Bad Girl Blogfest – Mary
- Novel: Wild Mary’s Way
- Role: Main Character, Hero
- Created: 1998
- Setting: Future post-apocalyptic wasteland.
- Aliases or Nicknames: Wild Mary, Mary of Archa
- Nationality: Citizen of Archa, Kingdom of Calph
- Position: Warrior
- Age: ~18
- Synopsis: Wild Mary was brought up in a military academy by her father, and far surpassed his abilities by a young age. She holds her sword in her left hand, and refuses to fight with her right. A deep-seated anger runs through her veins, and woe be to anyone who crosses her path. But sometimes, in the heat of battle, a Weakness overcomes her, leaving her feeble and sick.
Post-apocalyptic future, former San Fernando Valley. Mary has just escaped the Archa Military Academy and now faces her first day of freedom.
The sun shone grand, warming Mary’s naked limbs with morning heat. She squatted at the side of the road, resting after her ten mile jog that started at first light. Her limbs had complained at first, not used to the weight of her pack, but they warmed to the task. She swallowed water from her skin, then chew some lamb jerky. Ahead lay Calph, the seat of the Kingdom. Behind her Archa, and the Academy that had been her only home. In the distance, farmers tended their fields, while closer, cows lowed in their pastures.
Sated, Mary stripped off her chest harness and tied it to her pack. Her only garments consisted of her waist harness and a fur to keep the pack from chafing. The fur didn’t quite cover her chest, but she thought little of it. Why should she dress differently from any male warrior? She strapped on the pack and hit the path at a practiced gait she could maintain for hours.
A few miles later, the road passed through rolling hills capped with small wooded glades. In one of these glades, Mary sensed something amiss. Years of training had prepared her to spot the bent grasses along the road’s edge, the biting scent of men and horses, and small scratchings of feet on leaves. The pack flew off her back and her sword flew from its scabbard, sinking into the chest of a man who had launched himself from a rock that hung above the road.
A half-score of ragged men, dressed in torn leather and linen, jumped from the forest. As quick as thought, the sword drank from their lives, slipping in and out of their bodies in a surgically precise attack. Six men lay dead before their fellows paused. Mary waited, blood dripping from her sword, her right hand held high to ward off the sun.
Rustling filled the forest as additional men crept into the battle, armed with rusty old swords or dull knives. Mary would be trapped against the rock. She needed open space. She feinted in one direction, then charged in another, nicked a man’s carotid, and sprinted down the road. The other men pursued.
The road descended into a river. Where was the bridge? Mary stopped at the edge of the river, facing the onrushing attackers. Yes, she could doubtless outrun or outswim them, but she needed her pack. The open riverbank was as good as any to make her stand.
“Come on, girl,” said one man, panting. “You put that little stick down and we’ll be real nice to you.”
Mary squinted. I am the attacker. Their taunts shall not alter my strategy. Twelve men faced her. She recited a litany of forms used when faced with overwhelming odds. Press the attack. Don’t wait for them. Her hand trembled, begging for action. Who is the strongest? Who poses the least danger? She chose her victims. With a scream, she launched herself at the men, her weapon forming a maze of metal as it flashed among their ranks. Their swords found her, but she deflected the bulk of their efforts. Her metal did not fail. Blood filled the air, splattered into her hair and eyes, and dripped down her breasts. This was war. This was fighting. At last.
The last two men, the weak ones, armed with puny knifes and skinny frames faced her. Not worth the effort of killing, she slaughtered them nonetheless, their heads rolling onto the ground, life pouring from their severed necked. She raised her sword and screamed to the sky. She kissed her sword and then ran it against her tongue, tasting the blood of the men she had dispatched. A dizziness seized her, and she dropped to her knees in the midst of the carnage.
Here it comes. “The Weakness,” she called it. Women wailed and keened as they stumbled down the road towards their lifeless husbands. Mary’s stomach clenched and she vomited. She hated the Weakness. The sight of blood and severed limbs—a true warrior should not be affected, but a part of her rebelled, the cursed female part. She turned from the corpses, covered her face, and breathed, spitting the bile from her tongue. The women pawed through the bodies, shuddering and clinging to one another. “Get away from me,” growled Mary, not wishing to injure further. The women stayed.
Mary jumped up and sprinted down the road until she recovered her pack. She hoisted it upon her shoulders, and then returned to the scene. She stripped naked and bathed her wounds in the river as flies spread among the corpses. She swam to the far side to continue her journey. One woman called to her.
“Who are you that you dare murder our men in cold blood,” she screamed.
Mary considered. “I am Wild Mary, Warrior of Archa, and woe to those who cross my path!” She turned and ran.
There you have it. Wild Mary in a nutshell. Her struggle is coming to grips with her two sides to become a whole person. I literally dreamed the entire novel and wrote it in a couple days (it’s only 35K words).