Friday, June 23, 2017

The Third Raven

The Third Raven
Bobby Derie

In the shadow of the dragon, a fire burned. The squire warmed his hands before the coals that had once been a soldier - perhaps a friend.

The third raven settled itself next to him.

"The battle is over," it croaked. "The battle's won."

The squire nodded, staring at the skull amid the coals as it blackened and fell in on itself.

"The new king is to be crowned," the raven croaked "The new queen to be wed. The gods smile on them; the heavens are in accord once more."

"I killed the dragon," the squire said.

"Yes," the bird croaked.

"I saved the girl that would be queen. I saved the boy that would be king. I found the sword that slew the dark lord. I was their dagger in the dark, all the months of this campaign."

"You will not be remembered," the raven stared him in the eye. "No bard knows your name. No destiny is written for you. No god smiles on you."

The squire smiled at that. "The gods smile little, I think. Not at the shit-covered peasant in the field, or the woman who dies in childbirth, or the beast who feeds the army in the field. Does the antlion think of the aphid, that nourishes his prey? Does the bee consider the earthworm that works at the flower's root? A pox on all those bastards. Let me be forgotten."


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