Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 13
‘I’m sorry, Michael, you made me angry,’ I said, apologising to him, the best that I could. ‘Anger is good! In battle, it can be the difference between winning and losing, but you have to learn how to channel it,’ He spoke quietly but with meaning.
We need to work on strengthening your wrists, I can see I have no reason to teach you anything about knives, you have been taught by a Master,’ he said, which surprised me, maybe there was much more to Shamus, than I realised.
Michael erected a post in a field near the house, and had me practising my cut and thrusts on it for a couple of hours a day. It was slow progress, but slowly but surely the sword, rather than controlling me, was being controlled by me. Michael stood watching and in turn, congratulated or cajoled.
And during this year with Michael, I seemed to grow in height, maybe I was seeking to emulate him, I was bigger than Shamus, but he was a wee man, but for all that, still a man to be reckoned with.
As my confidence grew, so did my anticipation, would I like or despise my true Father. Would he accept me or send me away, rather than admit to his sons, that I was his bastard and their half-brother? Both Michael and Shamus spoke well of him, but until I met the man myself I had no idea where my loyalties would lie.
I adored my Mother, who he had betrayed, yet my Mother defended him and took his side. For a youth of my age it was all very confusing, Maybe I should just accept it for what it was.
A few days before my seventeenth birthday, both Michael and Shamus declared that there was little more that they could teach me. The rest could only be learnt in actual combat situations.
(C) Damian Grange 2018