There’s No Place Like Home

Jonathan sat on his old chair. It still made a creaking sound. It always had, ever since he had earned fat on his stomach and his arms had lost the marks of his youth. He held the hilt of his sword with two hands, the tip against the ground, and waited. The wind chilled his old bones; it was colder out there in the middle of the village than it had been inside the home.

He could hear shouting. He could hear crying. Some of it was cut short with sound of spilling, others when a ceiling burned down and crushed upon someone. He knew the sounds well to the heart.

“Master,” whispered old Sir Flaers. “It has been an honor, all these years.”

The wizened voice of Sir Jonathan had been frail for ten cycles; he knew it. He wisted the times when it was youthful and brave. “As it has been for me, Sir Flaers. We die to the Oath.”

“That we do Master.”

He weakly rose to his feet. His knees trembled and he could barely lift that rusty sword that had slain so many mages, that had so honored the Lord in battle. He looked at the corpse of the priest and signed himself. “It’s almost time, Flaers. Get in ward.”

“For the Chalice, “he agreed.

The two assumed a low ward. The high ward did not come natural to them anymore; lifting a sword overheard was only effective when you could hold it steady. He knew his only good defense was the weakest one.

When they came, they called at each other in Vavardi: it was a group of five. The two aged knights held their ground. Jonathan spake in a weak voice: “Knights of the Order command you to state your business.” None answered to them.

The younger one did not stop walking; he held his club close to himself. He looked like a peasant from one of the nearby villages, but his arms held great strength when he tried to hit him on the head. Jonathan could not slide out of that one, but he parried it weakly. The blow almost send his sword flying away, but he held it firmly between his bony old man’s fingers. The others took this as an indication to join in the attack; younger Flaers still moved with deftness despite being fifty seven cycles of age. His sword swung, hissing against the mace of one, entangling with the whip of the other and stripping him of it with a steady pull.

Jonathan could only remember the days, when his brown hair flowed behind his back, his stallion was still alive and he had sworn the vow with Helen in his mind. Oh, Helen, the girl of his dreams; he had left it all for her, and he had survived battles for her. I shall prove my valor, and keep it in my heart, even at times of deepest peril. I shall remain humble, if glory descends upon me. And seek to promote Justice for the good of all.

He failed the third parry and the sword cut through flesh and hit the bone; he cried out. Flaers had downed the one with the mace and the one he had stripped the flail from, and they had fell to the ground. The Knight was fighting a third. Jonathan fell to the ground when a pike cleaved through his old armor and found his liver, an attack he never saw coming– he was old; it hurt so much, and it bled so much. None of his other wounds had been so painful. It was the age. “Flaiers,” he tried to call out, but the word was impossible to make. It was as if he was already dead.

A moment later, Flaers fell next to him; his eyes were almost devoid of life, but he could still garner enough strength to gaze into the eyes of Jonathan while the old Knight was getting surrounded by his own dark viscously red blood. “Ma-master…” he mumbled. “See… you… soon.” His eyes closed. “Flaers… Helen… see you soon,” the old Knight echoed in his mind. A cracking blow crushed his skull.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *