|Series||Fable: The Axe and Scottman by Wes Green|
|Next||The Scruffy Heroes|
|← Woman||Chapter Chronology||The Scruffy Heroes →|
Emily still felt the butterflies in her stomach every time see saw Scotty. He was truly a people person. Her family loved him like a son. Even her father who in the past wasn’t very keen on young men pursuing his only daughter had grown fond of her giant hunk of a man.
He is a hunk.
She stared at him from her father’s rocking chair. He was in the kitchen with her mother washing the dishes from his birthday dinner. He insisted on helping her and Emily sitting down. Emily had successfully managed to eat a full plate of roast with vegetables and then two puddings. She felt like she was carrying a belly full of rocks. She looked out of the window into the calmness of the city night. It was quiet, with only the odd Bowerstoner walking past every now and again. She managed to acquire the will to stand up and head towards the kitchen.
Scotty and Sara were finishing up. Scotty had even put most of the dishes away.
He’s a good one.
As he put the last of the serving bowls away, he hit his head on the dangling iron light fitting.
“Ouch.” He mumbled laughing under the slight influence of the ale he had drunk during the meal. The fitting was rocking in the room shifting the light back and forth.
“Oh…behave Scotty, I’m sure you’ve had much worse.” Sara said in a jokingly yet serious way that only a mother can deliver.
“You’re right Sara. I have, only usually I’m more drunk.”
All three of them laughed at his joke.
He’s always joking. I love it.
Emily put her arms around his waist and nested her head on his chest. The warmth of his chest and sound of his breathing was enough to put her in a hypnotic trance.
“Okay…. you two love birds I am off to bed. Did you manage to speak with Alan before he retired Scotty?” the look on Sara’s face showed Emily that she was hiding something. She kind of half smiled. Where her mouth would stay emotionless but her eyes would squint like a smile, her crow’s feet becoming prominent.
“I did. Thanks Sara and if you don’t mind. I would like to some time with your beautiful daughter.” Scotty said softly not giving anything away.
The older woman gave them both a kiss and squeezed Emily tight in a motherly hug before headed towards the stairs with a spring in her step.
Why’s she so excited?
“She only acts this way when she’s keeping a secret.” She said watching her mother skip up the stairs.
She turned back to find Scotty knelling on one knee, looking into her eyes.
Immediately she knew what was happening. The butterflies in her stomach became erratic they had turned into a warm flush that was sweeping up from her stomach like a blanket and making her skin tingle. She felt herself start to hyperventilate. It was making her feel light headed.
She didn’t know what to do. She felt like she was going to explode.
He knelt there looking perfect the epitome of her perfect man.
“Emily….I love you… I have spoken with your father and got his blessing…. Will you do me the honor…?”
“YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!!” she couldn’t contain herself any longer she threw herself at him. They kissed and he picked her up off her feet and spinning them around squeezed her.
He had tears in his eyes and then set her off as well. He placed her down gently.
“Don’t you want to see the ring?” as he picked out the box from his pocket.
She couldn’t speak instead just gripped her hands into tight balls and making an excited sound, which after doing she realized sounded like some sort of animal.
He opened the box and inside was a golden ring with an emerald stone within. It shone bright like their love.
“Wow!... It’s perfect Scotty!” he put the ring on her finger and she looked at it from various angles.
“So you’re happy Em?”
“The happiest woman in Albion.”
She kissed him and they hugged for what seemed like hours.
“When will we be married” she whispered into his ear.
“Soon, I need to go away for a few days, back to the cabin in Gibbet Woods to help the old man and the drunk one.” He let out a small laugh.
“Awww really?” she made it sound as humorous as possible but actually she was genuinely devastated.
“It won’t be for long I just need to help get this new batch of wood. He’s getting on and I would feel guilty otherwise.”
He always thinks of others first.
“Okay but I want you back in a few days.” she said snuggling into his stubbly neck.
“When I’m back we will arrange a date for the wedding. I promise” He hugged her tight.
She was so excited.
This was the best day of her life.
Old Ronald Flowerman awoke to the sound of birds singing and wind rustling in the trees. The cabin was bright and airy a reflection of the early morning weather in the forest. Gibbett Woods had a bad reputation for hobbes and bandit attacks which Ronald always thought was unfair as the majority of the areas were beautiful.
Ronald's particular cabin had being his home for the last forty years and for half of that the home he brought up Scotty.
He sat up in his bed and placed his feet on the floor. He stood up slowly.
Always best to rise slowly….at my age.
He was right as well. His joints and his back were aching. Then again they always did. Old men cutting down trees and chopping wood would do that. He made his way towards the window of his bedroom and lent on the window sill that overlooked the workshop and yard.
That’s where he first held an axe and chopped his first piece of wood.
The memories of Scotty when he was a child gave him a feeling of pride and love. He was so glad that even in his seventh decade he was given the chance to be a father. Now in his ninth decade there was the very real possibility of becoming a grandfather. Even through Scotty came into his life after a terrible tragedy they made the most of it and were happy.
I still can’t believe it.
He took a deep breath of the fresh forest air. It was an earthy scent with undertones freshly cut wood from the night before.
Ronald and Issiah had made it back before dark the night before. The birthday meal had left Ronald wanting more. Not of the food but just more time together with Scotty and his new family.
“I’m going to ask her to marry me.”
The words gave Ronald and warm and excited feeling every time he recalled Scotty saying them. The feeling seemed to increase in intensity more and more with each thought.
From the room next door Ronald could hear the tell tale sign of Issiah waking. It always started with slamming his feet against the floor and usually stumbling about a bit in a semi hungover semi drunken state. Obviously then followed by a furious sounding fart. The second part of Issiah's wake up routine was why Ronald had learnt to leave all windows open when they were in the cabin.
“You up Issiah?” Ronald shouted as he was dressing himself struggling to put on his socks as he often did after putting in a wood chopping shift.
These aches and pains….
“Aye…Boss… just need some bread and a pick me up.”
Ronald knew exactly what he meant by “pick me up”. It usually meant at least one pint of the stuff he had drunk from the night before. “Aire of tha dawwg!” he always said in a way which somehow justified his actions. Although he was a drunken idiot, Issiah did contribute to business pot with his home brew sales and had become a loyal and deserving friend to both himself and Scotty.
Ronald made his way to the kitchen he had some cured meat left from the other weak and plenty of bread and fruit. He decided that he should leave most of it for Scotty when he arrived later on today.
He wouldn’t be happy if there wasn’t anything left when he got back from Bowerstone.
He placed conservative portions of fruit, and meat and plenty of bread on two plates. He smelt Issiah before noticing he had entered the kitchen.
“Alright boss…Not feeling….well 'undred percent t’day like.” Ronald turned to face the man. Half dressed, black circles under his eyes and the worst case of bed head he had even seen. Not to mention the smell of “gut rot” he was carrying about him like a constant reminder he had it.
“No kidding Issiah.” Ronald continued to prepare the food when he heard voices coming from outside.
The door to the cabin was hammered three times. Issiah covered his ears, probably loud knocks first thing in the morning wasn’t great for a drunk's headaches.
“Who’s that first thing in the bleeding morning?” Ronald headed towards the door annoyed that the owner of the loud knock had no regard for common doorstep manners.
You never knock this early.
Ronald unlocked the heavy steel lock and swung the door open. In front of him stood three men in what looked like guard uniforms and hats. The uniforms had a red and yellow theme. There appeared to be four dogs tied up to a tree nearby.
Definitely not Bowerstone guards.
The four men were big and looked thuggish. As Ronald scanned each of their faces each one looked more ugly then the last. He focused on the central man. He looked to have some sort of badge on his chest.
He must be the leader…the one was bloody banged on this door.
