Forward : this piece was intended to be a poem , but it evolved more into a short ( one man) play scene. I imagine the characters voice as raspy and full of bitterness and anger .
A young man that fights for a cause starts off as an idealist , full of fire , faith and passion , but with time and age becomes a warrior full of loss , pain , anger and grim determination ….
The old man sits alone at the heavy oak table , clutching a mug of beer .Staring into the middle distance his face showing the scars of years of toil and battle .
” Do you remember that boy , the fight, the fire , the bravado of facing down the enemy with a hearty mocking laugh ?”
“Well just you think on that young fool for this is what we become”!
“We fought for a taste of glory , the smell of victory , well let me tell you the smell of battle boy , it reeks of fear , piss and shit , the putrid decay of our fallen brothers in arms , that we could not help or save “.
“Whats that you say ?” “Ha ha you speak of the energy and vigour of our youth “. ” So tired we are now boy ….. old , worn out , been fighting for so long so many years of blood and death , our bones ache at the thought of lifting this ancient nicked blade , but done us right it has , kept us alive and done its work on a good deal of brave men”.
“As for the spoils of war they promised , pretty women , fortunes in gold “… “Huh well here’s our rewards , a mug of stale beer thats not fit for pigs , our face now so worn , so scared … pretty women dare not look at it , small children wake in the night with the terrors of it …. No , no love nor good life have we had for our labors “.
“I’ll tell you them that profits out of war boy , the maggots and worms that feast on your flesh and the crows that pick your bones clean”.
“Yeah sure we had our victories back then , but what was it worth ? , our biggest victory now is to see one more sunrise , or live till one more sunset, while the young fools die on swords in droves , so you can keep your ideals , your passion and your fire, who needs em brought us naught but pain in the end .”
“Go now go, go on home boy be a farmer, if you want to smell of piss and shit at the end of the day , at least let it be of the type that brings life to the land”.
“Tired now , so tired”. The old man takes a last gulp of his beer , a burning fire sparks in his pale eyes , a single tear rolls down his cheek zig zagging , between the scars .
He slumps forward ” Peace at last boy , peace at lassst ” the final syllables stretch out as he releases his final breath .
Picture credit Albrecht Durer Knight, Death and Devil .