Thursday, July 12, 2012

Highland Hopes


Alaisdair checked to ensure the two long-bladed knives tucked into the tops of his boots were secure in their sheaths. He strapped a belt about his waist from which depended two throwing axes. Lastly, he took the great sword that had been in his family for five generations and slipped his arm through the wide leather baldric. Satisfied the hilt hung at a comfortable position over his left shoulder, he reckoned himself ready to go.

The boiled leather cap on his head, the studded cuirass and greaves all fit him uncomfortably, but they appeared quite unavoidable. If he were to have any hope of surviving the day, he’d need every advantage he could get.

His voice seemed unaccountably loud in the confines of the one room. “Well, I’m off then. By all the saints, Dabhaidh, tell me I’m not giving my life away for nothing?” The uncertainty and fear in his voice were quite apparent to the man who’d fostered him all of his life.

 “Now that, laddie, is a fair troublesome task ye have set me. Nothing is, after all, a bit of a hard thing to quantify, eh? Is this land nothing to ye? What of the right to hold your head high like a man? Is that nothing then? ‘Tis not for me to be decidin’ the right of it. Now, begone with ya and worry not so much about the dyin’ ye might do today and more about the livin’ ye have yet to do tomorra.”

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