Rating: T

Authoress: Loki

Note: I wrote this for a competition a while ago. I had to write a 500 word story inspired by events of the past. I got to the regional finals with it. ^^

I hope you enjoy it!

Fires roared and cast a threatening orange glare across the remaining blackened walls that stood amidst the burning buildings we had once proudly called home. Burly men cackled and shouted in their strange language as they pounded through the streets terrorizing and tormenting all in their path. Their coats and hands were smeared with blood. Our village's blood.

My mother pulled me back from the window pane and dragged me towards our door. Her hair was in rags about her terrified face and her hands trembled awfully. I was stubborn, though, and would not move my feet unless she really forced me to.

"Oh, Faolan come!" she urged me, wrenching my arm in her direction.

"But what about father?" I cried back; intent on digging my feet into the floor to prevent her from dragging me any further, "He told us he would be back if we waited for him!" I stared at her with determined dark eyes; eyes that she told me my father had.

"Faolan, please. He will find us again but he shall not find us alive when he returns if we linger here!" I turned me head away and stuck out my bottom lip. My feet stuck themselves firmly to the ground. A loud crash outside, a screech and a booming burst of laughter brought my mother to her knees in front of me with desperation to make me move. Her once shimmering emerald eyes now quivered with fear, "Please come with me, Faolan. Your father promised, did he not? So he will find us. Let us not linger so that he must return to a dead house." Like her eyes, my mother's words quivered. Though I hesitated, I finally gave in and we escaped those fires and monstrous plunderers.

Now as they return, I face my own son. His eyes sparkle with tears and screams pierce the air around our village.

"Daddy will return.. right Daddy?" I smile and press my lips upon his forehead before standing. I cannot lie to him, so I choose to say nothing. Bran stares expectantly at me as I take a meat cleaver from the kitchen table. It breaks me to see such tears in his eyes but I cant give him false hope. The Scandinavian bandits are brutal and both my wife and myself know this. Yet I ward them away as a duty to my village. My father's duty had been the same.

He had promised to return but had been slain that night, leaving me and my mother in despair. So I refuse to tell such an unruly promise to my own son.

My wife rests her hand upon Bran's shoulder as I leave after having kissed her sweet lips.

"He will return, Bran, he will return." She assures him. I furrow my eyebrows with determination. I cannot let them down, for you my child and my beautiful wife, I will return.