To Bane Colmar, who hanged for the man he loved.
To Artur Logan, who died for his Lord’s Lady.
To Patrek Greymere, who died at the hand of the Dragon.
To Bryn, who died a death worthy of song.
To Marbrand Magorian, who died in exchange for seven foes.
To the King and his son, his Queen and their daughter, they died for a crown.
To Wenton and Giles Leymark, who died as father and son, at wedding of a daughter, and a sister.
To Sir Hugh, who died a man above all others.
To Renton Cornell, who was snatched away at the hour of victory.
To Horace Missencross, who died at the hands of his son.
To Alfric Magorian, who died at the Brook.
To Graham Dalmondon, who died to buy time.
To all those who died, no matter how or why.
“There will always be pain, dear brother.”
“Pain is the first and the last, pain is your dearest friend.”
“Every man fears death brother, the smart ones fear pain far more than death.”
“Only a fool would choose pain when he can have death,and therein lies our advantage. Agony, brother, agony will guide you home. But it’s always worse than death.”
Of course, it would be Maelon he thought of. Now, while he was lying on his back by the bloody river, the ever ironically named “Brook”.
For the Gods sake’s, it’s the biggest fucking river in the land - the fastest too. So who decided it should be called the “Brook”.
If you wanted to be amusing, why not call it the “Bastard”?
Now they’ll call it “Falerion’s Folly.”
That made him wretch, he forced himself onto his side - moaning at the jolts of pain that the movement caused him - and threw up blood and bile. His breakfast had left him much earlier.
How did I get here?
Anyone watching should have been impressed. Somehow he had dragged himself to the shore - nearly broken his leg doing it, so twisted was he in that damn branch.
The pain in his eye was still there though. A horrific constant.
Well, not really his eye.
That wasn’t there anymore.
He’d wrenched his great helm off and away from his head - howling and screaming, as he felt the jagged metal grate against bone, tear through skin a muscle, and ravage his…
He had been hit in the face, a Northern foot man - no, the Northern Lordling: Alled Fucking Magorian - had swung his mace into Falerion’s face, and the shoddy foreign armour had crumpled, sending part of the eye guard straight into Falerion’s right eye.
His eye was gone now. Torn out along with the helmet.
Falerion wretched again.
He just managed to clamp an eye over the empty, red ravaged socket before he fainted.
“Pain brother, real pain. Pray you never experience it.”
This is from within the same universe as “The Butcher’s boy and the Old Dragon.”
I hope you like it, it’s very grim.
Falerion awoke to pain.
Nothing unusual there then. However, how often did he wake up upside-down.
His legs were caught and tangled in a out-reaching branch, or perhaps it was a root - the way it erupted from the river bank. His head was inches from the river’s surface, which rushed along like so many charging stallions.
Oh God how it hurt. Like a vice was clamped around it, crushing with every movement…
The pain was so bad, he could almost…not feel it.
His helmet - that was it. That Bastard Alled Magorian, with that fucking mace of his. It had smashed into his face, broken his helm in, and…
Oh sweet Christ.
Driven something into his eye.
It hit him then, the jagged, merciless pain driving into the socket. With his right eye, he could barely see through a sheen of red.
With his left.
Oh sweet mother mercyIbegyou
Just finished this. Took about fifteen, twenty minutes. Hope you all enjoy.
See if you can guess when and where it’s set - should be very easy.
Oh yeah, and it’s quite sad -so be warned. If you have any comments, send them in a message I guess, I’m not sure how else you could do it.
I was sitting on the swings when the bomb dropped.
Not the bomb - let’s just clear that up. Phew, no, not the one that every one from the President, to Ms Maloscowitz had been telling me the Russians were going to drop on us, for the past year and a half.
But it might as well have well been.
I was sitting on the swings, rocking very gently in the afternoon breeze - on of those peaceful, joyous breezes that you only get in suburbia.
I was sitting on the swings watching that same wind tugging at some peeling yellow paint.
My dad did that. He painted that.
