The moss-covered ground of the inner sanctum is littered with sweet smelling white petals from the flowering trees. Petals float through the air, falling to the ground like snow, as Qlirim practices his swordsmanship. His long blade slices though the air with intent to kill the unseen foes.
Qlirim leaps, turning a complete circle mid-flight, and lands as light as a feather on his feet. He practices another stance as the battle between him and his invisible opponent continues. His long black hair, braided and bound in a ponytail high atop his head, brushes his shoulders with every turn. His feet kick up petals causing them to encircle him as he twists and spins with each stance he practices.
Qlirim finishes the sword’s deadly dance with a final thrust sending several petals through the air towards me. They fall all around the boulder I rest upon landing in my hair and on my lap.
I can’t help but applaud the beauty of Qlirim’s skill. He sheathes his sword and takes a seat on the boulder next to me. Beads of sweat fall down the sides of his face. Using the sleeve of my tunic, I reach to wipe his sweat away, but pain shoots through my side causing me to wince. Qlirim takes my hand, places it back in my lap, and uses his own sleeve to wipe the sweat from his brow.
The sound of a waterfall in the distance creates a serene atmosphere in the inner sanctum, a massive cave centered within the mountain of the Domuran Stronghold. Rock walls on all sides open at the ceiling allowing light to filter in and illuminate the colorful garden below. A flowing stream falls from one side of the rock ceiling and cascades down into a lake below. Green and brown moss fight for space amidst the flowering trees and colorful grasses.
—-Excerpt From Forgotten: Book Three of the Sanctorian Series—-
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My inspiration for the inner sanctum came from Ruby Falls, Tennessee.
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