“At our core, we are all creative beings. Whether or not you can see it now, is irrelevant. You will see it, as all do, eventually.”
The words came back to Ral at the strangest times. They would often snap him to attention, to a greater perception of himself. At those times, he would travel back and hear the words new again, as if they had been spoken only moments ago.
He had been a rowdy son. One that his mother often did not know how to deal with, especially since his father was not to be found. In an exasperated last gasp effort, she handed him over to the village artisan to apprentice beneath the kindly old man hoping that he would find an outlet for Ral’s endless energy.
Ral had resisted the apprenticeship. He was a gangly youth, who possessed no talent of the arts, and so he spoke his concerns vehemently to his mother and Gambolon, the artisan.
Gambolon was nonplussed, convinced in his own ability, and his ability to bring out the talents of others, he assured Ral’s mother that all was well. She, believing all was well, left Ral in his care.
Ral was large for his age. A youth of fourteen, larger than any man in the village, he towered over the other boys. It had always been a struggle for him, not knowing how to fit in. The other boys played, but he hurt them when he played, now no one would play with him. His drew into himself, only talking to his mother, and rarely.
Gambolon, to his credit, had tried to coax Ral’s talents out. He provided paint and canvas, ink and paper, and stone and chisel. When Ral would fail at one disipline, Gambolon would run bony hands over his balding head and try another. He believed that everyone had a talent. He just had to find Ral’s.
The beatings began two years in, when Gambolon had reached the end of his patience. An ashamed Ral never mentioned it to his mother. Her life was hard enough, but after six months of whipping with no apparent talents to show for it, he had had enough.
Gambolon stood no chance against Ral. The youth of sixteen, bloodied and crying from his nightly beating, towered over his elder, having no trouble driving the spiked handle of a brush deep into Gambolon’s neck, releasing the flow of death.
It was years after fleeing the village of his birth that Ral had found Gambolon’s words to be true. He did have talent. He could create. Gambolon was right all along, he just never had the right tools for Ral to work with.
Unknown to Gambolon, it was the long sword that unleashed Ral’s talents. His canvas, the battlefield beneath his feet. His paint, the blood of his foes.
Gambolon was right, though he would never know it.