Remembering Blue Eyes

by Cleveland W. Gibson

I feel sick with excitement as I gun my trusty white steed into a frantic canter.

A curse to all Roman Emperors comes to my lips when I hear the villagers to the left and right of me chanting "JARGE! JARGE! JARGE!"

The sword, in my hand, is ready for use, I wave it above my head. What an act especially when I'm so scared, not a real hero.

  A black rock looms up ahead.  It is menacing.  I see a fair-haired maiden in a white flimsy robe tied to the rock.  She screams in terror and strains at her bonds.  I follow her terrified gaze: dwell on the raw fear in those beautiful blue eyes.

  There is the awesome dot in the sky with flames and smoke trailing behind it.  The dot rapidly drops down to the black rock to confront me: it is the DRAGON.

  I fear nobody but sweat starts sprouting on my face and hands when it rushes in to make contact.  My horse panics but I urge it on.  I spank it with my sword.  Nay, goad it. On! On! Nothing is going to stop me. Nothing can! Nothing can!

  My sword greets the beast across the throat. I stab again halting it in its tracks. How I love the feel of a sharp sword in my hand.!

Now I experience the cloying envelope of blood spilling down my arm: dragon's blood is always so different. Even as it is dying it shoots flames towards me but I have already released the fair maiden, setting her up in front on my horse. Naturally I become stunned by her inexplicable beauty, her rich golden hair full of glittering lights and those fantastic, fabulous blue eyes.

Oh, such blue such sea-deep tender blue eyes enough to surely melt this soldier's heart.

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  Today follows yesterday; today finds this old, retired mercenary suffering from dementia, living those last few days in a retirement home for ex- military campaigners.  

I daydream a lot knowing the truth of how the mind can make me forget and with a vengeance, so many, many wonderful memories. The clang of service medals on my frail chest mean so little to me. Though I wonder about them a lot of the time.

But my experience against the dragon is the absolute treasure I have captured in detail by writing it down in my diary each year.

Surprisingly enough I don't remember being decorated for such action against the beast. And by rights it deserves a double entry in my diary. But the burning question remains: I don't know where the medal came from. Perhaps, I musePerhaps.

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I copy the words from one diary into the next and read the entry over and over again. I do this every year; to me it a lifeline to hope.

I try to stir up something in the magazine box I label my memory, but I know there is real damage there. I know there is because of the tears slipping slowly down my face. But I'm also crying on the inside.

In the mirror I look, there is the old face with hair shot with grey and spider lines around tired blue eyes. Those eyes, the key to my soul, and the tantalising blue colour fascinates me.

My diary. To me it holds a key to my past and my future sanity. But internally I feel a struggle as fierce as any encounter with the enemy. And the conflict still goes on. Mentally and physically I am exhausted, yet I still try to get on with life.

My main regret is when I close the book I forget much of what I have told you. It's closed now...Help! Help me!

Why does everything seem to dim? Why? Oh, why? It's as if it were not very important. But my heart sings: 'It is. It is, so very important.'

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"Grampy George! " The children cry. "We've come to see you! Happy Christmas." All around come the greetings from the faces, young faces of my cherished grandchildren. "We love you!"

I talk to them trying to remember all their names.

It is so difficult when there's Mark, June, Tracy, Stephen and Alice. Such a lot of names but I try. I really make an effort to identify each little person. And I love what I see.

Suddenly as I look at them, I see they all have sea-blue eyes. It triggers off a distant memory but what? My diary holds a clue but what? It is closed and on the table away from me. I look at it. I, the old soldier, shiver expressively. I dread the thought of opening it one day to find nothing inside. Have I lost the plot?

I think very hard making lines crease my forehead and face. Did I fight the Dragon? Perhaps. Did I rescue the girl and marry her? Perhaps.

Dementia, maybe but I guess I'm always going to be 'remembering blue eyes.'

     The end.

Cleveland W. Gibson2004

Author of 'Moondust'

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