Illustration: Neura (Helena P.) www.instagram.com/_neura_
Ian put away the invisible knife in the leash on his belt. (even though not everyone could see it, he was wearing knee-high suede boots and pants alike in style of Robin Hood, a hat with a pheasants feather and a green shirt.) He ran out of the classroom after the bell rang and went home.
He shut the door of his room, threw his bag on the table and turned on the lamp. He took out his wooden sword and the emery paper and started finishing the details on it.
At that moment, someone put a hand on his shoulder and Ian froze because he was sure he was home alone.
– Ian – he heard a loud voice behind him.
– Huh? – he mumbled, not having the courage to turn around and look who is it.
– I see you are making your first sword. A knight’s sword. – the voice said.
Ian finally turned around and saw a tall man dressed as a knight, like one of the King’s Musketeers. He had an ostrich’s feather in his hat. Ian didn’t know what to say.
– You seem to have a very elaborate vision of how you think the sword should look like, but I wonder, do you know what is its purpose is?- the strange man asked.
Ian began to think: the purpose of the sword, or should he rather think about who is this strange man with an ostrich’s feather on his hat, and what is he doing in his room?! (Ian couldn’t get over the ostrich’s feather – so elegant! He didn’t remember putting that when he came up with his uniform. He was upset!) Besides that, he couldn’t see where was this conversation leading…
– well I just wanted to make a toy. And in a way…
– … this game turned into what does it all mean, right? – the knight said smiling.
– Yes. Somehow like that – Ian said.
– well, I’d like to tell you a story, if you don’t mind.
– Yes, of course. I mean, I don’t mind, please – Ian answered.
– The sword is not the point. Or any other arm for that matter. They’re all a pretty parade. What is important is the essence. Knights are a rarely honourable men with strong compassion and a good heart. Not everyone can become one, but by his deeds and way of life. By excellent behaviour and popularity among people. A knight has a good reputation.
Ian thought about his reputation in school and about whether he is on a good track or not. He remembered the first graders standing in line for lunch and how he made fun of their fear and panic while his classmate was scaring them. He remembered the tearful girls on the school playground when he and his friends took their ball and hid it and the granny on the bus station in front of the bakery, and how she crosses the road every day with her cane in one hand and a heavy bag in the other and he never had time to stop, get off his bike and help her.
– don’t worry. Just realizing all that means you’re on the right way. I like you, Ian, boy. – the knight said and caressed his head messing up his hair.
Ian knew exactly what the knight was talking about and felt ashamed a little thinking how the knight knew for sure everything Ian ever did. Or didn’t. Because not reacting is wrong sometimes – he thought and remembered how he didn’t defend his girlfriend once, not wanting to interfere with her fight with her brother. But now it seemed like he understood things from a higher level and he felt sorry for his failures to act.
– Ian! – he heard mom’s noddy voice.
Ian looked at the knight in a panic afraid that mom will walk on them. But the knight didn’t seem to share his worry. It looked as if he was just blankly staring at him. Yes, blankly. And he became more and paler. The knight was disappearing in front of his eyes!
– Ian, wake up! It’s time to go to school, come on!c – mom said and gently shook him, just like they agreed she should wake him.
Ian opeened his eyes and realized he was dreaming. He saw the half-finished sword on his table and sighed deeply. This dream impressed him deeply. He decided to thoroughly think about what he is and how he contributes to the world.