Andrew Girle's Blog

Crime and Speculative Fiction Blooking

The Talking Sword – Chapter 2 post 6

Posted by Andrew Girle on February 13, 2011

Robard stared at him, his lips pressed tightly together. Dawn thought she had never seen anyone look as sad as Robard did.

“Did she cry? No louder than I did when I lost my eye. No harder than Marcus when he lost his legs. But no matter, this is not the place to talk of these things. You must teach Dawn all you know, and I do mean all you know, so that when her time comes she can choose for herself.” Robard rubbed one hand over the other, then spread them wide. “The choice must be hers.”

“The same way the choice was mine? Blinded by stories of honour and glory, what choice did you ever think I was going to make? What teenager could ever turn it down?” Her grandfather was almost shouting now, his voice loud and booming, the same volume he used to call his cows in for milking.

“Nevertheless, the choice was yours. You were free to leave at any time, you know that.”

Grandfather shoved his left arm forwards, exposing the long scar. “Twenty years I was the sworder. Twenty long years of it. So long that the very words honour and glory had turned to ashes in my mouth. You know that I had no regrets the day the tattoo was removed, even through the pain of the red hot iron bar I could taste the freedom to be myself. And now you want me to condemn her to the same thing?”

“The choice was yours. Now, give me the sword for safekeeping, I will return it when it is time for the choice to be made.”



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