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The Knight’s Errand

Many a knight passed without the truth coming to light

The clashing of steel rang out from within the hushed woods of the Eldar Trail. This was no place to spill blood idly, for most wisely feared the wrath of the Peacemakers. Their Eyes watched and oiled their bowstrings, witnessing murder in the deep dark woods.

Sir Gwain swung his Damascan blade and again met the crude dark metal of the ogre’s axes. The errant knight deflected blow after blow, parrying and dancing as he pushed back the onslaught. Twin axe heads clove the air where the meat and bone of his body stood moments before.

The dark blades etched their purpose into his sword; as it withstood each blow, he prayed it didn’t fail. He used every ounce of his skill to stay ahead of the butcher. Every muscle in his body ached, his breath grew ragged, but he now saw his moment.

At last!

His sword severed one head of the two-headed ogre. The forlorn twin let out a mournful wail and raged against the knight.

“Daaamn yoou, huumannn!”

“It speaks!” cried the knight.

“Thennn heeear mee,” said ogre through gritted teeth as they circled the knight lowering his axes.

“Know me beast - I am Sir Gwain. Scream the name of your better as you leave this world!”

Anger flashed in the ogre’s eyes, and the ground shook with their lumbering steps as they rushed toward Gwain axes swinging in a dual overhead strike. The knight leapt out of their incredible reach and hit the ground hard.

The movements of the beast became less precise, with only a single mind to coordinate their limbs. Rolling to his feet, Gwain slashed out with his blade and caught a fleshy calf.

“It bleeds!” he shouted in triumph.

“Of course we do!” said the ogre.

“I can’t slow it any more, the spell will fail soon,” said a sober Merlin, sweat trickling into his eyes as he traced a complicated pattern in the air before him.

“What good is your magic!” said Gwain, ducking out of the grasp of the ogre.

The beast lumbered after him, blood seeping from over a dozen cuts while great slow glumps flowed from the truncated neck.

“At least it’ll bleed to death faster when it wears off,” countered the wizard.

“Small mercy if I’m a flattened memory of a knight,” said Gwain.

Merlin’s magic faltered, and the ogre’s movements flickered faster, and a once ponderous arm surged, slamming Gwain into the ground.

He rolled with the momentum dazed but back on his feet.

“Hold still and fight us with honour!” bellowed the ogre, their speech matching the sudden pace of their arms as they grabbed hold of Sir Gwain.

The knight’s eyes bulged as the bear hug crushed his ribs and great streams of blood now spurted from the ogre’s severed neck.

“Why… hunt us?” murmured the ogre as it collapsed backward.

Merlin waited a good minute and a half, hidden in the treeline, before stalking forward to check on the still corpse. He cast glances behind him; he felt the Eyes on his blackened soul.

Two corpses.

Gwain’s purple face put Merlin’s fleeting worry to rest, “More a pawn than a knight in the end, hmm Gwain.”

He ignored the corpse of his erstwhile ally, and with a spring in his step and hum on his lips; he collected his reward.

Taking a sharp dagger from his belt Merlin sliced off all four ogre ear lobes, “Powerful magic indeed,” he muttered, leaving the bodies in their fatal embrace, “with any luck, the Eyes would consider this matter closed.”

Zane Dickens‘ stories go bump in the night, ka-boom in space, and roar with adventure in fabled lands. And if he can help it, there’s a streak of humour too. 

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction

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