Friday, 25 March 2011

Trying Another Tack

Coming of Age

“Hal - look what your Father has brought for you! Come out here, you wastrel"

"But Mother, I've been up since dawn !" laughed the boy as he pulled back the entry curtain and joined Marta where she stood by their Fire Stones.
"And who carried that great load of kindling for you, ready for The Great Feasting we've been looking forward to for days? Did you see anyone else staggering under their load?"

But his wide smile soon turned to a serious stare as he saw what was fastened on a nearby sapling. "Goodness, just look at that shield! Do you mean it will really be mine after the Initiation Ceremony?"

"Indeed it will, though you won't be wielding it in battle for a good many years yet, my son. Twelve summers are not enough for such a trial! The Warrior Brotherhood must teach you all their skills before your life, and maybe ours, will truly be within your hands."

Hearing this, he bent closer to the shield and ran his fingers over the intricately carved surface.

“Oh! Look at the details... They are the most wonderful I’ve ever seen – they’re sending a tingling feeling all up my arm as I touch them."

"The Carver was paid many pelts to make you this shield. He told your Father the metal studs took days to perfect, let alone the boss... and the design he created especially is meant to ward off evil spirits.  No wonder you can sense its power!"

A sudden gust of wind whipped his blonde hair into his eyes, making them sting until he almost thought he could feel tears beginning... His cloak was flapping around his bare legs like a banner, tugging at the silver clasp fastened on his shoulder.

“Mother, I never thanked you for this cloak and clasp you left by my bed.  It must have taken many moons for you and my sisters to spin and weave enough wool. It’s so thick and warm – come, let me show youu !”  And he whirled its folds around his mother, as he hugged her.

“Enough of your silliness! Get you gone and help your Father and the others with the livestock. It’s going to be a very busy day…”

“Yes Mother right away Mother.” He gave a mock salute and ran to join the men. Today, he would be welcomed as one of them.                                                    


  1. They were both so good, but I really liked the dialogue version - it brought the life!

  2. check out the "not a list" just for you :-)

  3. The dialogue has more immediacy but the vignette is more descriptive. I think a good short story mixes them together.

  4. Even better. This one is an exceptionally clever take on prompt.

  5. You certainly excelled with this version of your story Penny. Good work - Dave

  6. Your blog is interesting, has left a great impression.
    Best wishes

  7. I want to leave a whole set of whiskers of appreciation because I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully imaginative piece. Thank you.

  8. This was very touching...the coming of manhood! It's nice to see the that this young warrior takes time to acknowledge his mother!

    Mine is at:

  9. Hi Jinksy ,you are a fabulous writer and its a wonderful Magpie about the shield

    About, the Rondel comment :You can link since the theme is open and the only thing is it should be a Rondel..I never consider anything cheeky since it's all about sharing and motivating :)

  10. Nice. Your muse was extra busy this week, Jinks!

  11. LOL! Loved the story and the images to go with it :O)

  12. Good story, Jinksy, but knowing what some manhood initiation rituals consist of, I wonder if his day will remain as happy?

  13. yes, I see what you mean.
    Sadly, I saw none of them when I was up in the hills by the stones.

    Two replies to Willow's prompt! Busy lady.


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