12-Minute Tales – Marcus the Magnificent, Part I

“Alright kids. What do you want to be when you grow-up?”

“A knight!”

“A sorcerer!”

“A druid!”

“How lovely! And Marcus, what about you?”

Marcus answered timidly, “a peasant.”

“I’m sorry what?”

“A peasant. Just like my papa.”

“But, Marcus, we are living in the times of adventure and magic. Don’t you want to be something more? You can be anything you want to be!”

Marcus thought for a moment.

“Don’t you want to go on epic quests and save princesses?”

Marcus scratched his head. “Isn’t that dangerous though. I don’t want to get eaten.”

“Oh Marcus!” Selenius stood on her desk holding her wooden sword. “If you join me you will never be eaten. I wouldn’t allow it!”

“See Marcus,” their teacher pointed at Selenius, “Selenius has the right idea. Heroes never get eaten, and if they do they never become fully digested and find a way to puncture through the dragon’s stomach.”

Marcus winced.

“What’s wrong Marcus?”

Marcus shifted in his seat then finally said, “guess I could be a bard.”

“That’s the spirit Marcus.”

“Yes!” Selenius exclaimed. “You can journey with me and sing tales of our travels.” Selenius started swinging her sword at imaginary hobgoblins and yeti-beasts before falling off her desk. The rest of the class chuckled, but Marcus didn’t. He didn’t see the humor in any of this. What made them think they were so special? Just because they had dreams of greatness doesn’t mean it was meant for them. Marcus, despite his age, knew his place in the world and didn’t bother with fantasies. Fantasies only lead to disappointment after all.

“Oh Marcus,” his mother greeted as Marcus entered their sad, pitiful hut. “How was schooling?”

Marcus shrugged. “Fine. Where is papa?”

“He is out in the field just where he’s been since sunrise.”

Marcus looked out their tiny window and saw his father’s back bent underneath the heatful gaze of the sun, plowing and doing general farmer stuff. Marcus started feeling something, something he could not name. Farming was a good, honest work, and his papa was happy doing it. But was he really? Or did he merely accept what the world confined him to? And what was wrong with that? Marcus was confused. This was why he hated schooling. It made him think things he knew he shouldn’t. It was almost as if they wanted him to be confused. To question the world only to never find a satisfying answer.

“Marcus, can you help scrub the ground?”

Marcus nodded and quickly grabbed the mop, eagerly attacking the dirt floor underneath them.

Here’s another multi-parter because I hate myself. This one seems like kind of a high-fantasy-eque tale, but we will see.

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