My second Fan Fiction short story from the World of Warcraft forums.
Today’s challenge is something a bit different. We’re not looking for complete stories. We’re looking for just one brief snippet of time. One moment. One place. One experience.
1. a small illustration placed at the beginning or end of a book or chapter
2. a short graceful literary essay or sketch
3. a photograph, drawing, etc, with edges that are shaded off
4. architect a carved ornamentation that has a design based upon tendrils, leaves, etc
5. any small endearing scene, view, picture, etc.”
For what reason is war fought? For pride, glory, or some grand gesture of faith? she wondered forlornly as she polished her husband’s armor, though the tears made it difficult for her to see the shine of the metal. Her hands ached from the labor, and tomorrow her skin would be cracked and bleeding.
But by tomorrow it will not matter, because he will be gone.
Another war, another summons to battle—it was never ending. She had known in her heart what the sound of hooves on the road that led to their house meant, and it was dread that clutched at her soul with icy fingers of malice.
Be brave, my love. Those would be his final words to her, as they always were, but never goodbye. Goodbye was a word too full of sorrow and desperation. It was a word of endings and partings, but not always a return. So, no, never goodbye.
Then his lips would brush across hers gently, the lightest of caresses. All the embraces and kisses filled with the heartache and fear would be had the night before, and tended to be harder and needier than their usual counterparts.
After the kiss, a hug, and then she would take in the scent of him: horses, sweat, leather, metal polish, and underneath it all the trace of something that was uniquely him. It was here that time both sped up, and slowed, as though if they never broke the embrace they could stay there forever. Which was a foolish and selfish thought. His heart was hers, but his soul belonged to the Light, and she would not be able to live with herself if she tried to keep him from his calling.
Brave? No, not me. Bravery belonged to the ones riding onto the field of battle, and it was a poor woman that planted worry in the heart of her husband before he had to do such a thing.
Tomorrow, she thought, tomorrow I will show him a face with no tears as I always do. But today she would allow herself the grief and the worry that crying abated.
She wiped away the tears, but no one would have known she was crying, because the tears of a Paladin’s wife are silent in the face of his duty to the Light.