Amongst the silky summer breeze was the sharp chime of the robin and the dull clang of a hammer striking iron. Richard Holyfield heard the hammer falls first, and then smelt the smoke from the furnace as cinders and ash were carried through the wind to his farm home. Richard looked over to his aging wife, who was simply staring at the ceiling with a deep set scowl and wrinkles, along with an eyebrow that bent like a caterpillar. She was as beautiful as ever.
“Go tell that damn kid to quit banging that metal around.”
“And do it quick, I want breakfast.”
After pulling on old, holey clothes, and reflecting on his wife's kind words, he groggily went out of his house, bumping into a table as he went. The clanging grew louder as he saddled up his old, dirt brown horse in the dim light of sunrise. Richard half-heartedly apologized for waking him up so early as he climbed on top of the aging beast.
The horse carried Richard down the trail for a few miles as the smell of smoke grew more potent and the sound hit him like a stone with every swing of the blacksmith's hammer. Even his horse rasped out complaints in weak cries of annoyance.
As Richard finally reached the young blacksmith, he yelled over the hammering and got his attention. Richard rode near him as the young man rubbed sweat off of his face.
“Young man, who exactly are you?”
“I’m Matthis’ son, he lives ‘bout a mile west o’ ‘ere.”
“Farmer Matthis? Why the hell is a farmer’s boy trying to be a smithy!”
“Well you see, sir, a good few days ago an old man with a big old beard and a big old stick came wonderin’ over my pap’s farm whilst I was workin’ on a wheat crop I think. Said I look like a good strong man, said he might come back in a few weeks time, give me some work adventurin’ or somethin’, but said I hadda get me a sword or some ol’ kind of fightin’ thang to protect mineself. At that point I thought that man aought be one them wizards, so I said I’d do it, but I didn’t have a weapon, so he gave me some iron ‘engats’ -them are bars- and told me to make somethin’, so I am!”
Richard didn’t say anything for a moment and stood there in deep contemplation and his palm on his brow. “Well… you just stop doing this clanging this early in the morning.”
“Oh no sir, I can’t do none of that, I gotta do my farming work for my pap, and he said I could use this old smithy in the morning, and if I ain’t got a sword or something when that wizard come back I ain’t gonna be able to go with him.”
“Why are you so dead set on going with this wizard?”
“Oh, well, I reckon this type of thang only happen to a few people, and them few people must be mighty lucky to have a chance to and do something exciting outside their little town, so I ought’a take my chances and go with that wizard, cuz he might let me stay with him on adventures.”
“Who would want that?”
“I reckon it’s better than having to live my whole life here with the same two neighbor folk.”
Richard thought on that for a moment. After a big, great, heavy sigh, he said to the young man, “Well, you try and do your smithing a bit quieter, and if that wizard does come back, let me talk to him, will you?”