- Oct 27, 2005
- Reaction score
- Key West Fl. Cookeville Tn
This is the way it is going to go out to the publisher, I think its complete, anyone see something I missed please point it out
‘In service to all.’
Through blurry, red veined eyes, Micah pushed the bottle away and stared hard at the redstone medallion, the Dragon’s Eye. He had seen the golden words flashing across its face, it hadn’t been a leftover hallucination from the hangover.
Delving into his past, he tried remembering the forgotten stories his father had told him. Stories that had hinted that, once, they were men of importance. Nothing came to mind about glowing words, but he did recall what the words meant. They were supposed to be a summoning. Through the alcohol haze, he remembered his father telling him about that.
Twenty five years ago in their shoddy little trailer, his father had told him they were men of the blood. That he was a Man of the Blood and was supposed to serve as the protector of a land called Illanor on a different world called Allryss. That possibly someday he could be
called to fulfill that duty. According to his father, none had in several generations. Those stories about duty had led him to join the military, then later the police department.
Anger tinged his thoughts as Micah remembered his father’s fanciful stories about the Dragonworld. He also remembered searching a world atlas from top to bottom and never finding any place called Illanor.
Hard lines cut grooves into his forehead as he stared at the dark redstone. He had laughed then. Now, twenty five years later, he wasn’t laughing. Alone in his apartment, he hardly ever laughed anymore.
At eighteen, he had sworn to wear the medallion. He had done so while his father had been incarcerated, but had stopped shortly after his death. He didn’t even remember the last time he had seen the silly thing.
I know I saw them. The words were there. It wasn’t a dream and it wasn’t the alcohol.
Turning, he raked uneven fingernails through his dark hair, looking at the cardboard box. Bitter laughter parted his lips. His ex, Mariynn, must have put it there. She hadn’t believed his father’s stories either.
The box had been warm. He had felt heat through its sides. Afraid of fire and knowing he couldn’t afford another efficiency with what was left out of his police severance, he had opened it.
The Dragon’s eye had been the only thing in the box. The golden chain had been coiled around the red stone like a snake coiled about its clutch. The last time he had seen it had been shortly after his father’s death but then the eye hadn’t been glowing. Not thinking, he had reached into the box.
The words, In service to all, had filled his head, coming from everywhere, sounding as if a hundred different voices were speaking to him all at once. The summoning, he thought again recalling what his father had told him.
Visions of gnashing white teeth and red armored scales had followed the words. Armor had encased his body and he had seen a massive battle being fought all around him. He had been flying high in the sky, wheeling over troops crashing together in ripples of steel on the ground below. He had heard their wild war cries and had seen their flashing weapons. Wind had filled his ears and he had felt a sword’s hilt filling his hand and in the distance he had heard the roar of a giant beast.
Then it had disappeared, the vision shattering in his mind, like splintering glass from a broken mirror. He had felt the pieces cutting into him and pain had blinded him. When he finally opened his eyes, all was the same. But for a brief moment his head had been spinning, like it did sometimes from the alcohol. This though seemed different, almost as if he had done all of it before, as if he should be remembering everything he had seen.
Shuddering, he snatched up a pencil, looped it through the medallion’s chain and placed it on the table. It wasn’t glowing now. It looked perfectly ordinary.
Head aching, he scrubbed his fingers across his eyes and glanced out his small icy window. Snow covered the skyscrapers in the distance.
I’m still in Chicago. This is ridiculous, I must have imagined it? The case, the divorce, losing my badge, lack of sleep, alcohol… I’m hallucinating. Thinking back to his father, before the asylum, he tried dredging up more memories.
Still nothing that mentioned glowing. He remembered several stories about duty to one’s people and how he was supposed to be to be there to protect them if called. According to his father, every time the medallion had been passed onto the next wearer, the one before had answered the call and had died, as the story went, ‘In service to all’.
Tentatively, Micah reached out, flicking the gold chain with a fingernail. Nothing. Heart pounding in his chest, he flicked the stone, and jerked his hand back as if stung. Nothing. It felt the same, as it always had.
The adrenaline pumping through his veins left behind a cold tingle but the stone still did nothing. There was no pulse, no warmth, no flickering golden letters and no sense of flying, nothing that said there had been a summoning attached to it. The amulet just lay there, looking like it always had every day that he had worn it before stuffing it in that box. The only difference now was his heart. It was pounding in his chest, like a freight train racing across uneven tracks. It was pounding like the night… He pushed that thought out of his head.
Feeling silly, Micah took several deep breaths, in through his nose and out through his
mouth. Using the breathing techniques he had learned as a younger man, he calmed his mind like he had done in the military and later in the police force. Slowly his pulse resumed a normal beat.
Reaching out, he traced the top of the cold stone with his fingernail. Nothing, he thought disgustedly. Taking a chance, he placed a shaking palm on the eye. It didn’t glow.
Understanding crept into his mind. I must have dozed off. Palm still on the eye, he shook his head, rolling his eyes. He didn’t remember falling asleep, though he had done it before when the images became too much and the alcohol took over.
In his head, he saw the spidery words of gold form again, just like they had earlier been on the stone. Not thinking, he mumbled the phrase, learned from his father who had learned it from his, “In service to all.”