The Serendipitous Knight

   The young prince charged down the hillside, gripping the haft of his sword so tightly his knuckles were white.  Heraldas didn’t quite know what he was doing, but he knew the old man wouldn’t last long against the odd looking creature of nightmares. Already the old merchant’s robes were becoming stained with his blood and he was faltering, unsteady on his feet.

   The creature was viciously slashing at the old man now, gripping it’s sword with two hands, swinging widly. The old man lost his footing under the flurry of blows and tumbled backwards, yelping out in pain as the shoddy, curved, sword carved into his hands and arms as he desperately defended himself.

   Haral was running down the hill, stumbling over the bags he was carrying. He wasn’t sure what he could do, but he knew he had to help his brother. He dropped to his knees once again at the base of the hill and started frantically going through their packs to find something he could use as a weapon, something he could use to help.

   “Foul beast! Go back whence you came!” Heraldas yelled, almost to the creature.

   The foul creature turned towards Heraldas and hissed menacingly, spittle flying from it’s deformed mouth. Seeming to forget the old man, he charged to meet Heraldas, it’s sword held above it’s head.

   Heraldas tried not to panic as he easily met each of the creatures blows. He had learned swordplay from his father, and regularly trained alongside the guards at the palace.

   “You show poor form, creature!” Heraldas shouted confidently, dancing around the disgusting, diseased, scarred creature. “I will be your downfall!”

   “Hssss…. “ the creature paused it’s attack, sniffing the air. “The royal blood flows through this one!”

   Heraldas paused, shaken by what the creature had said – it could smell his blood? He knew he was the prince? What was it doing here? Lost in thought, Heraldas let his guard down for a split second and one of the creatures attacks nearly pierced his defense. 

   The force of the swing sent Heraldas off kilter and his foot caught on one of the planks of wood from the old man’s cart, and he sprawled backwards. The creature jumped on top of him and pinned Heraldas’ sword hand to the ground with it’s bare foot. Heraldas’s skin burned under the creature’s touch, despite it’s cold grey appearance. He screamed in agony.

   The creature licked it’s lips, then barred it’s teeth. It leaned in to chomp at the squirming young prince, but stopped suddenly, jolting - then again, and again. With it’s head back, dark blood started to ooze out of the corners of it’s black lips.

   The creature fell sideways, and Heraldas looked up to see Haral, standing wide eyed, his cheeks flushed. Gripped in his hand was a knife, covered in black blood.

The End

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