The Sentinel’s Nimbus

It was an early afternoon and Charlie was on his way to do a pick up in a suburban area of the city. As he was walked past houses that could only be differentiated by the colour of their front doors, he noticed an old man learning on a spade and scratching his head. He was standing in the centre of a well kept square of grass boxed in by shrubs. He seemed to be mumbling and had a perplexed look across his face. Charlie was just about to pass him by when he heard the old man say: “Excuse me young Sir but what does that symbol on your arm represent?” Charlie stopped walking and confusingly looked at the bare fabric of his shirt sleeve while the old man said: “The tattoo under that shirt. What does it symbolise?”

Charlie turned cold and with a glint of ice in his eye he asked the old man where he knew him from. The old man grinned displaying a row of uneven teeth crossing a spectrum of shades from yellow to brown.

“At ease young Sir!”

“Forget about your pick up and come inside with me for a cup of tea and a chat”

“You like tea I know and you need to know about that symbol on your arm.”

“Besides, if you go to that pick up it will be your last. So be a good soldier and do what you’re told!”

Charlie stood frigid staring at the grinning old man. He could hear him speak but his face was not moving. The two faced off, still as marble until two black ravens landed either side of the old man. The broad grin fell in to a stony face and with one slow movement the old man’s arm gestured towards the front door of the house behind him.


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