Blood Spilled

 

The horse whirled beneath him, nearly tossing him; snorting and huffing, wheeling fitfully. Rider, all the while trying to maintain his balance, could not believe his eyes, the horrific scene before him.

 

They approached - stumbling over their rotten limbs, sliding through the thick mud - surrounding him with a maze of crooked bodies. They dripped with rain and dirt, reeked of the foulest smell, and moaned madly, a sound which made the very earth tremble in complaint. Their fingers, claws of ferocity, reached for him and the still-beaming blade.

 

Like ants smothering their helpless prey, their numberless mass crept closer, their terrible maw threatening to swallow man and horse in one gulp. The steed’s eyes rolled back as the beastly crowd tightened its hold. Rider gathered the reins, gripping desperately to the shining sword.

 

A daring creature was the first to leap, and the first to fall. He met the goblin’s savage eyes before he gave a heroic slice to cast the beast down. His horse jogged over, an instinctive reaction of fear, crushing several others under his heavy feet. But the flood gates had been opened, the first blood spilled, and so came the wave of bodies, rippling screams - lapping on them from all sides.

 

Rider hacked ceaselessly at the sea of arm and hand, tooth and claw, dark, rich blood splattering every which way. The sword glowed crimson beneath its ruby stain , dripping with the life of his enemy. As time wore on, the weapon grew heavy , his arm grew weak, his hand greasy with sweat and wet with rain.

 

He suddenly cried out, nearly knocked from his saddle as one jumped him from behind. It clawed at his back, bit at his neck, fighting its way to the sword’s inner light. It grabbed for the blade, only to have its hands torn by the weapon’s sharp tooth. With bloodied, mangled fingers it still grappled with Rider. Others took the opportunity to attack while he remained occupied with the single goblin’s stubborn struggle.

 

His horse spun uncontrollably under the scratch and tear of what seemed to be a hundred trolls, throwing several with a crazed buck. Rider was then unseated; unbalanced as his horse squirmed and the onslaught continued without break.

 

While vulnerable, greedy hands clutched at his cloak, his chest, and tore him from his mount. The sword came easily from his grip, slipping carelessly into the air.

 

The blade was gone. All hope was lost.

 

And yet, the creatures paused - did not maul him as he lay helpless at their deadly talons. Rider followed their eyes to the light, suspended high in the gray sky. The weapon hung aimlessly above them, defying gravity’s force with magical nonchalance, entrancing all below.

 

It took an unexpected dive, angling point-down with inhuman speed. Its blade struck the ground with incredible force; the impact an explosion of blinding light, incredible wind…and cold darkness.

 

 

The End

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