Warriors – Episode 3

This was written as part of a serial.

Episode 1

Episode 2 

Dreams

Fallon checked over his wounds and washed blood from his face and knuckles while Raelle prepared herself for bed.

He tucked the blanket tight around his daughter as the first rains of the mountain squall began to fall. Sharp lighting flashed outside, sending light throughout the small house, and Raelle braced herself for the coming boom of thunder. When it came a second later, the house shook with the force.

“Don’t worry about the storm,” Fallon said, brushing the hair from his daughter’s forehead. “It will be gone by morning, and we have lots to do. You’ll need your rest.”

“Pop Pop, can you teach me how to fight?”

He gave her a long look. “I suppose with the days events, that question could have been predicted, but we’re farmers Dear Heart, not soldiers. What need do you have of fighting. Besides, we have crops to plant, and that starts tomorrow when the ground has been softened by the rains. Praise those above for sending their blessings upon us.” He turned his eyes to the heavens, then back to Raelle. “Now got some sleep.” He kissed the top of her head, puffed out the candle on the bedside table, and walked out of the room.

Raelle’s room was small, but she had found a spot for the shield at the foot of her bed. It stood between her feet and the small four paned window that looked out over the farm’s largest field. Raelle would often lay awake at night, waiting to hear the heavy breathing of sleep from her father before rising to watch deer graze by the light of the moon. There would be no deer tonight. Tonight, there would only be wind, lightning, thunder, and driving rain. The spring squalls had begun.

Fallon slept, tired from the days events.

Raelle lay in the bed restless. Her mind going from point to point in the day, connecting them, trying to make sense of them, succeeding at some and failing at others. She always settled on the fight on the road, and how helpless she felt. She hated that feeling, but what could she do about it?

After long hours, the lightning and the booming thunder that accompanied it waned, leaving only the constant rain to sound on the roof. Beneath this constant droning, Raelle drifted into fitful sleep.

***

A great road, the likes of which Raelle had never seen stretched before her. It was wide and long, seeming to take up all the visible space, all things beyond blurred to nothing. A lone hooded warrior stood against four armored foes on smooth worked stone. The warrior, Raelle could see was a woman from stance and apparent body shape, was surrounded by four remaining men. Two others lay discarded, their blood staining the stone just outside the circle.

The woman dressed strange for a warrior, but Raelle knew that was what she was. No armor was visible, only a long flowing brown-green cloak that seemed to hover an inch from the stone.

She bore a shield with only points on the top outer edges and another at the base. It protected her left as she attacked with the sword she held in her right hand. The weapons flowed, extensions of the woman, not tools of war but a part of her. She flowed from stance to stance with grace only told in stories, pushing one man back as another attacked, only to turn into his shield blocked blow to sweep through the man’s leg with the her blade.

The man went down with a scream and it was three against one. The next man lost more than his leg as the warrior drove the point of her sword through the man’s eye-hole. He crashed to the stone and moved no more. The two remaining men charged the warrior together in an all out attack.

She fell back, defending blow after blow as the men tried their skill. She parted their attacks left and right, looking for openings as they charged reckless and full of battle lust.

She took one in the hand with her sword. His own sword clattered to the stones as the warrior turned her attention to the only armed foe left. He retreated as his nerve left him. The warrior engaged, pushing him back. He defended franticly until he tripped over his one legged friend. She drove her sword beneath the man’s breastplate and blood splattered from his mouth.

The man with the mangled hand was running when she turned back. His sword lay abandoned on the road.

The warrior watched the man run, pushed back her hood and took a pull from her water-skin. The man who lay with one leg whispered in awe, “a woman?”

She walked over to the man and looked him in the eyes. “Yes, a woman. The last you will ever see.” She drove the point of her sword between the man’s armor.

Raelle looked then, really looked into the eyes of the warrior, and in those eyes, she the storm and recognized herself.

***

Raelle sat bolt upright in bed, breathing hard, heart beating fast as though it had been her fighting in that strange road.

She lay there, unable to sleep until the morning sun rose to drive the darkness away, thinking of her dream and the day before. Wondering if the woman in the dream, the warrior, had been her, and by the time the day had dawned, decided that it was.


