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Beware The Reward

          Lorcan sat on a rock watching the setting sun. It occurred to him that it had been a very long time since he had done anything he really enjoyed. It wasn’t that the setting sun held no attraction; it was just that he had been preoccupied with so many other things for so long, that he no longer remembered how to take a moment just for himself. He wondered to himself how long it had been since he had last thought about what really mattered, and realized that he had no clear memory of when that might have been.

          It wasn’t that Lorcan had a poor memory. In fact, of all his powers, he prided the keenness of his memory almost the most. When he thought about it, he realized that even from his earliest moments, he had vivid pictures of his experiences, sometimes more vivid than he liked. Of all the pictures he retained, those of his childhood seemed to haunt him the most. Not all of these memories were bad, or wrong, or even troubling; they were merely the most vivid memories he retained, and they had the power to self-elicit – sometimes at the very worst possible moment.

           As the setting sun emblazoned the sky with a luminous pink, Lorcan thought about why he was here at this particular moment, sitting on this rock, on a thin slice of land jutting out from the country he had long considered his home. Possibly because he was too tired to prevent them or more because he somehow knew that these last few weeks were highly important, his mind was flooded with memories of the recent past. The people, the places, the sights, the sounds; mostly the people – some that he cared for and some that; well, maybe it was better not to think too much about those people! As he sat considering these things, Lorcan recalled the dream he had had so very long ago, and in a place that now seemed so very far away.

  *     *     *

            It was the sound of a shovel hitting a rock that awakened Lorcan. He opened his eyes and found himself in a familiar setting. It was a room that he felt so very much at home in, although this room, this home, belonged to a distant family member on his mother’s side. Lorcan sat up and looked around at the furniture and other appointments of this room and smiled as he realized that he was very much at home here, though he had only been here a few times in his life. He knew the items in the room: the old faded wooden chest; the simple writing desk with its matching chair near the window; the solid looking oak and cherry wood dressing table near the bed. Yes, this was a place in which he always felt safe and well cared for. As he thought about these things, he caught the faint smells of breakfast and heard early workday sounds coming from the garden just outside his room.

          As he swung his legs over the side of the bed and got to his feet, Lorcan realized that today was the day of his errand. After his morning lessons, he was to travel to town and be received by the Monsignor.

[Excerpted from Lorcan by Robert Eugene Miller]
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Categories: Creative Writing, Lorcan
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