Show me how to lie
You're getting better all the time
And turning all against the one

Is an art that's hard to teach

Another clever word
Sets off an unsuspecting herd
And as you step back into line
A mob jumps to their feet

Will was content.

He was riding on Tug, the small horse walking on slowly through the brush. He was riding back to the cabin slowly, in no rush. He felt the anger that had boiled in his chest vanish and be replaced by contentment.

It was a strange type of contentment, though. He did not feel at ease, but like he had set out to do something and had accomplished it. He, after some deep thought, realized what he had wanted was revenge.

The bandits had not been too hard to track. After he had got to the town they had struck in, he got a few tips by seeing and not being seen in a bar, and followed them easily.

After he had found their camp, he had known that was when he was to repay the men who nearly killed him without putting up a real fight.


He was crouching in the brush, totally concealed with his cloak around him and he was sitting completely motionless. His recurve bow was held in his hand, drawn taught, and an arrow already nocked on the string.

He was watching as the group of eight bandits sat around a rather large campfire. They all had mugs of ale and were roaring around with laughter, jesting loudly under the velvet sky.

They were totally oblivious to the threat that crouches hidden in the brush.

Will frowned and his hand brushed against his gut, where he could still feel the vicious scar through his shirt.

Now dance f*cker dance
Man he never had a chance
And no one even knew
It was really only you

The apprentice's eyes traveled around the fire and he slowly—very slowly—raised the bow and drew back the arrow soundlessly.

Today, he gave no mercy. The men had not given him mercy, so he would return the favor.

He found his target, the man with his back to him, and released his finger's grip on the string.

The arrow flew with a soft whistle and sliced through the man's throat and stuck there, blood spraying out in front of him and burning in the fire. The bandits gasped and yelled, scrabbling up.

Before they could act, three more arrows were on their way and three bandits never got to their feet.

The remaining four were confused and terrified—they had seen four of their companions die and they had no idea where the attacker was, or how many. By the rapidness of the shots, the least drunken man, the leader of the group, estimated there were three or four archers shooting at them.

Will released one more arrow, hitting the left most bandit between the eyes. Then he stood, unsheathing his saxe and throwing knife and slinging his bow across his shoulders beforehand.

And now you steal away
Take him out today
Nice work you did
You're gonna go far, kid

The bandits were flabbergasted that only this young boy was responsible for five of their comrades' deaths, within the span of ten seconds.

The bandit closest to Will reacted the fastest and had unsheathed his sword when he had scrabbled up. He swung a wild, not-thought-through cut to his neck. Will reacted with lightning fast reflexes and ducked under the wild blow, his saxe stabbing the man between the ribs.

He pulled his knife out of the dying man's body just in time to block an overhand cut from the second to last bandit. He blocked almost disdainfully several times before he found his opportunity and stabbed his saxe into the bandit's armpit.

The bandit fell with a strangled cry and Will's eyes flicked to the bandit's leader. The man had scrabbled for his sword and now stood on the other side of the fire, staring at the boy who killed all of his men easily.

"Who…are y-you?" The leader stuttered, trying so desperately to keep his voice from trembling.

"What?" Will asked with malice, starting in a slow circle toward him. "You don't remember me?"

With a thousand lies
And a good disguise
Hit 'em right between the eyes
Hit 'em right between the eyes

"Rem-member you? What-t are you t-talking a-about?"

Will watched the man take several steps backwards but his back hit a tree, and he dared not move out of the way as Will stepped forward again, close enough to talk comfortably but out of the range of the longer weapon the leader carried.

"I can't believe you don't remember. Too much ale has clouded your brain. Two months ago, in the forest, just before dusk. You figured out a man was following you. You snuck up on him and stabbed him yourself. Do you remember?"

The bandit leader struggled to remember. What the boy was saying was ringing a bell, somewhere. He thought back and eventually remembered—he could see the young boy's eyes clearly, showing pain as he fell to the ground.

