Monday 11 April 2016


Assisted by my seconds, I armed myself for the debate. Vambrace, rerebrace, pauldron. Pixane, cervelliere. Iron-framed goggles. Finally, my debating sabre.

The judges decide victory not by first blood, nor a scoring of hits, but by the duellists’ strength of character. Each must stand his ground, heedless of injury. To once lift a foot from the floor may lose the match. Even a too-quick parry is frowned on, and victory never goes to a “klugfechter”, one who evades every strike.

Of course the performance has nothing to do with who would be the best President, but what debate ever did?

Inspired by the German tradition of academic fencing.
Another version of this story also appeared recently on Crap Mariner’s 100 Word Story Challenge.