Rude Awakening
Benjamin Forsberg


He pressed his body against the cold walls, glancing over his shoulder at the guards that stood before the gate. The easterners were camped beyond the guards, practicing their combat and wielding magic fearlessly. Jealousy filled his being, urging him to act. He resisted. The goblins he had just killed would feed his bloodlust for the moment. Growling, he thought about what the spirit had told him – about his lineage and potential.

What a load of crap!

Hunkering down, confident the foliage between he and the guards would keep him concealed, he bowed his head and waited for nightfall.

Soon his breathing was heavy, rhythmic, sleep wrapping its tender arms around his mind. Images of battle flashed before his mind’s eye as he dreamed. Armies of incomprehensible size clashed, filling the world with the sounds of war and the odor of the dead. He dreamed of thousands of bodies, lifeless, rotting under the open sky. He saw darkness cover the land until he could no longer see. A loud snarl woke him.

He was crouching immediately, looking around for the cause of the noise. Beyond the foliage, he could see the guards looking in his direction. It was then that he realized that he had snored, and by doing so alerted the guards. Edging along the wall, he escaped into the trees, feeling that despite his reservations he should do as the old man had suggested. He would of course seek to join the knights, knowing intuitively that even if accepted into the church, he would never really be a part of it. The warriors, however, could appreciate his skills.

Making his way to the bridge under cover of the trees, he crossed hand over hand and proceeded to walk across it toward the city, hoping all would be well.