This is just a short sample of “The Legend of the Dreamseers”, in which Reuel’s father dies after an attempt to rescue him from the enemy prison goes awry:
“Father!” Reuel choked. How could it have ended this way? Why couldn’t he save his own father? The first mission shouldn’t be like this. Nothing should be like this. Reuel dashed to his father’s side, felt for his breathing, listened for his heartbeat. The heartbeat that he had heard so many times, strong and steady, when he was a boy and his father had held him close. Now it was only a whisper.
“Father, do you hear me?” Bar-Reuel’s eyes opened slowly, but he seemed to gaze straight through his son. His pale lips did not move. “Father! Stay awake!” Reuel cried. Not like this! he thought. I have to hear his voice again. “Father, speak to me!”
Bar-Reuel’s eyes shone with recognition, while a glimmer of sorrow pooled at their edges. A lone tear rolled slowly down his sunken cheek and mingled with the blood stains on the ground. Yet he remained as silent as the dead around him.
At last, Reuel burst forth in anger. Anger at Vurd. Anger at the enemy. Anger at himself. He should have fought harder. He could have been braver. But he had been too afraid, too weak. Just another searing reminder that he was still a child. “When I have reached manhood, I will avenge your death thrice over, I swear I will!” Reuel screamed.
Bar-Reuel closed his eyes, drawing in a deep breath. “A man?” he challenged, his voice still deep and firm, even though his injuries made its edges ragged. “And what makes you a man, Reuel? When will you count yourself ready to fulfill your oath?” Reuel’s words caught in his throat. Suddenly, none of the answers he wanted to give made any sense at all. “I had hoped to see you grow up,” Bar-Reuel finished slowly. “Nothing else could have given me more joy than watching you learn what it is to be a man. Now I can only warn you…” a terrible sigh of regret laced his final words: “Don’t wait for manhood to be thrust upon you, or you will never find it.”
Bar-Reuel closed his eyes and let his breath wander slowly from his lips, as though it knew that it would never again return. Confused, alone, Reuel could do nothing but stare at his father’s quiet face, numbed by his loss. Suddenly, the white lips moved. “I love you,” Bar-Reuel murmured, as his head slipped to the side.
Finally, with no hope left to hold it back, Reuel’s sorrow broke free. Sobbing, he embraced his father’s body, his head resting upon the still chest one last time. There was no heartbeat to be heard.