Through the stories of old
Where the power and glory would hold
Every drop of the ocean was counted
Each grain of sand weighed on its own
The rivers carried and carved a heavy load
The words engrained on the bottom of stone
For the world's splendor and magic was known
The tides of discovery sit beyond the throne
When true beauty is thrust upon one to behold
The path of mystery and wonder blooms like a rose
When terrified and chilled to the core of every bone
The lamp wicks were trimmed and fire did glow
The refuge of shade saved one from the world
Every light that loosened the heavy load.
His eyes squinted. Long calm breaths steadied his vision. The red feather blew atop his bow from North to South. His left arm gently drew back to the shoulder. The body, a statue. One deep sigh in and he held his breath. Twooft! The bow string snapped forward and the arrow missed the mark just an inch below the bullseye. The young man of twenty one was obviously frustrated but was just as well practiced in the trade. Lowering the bow, his lengthiness made for a seat on the ground. The tall and athletic body made for the appearance of rest. But his mind analyzed what he had done to miss his mark. Another strong Northern wind blew the bamboo and wisterias that enclosed him in a circle. Blowing the long dark hair back with the wind his eyes focused way above to the mountain tops of the Contrarian peaks. The sun reflected shine from the permafrost created a holy glow. He stared alone with nothing but his bow in hand and the world above him. Though fascinated by the mountain as his mind remained captured by his last shot. How little did he ever notice where the sun shone and where the wind blew and how little did he understand about what caused his shot to miss. His mind was entranced by indecision.
A soft and beautiful song seemed to be ringing in the background as a call to the lonesome of his mind. He thought it must’ve been the hauntingly beautiful love cry of the common loon. He knew that lake Toya was nearby and figured the calls were coming from there, afterall nobody even knew that he was up here he figured. The call continued into less of a call and more into a chattering yodel across the forest. Or so he figured only half paying attention to the noises around him. “Anthony!” He finally realized it wasn’t just the birds calling out with the sunshine this morning but accompanied with their songs, a friend. He would’ve recognized the soft and serene voice from anywhere. “Daisy!” he excitedly shouted without realizing trying to snap out of the crevices of his mind. His eyes opened but he only saw the lone arrow down range below the bullseye. Was he going crazy he thought to himself? Something tightly grasped his shoulder. His shoulder pulled one way and his legs lept the other as he went to grasp the dagger on his side. But as his eyes caught a glimpse of the others all nerves he’d felt were relieved.
“Did I scare you?” Daisy teased lightly as she brushed his arm. “I was prepared for anything!” Anthony retorted while his scrambling thought searched for anything else to say. “How did you know I was here? I didn’t tell anyone.” Anthony mustered up. “You have come up here to practice since you were seven years old… You snuck off while everyone else was forced to be cleaning up our living quarters. Ever since then I’ve known you’ve loved the Lume forest and the lands of the West. You would always slip away to here whenever you got a chance” Daisy responded with a hint of bravado.
“That still doesn’t explain how you knew?”
“We’ve known each other for seventeen years now… Besides, the fluorescent fields are no secret to anyone.” She finished playfully and condescendingly before continuing.
“But that's not what is important now. Dave is in battle with Viggo!” Anthony wasn’t paying attention anymore in the slightest. His eyes were fixed upon the arrow and his target. His mind now glued to the sight of the sun shining on top of the mountain. The mountain captured his attention more than the sun. His eyebrows squinted on the target and his breath grew calmer. He felt as if he was close to happening upon the discovery of the missed shot. “Return to me” he heard ring through his ears and Daisy began to pull on his arm, “Come on we have to go to the training area.” She said as it finally registered in Anthony’s mind. They ran from the Western edge back to where the town of Otium met the Lume forest a few miles away back into the town of Otium heading south where all warrior training took place except for that of the archers who trained in the North.
Running from the West to the South they crossed through the many gardens and fields that lay in the basin as well as the beautiful sculptures and architecture that lay in the SouthWestern corner of Otium. As they were bolting through Daisy caught a glimpse of a shorter young man around fight foot eight chiseling away at marble so pure it could have fooled any amateur into thinking it was the largest piece of peal they’d ever seen. Unable to make out what the statue was in their hurried state Daisy shouted, “Merisi, quit playing with rocks! Dave is in a duel!” Anthony’s head lowered as they continued to dash past the masterful work. Merisi popping his head out of the intense concentration he was in turned to a blank. “I
Dust flew high and cheers erupted from every side of the designated arena for mentees of ancient martial arts to challenge one another. Viggo, a large man standing six foot five and a muscular build was enough to intimidate most. Viggo walking around the pit held his three foot sword high in the air pointing the end up to the sun as many cheered him on. With no armor he appeared with only a jet black kimono and headband. “He must be crazy to challenge a man like that!” A peer shouted out. “You must not have spent much time training in the art of being a warrior. Dave is the finest spearman that Otium has to offer and soon he will become part of the _ and we all know what good warriors they have.” An illustrious voice stated behind the excited on looker. “But with a sword that large and the length of Viggo’s arm… The distance of his spear will hardly even make a difference!” The onlooker stated before turning to realize he was talking to Faleena, the rarest of beauties in the town. Even more renowned for her beautiful and soulful voice that was said to reach the depths of anyone's soul. She had the legs of a long distance runner and curves that intimidated the majority of the people she’d encountered. The onlooker turned his gaze back to the arena with his mouth shut.
Dave was built like a bighorn sheep. He stood about five foot nine but was renowned for his strength and balance. He smashed his spear against his shield to indicate that he too was prepared for the bout. No other armor was there to protect him besides the shield which with a slight crouch protected him from head to toe. Both men approached the center of the pit as was accustomed and enforced by the town to be an exceptionally important practice. Viggo sheathed his sword and stood high above, only looking to the sky. Dave’s steady fix put the tail end of his spear firm in the dirt staring directly at his opponents eyes. The two men distanced themselves from one another, assuming their stances. Dave held his shield while crouched covering himself from head to toe. Spear pointed outward, ready to jab in an instant. Viggo began to circle around the field-sized fighting pit and kept his sword sheathed along his back to move freely against his heavier outfitted opponent. But Dave kept his movement to a minimum in an attempt to control the bout, fully aware of his opponents advantages. Each man was careful with each step knowing full well how the wrong move would land them. Viggo with a longer stride and far more agility had a slight advantage in movement.
His hand now wrapped around the hilt of the sword, Viggo could detect the impatience growing in each of Dave’s frustrated steps. Viggo took a quick side step to the left. Dave opened up his shield and thrusted for Viggo’s body. The smack of steel smashing wood into the ground followed. Viggo had downward cut the spear into the ground in a flash. Then returned with an upward swing nicked Dave’s sword arm as he was retreating back from the failed strike....
To be continued.
About the Creator
Welcome to my page! I am a writer whose interests are vast and believes in the art of the word. In my writing you will find Non-Fiction, Fiction, and poetry in pursuit of the value of language.
There are no comments for this story
Be the first to respond and start the conversation.