Yeah... this took way too long. I'll do my best to speed it on up. It's just that at this point, I'm not extremely interested in the characters. I'm working on making them interesting, but I don't want to put out a stereotypical cynical mute. I want him to be a memorable stereotypical cynical mute. Lol. Anyway, on to the story!
Name: Henry the Silent
Mental State: Retrospective but cautious
Primary Weapon: Bone scimitar
Secondary Weapon: Hand bone shovel
Armor: Heavy gloves and crude leather.
Supplies: Waning, but spring's coming.
Companions: Nathan's Village, population 14
Before I set out to begin my rounds, I stopped by the shed. There I picked up the village's only true weapon. We had carved the sword out of a large rib from one of our cows. It's signature curve gave it the moniker 'scimitar,' but I'm not sure it truly fit the description. I never truly felt comfortable holding the weapon. I remembered every time I held the bone that someone had met the end of this blade. The only time our tribe had ever actually killed anyone.
It occured a few months after we had settled into our home. A group easily twice as large as ours had decided it deserved our lands more than we did. They agreed to the showdown between their leader and me. The fight was tough, and both of us had bloody noses and bruised bodies near the end. He threw a particularly cruel hook, and my jaw broke. Momentarily incapacitated, their leader laughed and proclaimed himself the victor.
Before the fool turned around, I returned with a thundering uppercut. He was knocked out cold, and Nathan's village cheered. But when the other nation's leader came to, he argued still. I had clearly lost in his eyes, and I had just struck out in trickery. The debate soon escalated, and it was clear to me that a peaceful outcome was not possible. Since my silence kept me from the argument, no one noticed when I slipped away. Everyone noticed when I came back, though. I shoved through the crowd, and before anyone could react, I pierced our sword through their leader's gut.
The look in his eyes was horrid and unforgetable. He looked straight into mine, and his hate faded away. It was replaced with pure terror and surprise. His face soon crumpled into agonizing pain. He did not die quickly. The other tribe retreated to tend to his wounds, but I had penetrated vital organs. I watched in the distance as he bled out into the dirt. Into our dirt. We never saw the other tribe again. This was a year or two ago.
But now was not the time to dwell on my worst day. I was at the edge of the perimeter, and it was time to focus. Guard duty was the most dangerous thing the villagers did. If raiders or slavers or the like wanted to infiltrate our village, all they had to do was take out the border guard. Everyone else in town went to sleep, and our only weapon was with the guard. I had a feeling other, lesser men found comfortable places to nap until their shift was over, but I took it seriously. We hadn't had any contact with other groups in a while, and it made me nervous.
Regardless of my fear of raiders, the light adrenalin was not enough to keep me fully going. After about an hour, I had trouble keeping my eyes open. I had patrolled around the entire perimeter once, and reached my second lap. All the rocks blended together. Boulders and light debris littered the landscape, hiding places for any wicked soul. I decided to check behind a few, at least for something to do. It took me longer, and I progressed slowly. Under one scrap of metal, I found something I never imagined before. It was a stemmed plant with red leaves at the top. I had never seen anything like it.
Some of the aged men used to tell stories when I was a kid. Their parents had known of the Before, and had passed the tales on to their children. They told of beautiful fields, like ours. But instead of just grass there were colored plants sprinkled in. They told of the beauty of the world, but the children did not believe. What made the stories even more ridiculous was the humans' treatment of the fields. The reason, they claimed, that there were som few fields left in our time was that we had destroyed and killed the plants in our quest to expand. The children laughed, and the elders sighed.
I had always sought to follow the story's moral. For even lies could hold meaning. I noticed the beauty in our world, and always appreciated my effect on it. Even back then I never spoke, and I showed the elders I had listened. I tended the fields, and harvested carefully. When other workers tore the fruit away from the plants, I was careful. And my plants always lived longer into the winter than others'. My plants grew bigger, and more quickly. Seeing this plant here confirmed everything I had wanted to believe in. And I stared.
It looked unhealthy, although I had no comparison other than different plants. Its stem had reached and stretched its way to the sun after this metal had fallen over it. But the metal must have sheltered it from any damage passerby would do to it. I wondered to myself how it had gotten here, how the seed had grown. I stood up slowly. It was beautiful, but I had duties. I started to replace the piece of metal when a loud noise rang out. Instantly, a sharp pain sprang from the back of my left shoulder and I stumbled forward. I barely missed the plant, and in avoiding it I fell.
I lay completely still as I took in my situation. We had heard of 'guns' from other clans. They were fairly common outside of our life, and wounded or killed very efficiently. Some traders had actually showed us one and fired it for us. We wanted no part of the barbaric violence. But bleeding into the dust now, I wondered if we should have bought one for ourselves. For the wound in my back was undoubtedly a gunshot. Nothing else could hurt so bad so quickly. I concentrated on remaining still as I heard my attacker approaching.
I was lucky, it seemed. At least with the gunshot. From what I could tell lying still I didn't think the wound was major. But my attacker didn't know that. And if he thought I was dead, I might be able to fight back. I glanced at the scimitar inches away from my right hand before shutting them.
"Woah, I've never actually killed anyone with this thing, that was awesome!"
The young man spoke with the cocky tone of someone who talks a lot.
"Damn, that's not as much blood as I thought there'd be..."
He trailed off and I felt him kneel down on my back, checking my wound. It took every ounce of self-contol I had not to flinch or yell when he picked at my wound. His hands were rough and dirty. I bit my tongue and held my breath. With his knee in my back he would feel any movement I made. Had he been trained for this?
"Aah shit. I don't remember how to check a pulse at all."
He reached his fingers down to my throat. It was now or never. I breathed a gulp of air and thrust myself up. Completely surprised, the young man fell over. I grabbed at my sword and cut at the hand that held the gun. A single finger fell, and the gun clattered to the ground. As the man clutched his hand and roared in pain, I smashed the handle of my sword first into his nose. His head whipped back, and I brought the hilt down on his forehead.
Adrenalin coursed through my veins, and my back ached terribly. I would need to get someone else to take care of the gun wound. I remembered the merchant talk of the bullets that the gun shot. They remained in the body, I thought. I looked down at the body of the man. With horror, I noted it was on top of the plant. I flipped the body over and away, and confirmed my fear. The delicate plant lay broken in the dirt. Perhaps it was the last of its kind, and it was dead because of my own scuffle. I shook away the guilt. I had to warn the others of this. I draped the young man's limp form over my healthy shoulder and started off towards town.
Ok, there's the end of that episode. And if you didn't understand, the plant he was so very interested in was a flower. I didn't think he would have had a name for it.
Used all the characters yay