This is the third installment of a serial. Every week, another portion will be posted with a target word count between 500 and 1,000.

If you missed the previous episodes, I have links at the top of this post!

I hope you enjoyed this portion of our story!  I look forward to seeing you as we continue the journey.

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Palmerton

cappuccino on table

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I hurt, and that I’m ready to be home again.  We should make it home today sometime, but I’m not sure when I’ll stop hurting.  This morning we’d be sitting in the Hampton Inn as the rest of the family snoozes a few more minutes, drinking there coffee, juice, tea, what have you, before we head back out on the road.  I’ve just got to be careful not to drink too much, considering that we’ll be on the road and all.

It feels like we’ve been on the road for forever.  Leaving Thursday after work to head towards Palmerton Pennsylvania, we made it as far as Richmond Virginia.  Then the next day, we continued, hitting all kinds of traffic and pushing what should have been 5 to 6 hours to more like 8.  But we made it.  Then we ate and slept, got up early, and ran the Spartan Super at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort Saturday.  (That’s where all the hurt came in.)  Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare – Palmerton”

#FridayFictioneers – Trick or Treat

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

It was a glorious night.  Timmy had more candy than he could eat in weeks and he didn’t have to go all over the neighborhood to get it.  The little kiddies did that.  He had just had to wait.

More were on the way.  He heard them coming.  Wiping chocolate on his pants, he readied for his next take, but there were too many of them.

This isn’t the plan he thought as they stuffed him in the cage and took their candy back.  “I’ll get you next year,” he screamed as they laughed and ran away into the night.

WC:  100

Continue reading “#FridayFictioneers – Trick or Treat”

Warriors – Episode 2

Warriors – Episode 1

The road back to the farm lay between the wide, lazy Grey River on their left and forest thick with undergrowth on their right. The sun peaked above the tips of the mountains in the distance, throwing long shadows over the sloppy road. The day had been warm, but the sun had done little to dry the road from the previous night’s storm. Fallon picked his way between puddles, keeping his feet as dry as possible.

Thoughts of his talk with the shopkeep played in Fallon’s mind. Seen some unsavory types on the road, he had said. He quickened his pace, wishing he had brought their farm horse instead of letting it rest from the plowing the previous day.

Raelle reached over her Pop Pop’s shoulder to rub a hand over the smooth surface that made what she now knew was a shield and grasped the middle point of the W. It felt right in her hand, though she could not fathom why.

A branch snapped in the dark of the forest. Fallon cast his eyes about, searching the shadows, seeing nothing beyond the edges of the road. Curse me for a fool, he thought.

It had been stupid to waste the light haggling over the price of a shield he would never need. He should have bought the hoe, he thought as the conversation came back to him again. Even if all you have is a stick, the conversation had gone. Had he bought the hoe, he would have a stick and then some. He scanned the roadside for something he could use for defense.

“Help me look for a nice walking stick,” he told Raelle, mustering more calm than he felt into his voice as he lowered her to the ground. “We’ve a ways to go yet.”

A deer burst from the forest a moment later. “Only a deer,” Fallon muttered in relief as Raelle held up a sturdy length of oak branch that seemed to have come down in the last storm. “Oh that will do nicely.” He took the branch and began stripping away the leaves and smaller branches that spread out from it.

Fallon hefted the stick, feeling the balance. “Not bad,” he said. If nothing else, he would have a spare hoe handle he thought as he lifted Raelle back onto his hip.

Her breath caught, and Fallon followed her gaze to where three men made their way out of the underbrush and into the road. They carried strung bows, and bright white fletchings were visible poking over the men’s shoulders, an easy hand reach from the quivers that hung across their backs.

“Run into the forest and make your way back to town,” Fallon told his daughter setting her feet back on the road. “Be swift and do not look back. I will find you.”

“Pop Pop?”

Fallon heard a thousand questions in the simple words. “No time. You run when I run,” and whispered “go” as he began to run.

He ran, thinking back on long ago training, realizing too late that he had left the stick behind, and was on the men, tackling one and raining blows down on him before they splattered in the mud. Fallon scanned the confused men, saw them recovering from where they had scattered and kicked out at them as they neared. Fallon’s heart sank as he saw Raelle frozen in terror, standing in the middle of the road. “Go!” he yelled into the night.

