Saturday, March 27, 2010

Part 3 [Untitled]

When the soldier had walked a ways, bearing the satchel on his shoulder an the burden of the hot sun on his back, he stopped for a while to rest under a wide-spread oak tree. The shade and cool green grass soothed him quickly. Renaund sunk his fingers into the dark moist earth closer to the tree's roots. It was good, fine dirt. Untapped life that just lay beside the road waiting to give birth.

He felt an ache in his gut that surpassed his growling stomach. Deep within this seasoned warrior was the desire to create. He wanted to see the earth give into the sweet love song of spring and produce tiny blossoms and shafts of green in loose rich soil, with all the abandonment of Proserpina's seduction.

But he had far yet to go on his journey. His destination lay miles to the West of him and even now the thought of it made his limbs sore and his spirit flicker at the coming trials. He was on this long road with no friend to walk beside him, or servant to share the load. Renaund's awareness of his forlorn situation deepened as he pondered the deities that brought solace to so many.

His thoughts did not often stray down this path. It was one he had explored briefly as a younger man, but he had found the cost too great and the only treasure gained was more rules to abide by and more duties to be observed. Renaund considered himself a man recently freed from both and saw no point being owned by a new master so soon. Though, the journey ahead of him whispered eerie tales of wandering nights and lonely roads. He understood the temptation to believe in some higher being who would cover you with the light of protection, to have someone helping, a person to be there beside you as you stride into the unknown. Instead of making the trek alone.

Shoving aside the dark thoughts that pervaded his mind, Renaund stood up. He glanced above him at the gnarled curling branches of the oak. Stretching his arms high, the soldier grasped a low hanging limb. Lifting his feet he hung there for a few seconds, swinging like a school boy from the great tree.

Laughing quietly to himself, the tall muscular man dropped to his feet. His dark hair fell in his eyes and as he brushed it back, he spotted something moving towards him. Turning quickly he saw what appeared to be an old man leading a lame mare.

Renaund relaxed a bit and approached the fellow traveler.

"Good morrow, sir. I see your horse is lame."

The white haired man stopped and chuckled a bit as he patted the mare's neck.

"Yes. She tends to out do herself quickly these days, but we get on, don't we Mave?"

The brown horse shifted her stance and gave a soft nicker. Renaund looked her over, observing the mud-caked flank and lifted hoof. The condition of the mare's coat matched that of her owner's. They both looked like they had been traveling for some days now, if not weeks. There were a few bags slung over the horse's back but none of them seemed more than half full. He doubted very much that this old man had more than two coins to rub together.

The solitariness of this stranger's situation, touched Renaund. He felt compassion for his plight and wished he had the means to help the old man and his gentle mare continue their trip. Clearing his throat, Renaund offered to examine the injured mare and the aged traveler agreed with a wink of his twinkling blue eyes. So the soldier stepped forward and began to carefully examine the horse while its owner rested in the shade of the oak.

No comments:

Post a Comment