Some people believe in destiny.
They believe that their life’s story was written long before they were even born.
I believe this is almost true.
For, I believe we were also given the eraser.
A MEET WITH DESTINY:
His jaw hurt. The combination of pain and alcohol made his head spin. He could feel the blood on his chin as it dripped from his rapidly swelling lip. He lay on his hands and knees, trying to force his eyes to focus on the dirt of the street.
"If I see your face in here again, ya won't be leavin' alive."
Glancing up the steps that led to the tavern, he saw the blurry form of the large bar keeper who had just escorted him out standing in the doorway. He watched the man turn and re-entered the bar. Shaking his head once more in an attempt to clear it, he spied a small boy who was staring at him. "Wha' are you lookin' at?" he scowled.
The boy giggled—giggled!—then ran into the bar.
The boy loved this bar. It was the best entertainment short of the Grand Coliseum. As with most nights, the main room was crowded and he was soon lost in a tide of bodies. Smoke from the wall-torches filled the air with a grayish tint. It was not an unusual tavern with its bar against one wall and tables scattered throughout the room. The only two exits were its large wooden front door, and a smaller wooden door behind the bar that the boy presumed led to the kitchen. A huge pig, with an apple stuffed into its mouth, roasted over a large fireplace set in the center of the common room. The fire's flames, as well as most of its smoke, licked up a chimney that rose to the ceiling, then out into the chilly, early autumn evening. Murmurs and mumbling could be heard from the occupants of the bar. But, even if he strained to listen, he could never quite make out what was being said. And that was the way they liked it. Foxferds' was not the most reputable of bars. Most of its patron's conversations were those of dirty deeds or of plans for dirty deeds. Had his mama discovered that this was his normal hanging spot a few nights a week, she would have tanned his hide for sure!
He had just squeezed into his favorite shadowy corner when all of a sudden, as if right on queue, the front door smashed open. Through it staggered the hulking shape of a huge warrior. He stood well over six feet tall, very broad of shoulders, with well-muscled arms and legs. His hard, knee-high boots, thumped loudly on the wooden floor planks as he ran into the pub. He wore cloth britches and a leather vest that left his hairy chest exposed. His long, black hair went well past the collar of his dark green cape, which hung loosely from his shoulders. His cloth britches, that would have been loose on most men, fit tightly around his well-developed thighs. A large, bloodstained broad sword was clutched tight in his right fist. Blood trickled freely from many small nicks and cuts on his arms, chest, and legs. He glanced around the room for a moment, and then headed for the bar. "Keeper!" the large warrior's voice was peppered with fear. "Do you have a back door, or cellar I may take refuge within?!"
"I'll hide none running from the city guard! Now begone, before I'm forced to . . ."
The bar keeper never finished his words for the warrior lunged to the bar, knocking over a nearby table and sending its occupants sprawling onto the floor. With his free hand, he reached over the counter and wrapped his fingers around the barkeeper's throat. "I'm not running from the guards, pig!" he said though clenched teeth. "And I only wish I were! At least they would show mercy. Now! If you value your miserable life, answer me my question."
The barkeeper, being no small man himself, gasped for air as his feet left the ground. The only thing he managed to do was to point to the door behind the bar.
The warrior dropped the keeper and vaulted the bar with one graceful leap. He reached for the door latch, but before he had a chance to grasp it, the door swung open. From it stepped a man wielding a long and thin curved blade. This was not a large man. In fact, he stood a full head and a half shorter than the massive warrior. Yet the big warrior stopped dead in his tracks.
"Curse you!!" the warrior bellowed as he scrambled back over the bar.