"I don't understand what that has to do wi—" Comprehension dawned and the bandit's eyes grew large, his mouth gaping open and making soundless screams.

"You'r-re h-him-m…"

When you walk away
Nothing more to say
See the lightning in your eyes
See 'em running for their lives

Will smiled grimly at the man as he took another step forward. "You didn't think what would happen if I lived, did you? How you would fall. Who would bring your end. You didn't think that the boy lying in the grass could have been the man who would finish you. You're dying now because of your own mistake."

After his little, angry speech, Will drove the saxe into the leader's gut, exactly where the man had two months ago. The leader gasped, slipping down to the ground. Will pulled his knife out of the man and looked at the evil man who nearly killed him.

"At least I have the decency to make it quick," Will told the man, and stabbed him in the heart to make his end come faster.

After the deed was done, Will walked back to Tug and rode to the village they had most recently attacked and alerted them the bandits were dead and told them the place where their bodies lay.

Then he started back slowly toward home.

Slowly out of line
And drifting closer in your sights
So play it out I'm wide awake
It's a scene about me

There's something in your way
And now someone is gonna pay
And if you can't get what you want
Well it's all because of me

Will was still riding home, about six miles away, as he finished rethinking about what he had just done. He felt the bandit's blood on his hands, staining them beyond sight, and wondered if he would eventually feel guilty, and if it was exactly a bad thing.

He let Tug led the way, since the little horse knew his way back from here. Will would lead him when there was a fork in the path, but other than that, Tug would follow the thin path toward home.

The thought of the man who killed him being dead at his own hand sent mixed emotions through his gut and shivers down his spine. Killing was not a very enjoyable thing, but it was necessary in the profession of a Ranger.

It almost brought bile to his mouth thinking of stealing someone's life away from them, watching the light fade from their wide eyes. Goosebumps ran down his arms uncomfortably and he ran one arm down the other, trying to make them go away.

Tug felt his master's discomfort and neighed softly, shaking his head as well, He turned his head slightly and master and steed met eyes to...eye. Will nodded to Tug and rubbed his mane, thanking his horse softly.

The horse had said no words. But all the comfort in the world had been in that single look.

Now dance, f*cker, dance
Man, I never had a chance
And no one even knew
It was really only you

They rode in silence for a long time before they came into an eerily familiar clearing. It was quite small and the grass was high around the cleared path. But Will had a horrible sense of Déjà vu overcome him.

He slowed Tug and looked around, feeling bugs crawl in his stomach. This was the place where he had nearly died, all that time ago.

He looked around for a long time before he slipped down from the saddle and crouched down by a partially sunken spread of long grass. He parted it and looked at the soil.

Will recognized the place almost instantly. He had fallen here, and the crushed grass had grown slower than the rest, showing to a trained eye where something heavy had lain. He also thought the amount of blood the grass had soaked up must not have been very good for the health of the vegetation.

And now you'll lead the way
Show the light of day
Nice work you did
You're gonna go far, kid
Trust deceived!

He sat down heavily and sat there, hands on the grass and his legs slightly cross-legged, his back hunched. His eyes were distant as he thought about the pain of that night, the night that would change everything.

He never thought he would find the exact spot where he had nearly died, before he had found the strength to go and save Tug. He never thought he would ever go in the very clearing, let alone find the spot.

It was really creepy.

Will eventually stirred himself from his deep, wandering thoughts and slowly stood up, his gaze traveling slowly around the clearing, seeing the trees wave at him and the grass swing slowly with the gentle wind.

He sighed and turned away from the scene, slowly mounting Tug and nudging him with his boots and Tug started again toward home once more. Hopefully, they wouldn't run into any more painful memories.

He was not to be so lucky.

With a thousand lies
And a good disguise
Hit 'em right between the eyes
Hit 'em right between the eyes
When you walk away
Nothing more to say
See the lightning in your eyes
See 'em running for their lives

The pair of horse and master rode through the evening lit forest silently, master lost in thought and horse wondering why he was. They came to another clearing and this time, Will felt his gut clench drastically more than before.

