The Dreams of Swords

October 19, 2007

Before him shone a silver sword, inscribed with runes of gold.

It was a thing of beauty and wonder, and surely the most magical thing he had seen in all his life.

It didn’t belong in his living room, and he certainly didn’t have the slightest idea how it got there.

Adam Steven Strange was nothing of the kind – despite his name, he was just a regular guy. He ran a midtown delicatessen that reliably got good reviews – if not great ones – in the local papers. He enjoyed watching television, and had eight different shows he made sure to watch (or record) every week, and a dozen more he watched when the opportunity arose. He was divorced, and his ex-wife lived two states away with their daughter, whom he regularly visited every other weekend. He was currently seeing Julia, a pleasant and practical widow who ran the bakery across the street from where he worked.

At thirty-six, he had a comfortable life, if not the one he had envisioned for himself. He had a good job, a reliable car, and a nice house.

Which currently had a fancy sword in the living room.

The sword did not appear to be embedded in the hardwood floor, and while he was grateful for this, he was left bewildered as to how it was held in place – it stood straight up from the ground, somehow balanced perfectly on its gleaming, immaculately sharp tip.

Adam looked around. He heard no one else in the house. He saw no explanation for the sword’s presence. He looked back at the sword, biting his lower lip, and then reached out to touch it…

and a vision surged forth upon his mind, of a land of winged warriors battling in a storm-filled sky, fighting to defend/destroy the majestic marble castles that floated through the air on cloud banks now buffeted by the storms, assailed by massive flying birds with rainbow plumes and uncanny, ageless eyes

Adam staggered backwards, managing to break contact. The vision still danced in his eyes, seared into his vision as though he had stared into the face of the sun. The sword offered him a world of adventure. A hero’s quest, to save a land of magic and fantastic things. It was an honor none other on the planet had been granted, an opportunity to enter a world of hopes and dreams.

It was something Adam wanted not the slightest thing to do with.

Ever so carefully he stepped over to the fireplace, and drew out a solid iron poker from it’s place against the wall. With a swift smack he hit the sword – and it tumbled to the ground, clattering in a manner that entirely obeyed the laws of physics, much to his relief. With the poker, he pushed at the sword, sliding it across the ground – wincing at the sight of the marks it left on the floor – and eventually he shoved it under the couch.

Far under the couch.

Where, hopefully, it could keep its damn dreams to itself.

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