The sun was high in the sky when he saw them. Polished armor glowing in the afternoon
light, ceremonial capes draped from their shoulders. In a shining line of steel and steeds, they
marched through the streets. Enraptured,
the boy followed, weaving through the cheering crowds. The victory that they bathed in was
intoxicating, it made his eyes glow with delight, his mind lust for glory and
honor filled rides into battle.
And he did not see the sad knight towards the back of the
line, pulling their cart of dead.
Years later found the boy in a training yard, swinging his
practice sword at a training dummy.
Every day he rose before the sun and left after it had set. The work was hard and yet his eyes still
never lost that shine. He knew what he
wanted and he knew where he was going.
As he left every night with aching muscles and a tired
smile, he never saw the sad knight watching from the sidelines. And he most certainly never heard his
whispered wish of him not losing his naiveté while he was young.
Many days and nights passed and finally one morning found
the boy, now on the cusp of manhood kneeling and receiving his honors. He bore his new armor, unblemished, with no
history of battles to be seen. His
shoulders wreathed in a crimson red ceremonious cape. He saw it as the honor he now bore for his
kingdom, but the sad knight saw it to be the river of blood that followed his
“I bestow upon you our honor,” he tapped the boy’s right
shoulder, “Our virtue,” his left shoulder, “Wear them well. You knelt a boy, now rise a knight.”
And there were cheers and songs, mead and wine. But morning came and duty called. It called in the sound of dying screams and
cracking wood. The castle was ablaze in
roaring flames and the boy who believed he was a knight, rose with his
comrades. He drew his sword and launched
into battle, ready for the glory that he worked so hard for. But his sad comrade fought with him and felt
his heart clench. The boy was slain, his
new title shiny and barely worn.
He had risen a boy and fell a knight.