Story for the Day: A Father's Death
A moment from book 1:
The farmsteads of Tyferrim, Frewyn’s countryside, were known to be graced with a splendid beauty once the warmth of summer came to the kingdom. The stone hedgerows and abundance of crops framed the prospect of verdant downs, lush fields and tall grasses. Wild flowers bloomed between the boundaries of the varying properties, livestock who had worked hard throughout the winter were let to pasture, and the country landscape bore a distinctive blithe air, accompanied by the sights of young children playing in the unbound hay bales and the scent of trees rising to meet their highest glory. The brilliancy of the sun and the felicitousness of the day was all the commander’s alleviation.
Although poverty had struck Frewyn’s countryside due to the tithes and taxes of King Allande, the land itself had taken no notice. There was everything to contradict the privations of its people, and though the commander and her father had spent numerous years under the sting of hard labour with little return, the surroundings of the farm every morning together with her father’s optimistic temper had made the situation seem a mere temporary state. The fine prospect of Tyferrim gave the commander hope that they would rally again until one morning, when turning back to gauge her father from her place in the fields, she saw the hilt of a blade protruding from his back. The sight moved her to instantly rush toward him.
“Boudicca!” her father shouted.
She hastened toward him, but was not in time to save him from being stabbed with another Galleisian blade. She watched in horror as her father, the noblest creature in Tyferrim, was cut down. He felt to his knees but struggled to stand, reaching out to her. She ran toward him only to repelled by his desperate warning.
“Boudicca, run! Find help!”
She would not listen. She would go to him, she would help him, but the closer she drew the more she was able to see their land being flooded by Galleisian marauders, come to find supplies and kill those who would report their presence. She grabbed a rake from the shed beside her and was poised for attack when her father’s call came again.
“Run, Bou! Run to town!” He was being stabbed through and yet he still found the strength to project his voice to her. He waved her on, but she would not go.
She raised her rake, prepared to strike the Galleisian at her father’s back.
She witnessed her father’s desperate movements, urging her to leave the farm.
She swallowed to find her breath again and closed her eyes.
She opened her eyes and was prepared to obey her father’s last order when the vision of him was gone. She had awakened to find the image of her father’s annihilation little more than the conjurations of a fever. She inhaled and with the exhalation felt the unwelcoming sensation of warm tears fall from her eyes. It was a cruel deception of her unconscious imagination to make her relive her father’s last moments but one even crueler to find she had awaken unable to move.