The Winning of Lady Wisdom Part 6
Sarah Dixon Young’s columns for June and July feature a serial short story excerpted from her work in progress The Winning of Lady Wisdom. In the story, Hyperon finds fulfilling work and acceptance when he comes to the city of Opportunity. When trouble arises, he must determine what is true and whether he loves Folly or Wisdom. If you have interest in being a beta reader for this work, you can email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Wisdom,” their victim whispered.
At the name, a cold sweat broke out on Hyperon’s brow. He’d never heard the name before, but something in the way the woman said it broke the dam he had constructed within himself and brought the flood of shame coursing down on him.
“Where was she?” Adam asked, and his voice betrayed a tremor of fear. Hyperon was startled by the feminine pronoun ‘she.’ Wisdom could be a woman’s name, he supposed.
The victim remained silent. Adam slapped her and headed toward the door.
“Let’s go,” he called to Hyperon.
They’d run at least a mile when Adam said, “I wish I could find that cursed woman and put an end to her propaganda.”
“Who is she?” Hyperon asked.
“Wisdom is the epitome of everything I hate,” Adam said, “I’m glad she doesn’t come near me. It’s almost as if hardship and suffering drip off of her like a disease.”
“Surely one woman couldn’t do that much harm,” Hyperon said.
“She’s not just a woman,” Adam said, “She is a Lady.”
Hyperon heard the word ‘Lady’ echo in his mind. He had a negative view of the imperiousness ladies possessed.
“She’d never search me out then,” he chortled to Adam, “Ladies and half-breeds don’t mix.”
They slowed to a walk.
“Don’t be so sure,” Adam advised, “She’s not your typical Lady. If she thought you’d listen, she’d preach at you about seriousness and gravity and prudishness all day long. She’s the source of injustice, if you ask me.”
“You’ve seen her?” Hyperon asked.
“No,” Adam admitted, “but I know all about her. Mr. Specter told me. He met her once and rejected all she had to offer. He’d had enough of her abuses.”
The sun was rising when Hyperon settled back on the cold, hard floor of his room to sleep. It cut into his side like the harsh reality that it was. In the victim’s house, he had seen comfortable beds and cushy pillows. Specter might offer forms of entertainment, but they were fleeting, and one just couldn’t sleep on a video game. The inconsistencies needled him.
Hyperon’s mind raged. He tried to stoke up the repetitious memory of the victim’s cruel words about his race, but the name ‘Wisdom’ whispered in his dreams.
He dreamt that he was in that house again, spreading the preserves on the kitchen counter and smashing the glass jar, when he heard his own name whispered. Hyperon.
He turned to see who it was, but he found that he was blind.
He stumbled in darkness, stepping on a sharp shard of glass.
His skin grew hot, and he covered his face. He was afraid of the woman’s voice. All of a sudden, blinding light pierced through his darkness.
“Don’t kill me!” he shouted, “Don’t kill me.”
In the light, his blindness melted away. He saw a shepherd kneeling down. He could smell the fresh scent of the grass, but he struggled to look at what the shepherd was kneeling next to. He took a step closer, though the pain in his foot ached.
A lamb, spotless white, had been ripped open by some beast. Its entrails littered the ground. The shepherd was weeping.
Now, Hyperon heard his mother’s voice, “In the darkness and the dirt, a baby was born.”
Now, he heard Specter’s voice, “You must kill the shepherd, Hyperon.”
Now, he heard his mother again, “You must find the shepherd.”
He knew in that instant that it was Wisdom calling his name. He resolved to hide from her.
The light flashed and consumed him.
“Don’t kill me!” he shouted again and sat up. The room was empty but for the lingering scent of grass.
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