TITLE: Drego's Sword
Drego felt his legs being swept out from underneath him and he fell hard to the sand, the grains collecting in his clothes and blond hair. He saw a flash of cloudless blue sky before the sun blinded him and he closed his eyes. He heard his uncle's laughter and the crash of the ocean waves, the salty smell mixed with the earthy scent of the nearby forest.
Drego let out a defeated moan, staying on his back. The sunlight warmed him, but the sand he'd accumulated in his clothes scratched his tan skin. He felt irritation flare through his veins. How many times would he fall victim to the same attack?
"Oh, get up," he heard his uncle's raspy voice say.
Drego opened his brown eyes, squinting. He stood, scooping up a wooden training sword from where he'd dropped it. "Tell me how to dodge that."
The old man was darker skinned and small boned, with many wiry muscles. He had gray hair and a stubble along his narrow jaw. His black eyes were alight with amusement. "Why? Because that's how I've taken you down all morning?" He smiled widely. "No. Figure it out yourself."
The beach they were on curved eloquently alongside the ocean, gentle waves lapping at the sand. The beach sloped up into a forest, the trees tall and thick with leaves that fluttered in a warm breeze. Further down the beach a young couple was walking in the waves and a family was sitting just outside the forest.