I Knew My Life – A Writing Sample

This sample is something I wrote quite a while ago. It’s definetly a different theme from the rest of mine…it reminds me of Lord of the Rings a little bit, a least the style of writing. It’s first person, past-tense, and a great read. Giving you, I Knew My Life.

If I had known what my life would have been like, how my story would be different than what it is now, I doubt I would have gone with the old stranger, the one in the black cloak and gray leather garb. I look back now: I am glad I decided to join him, join him that fateful evening, to ride off with him on the back of his strong griffin…

My tale begins on a rainy day. My home, a cottage nestled in an alcove on the east side of the Eaglor Mountain, was too far to ride to in the cold. At least, with my lame horse. So I tied my old steed to the post of a tavern’s porch, then gathered my belongings. Trading had been poor that day. The most reliable merchants had been held back by the northern storm: a terror of a tempest. So I came back mostly empty-handed, filled mostly with the unsold goods I had brought with me from Eaglor City.

My wet boots clomped up to the threshold, and there I knocked on the old door. I read the sign above me. The Wing’s Nest. I had never heard of the place before. Neither had I heard of the village in which it sat. I can’t even remember the name now. But it was at The Wing’s Nest that I saw that fateful stranger, that wanderer in the darkest corner.

A small dwarf of a man opened the door for me, then beckoned me in without elaboration or welcome. He told me to sit on a small three-legged stool near a wood table, and I did so without hesitation. I ordered a glass of dragon brandy, though what I received was more like dragon urine by the taste of it, so I only sat, swishing the violet liquid in the old goblet. I pulled out my pipe, stuffed in some tobacco, then sat smoking, leaning back in my stool as much as it would allow, my wet and muddy boots on the table.

Then I noticed him, though I realized we had been staring at one another for a long time without me realizing it. I gave him a polite nod, and he returned the gesture, though I could not see his face. He sat far from the closest window, and a black hood covered his face.In fact, a cloak covered his entire body so that only his strong hands were uncovered. He too had some dragon brandy for his drink, but he touched it not.

It was then that I noticed the particularly long, well, thing that lay at his feet. Whatever it was it was wrapped in leather, and no more could be said about it. But when the man saw my gaze upon the object, he dropped the cloak of his mantle a bit lower from himself to conceal it. He glared at me what I thought as threateningly. I looked away, and forced another gulp of the putrid liquid down my throat. But I could still feel the gaze of the man on my back. I thought about moving to another table, but before I could, the cloaked stranger came up to my table and sat straight across from me.

I was in shock, and thought about the dull knife hidden in my boot, though I myself was not a man for fighting. I still could not see the stranger’s face. Within the hood was only darkness; gaping, sucking, darkness with nothing shining within.

He poured me some more brandy from my own bottle. I looked nervously away, and tried to make contact with the barkeeper, but he was busy with another customer. Now I look back, thinking that I was foolish to act so, for this man was no enemy of mine.

The man turns, and gestures for the barkeeper to come. Through a language of looks, the man seemed to communicate to the bartender to bring his best choice of meats. The man was back in a few minutes, carrying not one but two plates of steak on crystal plates. The rough ale was replaced with fresh grape wine, and other appetizers were brought such as fish, pudding, and salad. My rotting stool was replaced with a chair so comfortable that I would have thought it a throne. The barkeeper didn’t even ask for money from the stranger, and left us to our selves.

At the time, I was to surprised to even think of thanking the strange but obviously kind man. Then came a distressing thought. What if the man was aiming to poison me? There are plenty of murderers in this part of Avengard, thought I. But before I could leave, the man handed me a fork, and began eating of the food himself.

I thought, since he ate of it, the food must not be poisoned, and I began to eat as well. I look back now on my adventures, and I still think it strange how much I ate without exchanging a word with the stranger. The delicacies seemed to have a hold over me that enslaved me to oversee their consumption.

When the food was finished, the bartender took the food away, and poured us both more wine from a beautiful bottle. I fished out my wallet, gave the man what money I could spare, muttered a thanks, then made to leave. The man grabbed my wrist to stop me. I panicked, but just as quickly did he take hold of me, he released. Forgetting my wants to stay the night at the tavern, I ran out of the building.

Outside, I found the hand whose wrist the man had held filled with all of my money plus seven other gold pieces. I stomped my foot on the porch, thinking myself insolent taking the money without realizing it, though to go back to the stranger was what I least wanted to do. I sighed, decided to just leave, and made for my horse and cart, preparing myself for the long and murky ride home. But just then I realized my horse was gone, and the wheels of my cart missing. I turned.

Peering out the window was the faceless cloaked man, holding the thing enveloped in leather, staring at me, glaring at me, with unseen eyes. I was sure he was responsible for taking my horse and ruining my cart, so I stomped back to the door with knife in hand.

When I opened the door, the man was there, and the thing still held. But it was no longer covered in leather. Indeed, its veil had dropped to the floor, and I beheld the identity of the object.

It was a sword, indeed priceless. Jewels decorated its hilt and shining blade. The blade itself was sharper than anything I’ve seen in the markets. But immediately my eyes were drawn away from the sword to the way the man held it. He held it upright, both hands grasping the haft as if ready to strike. I thought if a man was to posses such a sword, he must know how to use it, so I made to run.

But he didn’t stab me in the back. He grabbed me by the wrist again to stop my fleeing, and held me tight. I turned, and he with his free hand slowly unveiled himself.

Then I knew my life was forever changed.


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