Friday, April 13, 2018

From the Memories of Callidus Igni

You never forget your first.

I liked it when it was just me against the world. That was my favorite way to play.

Callidus stood warily among the trees. He thought quietly to himself, as if he were concerned even his innermost thoughts could disturb the world around him. He pulled the hood of his cloak higher over his head, pulled his head deeper into the shadows of the hood, and waited.

His task was simple: none shall pass.

Footsteps drew nearer to his position, and he closed his eyes. He separated the sounds of the wind through the branches, the rodents scurrying about, and the passage of those who didn't know these woods.

Callidus didn't know these woods himself, either, but he knew of woods. He knew of the peace and serenity they offered if you knew just how to ask. He knew of the ways to find passage through the underbrush when it seemed the most impassible. He knew that if he listened and were patient, he would come to know these woods too, just as he had the one back home, so many miles and memories distant.

But these approaching footsteps knew none of that. They broke their own trail, and in doing so, gave away their position to those who knew how to listen.

Callidus knew how to listen.

Even with his eyes closed, he knew when they spotted him, standing with his back to a tree, still and quiet. They crept closer, curious. That was a mistake, but hardly their first.

Callidus smiled and opened his eyes.


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