Portrait of First Combat Master

Glad you could join us for the next artistic episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot 129
Photo credit: Keresztelo

Wasp nests, honeycombs, mantis egg masses — symmetry wasn’t new to Elliot. But the alien nature of this arched room overwhelmed his ability to imagine its creator.

“Speechless?” the High Priestess asked.

He could only nod.

“I know what you’re feeling. All my life, the questions in these walls have mystified me. Maybe living here without answers serves a purpose.”

Turning to ask the question on his lips, he let it fall from his mouth when his eyes met the image painted next to the door.

The High Priestess followed his stare. “Ha, that,” she laughed. “It’s a portrait of our first Combat Master from our earliest days in the Tower. This is the training room; raw recruits are supposed to find it inspirational.”

“It’s frightening.”

“My point exactly. Legend has it that the young trainee who painted it had just washed out as a warrior, and discovered his talents lay in providing artistic motivation for others to succeed. It bears an uncanny likeness to its subject.”

“You knew him?”

“Oh, yes. All recruits study combat.”

Elliot was silently grateful it was only a painting.

“But this isn’t our destination.” She hobbled toward a doorway across the inexplicable space.

Elliot 129a
Image credit: Nadilyn Beato

To be continued. . .

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

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Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

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