Thursday, April 27, 2017

Postcard Series - Old Tigers

Had an idea for some post card fiction. Even I can finish postcard fiction :) Enjoy!

.:Old Tigers:.

Edgar awoke with an ache. Old age and old injury had made sleeping a bitter thing; the hard ground did little to ease the way to rest. Dawn was an idea on the horizon; red and orange freckles only the barest of hints. It was only after Edgar stretched and groaned that he felt the stranger's eyes on him.

"Ah," he rolled free of his blanket and bared steel, knowing where to glare by instinct. "Who're you?"

"I, ah, should have known," the other man said, falling backward and landing on his bottom. "That this would be a bad way to introduce myself. Would you believe, I saw your fire? Wanted to see a friendly face?"

"Fire's been out for hours," Edgar grunted. "And I'm less than friendly."

"Right, yes, you're right. I may have followed you here, from town," the other man bumbled and rose carefully to his feet. "I mean, not that you wouldn't be friendly, if the circumstances were different."

Edgar sheathed his knife, "get away, I can see plainly I have little use for you."

"No no, but you do, I mean you might," the man rose shakily to his feet, hands out and moving slowly. "I'm a bard, you see, Samuel Sang I call myself. I'm compiling the stories of hunters, such as yourself. Heroes without legend I call you, protectors whose stories need to be made immortal."

Edgar chuckled deep in his throat, then bent to start his breakfast fire. "I've got no stories."

"Oh no, I beg to differ. You're littered with stories, see? See, look, that's a basilisk fang on the hilt of your knife. Rok feathers fletch your arrows and, if I'm not mistaken, there is something decidedly draconian about your shield over there. Each one, I'd wager, is a tale worthy of song."

Edgar grunted again, "you can tell all that, in the dark? Quite the eye."

Samuel puffed up his chest, "why yes, I've a good eye. I've studied, in books. Lots of books. But books will only teach so much, my old professor said, so here I am, out in the world!"

Edgar stood, his fire small and hot, and took a quick step towards the man, staring him close in the eye. "True enough. Did you read in your books that a basilisk, in it's death throes, is the most dangerous?" here Edgar touched a deep scar on his cheek. "That the spine on it's tail is best cut off well before you go in for the kill? Or a Rok can see you coming from their mountain perch, no matter how you plan your approach. You're best to let it grab you, and use a spear when it does."

Samuel swallowed hard. "No, I don't believe I've read that before."

"Or have you read how a pride of plains tigers will stalk it's prey for hours in the night but only attack at first light? They do not fear fire," Edgar said and bent to pick up his spear. he pushed Samuel towards the fire and stared out into the night, green eyes reflecting back.

"I..." then Samuel saw the eyes and the great beasts they were attached to, waiting low in the grass and he gave a little squeal, too surprised and choked to be a scream.

"No need for that," Edgar said, standing tall and unflinching. "It seems you may get a story after all."

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