When I was a child, I was never terrified of the dark. Oh no. My bed was much to low for anything to crawl under it. I know, I tried myself when I was 7, and I had a wardrobe instead of a closet. Yep, my room was boogeyman and gremlin proof. The last time I cried for my mommy at night was when I was 5, and that was because I stubbed my foot in the dark.
As far as I knew, I deserved 10 medals for courage by the time I was 8. I would often scare my cousin Jeff, who’s only a year under me, about all the ghosts and bad things in my house whenever he slept over. Not nice I know, but hey, I was 8.
I was perfectly content with my unlit sleeping conditions until my 13th birthday, when my stupid aunt just had to give me her stupid present. A night light, a rather fancy one, and brand new. Well she called it a ”motion lamp” and told me to try it when I went to bed that night. So I did. The scene it projected was nice, a knight wearing a red cape charging with sword in hand, with a castle behind him. I liked it, and I would leave it on every night and fall asleep looking at the knight. I imagined his name, the name of the castle, and bit by bit I made his story.
Then one night, when I had just turned 15 it happened.
I was looking at the scene which I so often looked at before bed, and the I heard a voice. ”Hello Kent”. I was shocked, the voice sounded familiar yet foreign at the same time. ”Who are you?” I said. ”Your sworn shield, your faithful protector, Sir Aaron of Redpool. I know I’m late, I apologize”’.
I wasn’t afraid at all, no. I had this strange feeling inside of me, like I just met with a long-lost friend.
But I was 15 now, not a child anymore. I convinced myself that imagined characters could not jump out and speak to me, that this was all an extremely lucid dream. That was until I saw him. A tall knight, six feet tall, blonde haired with a charming face. Just like in the night lamp
I was shocked by the reality of his figure, the way he looked so real, everything about him was so real. As if he knew my doubts, he drew his sword. The blue steel flashed as he drew it, reflecting the dim light of the lamp. And then he shook his cape. I could feel the breeze it generated, the gust of air tingled my skin. I was not dreaming.
Of course, this being the current age of horror movies and 8 year old kids killing like psychopaths on Grand theft auto, I was also extremely skeptical. The words ”Demonic entity” immediately came across my mind, so I decided to authenticate the nature of Sir Aaron’s presence in the only way possible.
”Are you a demon?’
Sir Aaron laughed ”I am, I chose this form to gain your trust and in three months time I’m going to drive you to suicide and mass murder!”
I laughed with him, but he seemed to know that I felt genuine fear.
”No Kent, I’m not a demon or ghost, and I will never hurt you or your loved ones”
”Are you real? Or am I schizophrenic?” I asked, this being the second most pressing question one should ask to any being that manifests itself into one’s perceived reality.
Sir Aaron laughed again, but this time he did not answer, instead he patted me on the back with his gloved fist.
We spent the night talking. Sir Aaron seemed to know the outlines of my life but not the specifics. For example, he knew that I was writing an English paper, but he didn’t know the topic. He knew what restaurant I liked to go to but not my favorite food to order there. I was rather shocked at this, but Sir Aaron said that this was so that he would know whether I was safe or not. He called it his ”bonded instinct”. He said he would always know the outlines of my life, but not the specifics. Enough to protect me, nothing more, nothing less.
The next morning, I of course doubted the events of the night. I surmised that it was just a dream within a dream, so I went through my day as usual, and at night I commenced my ritual of looking at the lamp until I fell asleep.
The Sir Aaron appeared, slamming my bedroom door open and blowing a hunting horn he got from who knows where.
”Oh god” I muttered. It wasn’t a dream.
”That’s right, it’s happening!” Sir Aaron said with a smile on his face. As he closed the door I noticed he was carrying a rather large bag. He emptied it on my floor; two dummy swords and two wooden shields.
”I know you have me, but you”ll still need to learn how to defend yourself”
”I’ll get a gun when I’m 21” I replied brusquely.
”Sorry champ, that’s still a few years from now, until then, it’s the melee for you”
For the next few weeks I trained with Sir Aaron at night, waking up with bruises on my body. They hurt, but I was surprised that I remembered what sir Aaron taught me every morning. To me this definitely proved Sir Aaron’s reality. I was not delusional. Sir Aaron visited me ever night
As middle school turned to high school and that turned into college, Sir Aaron and I grew closer. Sir Aaron became my friend, my teacher, my guardian, even though he never had the need to defend me in public. If only my room is big enough to practice archery, oh well, he did teach me dagger throwing. And how to talk to girls, and how to handle poisonous snakes. How did he get poisonous snakes? Never mind, who cares? An entity of uncertain origin with awesome practical skills is teaching me cool stuff, while being my best friend for more than 10 years. Why am I worrying about snakes?
Sadly I did not get a job as a History channel weapons expert, but instead I work as a cargo distribution manager. Not too many opportunities to brag about my swordplay skills, sadly.
But now, I’m afraid soon I may not see Sir Aaron again. The doctor came up with the test results. The bone marrow samples tested positive. The doctor says that I have a fighting chance, but I don’t want to distress Sir Aaron, so I told him I’m having laser removal for that exhaust burn on my leg. That will cover any of his suspicions about me continuously visiting the hospital.
Luckily, Sir Aaron bought the lie. I always thought of myself as bad liar. Well if I can fool an entity with intrinsic knowledge of me, then hell, I’m not a bad liar at all. Anyways, tonight Sir Aaron and I are gonna watch this pirated Japanese movie I downloaded. I even got some especially potent sake for the occasion.