One of the men, running hard tackled Fallon from atop the other man, landing them in a splash of muddy water as the third added his weight to him, pinning him to the muddy road. Fallon’s breath left him in a gush and he struggled to get it back as he waited for the blows to come.

“Stop it, stop it!” Raelle screamed as she ran to her Pop Pop.

Fallon tried to move but couldn’t. The weight of two men on him was too much. He had failed Raelle. He groaned beneath the men and searched for a way of escape.

“Fallon?” the man who lay across him asked. When Fallon did not answer, he continued. “Fallon, we mean you no harm. It’s Jarrel, Bones, and Telle.”

Fallon let his body go limp in relief as he heard the stick crack across the man’s back.

“Aye!” he screamed as the stick cracked again. The men scrambled away from where Fallon lay.

Raelle stood with the stick at the ready, protecting her Pop Pop.

***

Telle took the worst of it. Jarrel and Bones took whacks with the stick from Raelle, but aside from a bit a swelling, they would be fine.

Fallon apologized for attacking the men and informed them of the path the deer they had been stalking had taken, though none of them looked in the mood to continue the chase.

Almost home Raelle looked up at her Pop Pop in the light of the big bright moon. “What if they had been bad men Pop Pop?”

“If so, then you run. You hear me? Don’t you ever do that again.”

Raelle did not answer, and they walked the rest of the way in silence.


This is the second installment of a serial. Every week, another portion will be posted with a target word count between 500 and 1,000.

If you missed Episode 1, you can check it out here!

I hope you enjoyed this portion of our story!  I look forward to seeing you as we continue the journey.

#WeekendCoffeeShare – I’m Awake

cappuccino on table

If we were having coffee, I’d say good morning, or is it good day by 11?  Either way, I’m just crawling out of bed here on a beautiful Saturday.  Today, we have coffee, fresh brewed Seattle’s Best, Stoked Iced Coffee, green tea if that’s your thing, and of course water.  I’ll be sipping the Seattle’s Best and probably putting another pot on since I’ve powered through this first one already!

It was my intent to have coffee with you last night, but after dinner I didn’t feel the best and was so tired, so after fighting it long enough to watch some World Cup in which I was falling asleep during, I gave in and went to bed.  Twelve hours later, I’m awake again, drinking coffee, listening to Alanis sing while writing, and I feel all the better for the rest.  Going to bed last night was a bit frustrating since the nighttime is normally my time to write or play, but I had a busy week and I suppose it finally caught up with me. Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare – I’m Awake”

#FridayFictioneers – Some Gave All

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

It stood alone in the plaza, just outside the theater, across the street from the Cold Stone in plain view.

Many walk by turning their heads in shame, some do worse.  They don’t even know why it is there, and wouldn’t know why if they did, they never even glimpse it.

History has faded, and so when we tell them the sacrifice it represents, they are horrified.  When we say that they were the lucky ones, they scoff.

“How is it lucky to lose a limb,” they say.

And so we explain how “All Gave Some, but Some Gave All.”

WC:  100

Continue reading “#FridayFictioneers – Some Gave All”

Warriors – Episode 1

This is the first part of a series

It was the oddest thing Raelle had seen in her young life. Their was a magnetism to it, pulling her close. She ran a small hand over the flawless surface of the shield, not knowing what it was, and felt perfection beneath the layers of dust that covered it.

It was taller than her, the top forming a sweeping W, the middle point large and round, contrasting the two on either side which formed sharp points.

“Look at this Pop Pop, look over here,” she exclaimed waving.

Raelle was tall for her age. At five years old, she was slender as a reed with a narrow face framed with long blonde locks that tumbled past her shoulders.

She had never seen anything like it. The people of River’s Edge were farmer’s. They defended their lands and flocks with pitchforks, and hoes, not shields, spears, or swords. Some of the older boys knew what these things were and had perhaps even seen drawings in the few books of the village, but few if any had ever laid eyes on the real things. Continue reading “Warriors – Episode 1”