Forging

He struck the hot sword with his hammer. The clang echoed all through his workshop, and escaped out his windows and onto the cobbled street outside. He imagined that the sound could travel all the way to the edges of his city. He hoped that to fellow citizens who didn't know him and didn't know his work, the sound of his shop might be like a church bell, friendly, inviting, uniting, and galvanizing.

The Thousand Men

The thousand men were silent, their eyes focused like lasers on the king Shaka in front of them. He paced back and forth, serious and thoughtful. The valley was silent. The birds and rabbits had run away after the thousand men had arrived in the valley. Occasionally one of the thousand men would rest his spear on his shield. The clatter of spears against sheilds was the only noise in that rocky valley on that cloudless day.