Die Writing

Fathers

Posted in Ezra Haley by erdaron on October 11, 2011

Varston and Ezra sat across the small camp fire from each other. So far Ezra has done most of the talking, while the older ranger calmly stared into the flames. It was dying, slowly turning into a handful of glowing coals. The night was warm, so there wasn’t much need for a fire aside from boiling a bit of water for tea.

Ezra reached a pause, and it grew into a somewhat extended silence. Finally, Varston looked up at the boy, and said with a smirk,

“So I guess we both didn’t know our fathers.”

“I know my father!” The boy shot back, glowering.

“Do you now?”

“I grew up with him! I grew up in his house – he raised me!”

“No no no, lad. You knew a nice guy who’d tuck you in at night and wash your face in the morning. But for your father, that was pretend. That’s a part he played. Kind of like a hobby. Your real father stalked the shadows and stabbed orcs in the heart. And that’s no easy trick, either, the bastards can see in the dark better than the bloody elves. Once you get used to the smell of blood, you can’t just walk back to picnics and cute tea cozies.”

“My father is not a killer…” Ezra stared at Varston in shock.

“Ezra, I’m taking you to see your sister. A sister you didn’t even know you had until maybe a month ago. Think on that. I didn’t know your father, but I’ll bet this isn’t the last surprise.”

The conversation arrived at another tense pause. Eventually, Varston spoke up.

“I’m not saying your father was evil. I respect the things I’ve heard about him. And by your words, sure sounds like he was a good dad. He just wasn’t the man you think he was.

“The difference between you and me is that when we get to the end of the line and walk through the Big Shiny Doors, you’ll know who to look for and I won’t. And that is a luxury you shouldn’t take for granted.”

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