Quitting By D.I. Jolly (Part 2 of 3)
Jeff sat away from his family, hoping as always that neither his father or bothers would see him crying. He always cried after a hunt. Despite his fear of Dragons, there was something beautiful about them. Being a warlock, he could see them as pure magic and it was amazing, and when the magic disappeared and he was then faced with just a giant dead thing, it got to him, every time.
“Jeff! There you are, you’ve got to come check this out.”
The voice was an unwelcome break to his moment of silence and he turned a scowl towards his brother.
“We found three dragon eggs in the nest, one each!”
“Yeah come see.”
His brother beckoned and turned to lead the way. Jeff quickly got to his feet and followed. As they arrived his eldest brother brought his axe down hard shattering one of the eggs.
“What the fuck! Frank?”
The whole family turned, shocked at the potency of Jeff’s voice.
“We’re breaking eggs now?”
“So what, it’s as crisis prevention.”
A cold shiver ran down Jeff’s spin and he turned to face his father in the vain hope of support.
“Dad! We killed those other Dragons because they were becoming a threat, and probably now we know it’s because they had laid eggs and were just securing their territory. Breaking eggs, this, this is wrong!”
His father raised his hands calmingly, but before he could speak Frank needled in.
“What’s the matter is the little wizard even scared of Dragon eggs.”
“Warlock, I’m a warlock and you know it, and it’s not about being scared, it’s about right and wrong, … dad?”
“Now boys settle down, Frank leave your brother alone, and Jeff it’s not that bad there are still plenty of Dragons in the world and breaking an egg after a successful hunt is a tradition.”
“We’ve never done it before.”
“We’ve never found eggs before.”
Jeff paced in a small circle trying to calm down and order his thoughts.
“No, no that doesn’t matter, this is wrong. You told me when we started that we were providing a service, helping people, only hunting Dragons that were a problem and ultimately saving lives. Breaking eggs does none of that.”
“Jeff, son, it’s really not that big a deal, you just need to calm down.
“How can you say that?”
Frank scoffed, shook his head and swung his axe down into the nest breaking the second egg.
A second cold shiver ran down Jeff’s spin only this time instead of dread he felt a growing rage.
“You will not do that again.”
“And what are you going to do about it? I knew you didn’t have the stomach for Dragon slaying, wizard!”
Frank spat the last word at his brother and before their father could step between them or say anything Jeff’s eyes erupted into flame and his brother’s armour was ripped from his body. To make a show of what he was doing Jeff raised a hand clenched his fist and the armour crumpled like paper.
“I’m a Warlock, and you’ve never slain a Dragon in your life.”
Jeff’s voice had taken a dark tone; as raising his hand again his brother slowly lifted off the ground.
“You distract them while I do all the work. You’re not a Dragon hunter, you’re live bait and without me, backpack you’d be nothing.”
Fire danced through Jeff’s eyes as he walked closer to his now panicking brother.
“Now son, just put your brother down, we don’t want anything to happen that we might one day regret.”
Jeff turned towards his father.
“You’ve all already done things today that you should regret, I know I certainly do.”
But he lowered his hand dropping his brother, then bent down to pick up the last egg and slipped it into his backpack.
“And I’m not doing this anymore, and neither should you.”
He squared off against his father and clenched every muscle he could find to try to stop his legs from shaking.
“I quit, and you should retire. You might be a Dragon hunter dad, but they’re not.”
In a desperate grab for pride Frank quickly got back to his feet,
“Coward, we both know that if you couldn’t do that magic stuff I could kick your arse!”
Still furious Jeff turned quickly and punched his brother as hard as he could between the eyes, knocking him down and breaking his nose, along with a few of Jeff’s fingers.
He turned back to face his father, now cradling his hand.
He held his father’s gaze for a few seconds to prove to both of them that he was serious, and then started walking down the hill. Hoping for the second time that morning that no one would see him cry.