Who says heroism stays for a lifetime? Once the rising star, now a fading sun. Don’t we all have these kinds of heroes? Another fierce fairy tale.
He had always been my hero.
The third son. That is what they call him.
The lucky one, yet the youngest. Maybe not the most intelligent, but wittiest. It was him who got all of the wealth of his father’s little kingdom. Him who saved the pretty girl at last. Him who stood against the odds. Not even aware of his fortune, still envied by his brothers, who had turned to normal lives at the end being a carpenter and a stockbroker.
So I have to admit it hurts a little to see him here in a rundown bar at this time of night. No place where he would have gone in the good old days. His oldest brother maybe, but not him.
“Bob! Another Whiskey Sour, please!”
Bob, the elf, gives me a nod, turning towards a row of glasses.
“Make it a clean one, this time,” I add and use the opportunity to catch a glimpse of him at the other end of the bar. He’s looking tired. Rugged clothes, wild hair. Clinging to a bottle of beer with both hands. Still, he’s got those friendly eyes.
He had never been the classical hero. No skilled knight, not of royal blood. Underestimated, belittled. Just a simple bloke, with his heart in the right place and an extra helping of luck.
But sometimes fortune is a bitch.
After all, he pushed his luck too far. Gambled away all of his wealth in the halls and dens around the town. Got divorced once … twice. Shady businesses with the dwarf mafia. Guess he finally reached his wits’ end.
The rest was bad press. Something about an arrest, drug misuse, harassing a princess at the annual night ball. Nothing which could really be confirmed – but who cares?
“Spotted our special guest, I see.” Bob hands me my drink, takes a quick look at him and sighs. “He’s clasping this empty bottle for one hour now. Poor fellow. Living on welfare, I heard.”
“Where did you hear that?”
“On the telly, I guess.”
“Go, get him another beer, will you?!” I have a sip of Whiskey Sour. Didn’t I tell Bob to take a clean glass? Grumbling I take another draw. Yes, some things have definitely changed for the worse around here.
“Hey, witch-girl!” he suddenly calls from the end of the bar. I turn my head and raise my glass with a smile. He smiles back, beer can in hand, giving me a mischievous look. “Thanks for that, you’re my hero!”
“You’re welcome …” I pause for a moment but decide to leave the sentence unfinished.
C. C. Holister (c) 2018