Not Carl. He’s not my dad, not really. But he tries to be.
He really does try.
I was sitting on the swings when Marley came out, sat next to me with her back against the swing set, and start crying.
Marley’s my sister. She’s nineteen.
My Mom and Dad called her Marley, short for Marlowe, ‘cause my dad loves detective stories.
I want to be a detective when I grow up.
I’m twelve now, but soon I’ll be grown up.
Soon I’ll have to be grown up.
Anyway Marley is called Marlowe, but she hates that name; so instead she gets everyone to call her Marlene - if they don’t call her just Marley, that is. She thinks it sounds European, and sofis…sofist….sophisticated.
“All the European kids want to live in America, and all the American kids want to live in Europe.”
My uncle Desmond said that.
I like my uncle Desmond. He’s been everywhere. He’s got a funny accent, I think he’s Irish, like my Dad was.
Marley remembers Dad. I don’t. She never wants to talk about him. Neither does Mom. Mom gets sad, then drunk. Marley just gets mad.
Marley and me fight, but she’s my big sis, and she looks after me.
So why is she crying?
I said her name, with a question mark on the end, talking in the way that always annoys Carl. He says I sound like a “Goddamn Australian.” when I talk like that.
Marley looked up at me, then shuffled over and hugged me.
It was kind awkward, ‘cause I was still on the swings and her head was on my shoulder and she was crying and her knees were in the dirt and I
And I knew what was wrong then.
She was crying and trying to talk and just saying “Peter, oh God Petey.” over and over.
Peter is my name.
I knew what was wrong.
“Did they break up?” I asked her.
Carl is a nice guy, and he tries to be my Dad. But him and Mom fight a lot. And last year Nick’s Dad left his Mom, ‘cause she was going on dates with Barn from the store, and then Barn ran off with Nick’s Mom’s pearls.
I guess that meant yes, so I just patted her head.
Marley has nice hair, even when she’s mad.
That meant Mom, and Mom wouldn’t
Then I fell off the swing and I started to cry.
Me and Marley shout at each other a lot. ‘Cause we’re brother and sister. We never cry together.
We never cry.
But now we were crying, because we didn’t understand and we didn’t understand and we didn’t understand.
So that was when the bomb fell.
It was the second bomb really, but I don’t remember the first one.
I knocked this off just now, and it’s actually an epilogue for a larger project I’m writing, if you’d like more context/backstory, let me know. But for now, enjoy, and please do leave a comment if you liked it.
Drake Fenpyre clutched at the oak handrail, mounted atop the ship’s cabin. He watched the land that had been his home for fifty-two years slowly receding, fading away, going, and going, and gone.
He set his mouth in a taut line, as his bushy eyebrows – still flaming red after all these years – drooped forlornly.
Tentatively, hesitantly, he placed his mottled and spotted hand on the boy’s shoulder.
The boy was his charge now. The boy who’s father had cost him everything. The boy who’s father they called the butcher – the man who had torn Drake’s home asunder, drowned it in blood, and hung it up to dry out, skinned and swollen like a pig’s carcass.
‘But now the Butcher is dead’ thought Drake, ‘The young Ox saw to that. Now the Butcher’s head is sitting on a spike in the red field, and my son is drinking in the hall of Kings.’
The bastard of Wyrm’s Roost.
His darling boy.
The boy who ran away, the boy who brought the King back.
“The young Dragon” who bested them all: beat The Shark, beat The Noose, The Crowned Door and the Cleaver.
‘I have a new son now, and he is less me than Padraig was.’
‘Than Padraig is.’
The boy at his side did not stir. He did not pull away – and that worried Drake more than if he had recoiled.
‘I will do right by this boy. I will make him strong, make him just and wise – the antithesis of his Bastard of a father, that’s what he will be.’ The old Dragon nodded slowly, ‘Even if Lorquin was the one who told me to do it.’
Drake Fenpyre patted the boy on the shoulder awkwardly. The lad looked up at him, through red rimmed eyes he smiled.
Drake smiled back, for the first time in years.