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My contribution to Teaser Tuesday. This is an old character write-up in short story form:

I have trouble sleeping ever since the war. I use music to relax. Most music will do. I just fire up my laptop or MP3 player and let it cycle through the playlist. I donned my wireless earphones and lay down on the hammock.

Carry on my wayward son

There’ll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Don’t you cry no more.

It only takes seconds before I dose off….

Once I rose above the noise and confusion
Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion
I was soaring ever higher
But I flew too high

Sometimes I am conscious of dreaming, that is I know I am dreaming. Like right now I am traveling through a dark wood. I hear a howling. A dog, maybe a wolf. I think I see a figure darting between the trees, a shadow moving fast.

Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man
Though my mind could think I still was a mad man
I hear the voices when I’m dreaming
I can hear them say

I reach a clearing. There I see a man, a giant of a man wearing Norse armor. Opposite him a large Wolf, a monster, jet black fur that swallows what little light that shines upon the clearing from the half moon above.

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

The Warrior charges the beast. They grapple in a vicious embrace. The Wolf tries to bite and claw away from the Warrior’s hold, to no avail. Then I hear chains in the distance. The Wolf howls and whimpers, trying to run away, but the Warrior holds fast.

Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man, well
It surely means that I don’t know

From beyond the clearing’s edge, chains shoot out like bullets, wrapping themselves around the great black beast. Like tentacles they bind the head and legs of the great Wolf. At that moment the Wolf bites down, vice like on the Warrior’s left hand, but he does not flinch. He throws the beast down and with his good hand wraps the chains around the muzzle. The beast lets go as it dragged into the darkness. The Warrior’s stands alone in the clearing. He then takes his sword from his scabbard, a long flat blade and with a single stroke cuts away the mangled piece of flesh that was once his hand.

The Warrior’s turns around, toward me. I know that face.

Dad…

On a stormy sea of moving emotion
Tossed about I’m like a ship on the ocean
I set a course for winds of fortune
But I hear the voices say

The Warrior’s tosses his sword at my feet. The scene changes. The forest becomes a vast plain, filled with broken bodies and weapons. The sounds of battle fill the air. I look around and I see my grandfather looking down at me with his one good eye, perched above me, bird like on a huge boulder.

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

I see winged figures filling the sky, grey ethereal shadows moving swiftly across the grey sky. My grandfather points at the sword resting at my feet. I pick it up Runes move and rearrange across the flat side of the blade. I know these runes, each one spelled out one name after another, Hrunting, Durandal, Joyeuse, Curtana, Tyrfing, Dainleif.

Swords of power, weapons of heroes, pick up the sword and welcome your Fate!

Carry on, you will always remember

Carry on, nothing equals the splendor

The center lights around your vanity

But surely heaven waits for you

At that moment a man armed with spear and shield, attacks. I parry his attack, but his spear lances my side. I tumble away and I feel something wrap around the stump that on my left arm. I rise to face my attacker, a shining golden gauntlet sits comfortably where my own hand used to be. The enemy attacks again. This time I strike his shield with the gauntlet and it shatters into pieces. Stunned my enemy steps back, but it I who is now the hunter. A swift stroke under his chin cuts his throat open. He falls among the detritus that litters the battlefield. At that moment I step back, time slowing down around me. A musket shot flies inches from my face. I turn to the sound of the guns and I see a line of redcoats preparing to fire. I leap forward.. I land among them, slashing and punching my way through their ranks. As the last one falls I snap his musket like a twig.

Then a light that shines brighter than the sun itself blinds me.

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry (don’t you cry no more)

Surtur!

A giant, some 30ft tall, his hands and head wreathed in fire, steps forward to do battle. I shout an ancient battle cry and charge him….

I wake up and rip my earphones from my head, nearly breaking them in the process. I never felt more….alive! Then the tapping on my window, those damned crows again. But this time it comes from my grandfather old studio. The crow is perched atop an old bookcase. I try to shoo away the pest, I stumble and crash into the bookcase. That’s when I notice that what I thought was the bottom drawer was in fact a small trunk. I pull it out and open it. Inside I find…a sword and a gauntlet.

Could they be….


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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  2. Anything in particular that stood out Tasha?

  3. This was my favorite line: “The Warrior’s turns around, toward me. I know that face. ”

    Very succinct (edited for spelling).

  4. Yeah. I find myself writing that way more and more, sort of hurrying up to make the point. I’m not fond of long winded description.

    Makes me less of a Poe and more Hemingway. I love Poe, of course, enjoyed every poem and short story that I read from him (and I am not a fan of poetry) but Hemingway seems to whisper in my ear while I write:

    “Punch them in the gut, go for the kill….”

    At least I think it’s him!

    😀


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