He stopped Tug and sat with grim surprise as he looked around the small glade Tug had been in, where he had lain close to death from the severe loss of blood and also where Halt had found him.

But something else had stopped him, not just the actual place, but a dim sparkle in the long grass and the feeling of something of great value close to his person.

Maybe not of money value, but of memory.

Will got off of Tug and walked slowly, almost fearfully, toward where he had seen the dull sparkle of steel in the grass. He crouched and parted the grass with his hands and his eyes widened when he saw a rusty, dim dagger in the grass. It was not a special looking dagger, but an ordinary weapon of no worth.

Now dance, f*cker, dance
He never had a chance
And no one even knew
It was really only you
So dance, f*cker, dance
I never had a chance
It was really only you

"I don't believe it…" Will whispered, his hand gripping the weapon and remembering the exact feel of it two months ago. This dagger was the one that had left the scar in his flesh and in his mind.

Will was shocked it was still here. He wondered if anyone came this way, or if anyone could have seen it, covered with growing long grass and a rust coat.

The apprentice lifted it up and turned it slowly from side to side; the dying light of dusk lighting up the few specks of clouded steel there was on the blade. The rest was covered with the rust.

If this dagger was still here, point still in the dirt, he realized that his saxe knife might still be here.

Halt, when Will had asked, had told him he never went back for the saxe. He had been too worried that if he left for so long, for such a trivial thing, that Will might panic if he had woken from one of his near constant nightmares.

So Will held the dagger as he went searching for his old saxe. It wasn't that hard to find, since it wasn't too far from where the dagger was. He remembered he had thrown it from where he had been lying, and the saxe had been next to him.

He parted the grass and low and behold, there lay a rusty saxe knife in the dirt. He reached for it and looked it over. The grip felt the same, the knife near the same to what it had looked like two months before, besides the rust and the dirtiness of the hilt and pommel.

Will looked back to Tug to show him the heavy knife.

"Do you believe it, Tug?" He asked softly. His horse responded with a somewhat shrug. It was more like a leg lift that made his shoulders go pointedly up and down.

"Neither can I," Will said, ignoring the weird look his horse gave him when he turned back to the spot.

With a thousand lies
And a good disguise
Hit 'em right between the eyes
Hit 'em right between the eyes
When you walk away
Nothing more to say
See the lightning in your eyes
See 'em running for their lives

After a long, long time, Will stood and looked at the two weapons in his hands. He looked at one to the other, wondering what to do with them.

The decision came soon after and as if this decided something in a silent, ever-binding way, he dropped both of the weapons and they fell into the long grass and vanished.

It was like he was forgiving the men for what they did. For what they took, for what they stole. He was forgetting what had happened and moving on.

Life throws curves at you that you can't and won't expect. But the trick is to not dwell on them, because you can't take it back or do anything to change it. To forgive who wronged you, to think of who love you, to remember who you are and keep on moving forward.

After all, the story of life is the best one to tell, and the most entertaining to write.

Clever alibis
Lord of the flies
Hit 'em right between the eyes
Hit 'em right between the eyes

When you walk away
Nothing more to say

See the lightning in your eyes
See 'em running for their lives

Finished! Fin! The End! Bum bum BUMMMM!

Did anyone guess that he would find the saxe knife? Anyone at all? I was planning for Halt to actually go back before they (yes, both of them) went to kill the bandits and stuff. But then it never made its way onto my screen. So, this is how Sound the Bugle ends!

I didn't think this was how it was going to end, to tell you the truth. I thought it was going to be a simple, two or three chapter thing that no one would want me to finish. But now I'm getting death threats to finish it. O_o Now that is irony.

I LOVE this song. No, not just because it swears. It inspired a story, of course, but I never finished it because my friend England and I tried to write it together but it failed. Epically.

Tell me what you think. Of the story as a whole or just the chapter. ^-^ I don't mind. I want all of your opinions, though! So please, R & R!

Stay Happy,