“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
The wind brushed against my face as I narrowly avoided the wooden sword.
“Getting sloppy,” said Fin.
“Getting old,” I replied
His arm arched back as I raised my sword to block the attack.
“You can’t keep this up forever,” he said whilst laughing.
Indeed I could not, my legs were tired and my sword arm had become weary. We had been practicing for hours in the scorching sun and my neck had become sensitive to the touch. Fin had managed to hit me twice today during our sparring session, I had taught him well.
He was circling me observing my every move. He moved to attack only to leave himself open. Realising this I moved to the side and clipped him on the leg causing him to fall to the ground.
“You should pay more attention to the fight and less on the conversation,” I said smiling as I extended my arm out towards him.
He took it and lifted himself off the ground whilst patting the dust off his tunic.
“I will beat you one day.”
“Aye, but that will not be today.”
"Tomorrow then," he said jokingly as he tossed his sword at me.
I picked up the wooden swords and turned to my son. He has grown strong with training and could ride a horse and use a sword better than any boy his age. Or should I say man, he was quickly becoming his own person.
His short hair had become unkempt and his linens torn during training and the setting sun shone off his multicoloured eyes. His blue and gold eyes were a mystery to me and to any healers that I brought him to.
I had found him while I whilst travelling when I had been much younger.
I had been travelling through the small village of Harwood after attending to some business. The village was utterly destroyed and fires raged from the windows of scorched houses. The land was barren and burnt black. The beautiful sun was blocked by the thick smoke which rose above the town. My steed bucked and reared through the village, all but the crows remained in this hollow town.
A distinctive screeching sound resonated throughout the quiet streets. It was distant at first, a constant high pitched note which seemed out of place in the burning village. It led me to an inn, one of the only buildings which had not been burned. The deafening sound came from within.
The door had been broken down and blood had dried into the wooden porch. Opening the door I saw a dark room which was lit solely by the fire in the centre of the room.
I recognised the noise as that of a baby but I was unable to see one. I searched and searched but all I found was more blood. I sat down in an old weathered chair which bore the mark of the craftsman who had made it. He was most likely dead along with the rest of his village.
It was then I saw him, through the floorboard, underneath the chair I saw the child. His parents had hidden him in the hope that he might be saved from the bandits.
I opened the secret latch under the chair and took him out.
He felt fragile and delicate in my arms as though the slightest squeeze might break him. He was covered in a white towel that had been stained by the dirt. He had two teeth and a small patch of hair protruding from his scalp. His mismatched eyes were intensified by the stark whiteness of the blanket. There was something about the child, something special.
He was a year old and already an orphan, a child of thorns, whose life would forever be stained in blood.
I could not stand to leave him there and I was not cruel enough to kill him so I took him with me.
For the first few weeks I felt as though I had been constrained by the new addition. My life suddenly revolved around his every whim. His incessant wailing nearly drove me madder than my uncle Martyn. Martyn had mental problems. He jumped off a castle whilst I was still a boy and had believed his swords were wings that he would be able to fly with.
Who knew raising a kid would be this hard? I was the shadow in the night, the knife in the dark and now I was raising a child. My life changed drastically from the day.
|Erin Sanders||as Anya Wood|
|Summer Glau||as Rose Wood|
|Curtis Rex||as Grave Digger|
|David Bradley||as Wallace Stone|