“Greetings. Sir. Please allow me to introduce myself.” The big man said. Ronald looked down and noticed that each man was fully equipped with massive swords, each hilt carrying ornate details.
“I am Sir Fredrick Pennyton….and these are my associates.” He continued.
“What do you think you are doing sonny knocking on this door at this hour?” Ronald was surprised at how angry the tone in his voice was.
Eighty years old and still have it.
“My apologies Sir, my sincerest apologies.” The large man bowed to Ronald. He took off his guards hat and Ronald got a good look at him.
He had short dark greasy hair that looked like it hadn’t being washed for weeks. His nose was a wash of blocked black pores and his had a deep noticeable scar running the length of his face from cheek to forehead crossing his left eye. It appeared as though the eye was blinded from that injury as it just appeared cloudy like a cataract.
There’s something off about this.
“We are here to collect the Farna Tax. You are aware that we now that we apply Farna tax to every land his Lordship governs.” He said smiling through blackened teeth.
“I am but its doesn’t apply to us as are south which lies in Bowerstone's district.” Ronald insisted.
“I am afraid that you are incorrect this whole forest belongs to Farna. You have lived here for decades without paying a single gold. You will pay your lordship his Tax or there will be consequences.” Fredrick said with authority.
Ronald heard Issiah approach him from behind.
“Whats going on Boss?” he said with a mouthful of bread.
“QUIET YOU!” Fredrick screamed at Issiah.
“I have the authority to take matters into my own hands Sir. If the tax isn't paid. You owe us call it 8000 gold.”
“8000 GOLD?? Are you absolutely insane. We don’t make that much money in a year let alone have it just to give you here and now. Take me to your lord.” Ronald insisted.
“His Lordship Marcus Scott, has bestowed upon my executive powers to all who will not pay. You have ten seconds to hand over the deeds to this cabin or face the penalty.”
Ronald couldn’t believe his ears. The adrenaline was pumping around his body his didn’t know what to do.
“But how can you do this.” He shouted. The three other men all began unsheathing their swords.
“Please give me some time Fredrick my son… he's coming back this afternoon he could settle this for us….”
And deal with you four easily.
“Please sir.” Ronald pleaded.
“ONE!” sir Fredrick unsheathed his sword and in one fluid arcing motion made swiped his sword towards Ronald.
Ronald closed his eyes.
He heard an unnatural thud against the wooden floor a moment later.
He opened his eyes and saw Issiah’s lifeless head looking up at him eyes still frozen in shock.
Issiah’s headless body hit the floor blood exploding out all over the wall as the heart continued to beat.
It all happened so fast Ronald just stared in shock at Issiah's eyes looking at him.
“He’s got a son…let’s wait for him. Tie the old man up. Feed the body to the dogs.”
Scotty felt like he was as light as a feather as he walked down the dirt road towards Ronald’s cabin. Even the sheer weight of the Ronald’s Radiance resting on his shoulder wasn’t enough to weigh him down. He was surprised really. He had being walking for hours since he had set off from Bowerstone early that morning and he didn’t feel even remotely tired.
She said yes….I will need to build a house…maybe in Bowerstone…. maybe the woods? Close to Ronald…..I could be a father soon…I will make her so happy…
His mind was like a whirlwind of excitement. He hardly noticed the sunshine in the sky beating down on the forest giving the air a humid and earthy fragrance. The trees were alive with the sounds of birds singing and light breeze rustling the trees up high. He passed the fallen tree, a huge old tree that had collapsed under its own weight when Scotty was still young. Ronald and Scotty had deliberately left it there so that they could sit on it out in the forest and have picnics on it when the mood took them.
The giant man sat on edge of the thickest part. He slid down to the area he always sat feeling for the grooves that fit his backside perfectly.
I could bring my family here too. Just like Ronald did when I was young.
