Trifecta: Letting Go

The boy was quiet when he told them.  His chin was held determinedly high over the brand new Church soldier’s uniform, and his face was a mixture of resolve and apology for the shock he was giving them.

It was almost enough to make the old man laugh despite it all.  They had been headed here all the boy’s life.  Longer — ever since the moment his daughter had led an Eastern mercenary in the door.  He might never forgive Dyan for marrying Ellin then dying on that pointless campaign, but he’d seen that coming the way he’d seen this coming.  Inevitable.  It had been in every line of the boy from the time he was six, an uncanny anticipation of the soldier now before him.

He had hoped, briefly, that Dyan’s death might have turned the boy’s path, but the last few years?  It had been obvious.

“At least you won’t be fighting any damn wars abroad.”  He could see that wasn’t the response the boy had expected, and was forced to turn a complicated rush of love and exasperation into gruffness.  “You’ll be sleeping in the barracks?  Take one of the Heid wool blankets; it gets windy up the hill.”  They were the warmest thing they had.

The boy’s eyes flashed to his, startled, and his mouth opened, and then closed again.  “Thanks, gramp.”  He’d waved it off and sent the boy to pack.

A touch on his shoulder drew his eyes away from the fire.  Ellin was holding out a cup of tea.  He shook his head, but took the cup.  “He’ll be fine.”  A rush of warmth and sweet scent enveloped him as she threw her arms around his shoulders and kissed his cheek.

“I’m sure he will.”

“He’ll make more money that way than he ever will as a weaver.”  The gods knew that was the truth.

“Father!”  Her voice was full of laughter.  Hiding a smile, he turned back to the fire, and listened to it crackle.

 

Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge!  This week called for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word ANTICIPATION (noun):

1 a : a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action
   b : the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation
2 : the use of money before it is available
In honor of Cy being out of the moving boxes, this week returns to his story.  If you’re interested in seeing other episodes in his life, take a look at The Saber, Escape, and The Wanderer (about Dyan).  Thanks for reading! 
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  1. kgwaite says:

    I like the description of turning the love into gruffness. This was a nice read.

  2. JannaTWrites says:

    Nice story! I really like their interaction, and the bit of humor, at the end. It lightened the mood a bit 🙂

  3. Tara R. says:

    A wonderful dynamic between the grandson and grandfather. Nicely played.

  4. stephanie says:

    This is beautiful. Nice writing, wonderfully evocative.

  5. Love the sentence in which you use anticipation – excellent!

    The shift from first to second paragraph is confusing, though. You start off using “he” in reference to the boy, but in the second paragraph “he” is someone else. It reads as if the daughter were the boy’s.

  6. Draug (@Draug419) says:

    The offer of the blanket is so touching. (: I love this piece.

  7. Paula J says:

    A mixture of resolve and apology. That is excellent.

  8. Michael says:

    Oh, I was hoping to hear more about Cy’s story. This was very poignant.

  9. Annabelle says:

    Thanks, all! I’m glad to be returning to him.

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