TWC: Path

Well, I normally write a short extract or a poem. Well, this week it’s a bit different. A longer piece of 333 words exactly. I hope you enjoy it.

Spend It Not Here

“Tell me” he said, “why have you come?”

The boy thought for a minute, then said “For revenge. They slaughtered my mother and brother, and I swear they shall pay.”

The warrior leaned against the battlements, his grey eyes matching the dark hue of the stone. The dawn light reflected red against his pale scars, and in his eyes there was a deep sadness.

“Son” said he, “I know that you have tracked and killed the very men that did this deed. So tell me again, why do you fight?”

And this time the youth was silent, his quavering eyes downcast. His hand moved to his sword, a small steel weapon. It had tasted blood already. He thought. He searched his heart until he felt a swelling within him. His face set, and he gazed resolute at the elder man.

“Because I enjoyed it. I ended his life and as his heart stopped it felt good.”

And now it was the warrior’s turn to down his eyes. He then knelt, and came to eye level with the young vigilante. He rested his hands on the shoulders of the other, then pulled him into an embrace. He felt the heartbeat of the boy, strong and live.

Softly, he spoke. “Lad, we have men enough for war. You have a good blade, but spend it not here. Do not throw yourself away in a battle you do not need. The land will need men of your spirit when this war has purged many good souls.”

Reaching deep into his tunic, he brought out seven gold coins. He places them into the boy’s palm and curled his knuckles around them.

“This will secure you an apprenticeship with a fair master. Now go, and be not near when the battle joins, for my heart’s peace.”

Standing now, he smiled fondly. The boy’s eyes held tears, but he held then in check. Looking up, he whispered “I will. Thank you. ”

And he strode away, on a new path.


17 thoughts on “TWC: Path

  1. Very nicely written! Though I do think the lad was very easily turned from his path. With a few more words, a little internal struggle would have been interesting to read. 🙂 The line from which you took the title is lovely, by the way: “You have a good blade, but spend it not here.” I love the way that resonates.

    • Thanks. If I wasn’t constricted on words I’d add that in. I’m trying to write a book, so I expect I’ll adapt this scene with names, more struggle, details and so on. Thanks for the advice! I also wanted to imply on not spending his life rashly.

  2. I’m a little worried about that kid all the same; he may have been turned from his path, but his acknowledging that it felt good to kill someone seems like the sort of thing that would be hard to forget.

  3. I like this! I still think that kid’s bloodlust won’t be sated so easily, but maybe he has a better start now (:

  4. I see it more of a detour than an outright change in path. Like another commenter noted, the fact he liked killing was disturbing. I do hope he can find an honest path that doesn’t involve bloodshed.

  5. Sounds like they should have been pìeces of silver…

    btw, was “matching the dark stone of the stone” intentional?

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