Aida Zabidi
“Where’s your steel?” he demanded. 

“Steel?” stammered the boy, grasping involuntarily to his side. “I don’t have any weapons sir.” 

“Not weapons boy, your steel!” roared the grizzly faced man. 

The boy gulped, wondering what he had gotten himself into. The tales he had often heard as a child of heroes and soldiers said nothing of tall, imposing men asking for steel and talking in riddles. He couldn’t even remember how he had gotten where he was, and why in eternity was this man wearing such strange clothes? 

“Where are you from?” asked the man, gentling at his obvious agitation. “You’re not from around these parts are you - to not even know what steel is.” He paused for a moment, assessing the boy. 

The boy straightened his back and squared his shoulders underneath the penetrating gaze, holding himself a bit taller. “No sir.” Strangely enough he felt comfortable, like he was meant to be where he was. 

“You won’t last long without steel boy.” 

“If you don’t mind me asking sir, what is steel?” 

“It’s something inside us. It’s something all of us have, but some have more in them than others, and it’s how you use it that makes you a man. The lives of men have been forged by the amount of steel they have in their nature, and it will make and break you those moments that you need to reach deep inside when your steel is tested.” 

“Do you think I have any steel inside me sir?” asked the boy earnestly. 

The man shrugged and started walking towards the stars. “Only time will tell, boy.”
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