A fragment from the last chapter of "A wizard on the Porch."
|My girl you do not understand. I see there you have written, "But he was not alone," upon the parchment and yet I am the last of my people.
This story is finished. I am grateful for your company, truly I am. Still, I yearn for the comfort of my peers. Our glorious adventures at an end, my companions and I grew distant as the new age we birthed grew old. They became ancient and wise and died quietly in this glorious new peace . A hero's reward.
I wish I could know the peace they made but I must abide here with my nightmares for company. I created them and they never leave me. I wandered for a time with James... Putting small wrongs right. I buried him behind the monastery. He lived a joyous life after his great achievements were secured but even the great Wizard was not immune to the perils of age--
"Grand Father!" called a voice. A young man by the sound of it. There standing on the hill was King Harold; young again.
For a moment I forgot myself and cried out, "Harry! Harry is that you?"
But, alas, it was not so.
He said, "Lord Paladin, I am Prince Harold, the great grandson of your friend, Harold, the King. He passed away gently only a short march of years ago. His last recollections were of the greatest Paladin that ever lived. He asked my sister, Mary, and I to find you and deliver a message."
I turned to my companion and asked, "So you are Mary then?"
"What message do you have for me.?"
"My king whispered to me."Tell him, he is not alone."" Her hands spelled out the signs and then I understood.
The boy called out, " Father William, come and look. I have brought your kindred who yearn to know you better. Let us begin anew, we will study the ways and habits of the Paladin. Your Faith will not fail"
And there beyond the young man... I could not believe my sight, it appeared as if a village was travelling up my hill, coming out of the wilderness on the old secret trail.
King Harold had saved me one more time. Good ole' Harry.
Then I perceived there was another among us... unseen by my companions.
I saw her, as I usually do. A small child dancing amid the wild flowers. She approached, transforming as she came near and becoming old, as old as I; yet a woman still beautiful. She placed an arm around my waist and a hand on my heart.
"My love... See those who know you best and behold what your love has wrought." said death.
"My sweetest friend, It is not age which has crippled you but rather the old demons, your demons, that defeat you. Lord High Paladin, the last of your kind-- harken unto me. Your sorrows cannot be defeated nor erased so go forth and let your good works banish the evil you have done. Come, know peace. These are your people, be with them and renew your spirit. You have all the time in the world; this is my gift to you."
Then she was gone and I remained.