A Sword for a GravestoneMature

Simon watched as Shiela walked away. If not for her brother, Simon would have questioned that abnormal happiness. Finding one's lost ones often did that. Well, for most people.

The duck meat looked good, but Simon held off. He wasn't feeling hungry at the moment. Eventually, he would eat, but for the moment he just sat and listened to Lee's distant words. The head of the Asterius was a nicer place to sit than in that circle of men. Lee was on an old story, but only Simon really cared. 

Pulling his pocket watch from his dress coat's pocket, Simon took the time. Rayna would be returning any time. He could discuss with her the situation and their next move. It would be rough from here on out, with one of their supply towns wiped out. Although, what bothered Simon the most was not the massacre, but the method. Why take all the people to that one building to slaughter them? And that symbol... 

The hourglass. 

Simon decided against eating as soon as his mind visualized the scene. He had seen hundreds die - the tattoos covering his body was proof of that - but that scene of death simply bothered him. He would have nightmares for sure. Dreaming of his brother was almost preferable now... Almost.

"Simon, are you ok?"

Simon looked up to see a crew member named One-Eye Fred approaching. He had gotten the name when he lost an eye a few years back. Although only one eyed, he was the second best shot on the ship, Lee being the first.

"Perfectly alright, Fred," Simon said, mustering as much decency as he could. There was little he could do right now, but he would at least give a strong face to his crew mates.

"Eat up! In a few days we will be taking down the bastards that did that!" Fred said cheerfully. His fake smile and laugh was appreciated, but fake nonetheless. Still, it helped that Simon wasn't the only one feeling shaken. 

"I think I will pass." Simon stood and gave the duck breast to One-Eye Fred. "You can have this, I am going to do something."

Fred took the meat, if only slightly reluctant, and took a bite. "Suit yourself," He said after swallowing, "A man should never refuse meat!" 

Simon smiled and walked off. Behind him, Fred made a choking sound. Could the man not handle his meat? Oh well. It was time to take care of something he had been planning to do. The sun was already low. Any more and it would be too dark to do it. 

It only took a few moments to find Coty. Simon had worked out all her hiding places - well, most of them - a long time ago. He found her sitting on a railing near the rear of the ship. Out of all the members aboard the Asterius, Simon knew the least about her. He had asked her on numerous occasions about who trained her and other things, but he got a cold shoulder every time. Secretive girl, really.

"Come with me."

Coty looked at him oddly, but followed. 

Simon first went down to the store room and grabbed a spade for himself and Coty, then they headed up to the deck and made their way off the ship. It was a cold afternoon and as the sun dropped, so did the temperature. Was the very world feeling the sorrow of the Asterius right now? 

The Asterius was named after a large creature that had once roamed the country, causing havoc and despair. But, as the stories tell, Asterius never wanted to cause the pain, but wanted to solve it. In his quest, he had accidentally destroyed towns and hurt a lot of people. In the end, he had realized something. HE was the problem. So, in an act of great bravery, he slew himself. 

Was that what the crew of the Asterius had become? A plague that brought despair and pain? Why did Coty have to hurt? She did not deserve this. No, no one did. Simon would do what he could, though. It was all he could do. Clean up the rubble. 

Then, maybe, a new foundation could be built.

They eventually came to the body. In the last hour or two, nothing had changed. Beside him, Coty shivered. Poor girl. Even one as tough as her had a heart. Simon pulled Grendel from it's resting place next to the body. The sword had been made with the bones of an old crew mate embedded inside. Grendel had been a good man. 

Simon carried the body of the unknown man to a spot chosen by Coty and began to dig. It took only minutes, thanks to Simon's large frame and Coty's help. They dug it rectangular and six feet down, the size of a regular grave for Noblemen. It was a horrible experience, but Simon felt better when the body was set in the ground and covered. 

"No one will know he is here..." Coty mumbled sadly. 

Simon pulled Grendel off his back. "In this blade, as you know, are the bones of Grendel, a man who once saved us both a while back," Simon said, "I made it clear to everyone that I could who owned the blade." With that, Simon stabbed the blade into the ground at the head of the disturbed ground. A tombstone for an unknown man. "If anyone removes this blade, I will hunt them down and kill them." 

Coty nodded but remained silent. They decided to head back. 

The End

145 comments about this exercise Feed