Hey chaps here's a short story I writ, in case you chaps were interested.
I happily accept any CONSTRUCTED criticism
Thanks ya'l'l for reading
A believed-to-be hero’s tale
By: Joshua P’ng
When the youth had found that sword whilst looting the battlefield he believed it to be destiny, therefore he reasoned it had to be destiny. After all was that not how all the hero’s of legends began, finding a sword to fit into their hands then finding their destiny of fortune and glory. Swinging it came naturally easily the peasant told himself, the wild slashes catching the light quite well not that different from his hoe; which he practiced with a memory he held close to be true. That being true, it would be reasonable to know that the swing of a hoe was just the same as a sword only heavier so it would lead to more proficiency for him when swinging a lighter weapon. As the peasant kept swinging the sword over his patch of untilled dirt he rekindled then what he had always imagined what this time could come to. The light-headed confidence that feeling the youth understood what he would do with his life. To follow in the footsteps of those that travelled the lands, performing great deeds and finding them to have turned into legend achieving fortune and glory only those so very few brave men could ever attain.
Ma and Pa disagreed, of course they would unable to grasp the enormity of what their son could accomplish. Why should they? They were only mere peasants after all, the peasant told himself. But the peasant knew that it was just like the beginning of his tale, one preferred over the stories beginning with fleeing from burning villages everyone dead only to return later to rebuild and show everyone what a man he could be.
“Do not flee us my son, think of what happened to Dakyn” his mother had plead her cowled head looking up imploringly at his physical frame her crooning wrinkled hands holding him back.
“I cannot think of Dakyn’s fate if I do not know it, nor should I ever find it until I seek him out and find what he has accomplished after he left this pigsty village” the peasant replied mindful then of the dark hovel from which he stood barely scrapping its low slung roof.
“For all you think or wish to do regardless, Dakyn fate may have led to his death in some ditch somewhere his life robbed from him before it could accomplish what he should and could have done in what you call a pigsty village, it wasn’t for his arrogance and block-mindedness” his father replied in the dark gloom, his adage whispering through a sage-like beard.
“I find less regard for Dakyn’s fate than I have regard for my own, for Dakyn’s flaws if he had any are not to be mine and that I may begin my path in his footsteps, I shall not fail where he has fallen if he ever did fall! For I shall join his rank in finding fortune and glory wherever I may go!” the peasant’s ears kindled warmly with the sound of his voice, fully of confidence as his face swelled in his own pride.
They then fell back at these words their heads bowed to the peasant’s decision their eyes grieved at it, but soon they would understand later when he became a hero and restored their faith in him. They did not talk for the rest of the day, their silence telling him all that they cared to bear of his disobedience to his wishes. It irked the peasant so when he ate his meagre-soon-not-to-be diet of gruel sitting opposite, that they should oppose so stringently to his desires, causing him to disobey, till he reminded himself how that elder’s could be flawed and be proved wrong by achieving a greater good for his sake and there’s also casting away such rift that should occur between them.
They prepared something for the youths pre-destined journey in the morn, some food from their tenderly cared stock along with a last piece of advice from his father “do not be foolish” a sage-piece of advice the soon-to-be-hero promised he would cherish and remember when he had to make decisions that would carry him through his life, and fondly remember to pass on. The golden clink of coins his father had dearly possessed could only affirm the youth’s belief in his destiny even further for his father would not gift him such a monetary boon had there been no other reason than his full faith in his son’s soon-to-be-success.
They watched the youth go the rest of the village peasants from their humble huts, their downcast eyes looking up noting the ever swagger in his walk, the cleanly oiled sword which hung smoothly from his hip, the jostling pack upon his shoulder. Many of the other lads looked to him their hearts already stirring with desire as they looked back at their patches of tilled dirt, then gainfully back at the youth, an observation he was pleased to find, further exciting the prospects of his journey. Even little Artevain but some winter’s younger skipped to him, the bouncing golden curls pleading to join his heroic quest.
The hero chuckled then patting Artevain’s golden curls replying in that father-like way to his son, on the dangers of the journey not the least of all bandits and other such foul begins, promising him in just a few more years that Artevain could follow in the hero’s footsteps. And there the hero left little Artevain, his eyes shining in heroic worship the last one to see him go already fully believing the maturity in oneself that he should import such wise wisdom to those who looked up to him.
