…what could have been flashed through his green eyes as he began to fall.
“What a waist of time and life” he thought as his time on this world was reaching its end.
He wished he could have done more, been less of a nuisance to the ones he cared about. But now it was too late, he was going to die and there was nothing he could do to mend past mistakes.
The light grew dim. The sounds stopped. The wicked laughter ceased and then the life was no more. The world wept the loss of a hero, but didn’t stop moving. Life would continue but only the dead hero knew for how long.
“That was the last time I saw your granddad. Now go to sleep, we begin training tomorrow.” Finished my dad as he tucked us into bed and kissed us goodnight.
Something about that story never added up to me. If my granddad was such a hero, how could he have been a nuisance? Heroes are not supposed to be like that. I circled that thought in my mind for a few minutes but the thought of beginning my training quickly overcame it and before I knew it, I was fast asleep.
I’m on my knees, panting hard, soaked in sweat, blood is running through my face. I have a pretty nasty cut over my left eye but the last thing I can think about now is pain. I look up and immediately drop to the ground as a big ball of fire passes over my head. That one was close;I don't think I can evade one more shot. A couple dozen yards away I hear the mighty dragon screaming, realizing he hadn't killed me yet. I push myself up and start to run once more. I leap over some big rocks with an agility I never knew I had. Landed hard on the other side but kept my ground and blasted forth the beast. As I'm running the dragon shoots a couple more fireballs at me, they are smaller now and easier to dodge. He must be running out of gas—that´s good. Thirty yards away from the beast; now twenty; ten; five; and I jump as high as I can; reach for the sword in my back; grab it with both hands; and scream as I begin to drop down on the oversized lizard. A loud crack noise as a terrible pain shoots through my back. I am lying on the floor of my bedroom, one leg still on the bed tangled with the sheets. I look up and my brother is looking down on me from his bed, still lost in the limbo between reality and dreams, not knowing what happened or why was he awoken in such an awful way. I hear a loud scream coming from my parent’s bedroom just a few doors down the hall. It’s my mom. A few seconds later she and dad are in the bedroom asking questions about what happened. I don't know what to say at first, I'm kind of lost between dreams and reality just like my brother a few moments ago, so my first impulse is to laugh.
"Well since we're here, happy birthday boys! Get ready, I'll have breakfast ready in five minutes."
Soon after, mom was yelling from the kitchen to hurry up. She should know by now, five minutes for kids is not the same as five minutes for grown ups.
Kitchen. Dad’s sitting at the head of the table reading the paper as usual, haven't touched his toasts at all, they must be cold by now. Mom is serving eggs into my brother’s plate as him and I eagerly chat about what training will be like. We have absolutely no idea. Dad wouldn't tell us anything until we are 15, and mom would avoid the question with some clever remark like everything has it’s own time and ours will come soon enough. She was quite good at getting out of conversations she didn't want to have, but she had it a bit more difficult with us. Having twins was like having the same person complain about something twice as much as it normally would.
“Shut up and finish your breakfast, it’s getting cold. You’ll have time to talk about training later.”
“Come on ma! We have been waiting for this day since we were kids!” we said almost at the same time.
It took just one gaze from my mom’s deep blue eyes to make us do as she said. She was a pretty cool mom most of the times, but you wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.
We’ve been living in this house for almost five years now. It’s the longest we have stayed in one place says my mom. She told us that as we were growing up we moved constantly from one place to another, but she never told us why. She loved telling us stories about the places we lived in, like the time we were neighbors from a couple that had like a hundred chess boards all around their home and the time we lived for a while in a deserted island.
Most of the memories we have are from this house and the people we’ve met since we arrived.
Come to think of it, we moved here a couple of days after grandpa died. I’d be sure to ask dad about it later.
We know lots of people here and have many good friends. I guess being the class clowns gets people to notice you. We love pranks and we also know our way out of trouble so we don’t get grounded a lot. Sometimes I think it’s because we have so many friends here that we stopped moving around. Mom doesn’t talk about it much and dad not at all. All he ever said was that he was happy here and asked us to drop it.
The table is empty, and our bellies full. Mom’s washing the dishes; dad’s helping her.
“When do we start training?”
“Go do something fun, get your mind off of training for a moment.”
“Come on dad! We’ve been waiting for so long, we can’t stop thinking about it!”