He rose from his seat and with a feeling of nostalgia and excitement for the future in his belly let out a massive smile. If anyone had being there to see it they might of thought that he had just heard a good joke.
He continued on following the path towards the Cabin. As he reached the nook where the cabin could be seen off in the distance he heard what he could have sworn was barking.
Dogs? How strange.
His excitement subsided and was replaced with confusion. He scratched at his stubbly face that was starting to become a beard.
Why are the dogs at the cabin?
Scotty’s natural instinct was to worry so he picked up his walk to a jog towards the cabin. As he got closer he noticed that there was smoke coming from the chimney which made him feel less worried about the barking sounds.
Well Ronald and Issiah must be in. Probably cooking my dinner.
He slowed back down and convinced himself that the noises he heard must have been his imagination.
Just outside the cabin chained to the fence that Scotty and Ronald had put up last autumn were four large angry looking black and tan dogs. Scotty wasn’t really an expert in dog breeds but looking at them looking muscular and capable of doing some serious damage with their massive jaws.
Confident that the hounds were restrained Scotty made his way slowly and calmly towards the entrance of the cabin. The dogs noticed his approach immediately started jumping around violently and barking as loud as the animals could. Scotty backed away from the dogs. He noticed that their faces and teeth were covered in blood obviously from where they had being eating. There were some sloppy entrails on the floor by the dogs.
They must have eaten some sort of animal raw. Probably a deer judging by the size of some of remaining pieces scattered about the dogs.
Scotty was about to shout into the cabin to get Ronald and Issiah to explain what was going on here when he was interrupted.
“Good afternoon to you young sir. My…. you are a big one aren’t you?” came the sarcastic toned voice from the doorway of the cabin.
Scotty watched as the large guard dressed from head to toe in red and yellow strolled through the door on to the patio like he owned the place.
Who the hell does he think he is?
Scotty could feel the hairs on his neck stand on end. The way they did when he was starting to get angry.
“Not speaking? How terribly rude of you. Me and my men were just having lunch with your dear old pappy?”
Scotty squeezed the hilt of the axe that was still resting neatly on his shoulder. His knuckles begin to turn white as he squeezed. The guard noticed straight away.
“Come now, young man. We mean you no harm.” The guard approached slowly towards Scotty. He was smirking as he approached. He moved slowly around circling Scotty as he talked.
“That’s a pretty piece of equipment you have there” The guard went to touch the blade of the axe. Scotty moved it out of the way.
“Who are you? Why are you here? Where is my father?” Scotty moved quickly ensuring that the guard didn’t have the chance to get behind him.
“Me?....I am Sir Fredrick Pennyton. I am here to collect owed monies on behalf of my lord.”
“Your lord?” Scotty said noticing now that two other guards were coming out of the cabin. Just as big and as ugly as Fredrick. One was carrying an object wrapped in cloth.
“Yes…My lord….Lord Marcus Scott of House Scott.”
The words hit Scotty like a boulder in the face. The very sound of his name brought back the feelings he had repressed from all those decades ago. It was like the events that had happened twenty years ago had only happened yesterday. His thoughts started throwing random memories at him. His father Lord Reginald talking to him about family values on a cold winters night by the fire, his mother singing to his baby sister in the nursery to calm her, the castle in Farna and all the people who worked there. His stomach then turned over he felt like he was going to be sick. His memories grew darker he saw his uncle taking sick pleasure in killing his family, He saw the lifeless bodies of his mother and father laying in their blood eyes still open like pieces of meat.
Scotty jumped back and raised the axe into a fighting position. His anger was starting to bubble over. He could feel the blood under his skin starting to boil.
“I don’t think so my boy. Travis please can you present this young man with the gift I have got for him?”
Scotty didn’t know what to make of the situation. He wanted to just tear these men to shreds but he didn’t know where Ronald was. Whether he was safe or not.
The man holding the object approached Scotty slowly and held out the object. Scotty placed Ronald’s Radiance back on his shoulder and took the “gift” from the guard.
