In The beginning, the Makers created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of our Makers was hovering over the waters. And he gazed up into the sea of blue, an array of light cascading over the tree line creating a smooth silhouette of the old hickory trees towering along the edge of the rickety wooden fence and imprinting a distorted shadow strewn across the beaten, dirt road. His back laid pressed against the cold grass which tickled the back of his neck; an unnoticed sensation that pleased him very much. And his arms sat crossed against his torso at rest, like most of his body except the steady rise of the chest as his heart continued its normal rhythmic beats and his fingers which tapped gently upon his bare chest.
It was nearing the end of the evening. The sun’s warm embrace had faded to a dim touch which could no longer caress the man’s face with a snug heat; which was a rather pleasant feeling that now feels him with sorrow since in its absence. He tore his eyes from the sky, and glanced over at a small fawn straining for an acorn nestled between two rocks. He wondered where the youngling’s father was. Her mother stood a few yards away; a thick brown fur covered her body with a small white patch pasted to her breast. She was carelessly rummaging through fallen leaves, but that quickly changed when she became aware of his presence. Hurriedly, she nudged her youngling with her nose and took off towards the wood. Startled, the fawn cried a small shriek and then chased after its mother who was nearly to the tree line.
When the deer had gone, the man stared back up into the sky which was beginning to turn a milky shade of grey. Soon, he had forgotten about the mother deer and its child. Instead, his attention was now focused on a deep oblivion speckled with thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of tiny motionless fireflies stuck in a slowly changing oil painting. One constellation in particular always attracted his bright, hazel eyes; it always sat to the left and was shaped like a sword. It was impossible for him to keep track of time when he became lost within this serene sight, and, so, minutes passed, at least that is how it seemed, and the moon began to slowly make its way across the canvas. The only distraction that tore his eyes away was a small owl, who sat high in one of the hickory trees, but it didn’t keep his attention long and, soon, his eyes turned back to the sky. Meager dots speckled its surface, but in actuality the minuscule dots were massive in luminosity and size.
He almost missed it, a star shot through the vast abyss. It streaked the sky with a beautiful light blue. He imagined what it would be like to be riding upon its back, his elven friend clamping tightly to his chest while the cold air wrapped itself across his face with the wind gliding through his hair. The deafening roar from the flaming thrust would tear at his ear drums as it muscled its way toward an unknown destination. But, hastily he came back to reality and he noticed sweat pulling on the hairs of his arm and slowly he released his grip on the blade of his sword. The hot blood rolled through his clenched fingers but he paid no speck of attention instead, oscillated his attention back to the sounds and sights of the night.
In the end, there will be nothing. No light or darkness, no creatures or children, and no sounds to be heard; a complete picture of nothingness filling the canvas with clean, blank strokes. But, he will lie upon the soil; his back pressed against soft blades of grass, and watch the painting slowly blend together. Soon the blackness will fade and there will be light again. It will flood from the heavens to caress his shivering body, and he will watch from below as the blank picture becomes whole once again.
A crow flew by the window, silhouetted by the moon that sat high in the midnight sky. The sound awoke the young boy who lie troubled upon his bed. Intrigued by the noise, he lifted his weary head from his pillow to gaze into the ongoing darkness.“Beautiful, don’t’ you think?” The boy did not return an answer to the man who had just creaked through the two oak doors behind him nor did the familiar voice arouse him to reply. His only gesture to the man who now stood by his side staring down intently upon him is a slight nod. No one, not even himself he felt, deserved actual words. “Listen Erik, your father was a great man and a magnificent king. You do not have to be afraid of your feelings nor do you need to indulge them so much so. This pondering is dangerous. If you continue to let your emotions overwhelm you then you might as well join him for you will be lost, even to yourself.” The boy’s eyes scanned the darkness that resided beyond the window as if searching for something to say or possibly an answer that would explain to his friend the agony that wrought inside of him, clamoring at his soul, and tearing him apart. “Please understand that your father was a good man...” The man hesitated. “The way he died is shameful, awful at the least. Yes, I do know that honor nor glory clouds your mind with poor judgments. It is vengeance that does so.” The boy stood motionless his eyes still fixed on the shadows of the night. Only the distant cry of a crow interrupted the silence between the two. “Don’t’ be foolish though boy, I beg of you. Do not be foolish enough to chase them down. The vengeance that is boiling in your heart needs to be shackled or the taint will corrupt you and have you killed before one fortnight has passed. The day will come when together, me and you face the cowards and stand victorious upon the scorched battlefields with the woeful yet sweet taste of revenge wet upon our lips. Only then will your father, my king rest easy as he watches over us with the Makers. Now Erik, will you join me for a drink in my quarters? I’ve already ordered Learkin to fetch two hot cups.”