The Animate (Part 1)
"I was standing on the battlement looking down on a writhing mass of movement. Catapults launched volley after volley into the oncoming army to no avail. The gaps they created just kept filling in. It was like standing above an ant hill watching the little scurrying bugs devour an invader with out a second thought. I knew we had no hope of survival."
"Were you scared grandpa?"
"Yes, I was." he said
"Then what happened?"
"I did the only thing I could, I waited."
"But... why didn't you fight them?"
"What good could one man do against a whole army?"
"But you could squish them all!"
He smiled "Thank you for your vote of confidence."
She grinned up at him.
"Where was I? Oh yes, so I was waiting for them to breach the wall. All I could do was be ready for when they broke in. With my hammer ready, I watched as they started smashing the draw-bridge. Our defenses dropped stones and fire on the unyeilding things below. Again just after the advancing things were smashed and burned away, more just took their place.
Then finally they broke open our draw-bridge. They had breached the outer wall. I hurried in and blocked the way to the inner courtyard with my company. It was the first time I had seen an animate up close."
"Were you scared?"
He chuckled, "No, this time I was not."
Her eyes grew wide. "Really?!"
"You see," He said, by this point I was sure we were all going to die. I had accepted death. I had never felt so peacefully certain of my fate."
"I'm sure it seems weird, but it makes perfect sense once you've been there."
"I don't get it."
"Don't worry about it, one day you will understand."
"Then what happened?" She was leaning forward on her hands.
"Then I fought. I decided then that I would destroy every animate I could before I died. Because if I stopped enough of them, maybe someone real would survive and that would be enough."
"Time for bed honey." Her mom said.
"But Grandpa is telling me a story!"
"And he can tell you more; tomorrow night."
"Sleep well, I love you." He said.
“Never argue with your mother.”
“I love you. Goodnight." She said walking to her bedroom.
“Good night sweetie.”
“Dad, I really wish you wouldn’t tell her these stories.”
“I know honey, I just have this feeling she needs to know the whole story.” He was facing the wall next to his daughter but obviously seeing something else, “And I am not sure how much more time I have.” He said quietly.
“Dad, you’re not that-”
“I know. It’s not that I think I am old and falling apart. I just have this feeling I can’t shake. It’s like when I was standing on the battlements watching the sea of death march toward us.” He looked her in the eyes. “I just want her to be as ready as I can help her be.”
“I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
“Yes it will. And I am leaving as little of that to chance as possible.”
Part 2 coming soon.