Words of Affirmation

From The Monster in the Woods a Sureshot short story

    Together they sat in silence observing the pond and its tiny ecosystem in action. Durbar shifted his weight from one side to another, feeling the roughness of the bark underneath him. Adar on the other hand, was oblivious to anything except the calmness of the world around him and his son. 

    “I’m proud of you son,” Adar finally stated. Durbar’s eyes widened then focused as he sat up straight. 

    “What do you mean, father? I haven’t done anything,” the boy stated as he looked to his father and studied his face. Adar’s expression was relaxed, content and calm. The man continued to stare at the pond. 

“I mean that I am proud of the man you are becoming. I’ve had many adventures and lived a while, in the woods mostly, and yet raising you has been the biggest adventure and greatest challenge of my life.”

Durbar’s face flushed and he turned towards the pond and gripped his bow. His father’s words were like food for his soul but it still made him uneasy. He valued his father above all else and his approval was his strongest drive. It’s why he mimicked his father in every way and strove to do exactly as the man instructed. 

“You are becoming the man I hoped you would be,” Adar continued, this time a tear forming in his eye. The soft breeze of the evening dried it before it fell, and when he was in control once more he added, “You have learned everything I tried to teach you and in many ways, you may become a better ranger and better man than I.”

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