“Now if you will….” Sir Fredrick motioned to Scotty to remove the fabric covering the gift.
Scotty shook the top rag off easily. That was when he first noticed the blood. A dark red congealed blood soaked into the under fabric. As the last part of fabric fell away Scotty suddenly realized what he was holding.
Issiah’s eyes were still open and looking at him. His tongue was hanging out of his mouth like a limp piece of flesh.
Scotty dropped the head on the floor and it rolled into a bush. Suddenly the large man felt the weight of the axe for the first time. His knees buckled and he dropped to the floor.
He put the axe down. He could feel the tears rolling down his cheeks. He rubbed his eyes smearing Issiah's blood all over his face by accident. The smell of the iron rich blood made him feel sick. He vomited on the floor.
“Oh dear….Young sir doesn’t feel too well boys. We fed the rest of him to the dogs” Fredrick said in sadistic way.
“Why….WHYYY?” Scotty shouted the very will to speak was hard for him.
“You owe our lord Farna Tax of the sum of 8000 gold to be paid today. And your father wasn’t playing the game correctly now was he” Sir Fredrick knelt down beside Scotty.
“7900 owed after I take this beautiful axe.” He started laughing.
“But….I…..” Scotty was hyperventilating.
“No Buts please. Just gold. I have something to motivate you. If you will…” Fredrick waved to a fourth guard waiting just within the door to the cabin.
He came out leading Ronald outside. Ronald looked beaten and bruised he was gagged and was bound by the wrists behind his back.
Scotty felt a surge of anger give him the energy he needed to speak
“What have you done? Issiah was no one. He had nothing to do with our cabin or Farna tax and Ronald he’s an old man. Let him go. Take me instead to your lord.”
Scotty stood up and placed his hand on the hilt of the axe again.
“I am afraid your options are limited. You pay me the money now or the old man dies and I burn your cabin to the ground and lock you up for the remainder of your natural life.” The four men started laughing away which set the dogs off barking again.
Scotty looked over at the old man. He looked scared, helpless.
I don’t know what to do old man.
Scotty knew they didn’t have the money.
Could I take all these men myself? They have swords and dogs. I might be able to but they look trained.
“I wouldn’t do anything stupid. As you can see, you are not in a very good position are you?” Sir Fredrick unsheathed his sword.
Scotty thought fast.
“Okay I have the gold it’s in the workshop.” Sir Fredrick walked towards Ronald and guard holding him he said.
“Go with him and get the gold.” As they made the exchange Scotty took his chance. He gripped Ronald’s Radiance and hurled it above his head whilst he launched his attack towards Sir Fredrick.
Quickly Fredrick raised a palm towards the incoming attack from Scotty. A red ball of energy accumulated and exploded towards him.
In mid-air the fireball struck knocking him off course. It set his clothes on fire and started to burn his flesh. The smell of burning hair was perfumed the air as he desperately rolled around the floor putting out the flames.
He can use will magic….
Two of the guards approached him swords raised.
Scotty now bare-chested swung the axe across the midsection of the first cutting him in two instantly. Blood exploding all over his face and chest. The other men slashed the sword across Scotty’s back causing him to drop to the floor in pain and scream out.
He tripped the man who was stood behind him as the third man approached. Scotty planted to axe into the mans head before he had a chance to launch an attack. He pivoted on the spot and with all his weight stamped on the third mans head instantaneously crushing it.
“This was the wrong decision Young Man.” Sir Fredrick unsheathed his sword and slashed the Achilles tendons of Ronald.
“NOOOOOOOO!” Scotty screamed.
Time felt like it was slowing down. The old man dropped to his knees and looked at Scotty.
“Any last words? Old man.” Sir Fredrick said taking the gag off the old man.
Scotty was too far away.
I am helpless.
Ronald smiled at Scotty with that warm fatherly smile like he had always done. Then he said one word.
