Author Topic: The Gift : short and adventurous  (Read 3799 times)

Offline Christopher Silva

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The Gift : short and adventurous
« on: May 26, 2008, 03:23:09 PM »
The Gift

A short story by Christopher S. Silva


It was a sunny summer weekend and I was outside working in the garden when something wonderful happened.  The change was almost unnoticeable, then a rush of heat and a loud bellow, moist, acrid and hot.

My garden changed from a simple plot into a vast green field with huge craggy rocks and cliffs.  I was behind a great boulder and could feel the heat of the beast on the other side. It bellowed again, I ducked, knees knocking.   “Come man, grab your sword and shield ‘n we’ll go at him again.”  Yelled an armored figure hunched next to me. I looked down and realized that I too was clad in rough armor.

“Heave up your sword, man! We must attack.” Again I searched and saw no sword just an old wooden branch lying at my feet. It was a mere twig. “Yes”, he yelled over the rancid breath of the thing opposite the boulder. I reached down and lifted the stick and it changed instantly, morphing into a heavy sword. I could smell the metal oil, and the hard leather grip felt just right in my iron clad hand. I gave it short swing and its balance was sweet and true. The armor clad knight made the sign of the cross over his chest and gave me a hard shove.

Stunned at the sight before me, I ducked, feet moving to gain solid ground. The giant dragon was awful, with huge yellow teeth and a kind of smelly mucus dripping from its bitter smile. Its voluminous body was all scales and rigid edges, sharp and dangerous. Its Stumpy giant legs ended in frightful talons.

The knight moved fast and sure, he struck like lightning and his blade reverberated off the beast’s scales with a mighty clang. He looked at me out of the corner of his eye as if to say, move! Instinct took over and I leapt, swinging my blade with all my might. Surprised at my own speed, my broadsword landed hard, sinking deep between its scales just below its angular jaw line. It yelped and sent me flying with a shake of its huge head. Hitting the ground rolling, I came to my feet quick and stood stunned for a second. The right side of my armor was badly scratched and dented but held.

The beast teetered and I saw crimson blood ooze from the gash. It let out a scream. The smell of rotten eggs and a billow of smoke rose from its ragged maw. My comrade moved fast and swung hard at the dragon’s underbelly, the smell was awful as it fell with a heavy thud and began shaking uncontrollably.

“Aaha, we’ve beaten him mate!” said the knight pulling at his helm. He had thick dirty blonde hair.  His worn silver helm now under his left arm, his right shot out all iron and leather. “Emanuel Silva, Knight of the Portuguese realm at your service sir.”  What a great blow you dealt the beast today.” I smiled for our last names were the same. I took his hand and felt his strong handshake. His eyes showed the love for a comrade in arms after a rugged battle.

The ground spun and my hand was no longer in Emanuel’s but on an oar and I was rowing slowly and quietly.

The small boat hit the wooden dock and the other two passengers silently tossed the line securing the craft. Climbing out they looked down at me as if to say, are you coming? I nodded and climbed out, slowly looking about. We were near a huge French style castle and I could barely make out the towers in the soft fog and pre-dawn light. I reached down and felt a sword at my belt; I had knee high thick leather boots with a heavy flap on top. Soft worn leather gloves adorned my hands with an emblem on top, an M embroidered in the rich bordeaux leather. The palms of my gloves were worn and much lighter in color than the back. The right’s leather was worn thin in some places. I was obviously a swordsman, and it seemed, a Musketeer.

The large Musketeer leaned in close and whispered “we’ll have to scale the tower, and then somehow get Pathos through the bars. Our escape must be silent and fast.” I nodded and followed the two swordsmen. Both musketeers were similar in features one slightly bigger than the other and both had the same dusty blonde hair that the Knight had. The one on the right had a long rolled rope over his left shoulder and the grapple held loosely in his right gloved hand.

We sneaked slowly to the moss covered base of the high tower and the large musketeer turned and put a gloved index finger to his lips to ensure silence. He pulled off the long rope and began to swing the grapple in a wide arc. The oval of rope and iron made a soft whirring sound and with a light grunt he let it fly. I could hardly see where it went as it disappeared into the mist toward the top of the tower. With a soft clang it never returned. The smaller one pushed his larger comrade aside and pulled on the rope testing its seat on the tower. Like a monkey he scurried up the rope and his larger companion nodded for me to go up. I am an overweight IT manager not an athletic sprite, but here, I was lean and fit. I grabbed hold of the rope and hand over hand went easily up into the mist. I felt the rope being held taut by our giant companion below.

