The young man behind the counter was tall and lean. His dark curly hair handed down from his mother; “God rest her soul”. With a heavy sigh, he wraps the food-stained apron around his waist. He loathed this place: the counter, the stove, the constant smell of grease. The diner and its associated debt belonged to his dead parents; their lives stolen as they returned home from a friend’s anniversary party. A drunk driver grieving the loss of a cheating girlfriend swerved into their lane killing both instantly .
There is no work at the castle. By stately decree passed from one generation to the next, festival is upon us. We give thanks to the guardian warriors who have given their lives to secure our lands from monsters. I admittedly find myself unprepared for this day. I have been busy fretting about trivial family matters. I feel ashamed at my oversight. I usually spend an entire week preparing for this momentous occasion.
My husband has been working overtime at the physician’s office. His hours are long and tiring. We are like two ships passing in the night. We haven’t spoken more than a couple of sentences to each other in weeks. I am tired and my beloved husband is exhausted. I do not offer this as an excuse for my oversight and forgetfulness. My responsibilities are my own. There is no excuse for my lack of focus.
In the ways of my ancestors, I am preparing a grand meal to feed the guardian warriors that will undoubtedly travel our road in search of respite as they return to their homes for festival. For the first time the responsibility has fallen upon my son to place our family crest upon the eaves of our home inviting those who have served gloriously to feast at our table. My husband and I felt proud as we watched our only son climb upon the roof of our home, perform the honor ritual and blow the horn for all the town to hear.
Service is by choice and a calling. It is not an occupation for the weak or timid at heart. Those that serve as guardian warriors give much of themselves and do so with honor. Our lands have remained free from monsters for more than a millennium because of their sacrifice. Life without the guardian warriors would not be pleasant.
The #serialfiction #diary The Bear Tribe Journals written by #MadieBeartri has moved to its own domain at http://madiebeartri.com