May 10, 2019

FAIRY TALE FLASH - The Protector by Connor Sassmannshausen

Fate chose to intervene.
Fate offered the fae an opportunity...
I clamber into bed, and my mother tucks the blankets around me. “Tell me a story, mama.”

She smiles at me. It’s my tenth birthday. I should be too old for this sort of thing. But tomorrow I begin training to be a fae warrior.

“What kind of story do you want to hear?” she asks me.

“Why are there warriors?”

She sighs and begins my bedtime story.

“Long ago, at the dawn of time, the Great Beings fought for control of the world. Everyone in our world knows the story. War, Death, Plague, and Famine were rampant, leaving destruction in their wake. The fae alone stood against them. Our greatest warriors stood against them, but all but four fell before their terrible foes.”

It’s a simple tale, not meant to frighten me. I’m sure she’s leaving out bits that I shouldn’t hear, yet.

“And Fate chose to intervene. Fate saw the damage and offered the fae an opportunity. Four daggers were gifted to the surviving warriors that would allow each to kill one enemy, but at a terrible cost. War cannot be destroyed, just as Death, Famine and Plague will always exist. The beings that hold the power can be killed with the dagger.”

She pulls out the blade from the sheath on her belt, showing it to me, the metal glittering in the soft light of my room.

“Those great warriors took on the fell creatures, slaying them. They took on the powers of those they killed, becoming the Horsemen themselves. Fate took from them the daggers, and gifted them to others in the fae line, to watch over fae and humans alike.”

She takes my hand, pressing it over the hilt of the dagger, her hand over mine. The metal feels strange beneath my fingers, and a tingling sensation rolls up my arm.

“When the eldest in the family line turns ten, they begin their training to become a warrior. And when they turn eighteen, they take the dagger from their mother or father, becoming the protector. Should the Horsemen arise again it is their duty to kill them and take their place. They must fight to control their powers, else they become what they themselves killed.”

She lifts her hand from mine, and I hold the knife by myself.

“This is the training all young warriors must face, to fight against the powers of the Horsemen, both to stop the bloodshed and to prevent themselves from causing more.” My mother leans down, pressing a kiss to my forehead. “This is what the fae now are, the protectors of humanity.”

I look over the metal. “But who do we kill?”

“We will not know until it is time.” She takes the dagger, replacing it in her belt, and stands. She tucks me, snuggly into bed again. “Sleep. Tomorrow you begin training to be a protector of the world.”
Connor Sassmannshausen is an Australian based American author who enjoys reading, watching movies and cross-stitching.

Cover: Amanda Bergloff @AmandaBergloff

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