The boy has a sword, which he drunkenly swings and thrusts with uncanny ease. His most prized possession, the gift of a sudden friend on a dark night alone.
The friend, large mafic shadow, peered into innocent eyes with deep gaze unflinching, silent, vigilent, timeworn. Placing the weapon, as large as its new bearer, into the boy’s hand, it engulfed with enormous hardened palm the initiate fist, squeezing and burning, small fingers molten into sword. Then with thunderous bow and black fire stare, the friend turned into darkness disappearing from wonder wide eyes.
Every day the boy practices his call, contemplating, mastering and practicing again the thrust, strike and parry his young mind imagines. Always by the boy’s side, firmly in grip of untiring fingers, no memory now of ever having put sword aside, with nightly wonder of what befalls as dreams of swordless worlds arise. Waking he feels his hand tightly woven round the familiar hilt, dawn’s first awareness of fear, wonder, comfort.
Beautiful, broad and long, its black leather tassles lace the jade grip, hanging whip-like and snapping crisp as sword moves through air. The polished blade, light and narrow near the hilt, broadens and resonates upward into sky and time. “Unbreakable” he muses while striking with all his might against earth and heaven and the blade glows sharply fierce, more formidable.
It was an accident when the boy struck the tree and killed the limb which dropped the nest and all its eggs he hoped to climb and see. As shattered, once-living mixture seeped into tall green grass, he felt deep pity and the sensation of power.
It was an accident when the the boy knicked his playmate as they wrestled in hot Summer sand by the lake. Shrieking and crying it ran away, eyes full of fear calling for its mother.
It was an accident when the boy cut his mother as she turned to leave the room. He had simply reached out to bring her back, too quickly, child-like. She stopped suddenly in the doorway with back still turned as he watched droplets of blood fall crimson to the floor.
It was an accident when the boy pierced his lover. Through her delicate soft white contour the blade moved, downward and inward, reaching at last a placid heart. She wept for an aeon then called curses down upon him, eyes filled with rage and hate.
It was an accident when the boy killed the priest who laughed and said God does not give swords to little boys. When he heard these words he pondered and thought and his grip slowly tightened. Thought turned to anger and anger to power and power to curiosity and he watched himself raise the tip of the sword to the aging man’s chest and plunge swiftly and effortlessly, in and through until hilt met stained robe.
And a wave of relief swept over the boy, certain the old man now saw the boy has a sword.
~ by Scott David Foutz