Steel – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of short fiction – another continuation of The Dark – and Footsteps, and The Discovery

Here Sue’s photo for this week.



By Scott Bailey © 2018



The water leapt into the air, droplets glinting in the sunlight.

The man watched – was it magic he saw shining there? Was it the blessing he sought?

The water settled quickly and somewhat disappointingly. Through the shimmering ripples, he could see his heavy chain shifting, sinking slowly into the mud.

He sighed. He would miss it. It had been in his family for many generations. It has served them all well.

He had not wanted to part with it.

But he was desperate and the gods needed an offering.

So he had cast it into the holy pool.

He would miss it, but he had nothing else to offer.

Maybe, just maybe the fact that it meant so much to him, that this was a real sacrifice, would be enough.

He watched as the water became calm once more. Ruffled only by the breeze and the slow current of the stream that fed it. Waiting for a sign.

Nothing happened.

He looked up at the druid. The man studied the pool for a few minutes more than shook his head.

Nothing! What a damned waste. He started to turn away in disgust. As he did something glinted. A flash from deep in the pool, in the heart of the coils made by his sunken chain.

There was something there!

He glanced up at the druid for guidance. This was a holy pool, here offering were made – not given back.

But the druid seemed as surprised as he, and excited. He motioned towards the pool.

That was enough, he stepped into the water, thrust his arms between the chain coils and gently cleared away the mud.

It was soon very clear what he had found. It was a sword, not broken, so not an offering that had been cast here. It was whole and as he lifted it from the water it shone. It was clean and undamaged. It might have only been placed here yesterday.

It was of a strange colour. A golden hilt and pommel, but the blade was reddish gold. Like nothing he had ever seen.

He passed it to the druid who wiped it dry on his robe and studied the blade for a long while.

Finally, he spoke.

“The gods have given. This gift is for you. You have been answered.”

“Answered? How?” he replied. How would a sword help him? He knew nothing of fighting – he was not a warrior.

“That will be revealed in time,” muttered the druid. “Maybe they will come to guide you.”

He pointed to the engraving on the blade.

There, he could see two figures. A woman and a man. A man with no eyes.