Tilting Focus, Redux

“A fool spills his blood where a wiser would not waste it.” — Beneebian proverb

Splash Josian flickr see file

Photo credit: Josian

Baran sat cross-legged, staring at the heavy glass floating before him, wobbling.  He’d thought casting the spell would be the difficult part.  And it was.  Of the five original apprentices, only he had come this far.

But this was harder.

Behind him, Asdor clucked.  “Keep it steady. You need to concentrate, boy.”

Baran focused, tipping the glass slowly to pour the liquid drop by drop.

“Careful, now.  This isn’t a race.”

Asdor banged something against the floor and Baran startled.  Liquid sloshed onto the floor.

“Out there, you won’t have the luxury of quiet.  Get used to distractions, tune them out.”

The old man made other sounds, but Baran studiously ignored them.  The glass was half empty when he began to worry.  Asdor had not harangued him for some time.

Baran ventured a word, letting it slip out softly to not disturb the spell.  “Asdor?”

No response, only a slight gurgle.

Asdor might be fooling him.  No, he could not take the chance.

When Baran twisted back, the glass fell, splashing, shattering.

He scooped the unconscious man into his arms and raced to the temple.

Later, Asdor smiled weakly. “Another lesson almost too hard-won, boy.  Focus is fools-blood without priorities.”

Word count: 200.  Submitted for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.  Thanks as always to Alastair Forbes for hosting (his last month of doing do, sadly), and for providing the original photo prompt, below. I thought I wouldn’t have time today to participate, but I recognized this photo, and I’m cheating and using the story I posted back when he last used the photo, in May of 2016.  So if it sounds familiar, that’s why.

Click here to see the other stories, and to submit your own.

SPF 157-05-may-22nd-2016

Photo ©  A Mixed Bag



20 thoughts on “Tilting Focus, Redux

  1. This may be a repeat for some but new for others, like me. Your story reminds me of my current efforts to train my lab puppy, Oliver. He tries so hard to concentrate but distractions get the best of him. Nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not that different of a training practice, good point! Although the risks of messing up are a lot worse for wizards, I would say. (Although perhaps I’d say otherwise if I had to clean up after the puppy, ha ha!). Thanks for reading!


    • The moral I had in mind is in the mentor’s last sentence, and can be extended to other endeavors in life too: that to excel at any one thing you have to focus on it, but at the same time, you should keep your priorities straight and know when to turn and focus on something else (like family, friends). Or another lesson is: know when to break the rules your mentor sets for you!

      Liked by 1 person

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