With that a huge ball of flames covered the old man coming from sir Fredrick's raised palms. The intensity of the flames charred the old man’s body quickly to a blacked heap
With Ronald’s remains still burning sir Fredrick shouted across the yard to Scotty.
“I hope you like being eaten by dogs.” He let the four dogs off the chain. They all headed towards him barking.
2.3.4) THE HIDEREdit
The cave was dark and cool. Its walls shielded the sounds of the forest making the small cavern silent and calm. So silent that he could hear his thoughts loud and clear torturing him, teasing him.
Why didn’t you?......you needed to react quicker……if you had only…
The thoughts made his stomach cramp. It felt like he was being stabbed repeatedly with a shard of glass. He turned on his side frustrated. The hard rock that Scotty laid upon was uncomfortable.
He needed the pain though. He needed something to remind him he was still here, still alive, something to breathe life back into his still numb body.
He didn’t know if he had being lying in the cave for days or for hours. Every time he opened his eyes he felt the tears of sadness, the tears of failure run down his cheeks.
I should just keep them closed. Hope for death to take me. I’m just a coward hiding.
He kept replaying the scene in his minds eye. The old man dropping to his knees after he had being cut by Sir Fredrick. He wasn’t scared not in the end. He didn’t show any sign of fear in his face, he had accepted his fate. The smile he gave to Scotty before he was burned was the same one he had when Scotty had said he was going to ask Emily to marry him.
Full of pride…full of love.
The old man deserved better, deserved the opportunity to be a grandfather. It was all taken away from him by Sir Fredrick. Scotty squeezed his hands tight with anger. He noticed how weak he felt. He let out a frustrated breath.
“He took it away from him…he took it AWAY!” Scotty yelled into the empty darkness of the cave. The echo of his words vibrating around the room.
He closed his eyes tight and hoped he could will the energy to get up. Suddenly there was a change in the air. Something he could feel but wasn’t truly there. Something he knew was present but couldn’t see.
A familiar voice reached out to him from beyond the Darkness.
“It wasn’t just Sir Fredrick who took it away from him boy…He was simply a pawn.”
Scotty at first didn’t know what to do or say. He reached about frantically in front of him feeling for his axe he knew he had dumped close by.
“You cannot harm me boy.” The voice came again. This time he recognized who it belonged to.
Scotty sat up and pushed himself backwards until he was sat against one of the walls in the cavern.
He stared into the darkness.
“I recognise your voice? You are the woman…the woman who gave me the box. Do I use it now? Is now the time?” He said hoping that the box could do something for him in this situation.
“No. The box will not help you now.” The distant voice said.
Scotty pulled his knees up to his chest and wrapped them with his arms. He placed his face on his knees and uncontrollably started to cry with disappointment.
“YOU WILL NOT ALLOW THIS MAN TO DO THIS TO YOU.” Came the voice only this time now it had a thickness to it, a harsh aggressiveness.
“I can’t…I am not strong enough I can’t…” the giant man sat there still in tears. Like a little boy. Like he did all those years ago.
“Sir Fredrick was sent by your uncle Lord Marcus. Sir Fredrick is an exiled Hero from the guild. Your uncle knighted him and he now stands beside the lord as they continue to abuse the people in and around your home town of Farna….you have Hidden for long enough. Now STAND UP!”
Scotty felt weaker. He couldn’t do anything about Sir Fredrick or his Uncle. They were too strong.
“YOU WILL STAND NOW.”
When she spoke the word now. A vision hit him like a ton of bricks, before he knew it he was back in the castle by the fireplace. His birth mother and father stood by the fire holding hands. In the chair next to them sat Ronald Flowerman staring at Scotty.
“You need to stop these men. Their evil flames need to be put out. You can do it. One step at a time.” Ronald looked at Scotty’s birthparents.
“Do it for me son…Do it FOR THEM.”
“Kill the bastard.”
