DEVTOME.COM HOSTING COSTS HAVE BEGUN TO EXCEED 115$ MONTHLY. THE ADMINISTRATION IS NO LONGER ABLE TO HANDLE THE COST WITHOUT ASSISTANCE DUE TO THE RISING COST. THIS HAS BEEN OCCURRING FOR ALMOST A YEAR, BUT WE HAVE BEEN HANDLING IT FROM OUR OWN POCKETS. HOWEVER, WITH LITERALLY NO DONATIONS FOR THE PAST 2+ YEARS IT HAS DEPLETED THE BUDGET IN SHORT ORDER WITH THE INCREASE IN ACTIVITY ON THE SITE IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS. OUR CPU USAGE HAS BECOME TOO HIGH TO REMAIN ON A REASONABLE COSTING PLAN THAT WE COULD MAINTAIN. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE DEVTOME PROJECT AND KEEP THE SITE UP/ALIVE PLEASE DONATE (EVEN IF ITS A SATOSHI) TO OUR DEVCOIN 1M4PCuMXvpWX6LHPkBEf3LJ2z1boZv4EQa OR OUR BTC WALLET 16eqEcqfw4zHUh2znvMcmRzGVwCn7CJLxR TO ALLOW US TO AFFORD THE HOSTING.

THE DEVCOIN AND DEVTOME PROJECTS ARE BOTH VERY IMPORTANT TO THE COMMUNITY. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO ITS FURTHER SUCCESS FOR ANOTHER 5 OR MORE YEARS!

Ethan (A Short Story)

It is midday as a young man trudges across the cobblestone street from the well in the town square, a wooden yoke weighted down with two large buckets of water slung about his neck. He gives the impression of a small, weak ox, hauling this load foolishly towards the Queen’s stables to water the cavalry’s steeds. His eyes fall frequently to the rough cobbled stones in deference to the courtiers he passes during the route with which he is now so familiar. He is a somewhat oafish youth, tall and a bit lanky as many young men are, with an unruly mop of straw-colored hair and a number of haphazardly placed freckles across a slack brow and hawk nose. Never having been a commanding sight himself, he has grown accustomed to paying homage to nearly everyone he meets. As he goes about his chores, he thinks to himself of how wonderful it would be to become a knight in the Queen’s service. Never mind that as the son of a peasant farmer, he is fortunate to even wear royal livery in the stables; as young men often do, he dreams far above his standing, naïvely believing himself to be a special case, unbound by the traditional laws of class and birth. “Why,” he thinks to himself, “to be riding about on horseback, the desire of all of the ladies, owning my own patch of land, it would be simply marvellous.” He sees no flaw with this notion. All of this, of course, takes place some time ago. The young man’s name is not important, but for the purposes of the story, we may call him Ethan. Ethan is about to see an opportunity to bring his dreams to life, through the beginning of a war of a scale never before seen in this land. And, as it is wont, war beckons young men with images of grandeur not unlike the ones which have just danced lasciviously through Ethan’s mind. Another war, and another young man. The path which Ethan is to take is obvious at this point. He takes leave of his parents and travels to the headquarters of the Queen’s Army, his belly full of fire. This is where the story begins. Ethan’s travels take him through areas of his own city hitherto unknown to him - bright clusters of homes and shops, crepuscular alleyways and brothels, and wide open throughfares. Miraculously, this green youngster arrives safely at his destination. As Ethan walks up the steps of the recruiting office he sees a grizzled old man, clad in scarlet leather and steel armor, a bright yellow lion emblazoned on his breastplate to identify him as a member of the Royal Guard. Immediately feeling his spirits soar, Ethan hurries up to the old man, taking no note of the vertical marks on the arm of the fellow’s arm indicating his rank. Ethan asks the man to whom he must speak in order to become a member of the Guard. The old man looks at him, a bemused smirk on his face. “Lad,” he said quietly, his bushy brows swinging together atop rheumy eyes, “You do not appear of noble birth. You’ve no business with the Royal Guard. You’re a stable boy, and a filthy one at that. Go get yourself cleaned up and then perhaps I can help you.” Feeling suddenly self-conscious, Ethan realizes that he has not even changed out of his stable livery, despite having traveled for nearly a day on foot across the city. Feeling foolish, he turns to walk away from the old soldier. “Wait a bit, boy! Have you an idea where it is that you go?”. Ethan’s cheeks burned again as he realized that he in fact had no idea where he was going or what he was doing. He looked down a hallway past the old man, seeing similarly dressed men and women, mostly younger. He felt his pulse race as he glimpsed one of the female soldiers of the Royal Guard, her feminine curves both hardened and accented by the metal and leather of the armor she wore, at the same time delicate and menacing. He envied these people their status, their poise, and the apparent ease with which they stroke about, not stumbling over their own feet or wandering lost, as he was doing now. “Boy?” the old warrior interrupted Ethan’s thoughts, bringing him back to the moment. “Here now - listen up. You’ll need to move quickly; you’re not the only new arrival. Go to that building over there.” Ethan’s shoulder is clapped by the old man’s heavy hand as he spins the boy to face a corner of the castle which seems to have been forgotten for ages. The old man continues: “That there is the barracks for the peasant militia, which is where you’ll be wanting to go. Understand, lad?” The old man grunted, not unkindly, in a tone that brooked no argument. Ethan was not the first young peasant to arrive here with a sparkle in his eyes, nor would he be the last. In the old man’s eyes, Ethan was like all the other young men who answered the call to arms like moths to the flame of imagined glory. The old man’s scars bore testament to the trials of battle - trials in which most of his comrades had been found wanting, perhaps for skill and perhaps for nothing more than luck. This scarecrow of a lad didn’t appear to have enough luck to warrant further thought – he’d be dead within a week, like all the other moths. The old soldier continued about his rounds as Ethan disappeared into the sparse shed reserved for militia, descending into shadows as deep as the death that awaited all too many like him.

Categories:

Short_Fiction


QR Code
QR Code ethan_short_story (generated for current page)
 

Advertise with Anonymous Ads