It could not be but a half-hour from when the hero had left the village that upon rutted roads from a thicket of trees he should come upon bandits, looking to do him ill. Yet that the hero should encounter his first fight to being a hero he deserved to be so soon after losing sight of his village could only be attributed to his destiny placing the necessary obstacles in his path to overcome, with the sweat of his brow and the swing of a sword. But a mere 3rd of a dozen bandits stood in his path, their clubs and daggers, signalling the uncouthness of their mean looks and that the hero knew his time had come.
“To be fair you pretty youth, simply surrender your pack and we shall be merciful and leave your life in good health, so that you may continue on wherever you desire to go” the bandit leader offered, with a scarred eye to befit his unwholesome appearance, with a offering a smile and a open hand to beget the hero’s pack in return.
“Nay for I my desire does not lead me to surrender my pack, but if you and thine men would but step aside from my path then we can avoid your blood being spilt needlessly upon it” he remarked, proud in the humility of his words that only the stupidity of his adversaries would be at fault.
“My my does our uncouth and still milked child hold a man’s pride” the bandit leader scoffed, to the laughter of his men, a foolish thing to say that the hero knew to be that he would soon prick their pride with his sword.
“This is your last chance to accept my mercy inexperienced one” he said again all outward revelry gone from his tone “do not be so bold as to chance your life away, you are outnumbered four to one and if you refuse the only other promise I can make for you is a short life”.
“Ha, for I will chance my life, so come for me then, but know that thou doest not know what thou hast come against” in his best heroic voice, with a small unshakeable grin he could only help bring across exuding what only a proper hero could attain. With this they charged with battle cry, his sword swinging free, marked by the drop of his pack, charging forward meeting destiny.
The hero did not see the blade. The initial spark at first blood the hero had crowed when his sword had cut flesh from the first bandit to have charged him with club; had given way to pain and unspoken second and last blood when the next bandit had gut him from the side; their blades tearing free the skin of his stomach, cutting through muscle and bone, his entrails spilling out, flopping out dangling onto dusty ground. His blood a blackish red pouring forth, the hero fell to the ground, a 3rd and more hits to his head, blackening eyes to which he could not resist, nor did the crack of his head and neck that now no longer matter. Only the shock of seeing death’s black hood coming from the horizon and the grip of his sword being torn away from his hand, amidst the victorious chatter of the bandits searching his pack.
“This ... should not.. be” the hero groaned out to a force unknown, his young life leaking out of his mouth.
“Ah but it is and what has been, should be. Though if you would forgive me to ask why our meeting shouldn’t have been your death? For after all you were given a choice of goods or life, to which you chose to forgo life, facing four armed men against your inexperienced hand and now you have lost both goods and your life. So tell me before you depart why shouldn’t this fight have concluded in the way that it did?” the bandit had asked his warm lips carrying across into the hero’s ear.
“ I.. was .. to . Be .. hero ... you were .. but bandits” spewing more blood then words then.
“A hero?!? Did you honestly and wholeheartedly believe that because you bestowed upon yourself the title of hero and to us the dutifully acquired title of the common bandit that you would prevail? Are you that naive?” the bandit exclaimed already finding his answer in his question.
“It ... was .. supp . ‘t to . dest ..ny “ the hero gasped looking only at the black cowled head staring only at him.
“Destiny! Aah that sweet old word that lures stupid young boy’s from their home’s and leaves them to fend for themselves in the reality of the world” the bandit laughed looking briefly up to the sky. “Now can I dare venture what your once happy thoughts of your destiny, A beginning prologue where thine was but a peasant youth plucked by the hands of fate to wield a sword and become hero? Then to face us in your 1st chapter to later go on to more heroic deeds, has thine spoken true?”
“I .. “ was all the hero could muster at this moment in time seeing the end from the black face of death.
“Well do not worry my young hero believe in this, that perhaps there will come a day when a true hero should come, one who has actually with the pain and blood of his limbs truly knows how to handle a blade, or just a lucky hero who knows? Though one who will kill me for being so foolish to have challenged him but not so foolish to have killed & robbed the hundreds of other hero’s who came before him and failed, one of them being you but I do not think you really care for my epiphany anymore.”
“ .. “ was the hero’s last words.
The bandit stared down at the corpse for a moment, a smirk before closing his eyelids but not before rifling through the corpse to catch some stray coin he might have missed.