THE BUBBLE - SHORT STORY
The bubble slowly rose to the surface carrying all the hopes and aspirations of a planet. It was the first.
The Boy carried his wooden sword proudly. He had walked many miles away from the area of the devastation. The cities lay in ruins. All vestiges of technology were gone. Hulking wrecks that were once mighty, were now colossus collections of smashed steel and concrete. Roaming gangs like packs of rats swarmed the land, devouring stragglers and lone travellers and yet still the Boy walked proud.
Corpses, mostly human, scattered the land, filling the air with that sweet smell of putrefaction and occasionally the Boy gagged with the stench of it, but still he carried on.
They stood blocking the road. Five men, faces burnt by radiation. Clothes blackened by filth and flame. What weapons they carried were simple but effective. The boy saw a hammer, some form of club or bat, chains, a rake, even the broken remnants of a metal chair.
The threat was more a growl than language, but the Boy understood. His sword was smooth, curved and carved from white oak from another land. It shone in the evening light from its lovingly polished wood.
Its first kiss was against the temple of the leader. There was a loud crack as the bone shattered but the Boy was in the zone. Spinning away from the falling body he brought the blade down in a cut on a shoulder, the wooden sword breaking rather than cutting the collar bone. A deflection inwards caught the line of the jaw and another dropped.
A roar behind him, caused him to pivot on the loose ground. A large wrench smashed down at his head. Moving subtly the Boy drifted like smoke as the metal club crushed the empty air. Two small cuts of his blade almost like magic broke the descending arm at wrist and elbow and the wrench crashed down harmlessly hitting the ground at the same time as the edge of the Boy's sword cut through the throat, crushing the thorax with its polished wooden edge.
A detached part of the Boy's consciousness remembered his Master and the moment he had presented him with this beautiful blade that had become a part of him. A symbiotic partner that with him wove a life of love, motion and magic.
"Remember my Son, it is a sword. Whether finest folded steel or gift of the forest, the man and the blade become one.
The Boy continued on his journey. Behind him the scavengers remained, broken and quiet, and somewhere the bubble arrived at a surface, where it crossed into the emptiness and so, again, it began.
COPYRIGHT RICHARD WEALE ©2020