I am the bearer of the stone-held sword. Skinny arms shaking, heart aflutter, I raised it aloft, their destined royal champion.
I came of age, groomed on divine legend, while the shadows whispered – straw man; charlatan. Shackled to duty as my blade was to rock, micro-fractures lace my soul. Their dreams superseded my own, though my accomplishments never seemed worthy of accolade – I do not feel sanctified.
I reach for the stone, bestower of my fate. The sediment crumbles in my fingers, cracks snaking outward from the cavity, weakened by my hope-filled predecessors.
Caroline Ashley is a clinical psychologist who works for the NHS in Scotland. She was a finalist for Globe Soup's Science Fiction Short Story contest and two of their 7 Day Story Writing Challenges. Caroline is currently posting a serialised young adult fantasy novel on her website and also writes a monthly blog about the psychology within fiction.