Two Roads Diverged In A Wood

Avatar Author: kaellinn18 Follow me on Twitter: I love to write. One of my life goals is to write a novel, but right now work, church, and family take up most of my spare time. This site helps me scratch that writi... Read Bio

As the knight approached the fork in the road, he noticed an old man sitting beneath a tree. “Spare some food, sir?”

“Certainly,” the knight replied. He dismounted and offered the old man some jerky from his stores. “It is the duty of all knights to help the less fortunate, and I always assist those in need.”

The old man looked at the knight out of the corner of his eye. “It is easy for you to give, for you have much. I wonder, would you be so generous with what is truly precious?”

The knight frowned. “What do you mean?”

The old man indicated the intersection with a frail hand. “Down each road wait life and death. If you go east, you will live many years, but all around you will suffer and die. If you go west, your life will be short, but others will endure for years to come.”

“And if I go back the way I came?”

The old man cackled. “Which way would that be?” The knight turned, but the road he had ridden thus far was gone, swallowed by the forest.

“Now we shall see what sort of man you really are.”

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Comments (7 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    I really like this, plus I love the Robert Frost title! Thats the only poem of his I like. Nice story and well written

  2. Avatar Mostly Harmless

    A nice little morality tale that could easily spawn two different chains of sequels – that would be really interesting actually…

    Who is the old guy I wonder? Did he make the wrong choice and get trapped at the crossroads forever? So many questions! MH :)

  3. Avatar Horrorfan13

    This is interesting enough to want more. It could turn into quite a story depending on which fork he chooses!

  4. Avatar John Perkins

    Very well told. I enjoyed the setting and the sudden turn of the fragile old man to demon/wizard.

    I think Mostly Harmless’s idea of spawning two separate sequel paths is awesome, and hope someone with more skill and creativity than I takes that chance.

  5. Avatar bluefish

    Maybe the old man was faced with the same choice and couldn’t bring himself to choose either, so he became trapped there? Hmmm!

  6. Avatar cthulhuburger

    Personally I don’t think this story needs to be sequeled. Its strength is in its ambiguity, so there’s no need to resolve it.

    And for what it’s worth, I would assume the old man is the Devil. He’s at the crossroads, has magical power, and offers a terrible and deadly deal.

  7. Avatar kaellinn18

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! When I wrote this, I didn’t really have any sort of idea for who the old man was; he existed merely to present the knight with his moral quandary. I like some of the interesting ideas that have been posed in the comments, though, and I hope that some of you will continue this.

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