2 – Blessings

“How does it feel?”

The stone giant slowly turned its head and stared silently at him. “What does what feel?”

“Dying.” He said after a moment.

The giant turned away from him, returning its gaze to the distant campfire lights in the horizon. “Why do you want to know?”

The question burned into his very soul. He tried to keep his hands from shaking by clutching the hilt of the sword until his knuckles turned white and his fingers began to feel numb.

Before he could answer the giant gently sat beside him. He couldn’t help but wonder how something as big and massive as his battle scarred companion could move with such grace and agility. “You are scared of meeting death tomorrow. Of not knowing what will happen.”

He jumped into a battle stance, his face getting red with anger. “Are you calling me a coward!”

“Sit down. I’m just calling you human.”

He felt his legs shaking and looked away, embarrassed. “I’m sorry.” He muttered before sitting down again in silence.

They stayed quiet for a long time, listening to the sounds of night around them.

When the giant finally broke the spell, its voice had a warmth he’d never heard before. “We have never understood why you admire us. Your people seem to believe our immortality is a kind of blessing.”

“Isn’t it?” He mumbled before raising his voice defiantly. “–I’ve seen you and your kind be smashed to pieces only to get up and keep on fighting. You have survived this war for long before my great-grandfather’s time. You don’t have to mourn your fallen friends or wonder if you’ll ever see your family again. How isn’t that a blessing?”

The giant stared at him in silence, so intensely that for a moment he could swear he saw a tear roll down its granite cheek. “You are right, we have indeed been fighting in this senseless war for many ages. We were created for that purpose and can’t do anything to stop coming back from death until it’s finished.”

The giant turned again to face the enemy in the distance while his voice became almost a whisper. “–Do you have any idea how many brave warriors like you we have known an fought beside? How many friends we’ve had to bury? How many memories of them I will forever carry with me in every battle scar?”

A sharp pain tore thru his heart as he suddenly understood.

“Yes,” The giant said, noticing the realization in his silence. “We consider you the blessed ones.”

Gazing into the distant fires himself, he suddenly realized he wasn’t shaking anymore.

• • •

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