Veteran of a Thousand Battles
by Algor Dennison
"A man's home is his castle..."
- James Otis, Against Writs of Assistance, 1761
copyright 2011 Algor Dennison
Roger Corman stood in his living room, draining the tea from his cup as he gazed up at the broadsword hanging above the fireplace mantle. He was in no hurry; the enemy wouldn't be arriving at his place until later in the morning. He had arisen early anyway, however, because this was a special day, and one to be prepared for. You didn't want to be caught unawares on a Battle Day; citizens could be fined for non-participation.
Roger wasn't old, but he did have a mustache that made him look mature, even distinguished. And he was wearing a sweater to go along with his slacks and stockinged feet. Definitely not the picture of a hardened warrior, but nobody had said it was a requirement to look fearsome. His armor would help with that later, in any event, and it was a fact that there had been a Corman or two at Agincourt, and at Hastings, as Roger reminded himself each Battle Day.
He set down the empty teacup on a side table and took the sword down. It was a large sword, shapely and bright. A black-wrapped handle with a hefty pommel stone, hilt of hard steel, and a nearly four-foot blade. It was a fine piece of work, and well-balanced. He wasn't sure who had made it or how old it was.
Roger set the sword on the table and went into the garage. His young wife, Valerie, was hard at work, scrubbing rust spots from an eight-foot-long polearm with an axe-head and a long spike.