel that drives us, what kind of meaning do in our lives belie?