Like a hard slap in the face Scotty was suddenly out of the vision and back in the cave. He felt the energy surge through his legs. He sprang up.
“GOOD…you need to train…You need to become what you are destined to become…only then will you be powerful enough to seek your revenge. It may take months it may take years…But YOU WILL become a hero.”
“A Hero? Me?” Scotty said grabbing the axe easily with the return of his strength.
“You will go to the heroes guild. I have already made the arrangements. You will seek the guildmaster.” The voice had returned to its normal soft tone.
“Okay I will. I will do it for them…FOR THEM!” His sadness had being replaced by anger. He wanted to seek revenge, he wanted to see these men in pain, the way in which they pained his family. He wanted to destroy them.
“Thank you. I will join the guild. I will train. I will make all this right.”
“I know you will…..Kingsley Scott….Rightful Lord or Farna” Were the last words heard as the cave become quiet.
Scotty turned towards the entrance and burst out of the cave. The light of the sun burned his eyes making him squint.
“Bloody Hell! Where the heck did you come from? Are you going to kill me with that huge axe?” come the voice of a small petrified man covered in tattoos travelling along the walkway by the cave. He dropped to his knees
“Please I don’t have any gold. I’m a travelling trader that’s all. Please don’t.” He was begging Scotty.
Scotty patted him on the shoulder.
“I am sorry. I mean you no harm.” He forced a reassuring smile.
The scarred little man looked relived.
“Your not a bandit? You’re not going to use that axe on me?”
“No. I am sorry again.” Scotty replied.
“Well if you’re not a bandit then you are a customer! Would you like a tattoo?”
“No no thank you anyway.”
The small man smiled and looked at Scotty in the eyes like he knew something that Scotty didn’t.
“Get a tattoo…..They serve as good reminders….Keep you focused on your goals…..Do you know what I mean….?”
The man winked at Scotty with those words. He realized that it seemed incredibly convenient that this man was here at the exact point he emerged from the cave. Especially since this was a particularly quiet walkway.
“Okay…Then.” Scotty said going with the flow.
“I would suggest on your chest. The ladies love a tattoo on the chest.” He said setting up his little ink sets and pulling out what looked like rusty needle.
“Okay.” Scotty was interested to see what the weird little man was going to suggest next he sat down on the mans little tattooing stool.
“Some words I think….would be best.” He nodded at Scotty waiting for him to nod back in acceptance.
“I heard you shout something in the cave before you emerged. Give me 60 minutes and I’ll have it done for you in no time.”
Scotty allowed the man to tattoo his chest. The pain of the scraping needle reminded him what he needed to do.
Go to the guild become a hero.
“So the axe….what did you call it?” the tattooed man said making conversation.
Scotty stayed quiet thinking. His sadness and anger bubbling away inside. He didn’t want to talk about it but then the words just came out
“The axe is called Ronald’s Revenge” he said with absolute certainty.
“Wow sounds dangerous.” The man started giggling.
“It will be to some.” Scotty straight faced.
“Okay all done big man. Here have a look.” The tattooed man held up an old mirror so that Scotty could see the tattoo on his chest.
It was an empty heart shape like the heart from a suit of cards. Inside the black inked heart were two words scraped deep into his skin saying “FOR THEM”.
A shiver ran up Scotty’s back. He would have started crying again if it wasn’t for the anger. He knew why the woman had arranged for this man to do this for him, to keep him focused, to always remind him of his mission.
“Thank you Sir. This will help more then you can imagine.” He stood up
“Which way to Bowerstone?” Scotty looked left and right.
“It’s that way south.” The little man said.
Scotty nodded again and started walking south
“Hey boy?” the man shouted.
Scotty stopped and turned around.
“I didn’t catch your name?”
In his minds eye Scotty saw Ronald kneeling saying his final word and finally knew why he said it.
I won’t hide anymore old man….
“My name is Kingsley Scott.”
He turned back on the road and headed towards his destiny.