She sat on the edge of the chair, her limbs draw tightly in as if to make herself occupy the smallest possible space. Around her the others moved and talked. She nodded at opportune moments and gave half smiles. Occasionally her lips parted to say something but the moment passed and her silence remained.
When attentions were elsewhere, she allowed her gaze to move around the room, looking for distractions, and exits. She longed to block it all out, to go inward and retreat to the safety of her dreams. There she was more. There she was brave and strong and feared and revered in equal measure. In her dreams, she fought. She may not have always won but she never went down quietly. Whether her weapons were blades or words, she wielded them expertly. Even in her dreams they looked down on her and laughed but there it made no difference, she spoke her piece and held her head high. And that was the true difference.
There she spoke her mind.
Here she stayed silent, nodding and acquiescing. The words moved through her brain, teasing at her tongue but never did she dare speak them. For she knew the power of words. She knew the impact and the damage they could do, even if it was necessary.
Her biggest foe stood before her. He was no beast or creature to be slain but a human whose actions cut deeper than the knife blades in her dreams. The wilful ignorance of the power of language and acts was the biggest threat she faced each day. Her sight flickered in and out of reality. The arrogance in front of her moving between the vision of evil from her imagination and the man before her.
And then she realised. They were none too different. Both empowered by the inaction of others. It just took one person to show everyone the truth. The power of the creature was all an illusion hidden by the lack of light. If she could just shine a light on the beast, show his true nature, his power would be stripped away.
She sat on the edge of the chair. Her limbs protested at the intense tension as she tightened every muscle in her body, preparing herself for the inevitable flight or fight. Weapons tumbled forth from his mouth, aimed at all around. She could see some hit their targets; even if some were brushed away, the marks they left remained. Her heartbeat was loud enough to pain her eardrum but she knew it would pass when the moment passed as usual. Her lips parted: she drew in a breath. A single word fell. And it brought forth light, illuminating the whole area. The beast stepped back shielding himself from the blinding glow as the truth was revealed. The others sat in shocked silence as her weapons took effect.
She smiled, caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She could almost see the armour, shining in the sun. It would be a small victory, quickly forgotten by most. But it was the first battle. And next time she’d come armed.
Written in response to January Writing Prompts from Putting My Feet in the Dirt. Week 1.