The Bleeding Dagger

A girl, Angel, seeks to find something long lost... perhaps something that has been lost for far too long. After falling from a tree in the middle of the woods, she can't remember what she was doing, or even how she got there. As she stumbles into Canlagos by mere luck, she then realizes that this may be just what she needs to find 'herself'. Though quickly she comes to the conclusion that this town has more than what she first intended for. A mystery to be remembered for ages to come is about to be revealed to her. You, being the reader, will have the sole authority of deciding which of the two paths she will take at the end. (In other words: there will be two different endings that you can choose to follow.) Artwork and Photography by Mitchell Kile.

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16. Chapter 16: Passing the Torch

     How Eleanor managed not to snap when John opened the chest, was still a mystery for me to find out. How could she not have been surprised? Laid before my eyes was a large collection of handcrafted weapons; however, I let out a sigh when all the swords, daggers and other sheathed knives came to my point of view, and I couldn’t help myself from staring at the open chest.

     “I would think you’re still interested in this one,” John said and looked from Henry to the dagger to the left. It had a twirling handle and jeweled pommel at the end that was shaped as a three dimensional heptagon in whole. Imprinted on the guard was a string of letters: they were Hebrew letters but I didn't know what they said. On each end of the horizontal guard was an interpretation of a cross, and the blade itself looked as fine as the rest. “I can’t deny I have a little predilection for it myself. It’s absolutely striking one of my most prized masterpieces.”

     “I can sure believe it!” Henry exclaimed nodding his head as he picked up the sword so delicately as if it was an artifact that had served a noble purpose. He looked down the blade straight on to see the perfectly smooth surface, and I saw from the corner of my eye how Eleanor left for the kitchen. “It’s fascinating how something that beautiful can be so deadly."

     In curiosity, I turned my head to the right and saw how John smiling at the speechless Henry whose eyes stared at the silvery sword in his hands.

     “It weighs nothing: almost like a feather.” The surprise was easily and obviously heard in the innkeeper’s voice. “I think I’ll take it, John. Thank you.”

     “Don’t thank me. A master of his craft needs to enjoy it and that alone is good enough for me.” John smiled again and let his eyes run over the living room. “It is honestly the least I can do for your hospitality at letting me stay here every time I find my way back to Canlagos, and it comes at the best price: free."

     I then zoned out. I didn’t really care to hear what else they were talking about after that. The next thing I heard was John talking about Raguel and Henry shouting something at Eleanor.

     But when John’s familiar voice said my name, I finally paid attention to both him and Henry again. “So, Angel, let me hear: Are you interested in daggers as well?”

     “Well,” I thought a little for my answer, before finally pulling my shoulders together and answering a little bluntly, “I don’t really know. I’ve never thought about it..." I paused and then went on again jokingly, "I suppose a butter knife could do nearly the same thing."

     I felt the blush in my cheeks, when John let out a laugh. After that, he looked towards the floor in contemplation and pulled from the wooden box a few daggers which he then placed in front of me on the kitchen table.

     “Once I was told to give this dagger to a girl who I knew, would make a difference one day.” He looked me right into my eyes with a smirk when he continued, “After what Ben is telling me, I’m sure that one girl is you, Angel.”

     “So what has Ben told you, sir?”

     “A little of everything, I think,” John answered and chuckled a little at the thought of it. Obviously, it seemed that that Ben had told John a little too much about me. “I have known Benjamin for a long time, Angel, and I have never heard him talk about anyone the way he talks about you.”

     Once again I felt the red color in my cheeks, after which John handed me a glinting dagger with a lightning green shaft. It was definitely a swift moving dagger, and it didn't seem wrong holding necessarily. Actually I couldn’t feel anything at all. With the thought of Ben and with my eyes resting on the dagger in my bare hands, I didn’t know what to think at all.

     “It’s great, John, it really is,” I ended up stating, “But I can’t accept this. You haven't been anything but nice to me, and well... this is really too much.”

     “Not at all, my dear,” John said and closed the lid to the chest. “I won’t take it back, Angel. That dagger belongs to you." John then winked, "If I took it now it'd be stealing; After all, you will have a memory of me when I leave for Canlagos again.”

     Realizing that this was the end of the discussion, I smiled at John and thanked him once again. I then again looked at the dagger, which I laid in the table.

     “Angel, not on the table,” Eleanor said and walking straight into the living room. “We’re going to eat on that table soon, dear. Please lay it somewhere else.”

     “Oh,” I quickly grabbed the dagger and laid it in my lap in a case that John had just handed me. “I’m sorry, Eleanor.”

     “Don’t be, my dear,” Eleanor smiled and let her gaze fall on her husband. “Henry, will you please come help me in the kitchen? I think we’ll have venison for dinner.”

     Henry excused himself and left for the kitchen, after which John again turned to me clearly wanting to talk. I then asked, "So how did you get the blade to glint green? I didn't know you could do that with metals."

     "A master of anything will always be able to find a way to dodge the obstacles." He said. I guess it was safe to say that he was a master of speech-craft too considering that he just dodged answering my real question's intent.

     "So you're not going to tell me how you made the dagger green?" I tried once again.

     John laughed. "Well if I told everyone how, my creations wouldn't be as rare and glorious to see."

     "Right, okay. I suppose that makes some sense. Promise to tell me someday?"

     "Oh," John stretched his arms above his head and then went on, "Hmm, that isn't an easy promise to keep, but I can make do. I promise." He then flashed another smile to me and then asked, "So, Angel, what do you think about Ben?"

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