Hearing Garrett speak of it brought it all back. The marshes, the ambush, the cry of Captain Damyen, the flash of silver and then... and then...
            “Devlin!” He felt himself being shaken, and his eyes snapped on Garrett and he nearly fell backwards, his breathing coming fast. The images of fighting had flashed through his head. He remembered the way the man fell into his blade, the look of utter surprise as Devlin twisted the blade inside their chief and heard him scream, screaming like a young girl after a night terror. Oh but it was very real, as the sound of the squelching and crunching and the feel of the spray of blood washing over him, filled his mind. He still dreamt of it every night, the sweet vengeance that was never enough.
            A hand struck him.
            Devlin’s hand went straight to his face. A small number were staring at them.
            “Back to your drinking!” Garrett yelled at them. They reluctantly went back to their own conversations. He helped Devlin up. “You alright lad?” He checked. “Sorry about that.”
            “I... yes.” He muttered, rubbing his head and then his cheek.
            “Worry not, I understand. But can you tell me what you know?” Garrett asked. “I understand if it is too difficult. I know you two were good friends.” Garrett probed.
            “No, I know.” Devlin sighed; his own feelings on the situation had to come second. Garrett would not bring up that name if it were not important, he resolved. He would do it, for his Captain.
            Captain Damyen had always been a natural fighter and a leader, but even he had been taken under the wing of Garrett in his first year, and the two of them, Damyen and Devlin were both like sons to the man sitting before him now, in a sense.
            “So what do you remember of the death?”
            Devlin breathed deeply. “It all occurred quite fast. One moment our soldiers were on their way to find the Barbarans, but they got to us in the marshes first. We were too slow and bogged down to retreat, we tried but their slings and arrows took a number of us, so we had to stand and fight. Captain Damyen led a charge but it was difficult to move and they were using the trees for cover. Half way through the battle I was being attacked by several men when I saw it happening. Just the shimmer of silver in the distance, through the fog, and then my Captain collapsed collapsed and I noticed... something. Maybe a dagger or... well I do not know. But a Barbaran stood over him. I pushed past my attackers and slew that bastard, and I made sure it was painful. There was an instant were I thought to myself, how could this fool could kill Damyen?”
            Devlin hadn’t realised his hand was clasped on the hilt of his blade. He released it, closed his eyes for a moment.
            “You are sure it was the Barbaran that killed him, you saw it?”
            “Yes—well no, but—the army was made of his soldiers, they all loved him greatly, and the Barbaran, he was laughing afterwards. Yes, it had to have been him that did the deed. Why do you ask?” Devlin rounded on Garrett then, his anger rising.
            “I got their eventually, Damyen.” He looked old then, a self-blame that he had harboured a long time played about his eyes. “I heard things, but thought nothing of it back then. But I saw the body, before it was wrapped up, and the wound...” His tone was rising, almost overpowering the harp and singing voice of the musician.

The End

31 comments about this story Feed