Ready For Anything

It was just a box. A simple wooden box with a butterfly inexpertly carved into the lid. It wasn't even all that big. It held the treasures of boyhood; leaves, rocks, a broken arrowhead, feathers from some sort of bird and a crumpled up piece of parchment with a drawing of something that looked like an animal on it.  It hadn't been easy to open. Time and weather had warped the wood so he'd had to use the tip of his dagger to pry the lid off.

He'd shoved it up on top of the shelves, in the back on the day his father had let him join the novice warriors in their classes. If his father thought he was grown up enough to finally become a warrior, then he was too old to keep these treasures around. He hadn't been able to actually destroy the box; that was why it was on the top shelf, hidden out of the line of sight. Even his father and brothers had to stand on a stool to get eye-level with that shelf. It was safe there, but not easy to get at. It was the perfect place for the box.

He hadn't looked at it once in all those years of training. He'd left it alone when he'd moved from the novice level to the more difficult advanced ones.  He hadn't touched it when he was sworn in as a warrior of the border patrol. Now he was moments away from going out on his first patrol. It was time to get the box out. To look at it, and to remember why he wanted—needed to fight. He wanted other children to be able to grow up here, to collect their own treasures.  He lifted the box to his nose, and taking a deep breath, he smelled a slightly musty odor mixed with the scent of the forest.

It was almost time to go.  He closed the box, then stood on the stool again, and put it back up on top of the shelf. He promised himself that he'd look at it every time he left on patrol. It was a good reminder.  It was also going to be good luck; he could feel it.

"Rúmil! Hurry up! You can't be late on your first day!"

"I'm coming Haldir! Just getting my bow!"

He picked up his bow and ran out to where Haldir stood waiting, just outside the talan.

"Are you ready?"

"Yes. For anything."



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