Flash Friday 13/09/2013: Weapon of Choice (Part 3)
Edgar the Blacksmith had a good job.
Many would say that a blacksmith, as himself, had a good job to begin with. There was something noble and admirable about a man who dedicated his life to the forging of steel and iron, shaping them to become protective shells and effective weapons for his brothers and sisters to use. Edgar could say that he had it good, however, because he was the sole blacksmith near a town that spat out heroes at a rate of knots. He could make a full set of plate armour out of the gold coins he earned from his trade, and still have enough to pay for a platform to put the golden knight on for everyone to see. He debated about it on some days.
Edgar looked up as the bell over the door to his store made a hearty tinkle, Through it came Dennis, one of the heroes-to-be.
“Ah,” Edgar said, placing his hammer down. “Has the time finally come for you to partake in your quest?”
“Yeah,” Dennis said, looking around the store. He wondered which grand, shining suit of armour would be his. Perhaps the one with the awesome lion shield. He’d like that. “I’ve heard that here is the place to get my gear?”
“Here? Here is the only place you can get your gear, laddie! Unless you want to go out and slay dragons wearing nothing but a barrel and wielding a fence post, you’ll come here for your equipment. Of course, you seem to have clued into that aspect already. Are you with me, lad?”
“What?” Dennis said, snapping back to Edgar after looking at a majestic-looking red armour with gold trim. Regal and not a problem with bloodstains. “Oh, yes. I’d love some armour.”
“Well, pick one out then, and we’ll see about haggling some gold. I might be tough in stature, but I’m always willing to negotiate a price.”
“A price? Oh, I have this letter,” Dennis said, withdrawing it from his pocket. “It says that I can exchange it for a suit of armour and a weapon. Is that still valid? My dad says he’s already paid for it.”
“The armour? Oh, you want that armour? Well, it’s about bloody time!” Edgar ducked underneath the counter, with a noise like someone swimming in a pool full of frying pans coming from within. “It’s been about, what…twelve years since the request was made? I’ve been hanging onto it all this time. Ah, here it is.” He placed the armour on the table.
The metal looked simple in its preparation, yet made to be as effective as possible. Where Dennis was secretly expecting frills, feathers, and cloaks that he could swirl around in a heroic fashion, there was nothing but metal. As a basic set, however, it definitely looked like it could take as many direct blows as Dennis wanted to take.
There was a problem, however.
“It’s, uh,” Dennis said, wondering if the world had gone mad, or if it was just him. “It’s tiny.”
“Tiny? ‘Course it’s tiny,” said Edgar. “Why wouldn’t it be tiny?”
“Well…I am supposed to be doing a quest in this. It’s why my dad had it made after all.”
“Oh.” Edgar slapped his forehead. “Oh, is that what he meant? Because when your father came in here and asked for a little something for his boy, you must have been, what, five? So I made a piece of armour. For your, uh, five-year-old self.” He patted the chestpiece which looked like it could double as an upgrade for a tortoise. “I wondered why he was going on about throwing you to the orks at the age of five. I was about to call the child protection services. And even then, planning to do a quest before your parents have died? That was just outrageous. I take it they’ve copped it by now?”
“Yeah,” Dennis said, nodding. “Killed off by the antagonist.”
“Sorry to hear it, lad.”
“Don’t be,” Dennis said, with a shrug. “It just comes with the career.”
“Well,” Edgar said, picking up the breasplate. “Let’s get this fitted on you, shall we?”
“What?” Dennis said, stepping backwards. He wasn’t fond of discovering the world’s first corset for adventuring men. “You want to fit that on me?”
“Sure,” Edgar said. “See, if we put it on…just here, like that. Stop squirming, I know what I’m doing. Then we do up the latch here…and here…maybe tighten that first one up. Don’t want it wobbling about while you’re being attacked, now, can we? Just fit this here, and…there.” Edgar stepped back, dusting his hands down. “I told you it would fit.”
“You were right,” Dennis said. “But I didn’t think you’d put it around my head. I thought that’s where the helmet went, given that it has eyeholes and all.”
“Well, that definitely won’t fit around your noggin. Would make a wicked codpiece, though, I suspect.”
“Look,” Dennis said, taking off his ‘helmet’. “I’d much rather just forget this ever happened. I’ll just go on with my quest and see what I can do with what turns up. I’m bound to find something else on my journey.” He placed the chestpiece back on the counter. “Now, I must be going. Have a good day.”
“Wait, young sire,” Edgar said, catching him before he walked out the door. “Your father left you a weapon as well. I couldn’t smith an actual deadly weapon for your five-year-old self, but I suspect you’ll like this one.”
“Oh?” Dennis said, turning around. “What is it?”
He expected a slingshot, a bola, or some other non-lethal weapon. Instead, he saw an enthusiastic Edgar holding a plastic short sword adorned with bright colours. He pressed a button on the handle with utmost glee, the entire sword lighting up like a Christmas tree and making laser noises.
Dennis sighed and slammed the blacksmith’s door behind him.