#19 Danor

| November 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

Danor did not think that he would ever shake that mild unease, that tingle of awareness that he always felt walking in the wood.  It was not enough to make him leave or find shelter somewhere else, but it was always there, keeping him on his toes.  In fact, he found he rather liked this little nudge that daily sharpened his awareness.  It made sense, as not much since he left the war ever had.

He had spent so much time on the front lines and often well into enemy territory that all sense of what it was to be loose, relaxed and off his guard had been burnt out of him.  Only one of the may things the war had burnt out of him, the last of which was the will to keep fighting.  Unfortunately, well-armed skittish man was not exactly welcome in peaceful lands.  His commander had tried to warn him, had ridiculed his wish to leave, asked him where he thought he would belong.  Danor had responded that perhaps assassins made good butchers, but his commander had responded that behind a flag to hide behind, civilized society would never see him as more than a thief and murderer.

He had been right, but still and all, Danor was glad he had left the service.  He could no longer fight.  This was no crisis of conscience or higher moral choice.  He simply could no longer fight.  But his instincts could not leave him.  So, in the end, he found himself much at home within the confines of a wilderness which, although it sustained him well enough, never exactly made him feel welcome.

He was glad of those instincts on the day the wolves came for him.  Those instincts kept him calm as he spotted first one, then another, and so on until he realized he was surrounded.  Those instincts kept him from leaping into a mad and hopeless struggle with the beasts who could overpower and kill him handily.  Those instincts were the only thing which led him to understand that they were intent on herding him and not simply making a quick meal out of him.

Halfway disbelieving, the grayed and broken man of war let himself be led, let himself believe this daydream or folly, ran with them when their pace seemed to insist it.  Followed the wolves all the way to the girl.  The lovely flower of a creature lay in a pool of her own blood, skewered mercilessly by the fresh green shards of a blown out tree.

He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw her.  It wasn’t the massive black wolf that sat at her hand that had frozen him, nor was it the keen awareness in her eyes as she looked right past him and to the pack.  It wasn’t even the nature of her wounds.  He’d seen worse.  He’d treated worse, having no recourse for medics days away from any territory which could be considered remotely friendly.  It was just that he had never seen this sort of wound on such a delicate thing.  She seemed little more than a child, really.  And even from the short distance that he had kept, he could tell they were serious.

He was in no way certain he could bring himself to move.  In his weakest of moments, had he been forced to admit it to anyone, this was exactly the sort of thing which had finally shoved him out of uniform.  There was just so damn much blood, blood which meant pain, blood which was unfair.  Blood which may well mean loss.  Yet again, another loss.  He had doubts that he could do it, but he stepped forward anyway, ignoring the wolf and placing a gentle hand upon the young thing’s forehead.


Category: 2011, Drama, Fantasy

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply