Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tattered

by John Xero


He stands in my backyard, watching. His tartan is tattered and old, both the material and the plaid – no clan even remembers that pattern these days.

Smeared, blue whorls still stain his skin: worn-out war paint. This warrior has forgotten the fight he fought, centuries ago. Now he just prowls my garden, lost.

He does not bother us. By daylight I can tend to the plants, relax, read. But he returns with the stars, holding his inscrutable vigil. The night is his.

His tartan is tattered and old, like his flesh, like his memories, like autumn clouds passing the moon.




Author bio: John Xero is the editor at 101 Fiction.
He blogs at the Xeroverse and tweets as @xeroverse

14 comments:

  1. For about a decade I was hooked on Nigel Tranter and John Prebble - this has lovely echoes of the residues of Scottish history. Haunting.

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  2. Nice! I especially like the repeat in the last line of "His tartan is tattered and old,' very poignant...

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  3. Top job. Sad and haunting. I feel sorry for the lost warrior.

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    1. Thank you, Pete. That's pretty much exactly what I was going for. =)

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  4. I don't know why, but Scottish warriors always seem more threatening to me than others, and Scottish ghosts more eerie.

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    1. Some fear seated deep in our English genes of looking North and seeing fog-wreathed Picts screaming down the hills towards us, maybe? ;)

      Although being part-Scottish I should probably be afraid of myself then...

      Thanks, Steve. =)

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  5. Lovely description of a ghost. I especially like the way you describe his "worn out war paint."

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  6. A poignant tale. I always enjoy reading your work. I thought you might be interested in a 150 challenge being run by globalwriters.net. Joining the group is free, as is the challenge which is in any genre you like as long as the genre is obvious.

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    1. Thanks, Gayle, I'll check it out. =)

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  7. What happens when you need to let the dogs out?

    But seriously, great job.

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    1. Even the dogs have more sense than to go out the back at night...

      Thank you, Jack. =)

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