This is not the end of the story, nor is it the beginning. The end is far in the future, and the beginning is deep in the pass. Some believe all is a circle, with no beginning or ending. However all stories need a start, and this one starts in a hammock. A lazy warm day with a light southerly breeze, not unlike yesterday, but, different. The sky is mostly clear with smallish white clouds, similar to yesterday, but, different. Lying in my hammock, like every day, something subconscious tells me, things are … well, different.
I put down my book and concentrate. What is bothering me? I relax and feel the local environment, close my eyes and listen. What has changed? Nothing registers, no ah-that-is-it moment occurs, all seems the same, just … different. It is only slightly different but troubling.
I connect my portable electronic device to the local Wi-Fi hotspot. I check newsfeeds and social media, finding war, famine, earthquakes, tidal waves, politicians shouting, and kitties with laser eyes. There is nothing out of the ordinary today, just the usual events.
I sit up in my hammock. Swing my feet out, then slide onto the sand. The sand is hot, too hot, my hammock is in the shade, and this sand should be cool. The sand starts to burn the soles of my feet so I run into the sea, the water is hot, too hot, much too hot. I have found what is different.
Running across the beach will be painful, but I must seek safety. I steel my mind to ignore the pain, and then run like some fire walker across glowing coals, reaching the relative safety of a Mexican palapa. Suddenly the sand starts undulating in great waves, driving boulders into people and buildings. My refuge under the palapa will be destroyed in seconds. I have to move, now. With a great leap I soar to the mangrove, then quickly spinning I watch the horror back on the beach. I struggle for understanding, suddenly the knowing is in me, and I know what is needed, and I know that only I can do what must be done. I carry responsibility heavier than the weight of a mountain, the prophecies must be fulfilled.
A bone chilling screech comes from the sky. Looking up I see the dragon, mounted by the Master of Demons, the Lord of Darkness, he has come to claim the souls of all mortal men. He holds his hands out, spreading his fingers, from each finger tip cracks spread across the sky, cracks in space and time itself. Anyone touching a crack is elongated, stretched, disappearing into nothingness.
Poncho Villa, one of my most trusted companions, brings my battle sword, the fabled sword of Damocles, a sword wrought by Merlin in the time of the great Magicians. I quickly scabbard the sword to my waist. My memory of the sword’s acquisition, the memory of prophecy foretold and prophecy fulfilled, these memories give me hope of survival. Merlin had created the Sword of Damocles for the Final Battle, and then he had driven it to the hilt deep into solid granite atop Mount Doom. Prophecy had declared only the Defender of Light and Truth would be able to pull it free. For a thousand years none were successful, when I had grasp the handle it came free, with no more effort that lifting a table spoon, the Sword of Damocles was mine. The Sword and I share a fate, a destiny; we are both tools for the Last Battle. The divination of Seer Nostradamus hinted that the great sword owned me more than I owed it, indeed, for none could own the Sword of Damocles.
Trigger, my flying horse, is now brought forward by Poncho Villa. Pushing all memories from my mind I bound into Trigger’s saddle, take the sword in hand and focus on my nemesis, the Lord of Darkness. Trigger is smaller than the Dragon, much smaller, but Trigger was also smarter than the dragon, and far faster. My battle plan is simple, be fast, be smart, hit hard. Trigger’s powerful wings stroke quickly, bringing me level with the Lord of Darkness. I stare into the dark, empty sockets that should have been his eyes. I cry out in the ancient warrior tongue.
“CARPE DEIUM. VENI, VIDI, VICI!”
Suddenly, something shook me, some unseen force grasping my shoulder, demanding my attention. I look up and …. My wife is standing over me?
“Wake up! Your snoring is bothering the other quest!” She almost shouts.
I blind my eyes, look around me, and shake my head slightly. “Huh --- What --- Where?”
One elderly, sun burned lady is applauding my wife while nodding her head in agreement.
I really need to cut back on some of those fantasy novels. I think to myself.