I quickly came to an oval shaped window with a thick stone sill. The window had two rusty bars running horizontally down its middle. The Musketeer balanced precariously and pulled out a long iron lever. He placed it in my hand and with one foot on the sill and the other wrapped around the rope I moved the lever between the bars and heaved. Snap, I grinned, surprised at how easily I broke the bars.

I heard a whistle from below and knew we had to move fast. I squeezed through the window and landed cat-like in a dark room that smelt of mold and food. There was a small dais in the corner with a blanket covered person sleeping. I walked up and leaned down to shake the man awake and to my surprise is was again Emanuel Silva, this time with the pointed goatee and sharp mustache preferred by the French of the time. I shook him twice and he looked up startled at first then smiled warmly when he saw me. He put out a hand and helped him to his feet just as the whistle came again.  The whistle changed to a call and again everything spun softly.

What was a whistle became the soft voice of my wife “come on boys, dinner is ready.” In my hand was my sons hand and I was pulling him from a long cardboard box stood on end and cut in the shape of a castle tower. Alex my other son held a string tight in his little hand, one foot firmly pressed to the box smiling.

“Come on, the food is getting cold.” Again my wife, I realized there and then the gift of children.. The chance to re-live youth, to study a butterfly or an anthill for more than an hour, to be excited about the smallest thing and notice the trivial and all the simple wonders we have filtered with age.
 
This is truly a wonderful gift indeed.


_
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 06:02:36 PM by Christopher Silva »

Offline Andrewf

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Re: Thr Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2008, 04:33:22 PM »
Very nice Chris...  you got me  ;D
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Offline ma100

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Re: Thr Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2008, 05:40:31 PM »
This is a good-un Chris
Loved it.
Mairi ;D

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Re: Thr Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2008, 06:15:01 PM »
You didn't me second time round you crafty so and so. Good story Chris.  ;D

Offline davidleejones13

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2008, 01:10:00 PM »
Chris,
As always man, genius.
You are a credit to our craft! ;D

Offline Christopher Silva

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 07:23:55 AM »
Lee, Andrew, Hunter and Mairi,  Thanks so much for your kind comments.  This makes an old writer scribbler feel good.


Chris

Offline SteveJ

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2008, 10:24:31 AM »
Beautiful, Chris, well done, mate :)
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Offline Christopher Silva

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2008, 01:43:47 PM »
Thank you Steve.

Chris

Offline WESTON

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2008, 01:41:39 AM »
clean. from top to bottom. nice ending.

w
the original...*ultra-anti-hero

*subject to perverse moods of alternate enthusiasm and melancholy

Offline Christopher Silva

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 11:21:03 AM »
Weston, thanks. How are you? Haven't heard from you in a while.

Chris
« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 02:37:59 PM by Christopher Silva »

Offline DavidMcK

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2008, 11:29:25 AM »
Hi Chris,

The joy of children is a wonderful gift and this is a wonderful story.

David.

Offline Christopher Silva

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2008, 04:12:53 PM »
David, so true. Thank you for reading sir, and welcome to our enchanting little world.


Chris
« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 04:15:30 PM by Christopher Silva »

Offline Spell Chick

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2008, 08:02:32 PM »
Truly enjoyable.

Hint: If you think kids are fun, you should see how great grandchildren will be. You already have a raft of experience and the wonder is still all brand new.

Great story.
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Offline WESTON

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 05:51:59 PM »
been off the radar a little while....

w
the original...*ultra-anti-hero

*subject to perverse moods of alternate enthusiasm and melancholy

Offline Christopher Silva

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Re: The Gift : short and adventurous
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2008, 05:29:23 PM »
SPC,  wow, grandchildren are a whole new step.. I am still basking in the wonder of childhood and its amazing frailty and innocence.

Thanks for reading, great to hear from you.

Weston, so glad to have you back, missed you're wit and wisdom.


C