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I Would Sing (Short Story)
I Would Sing (Short Story)
I Would Sing (Short Story)
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I Would Sing (Short Story)

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Sherwyn and his brother toil to earn the brideprice Sherwyn needs in order to marry the woman he loves. But the nobles have their hearts set on owning the village, and they have no intention of letting any man remain free.

A story from The Unshut World. Part of The Ridge of Earth Collection. (~11000 words)

Release dateJan 7, 2014
I Would Sing (Short Story)
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Stephen Measure

Stephen Measure is an author of unconventional satires and strange stories.

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    I Would Sing (Short Story) - Stephen Measure

    I Would Sing

    The Ridge of Earth Collection


    Silver Layer Publications

    Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Measure

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

    This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, organizations, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or organizations is entirely coincidental.

    Silver Layer Publications

    P.O. Box 1047

    Chino Valley, AZ 86323


    Last Updated June 3, 2017 (front and back matter)

    Wolves came down from the mountains that winter, prowling through the village at night, no wall yet built to hold them out. Young Sherwyn flinched at each howl, cowering in his seat against the table. The light from a small candle shone on the silent face of his brother, who sat across from him, both of the boys covered by thick blankets. In the loft above, their parents coughed, lost in a fever that had claimed so many others. And outside, the wolves. There was no more livestock to be devoured. Now there was only them.

    Sherwyn buried his face in his hands.

    Why are you crying? his brother asked.

    Sherwyn raised his head. A tear ran down his cheek. He hated letting his brother see him cry. His brother was always so brave. Why can’t I be brave? Sherwyn asked himself.

    On the table in front of his brother lay the family’s sword, passed down from generation to generation, its metal hidden beneath a coat of black paint. The world always seemed a little firmer whenever the sword was near.

    Sherwyn wiped the tear off his cheek. I don’t want to die, he said.

    His brother shrugged. And what if you do? What if tonight is your time to die?

    Tears spilled out of Sherwyn’s eyes. He hid them from his brother with his hands. Wolves howled in the night. They sounded so close. Sherwyn’s shoulders shook.

    Will your tears make a difference? his brother asked. Will they keep the wolves away? Why cry at the end? If these are your last moments, will you spend them in fear?

    The candle flickered as the wind blew outside, mixing with the howling of the wolves. Above them, their parents coughed violently.

    My last moments, Sherwyn thought, I don’t want to waste them. I don’t want to die in fear. But what else can I do? he asked himself. What else can I do when death presses in?

    What would you do? Sherwyn asked.

    His brother smiled. I would sing.

    But Sherwyn’s brother did not sing that night. Nor did he sing a week later when they buried their mother and father in shallow graves carved in the frozen soil. He did not sing the following winter when it was he weak with fever and coughing in the loft above. He did not sing during drought. He did not sing during flood. Years went by and the brothers grew strong

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