"Blade of Grass"
Weapons of Darkness, Part 2
by Edward Bolme
Read Part 1 "Sword of Fire"

"Why doesnít the Weave have an elder like the other regions?" Ashio asked the Seer.

"My," said Gia, "such advanced questions from such a young child." She paused in her farming to pat the boy on the head.

"Answer me!" the young Magi insisted.

"And quite the persistent child, too," said Gia. "Well, Ashio, it's sort of an experiment and sort of a tradition. The Weave is one big living entity. It's kind of like your body would be if it were big and open and outdoors... an entire ecosystem that lives, breathes, grows, heals... feels... "

She paused, leaning on her hoe, and looked around. Her farm was at the edge of the Weave; to the south, its ground was the ground of the Moonlands, a sort of neutral zone between the regions. The north end, however, was a precipice that looked into the Weave proper. She knew that the blades of grass held up the north end of her farmland just as they towered over it. Deeper in the Weave, one could find entire clumps of soil, some hundreds of yards across, suspended like bubbles of dirt in the great ocean of grass.

"As long as things are peaceful," said Gia, "the Weave is happy to sleep and dream contented dreams. We need no elder, for we are all a part of the whole."

"But who's in charge, then?" asked Ashio.

"That's the beauty of it," said Gia. "We're all a part of everybody, we're all a part of the Weave, and we do everything together."

"But who's in charge?" repeated Ashio.

"No one is," said Gia. "We don't need someone to be unless there's some sort of trouble brewing."

"I want to be in charge when I grow up," said Ashio.

"I donít think you understand, Ashio," said Gia gently. "Look at your hand. What's in charge there? The bones? The skin?"

"I'm in charge of my hand," said Ashio authoritatively.

Gia set her hoe aside, leaning it on a tree, and sat down next to Ashio.

"Then let's look at you," she said. "Who's in charge of you?"

"I am."

"Okay, now let's pretend you are the Weave. Your body is made of moving grass, you have junjertrugs and lascinths and Magi moving around inside you, okay?"

Ashio nodded.

"Now, what do you do if you're the Weave and this little Magi named Pinky Fingernail asks who's in charge?" asked Gia.

Ashio paused to think, and his eyes darkened.

Just then, Gia's hoe slid to the side, and the handle clonked her on the back of the head.

"Ow!" said Gia in irritation.

Ashio giggled, but the mirth fled as quickly as it had come. When Gia turned around to put the hoe back in its place, he quietly slipped away.

* * * * *

Years later, Ashio moved quietly through the Weave. Although he had not seen Gia in some time, her words followed him to this day.

He didnít want to be the little pinky fingernail.

As he had done countless times since that day, he lifted his hand and glared at his pinky fingernail. What had it ever done for him? Why should he care about it at all? Did anyone ever notice it? No! The pinky fingernail was nothing. It was an afterthought. So what if it was a part of his body? It did him no good. It could go away and he'd never miss it. He might not even notice.

What kind of future was it to be the pinky fingernail of the Weave? What good would it ever do him? None.

He wanted to be in charge.

He didnít want to be a part of the whole; he wanted to be the whole.

He smiled to himself as he wandered. If he was going to be a part of the Weave, he wanted to be noticed. And what do people notice about themselves? Nothing at all... until something goes wrong. People never think about their muscles until they're sore. They never think about their teeth until they ache. They never think about their health until it's gone.

Ashio decided he would change his own role in the Weave. He'd stop being the pinky fingernail.

He'd start being something they'd notice. Something they'd remember.

He'd be a disease.

No sooner had he started smirking about this concept, than he realized that he'd entered a part of the Weave he'd never been to before...

"This is curious," he muttered out loud as he began to descend.


Where do we next see Ashio? Read The Unwanted, Part 1
What happens next? Read Part 3 "Lash of Spite"

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