Short Story: Imperfect Imitation

Genre: general, fantasy?


His spear was identical to his master’s. Same length, same ash wood shaft, same steel spearhead. Yet…

“The spearhead is lopsided. See how this side is thicker and how the point curves to one side,” his master said while turning the spear this way and that, “It looks like when you hammered the steel, you were more enthusiastic when you started and hit harder than when you started to shape the opposite side. It may look the same when you were hammering the steel, but you stressed the steel differently on both sides and it shows.

“Also, wriggling your spearhead when you quench doesn’t make the steel cool down faster. It is also another reason you have a warped blade. The temperature of your steel is plunging extremely quickly in an extremely short amount of time. It will deform. It’s only a question of how much. That wriggle dance you like to do only makes things worse.

“Next, the shaft. You’ve tapered the haft too much. You did a good job padding it up but the spear socket is too loose. When your life depends on your weapon, you want it to be solid.”

His master tapped the butt of the spear on the ground.

“Butt cap is solid. You noticed the mistake you made when you were hafting and paid more attention when you tapered the butt. Personally, I prefer to start from the butt then work on the head but to each their own. Now, let’s try them out.”

Unsurprisingly, when put to the test, his master’s spear struck true. His spear was still usable, but sometimes it veered off mark, and by the end of their test run his spearhead had wobbled off the shaft completely.

He looked down at the spearhead on the ground. It appeared that their spears weren’t as identical as he first thought.

“Remember what this spear taught you, and your next one will be better,” his master said.

“Yes, master.”



I spent more time researching spears and smithing than I actually did writing this piece >.< Feel free to let me know if there are any inaccuracies.

Posted on March 25, 2018, in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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