• Lindsey Sluyter

The Myles long Scar. A Myles Story

It was the 20th of Lahmashan and nearing the end of harvest. After a back-breaking day in the fields, Myles was just settling in to read one of his favourites tomes “If the road rises to meet you, it may have been a hungry pit”. The tang of soil in the air, the bronzed late afternoon light and warmth of the cloistered room settled over him as the motes of dust that were recently stirred draped him with familiar ease.

Saying that Ubbin Falls had a library was a generous statement. In reality, it is an old shed acquired by the town council that holds sparsely filled shelves always covered in a thick layer of dust. But it was warm, and quiet and above all solitary. And it was Myles’ favourite place to be. Daily Myles would finish up working on his father’s beet farm…well, it was his beet farm but he couldn’t quite get that through his head since his fathers’ death 2 years earlier… and then immerse himself in the stale musty air of the “library”. It was his haven and he must have read each book at least once and most of them twice. Those few hours of escapism each night, reading by the golden light of the sun setting behind the inn across the way would get him through to the next day.

Dust in the library was suddenly kicked up as the door was flung open. Standing in the doorway backlit by the setting sun were 3 large male figures. In all the years Myles had been absconding to this refuge no one else had ever joined him. He was quite sure that the townsfolk barely even registered that the building was here anymore. So it was with some alarm that Myles was startled by this intrusion.

“Well, well, well…if it isn’t Mad Myles? So, this is where you been hiding yourself every day” and the first figure stepped forward as he spoke revealing a large, muscled boy of about 18 years old chiseled from hard work in the fields, skin like old worn leather that has spent day upon day in sunlight, dark hair already thinning and thin sharp lines of cruelty in his eyes.

“What do you want Jameson?” said Myles standing and dusting of his large overcoat.

“NEVER show fear” his father's voice rang in his ears.

“The library is a public place isn’t its boys?” Jameson chuckled stepping forward. His two cronies laughed manically, as they pretended to peruse the shelves, haphazardly throwing books to the floor and stepping on them in a show of poorly feigned accident.

“Stay CALM” his fathers voice whispered again.

“Funny I didn’t know you could read Jameson,” Myles said taking a book off the shelf, reading the spine and offering it. “Here, the A to Z of Agriculture. Maybe it will help that failing farm of yours”.

Fury filled Jameson’s face as he stepped forward spittle flying “Everyone knows you use dark magic to grow your farm” he said as his meaty paw reached out and grabbed Myles by the collar. And at the touch of this baboon of a man, Myles knew that all chance of diplomacy had gone out the window and fear filled his eyes. His very body hesitated for the briefest second unsure what to do

“Strike now”

Myles instantly reacted to his fathers urging, lashing out at Jameson with a wild uppercut. The blow connected and Jameson’s eyes rolled back in his head, hands going limp as he fell backwards with a thud causing the dust that had just found rest to jump again. Myles stepped over the unconscious form trying to look menacingly at the other two thugs. It must have worked, either because of the feigned menace, the wild look behind Myles's eyes, or the dropped body of Jamieson, but both lackeys turned to flee tripping over each other as they tried to get through the door on top of each other.

Myles took several slow deep breaths, staring at the door, hands shaking from the adrenalin and fear.

With a sigh, Myles turned to retrieve the books and see the Jamieson.

From out of nowhere, a blinding pain shot through Myles’ face. It was Jameson, who had roused himself and quietly snuck up behind Myles while he was preoccupied with the other two. At the moment that Myles turned, Jameson lashed out with his drawn harvest sickle slashing just below Myles’ eye, splashing warm coppery blood across both their faces. Myles fell backwards whimpering as blood gushed down his neck, a large, jagged slash from the cheekbone down to his chin.

“I am going to gut you like the pig you are” an enraged Jameson spat as he knelt down, raising his sickle to slash down again at Myles’s face. Myles stretched his arms out, grabbing the forearms of his assailant in a desperate attempt at defense.

“No don’t do this. Please!” Myles cried out in fear his arms shaking as he tried to resist Jameson’s strength, the blade inching ever closer.

An evil look entered Jameson’s’ eye, and a smile stretched across his lips in a perversely grim look of confidence. And then he faltered… paused… a look of confusion stealing the confidence from his face. Purple flecks had started to glow in Myles green eyes and an almost imperceptible nimbus wreathed Myles's hand. Suddenly this glow shot from his hand to Jameson’s body and where confidence once buoyed the bully, now pain-wracked and pulled at the fibre of his being. Jameson screamed, dropping the sickle as his forearms started to bubble and blister where Myles's hand was fending him off. Pain…. Confusion …. Pain…. FEAR! As the sickle clattered to the floor near Myles left ear, Jameson ran from the shack, screaming, clutching a scarred and blistered forearm in the shape of a hand.

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