TITLE: The Minotaur Staff
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Akua was mid-fight in an arena when a flash of light transported her to a strange room, to someone other than her opponent.
Akua pressed her sword into the man's neck. "What magic is this? Are you an illusionist? Am I drugged?"
The man groaned.
She pressed harder, until blood came. "Who are you?"
He took a breath and coughed, pointing at her foot on his chest. She stepped back, but kept her sword ready. "Speak!"
He sat up and cried out. "S***. What did you do, break my leg? And how did you get in here?" He winced as he pulled himself up on the bed. An object fell out of his hand as he supported himself.
"The Oracle's Eye! Forgive me, I did not realize."
He frowned and rubbed his head. Then spoke nonsense. She picked the Eye off the floor. "Where is your staff, Oracle?"
He shook his head. "That I understand. What did you say before that?"
"I am sorry for injuring you, Lord. I asked your forgiveness. Then you spoke gibberish. I am glad it was only temporary." She frowned. "Or was it one of your spells?"
"No, you're the one who spoke gibberish. Whatever. Give me that artifact. I need it."
"The Eye? Of course." His hand was white as death against her dark skin. She had never seen any so pale.
"What are you doing here?"
"I know not. I was fighting in the arena, triumphing over my opponent. Then the light came, and I was here. You summoned me, Oracle. What have I done to displease thee?"
"Oracle? That's the second time you've called me that. What arena? You look like you came out of a history book."
"You are no Oracle?" She lifted her sword. "Then you have no right to that. Are you even an Atlantean?"
His eyes widened. "Atlantean? Like Atlantis?"
"I meant not the Atlantis. The city of Atalanta. Are you from either?"
"I didn't even know they existed. Atalanta lived thousands of years ago."
"Do not lie about Queen Atalanta! Rise and I shall take you to her and the Oracle. You will be punished for your theft and blasphemy. Give me back the Eye."
"No! This is my way to get debt-free."
"You took me from battle, my chance to win freedom for my family! Give. It. Back." She raised her sword and pressed it to his throat.
"Whoa, that's sharp. I ask for protection and end with a death threat. Did Belkar send you?"