a thousand years ago a fort once stood just out side of town, marina couldn't fathom it, a fort a thousand years old. she had come to visit her grand mother and was on her way to do the marketing. she passed the old hill where the fort was ment to have stood and decided to visit it on her return.
Carrying a basket full of carrots a bottle of milk and the asprin that gran just had to have; she decided to climb the hill. At the very top was a tumble of old stones and the remains of a wall. it seemed oddly free of weeds.
she walked about it for a moment the frowned, something had moved just a few feet away from where a large brass ring stuck out from a granet block. she cautiously moved closer and shook her head when she identified a young boy holding onto the ring with one hand and doodling in the dirt with the other. she walked up to the boy and smiled warmly.
"hi my name's Marina, what are you doing?" the boy looked up startled and got a firmer grip on the ring. this time with both hands.
"'m doin me duty ma'am." he said grufly trying to sound older than he looked.
"really and what could that be?" she asked still smiling but curious.
"that, what me pa's pa's pa's pa's, and so on back as far as family records, was told to do by his commanding offser." he said pompously. "if you don't mind i'm a gonna go back ta doin it." Marina's eyebrows rose and she shrugged. it was a game he was deturmind to play it seemed, well she was going to leave him to it then.
"well then i'll leave you to it." she said and walked down the hill back to her grandmothers, she could explore the ruin tomorrow.
the next day she climbed the hill and stopped short in surprise. where the boy had sat a young man now sat, chewing on a peice of straw. He looked up in surprise as she approached and he frowned.
"Eh! what you be wanting?" he demanded managing to looke threatening while he squatted with one hand on the ring and the other on the straw.
"opps, sorry i though it would be nice to investigate the fort." she said defensively. he had no cause for rudness, even if he was just sittng there. "what are you doing?" she asked refusing to be intimidated.
"i'm doing my duty, so you be off." he yelled at her, she took two steps backwards and frowned. well that was unfriendly and totaly uncalled for. she gleared at him "well no need to be rude then, i was only being polite." she stormed off deturmined to talk to her grandmother about the whole incodent. as it was she had to wait till she got back from town and by then she was deeply engrosed in a book and completely forgot about it.
The next day she remebered,just as her gran was driving off of course and decided to take a picknic lunch up there and explore weather or not someone yelled at her.
She made it to the top in moments and almost tripped over the old man that was hunched against the ring and the stone.
"oh i do appologise i didn't see you there." she said surprised.
"no problem girl, at my age ye do tend to blend into the background a bit." he gave a rattling sigh and scratched his head. "are ya the girl whom me grand child insulted yesterday?" he asked conversationably. Marina smiled and sat down beside the man.
"well yes, quite gave the fright he did." she shook her head and handed the old man half a sandwich, which he munched on contendedly.
"ach!, he has no liking for duty that boy, mind you i was the same at his age i dare say." he took a sip from a flask and profered it to marina, she politely declined.
"duty?" she prompted getting out her own sandwich.
"oh aye, you see a thousand years ago me ancestor was told by the great lord, afor he left for war and took the whole garrison with him. He was told ta hold down the fort, and nera let anything distract him from duty. So thats what my family's been doin era since." Marina closed her eyes for a moment and tryed not to laugh.
By Laurelrose on Wednesday, May 2, 2001 - 12:42 am:
FOR HEAVENS SAKE SOME ONE EMAIL ME BEFORE I GO MAD WITH JUNK EMAIL!