Cold Steel by Raina Lorring

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


My first life was lonely; perhaps it wasn’t a life at all. When my father first drew me, he did so with loving skillful hands. He labored over me for days, heating and hammering until I was the shape he desired.

“The wedding will be in a week,” he told me. “In a week Zera will finally be my wife.”

He heated me again, before wrapping a soft piece of material around my hard metal body. It was comforting.

“You will be a fine sword. You will fetch such a nice price I will be able to buy my lovely Zera anything her heart desires.” With that he left.

I could feel the approval from the other swords. They too felt I would be a fine sword, worthy of being sold in our father’s shop. This eased my fears and I rested, waiting for the new day.

When he returned I could feel anger in the air around him. The feelings seemed to burn at me hotter than the fire in the days before.

“How dare her,” he said, pulling me out of my cozy place. I could feel the concern from my brothers rise around us, they too had never seen our father this way. He gripped me harder, making me wish to cry out as he grinded my edges roughly. Each moment was agony. When he was done, he held me up for inspection.

It wasn’t a loving look reflected in my cold steel this time. His eyes were cruel and so were his words. “I have a new plan for you.”

Inwardly I shuddered.

A man walked into the shop and my father slammed me down on his work bench. There was a hush from the other swords. I was much too fragile to be handled this way.

“Get out,” said father.

“Kar, we must talk about this,” said the man, holding his hands up as if to show he was unarmed. “We didn’t mean for this to happen. I love her.”

“She was to be my wife!”

“We did not mean to hurt you.”

“Out!” Father grabbed his hammer and hurled it at the man. It missed, striking the wall so hard that one of the swords clanged to the ground. The man left. Father didn’t pick up my fallen brother, leaving him laying there like he was a used up piece of trash. He kicked the door closed.

“You will help me teach them not to embarrass me,” he said, picking me up. I was unsure what he meant. There was nothing I could do but lay there as he engraved my name into the steel of my blade.


That was my name now and that must have been what he wanted. I was unsure of the meaning of this word. He stuck me into the fire and then plunged me in cold water. He worked quickly on me, rushing my completion.

He added a crude hilt. I could feel the worried mutterings of my brothers. They feared I would be of poor quality. I didn’t like that. If my father loved me, why wouldn’t he want to make as well as

he could?

He looked down at me and my shining surface reflected his cruel smile. Then I was shoved into an old dirty scabbard. We left the shop. Despite my worry at my father’s erratic behavior I was excited at going into the outside world for the first time. There was noise all around. I couldn’t concentrate there was so much sound.

Father didn’t walk for long.

“Where do you two think you are going?” he screamed.

“Kar…I…I thought you told him,” said a woman’s voice I guessed to be Zera’s.

“He threw me out before I could.” I recognized this to be the man from earlier.

My father griped my hilt, squeezing it too tight for a proper grip. He would hurt his hand.

“I asked you where you were going!” Father’s voice was full of venom, making me shake in my scabbard.

“We are leaving, Kar. We thought it best for everyone if we made our own life somewhere else,” said Zera.

“No,” screamed father, pulling me out quickly.

It was then that I understood the reason for my shape and sharp edges. He wanted me to hurt these people. This was vengeance. Something felt wrong and I looked back to my life before this one, to the loneliness of my preexistence. That was better than this. If this hanging in the air while a young woman cringed in terror at the sight of me, was life then I wanted no part in it. A coldness spread through me and I shattered before I made contact, falling to the earth in useless pieces of metal.


Author’s Bio: Raina Lorring has had work appear in numerous publications. Her story “The Other Fish in the Sea” is currently in the anthology “Aurora in the Dawn” and her story “Pale Moon Rising” is in the anthology “Aurora of the Sun” both are available from CreateSpace. The author also has numerous articles published on many different websites. For more information about the author add her on Facebook.