He’d just sat down with a drink at a dark, dingy pub far away from home, settling into his hardwood seat, finding a way to get comfortable in spite of the purse on his belt that bulged with golden coins.

Being a man of honor and youth, he had made no moves to display his wealth but also made no moves to hide it. It’s value was simply was what it was. As his eyes slowly adjusted to the light of the firelit eve, he saw all sorts of folk swarming the scene.

There were all the usual types peddling their wares at fare prices, but the shrewd demeanor that permeated the man’s every move clearly communicated he had a plan in mind, and that he’d follow through or die trying. Many suitors passed his way but just as quickly left once they realized his intentions. He would often take a long, slow drag from the burning ember barely hanging from his cigarette as he made eye contact with potential suitors as a way of saying…

He was in control and they were not what he was looking for. Not tonight, not ever. The silver glint in his hair flashed in the flickering firelight as strongly as the passion for success flashed in his eyes on those rare moments you were able to catch them. Between the flash and the frowns, a familiar face made it’s way over with a smile and a wave. To some, it didn’t seem like much, bit to the few who knew, it meant a lot.

Of course, it took more than a smile and wave to win this man over. All who laid eyes upon his sullen, dark features knew that. But this was not one of those situations. When intent meets desire, there aren’t many things foolish enough to stand in its way, even fewer that are successful at it. In the distance, a sage silently bowed and a wise man paused in respect add the winds whistled and the trees trembled.

The man stood, collected his things, and walked into the pitch black silence of midnight nowhere. Behind him stood all that he knew, offers on the table, safety at stroke of the pen, life as one could only hope for… But in the darkness, he met an old friend. A friend with a vague promise built on hope, memories, and failed actors. And from that dark, cold evening in December, as the Wolves circled, the Chickens roosted, and the demons threatened, he accepted an offer no sane man would accept.

There’s a small fire threatening to roar to life. It’s crackling and popping from an ember from an ember hidden deep under some old logs. An ember that never died, an ember that was once part of a crackling, roaring inferno that fueled laughter and warmth in all those that gathered around it. It’s been lying in wait for years, feeding itself on the memories of what once was and hope for what might come.

It may be a bridge between the past and future, uniquely placed by coincidence and last minute trolley dashes. Few are the sporting men who’d have been willing to plunk down their hard earned money on the potential manifestation of actions in those days and none can blame them. What wise man would bet on a last minute purchase made in sheer desperation as a sure fire investment?

Yet, as that desperate move so many years ago stabilized a ship recently rocked by a profound battering on the shores of a familiar land, once again the old ship, this time lilting and leaning from fresh wounds, will be directed to a safe harbor, but this time from a position of command, by that same man.