“I’ll say it one more time. Go have fun and don’t come back until you have a good story to tell.”
A big *sigh* is the only sound in the kitchen as my brother and I get up from our seats and start walking towards our bedroom.
“I bet you we will train with swords!” Say my brother almost hitting me while swinging an incredibly oversized pencil he got as a prize in school.
I duck just before the pencil slits my throat open and roll towards my bed; pick up the pillow and throw it to him. He swings the pencil at the pillow just before it reaches him and feathers fly all over the room. We laugh for a while until we realize we’ll be the ones cleaning up the mess we just made.
“I bet it’s magic.”
“What the training’s about, dumbass”
He tries to hit me again but now with a pillow. I duck in time again.
“I can’t get training out of my head. What are we supposed to do now?”
“I don’t know, but dad said we won’t start training until we have a story to tell him. What do you think he meant by that?”
We finish cleaning up, put on some fresh clothes and descend once more to the kitchen. Mom and dad are gone.
The house is deserted except for us. There are still some undone dishes in the sink, and mom´s not the kind of person who leaves things half done. Something’s up, it’s not like them to leave without saying anything.
Living room, empty. Guest room, empty. Yard, empty. First floor like a desert. Could they have gone up to their bedroom without us noticing? —Maybe, after all we were caught up fake fighting a few minutes ago.
The master bedroom is empty as well. The bed isn’t done and the room hasn’t been cleaned yet —now I’m sure something happened.
We look at each other with blank stares unable to speak. A Thousand thoughts run through my mind as I imagine all the possible scenarios for what could’ve happened to my parents. Where did they go? Why did they leave without telling us anything? Did something happen to them? Are they in some kind of trouble? Where they kidnapped? Or did they just leave to do some chores? I know it can’t be that last one, but I can’t afford to let it go.
“Where did they go? It’s not like them to leave just like that.
I can feel the desperation in his voice. He is as worried as I am, but shows it more openly. I always thought things through to every last possible scenario; he was more emotional and tended to act on first impulses.
We take the stairs down to the living room. I take a seat next to the phone and start dialing our neighbors. Its no use the line is dead. Things keep getting weirder by the minute.
The few that are turned on go out all at the same time —not that it makes a huge difference, but still catches us by surprise. We look around franticly trying to see something we know it’s not there. If we were not scared by then, we certainly are now.
Suddenly, a book on the coffee table right in front of us opens and pages start to turn at an incredible speed. It comes to a halt about at half of the book. There are no words written on those pages, just a symbol that covers both of them.
The room is silent as a grave. I’m in a complete state of shock, still trying to process what just happened. I look right to my brother expecting to see him as surprised and amazed as I am. It’s not like that at all. He is calmed and relaxed, as if nothing had happened in the last ten minutes.
“Wha…” I choke. I can’t talk. I’m more confused if that’s even possible.
“I know that symbol” he speaks after what seemed like an eternity of utter silence.
“What? How? What is it?” I’m still having trouble connecting words. Nothing makes sense anymore.
“Grandpa showed it to me a long time ago, days before he died.”
He stares at it with such peace that you could think he was looking into god’s eyes. He stops talking, never taking his eye off of that symbol, as I continue to grow more impatient by the second.
“What is it then? You are killing me here!” I snap some slow seconds later.
“It’s our family emblem” he speaks softly.
“Our what? Those things haven’t been used for ages!”
“I know… I thought it was a dream. That there was no way that what grandpa showed me that time could have been real. I convinced myself that I dreamt it. I was so little and so scared.”
“What are you talking about? You’re really creeping me out.
“Remember that night back at our old house —for the first time he looks at me— we were playing in the woods, I fell and hurt my knee really bad?”
“Yeah I do but what does it has to do with any of this?”
“After you helped me back to the house, do you remember who was the first person we saw?”
“I can’t take a trip down memory lane at a time like this!”
“Calm down. Think.”
“Ughh… Grandpa I think”
“That’s right. He carried me into the guest room and told you to go play in our bedroom.”
“Yeah I remember that.”
“Well I was in so much pain then that I thought that I dreamt what happened next. I was dizzy and weak. I thought I passed out.”
“Get on with it already!”
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Rafael Nugent.
Published on e-Stories.org on 27.02.2014.