#FridayFictioneers – Run to the Light

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

David ran.

Faster than ever, he ran. A thousand thousand scratches oozed blood, leaving his trail on the leaves.

The thumping rhythm of huge paws sounded from the deep wood. The beast followed fast an effortless track. It flew, thorns and limbs sliding harmless off its thick ebony coat. Drool overflowed the maw, leaving streamers behind.

David’s adrenaline spiked at the sound, and he pushed harder still, moving at inhuman speed.

The light looms ahead. One final stretch to the wall. They wait there, faces hopeful, before their eyes focus behind the runner and fill with terror.

David ran.

wc: 99

Continue reading “#FridayFictioneers – Run to the Light”

#FridayFictioneers – Entity of Cold

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Tommy’s coffee was not enough to stop the shivers. This winter is ridiculous. How much can I take?

Inside, even shielded from the cutting wind, the cold was there, a living entity, seeping from the brick and mortar into him as he walked to his apartment.

The cold greeted him in his apartment. The radiator sat wrapped in cold against the wall, too stubborn to light. Too cold.

He walked to the window. Slid it open. Why not? Climbing onto the ledge, the wind cut his dry, chapped skin, but it wasn’t satisfied. It slid around his back and pushed.

Why fight it?

Continue reading “#FridayFictioneers – Entity of Cold”

Warriors – Episode 9 – Getting Out of Town

This was written as part of a larger story delivered in a serial format.

Previous episodes can be found here.

Colt stood and pissed in the corner before kicking chamber pot over. Everything he owned went into a leather apron wrapped bundle, which was little more than a single change of clothes and a metal spike, and walked out the door.

He paused at the stairs and looked back over his shoulder. His life had been spent in that room. It was all he knew, all he had besides the small bundle he held tight to his chest. What a waste, he thought as he sat his bundle on the floor. He removed the spike and slipped it into his boot before stepping away from the door.

The darkness of the forge was complete. Heavy wood shutters that propped up to provide shade in the day, folded down providing security at night, keeping any light from star or moon at bay. Colt took small shuffling steps in the darkness, hands stretched out before him, searching for the door. He found it in moments, a lifetime of working the forge let him find his way easily in the dark.

What he was going to do after opening that door, he didn’t know. He did know that it was time to go. Time to step into the outside world.

Colt pushed the door to find it locked from the outside. Of course. He stepped back, kicked, and heard the lock rattle. He kicked again, before dipping a shoulder and charging, but the door was thick, the hinges forged by Colt himself were strong and the lock held firm.

Slumping defeated against the unmovable door, the darkness pressed in on him as he contemplated going back upstairs. Anger welled up in him and his eyes moistened. His escape was ended before it began.

The hope, so strong, that had brought him downstairs, that had allowed him to piss in the floor, had left him broken and crying just one flight of stairs later. Dawn began to seep through cracks in the thick shutters giving Colt’s eyes, deprived of any light for hours, sight enough to make out his surroundings.

Sight brought clarity to his mind. Master Ham would be there soon to open the shop. Not long after Crandall would show up wanting the swordax. The swordax.

He pulled the weapon from the wall and tested the weight of it. It felt right. Like escape. Walking back to the door, he hefted the weapon over his shoulder and swung. Wood flew in chunks as the heavy weapon smashed into the door.

Colt stepped into the emptiness of the city’s dawn. The sun barely broke the horizon but seemed bright to his light deprived eyes. Soon it would climb high, the salt wind would blow, and the street would flow with people going about their business. Master Ham would be one of them. He decided that it would be a good idea if he was gone by then.

Colt ran, not bothering to leave the main road. The world slept around him, their slumber providing cover for his escape.

This is the ninth installment of my serial lovingly named Warriors.  It is my goal to have a new episode every week or so depending on how life goes.  Please bear with me if I’m not as punctual as I would like.  Another portion will be posted soon with a target word count between 500 and 1,000.

If you would like to read the previous episodes, I have linked to the Warriors page 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 and welcome any comments you may have.

Thanks for visiting!

Warriors – Episode 8

This was written as part of a larger story delivered in a serial format.

Previous episodes can be found here.

Colt’s Decision

Colt lay alone staring into the darkness of the small room above the forge he once shared with two others. The room felt almost large now that the two other apprentices, Jare and Tom, had gone. He had room to stretch out, or walk around stretching without stepping on another. Colt missed Tom often, but never Jare who was mean as a snake and often earned him and Tom beatings or beat them himself.


Tom had been a good worker, friend, and confidant. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that morning when Colt woke to find Tom gone. He had said often enough that he wanted to leave, that they could leave together, whispering to Colt in the dark so low that Jare couldn’t hear. Colt never thought he would go. Had hoped that he would not, being scared to go along, selfishly fearing what would happen to him if Tom did go. And then one morning, he realized his fears. Continue reading “Warriors – Episode 8”

#FridayFictioneers – The Hunt

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Phina surveyed her kingdom from the tower window as the blade wind pushed chestnut hair back from her sunlit face.  A seemingly perfect day in the kingdom.

There was no sign of the beast.  Maybe it slept the morning away after stalking the kingdom all night.  An opportunity to hunt the beast and rid her kingdom of it once and for all.

Down from the tower, bow strung, Phina moved slow to the beast’s feeding ground in the cold porcelain desert where it slept.

An arrow disappeared into the beast’s fur.  It’s eyes fluttered open, and looked into her’s.

WC:  99

Continue reading “#FridayFictioneers – The Hunt”

#FridayFictioneers – Moon Bathing

Kennesaw toweled off, stepped from the shower and into the small living space of the apartment.  Mother Moon, brighter tonight than he had seen in centuries called to him.

Soon, her powers would pour once more into him and his kind.  The prophecy was at hand. His aged, weak, wrinkled body would be reborn strong in the night again.

Pushing the glass door to the balcony wide, he stepped out, arms raised high, pale skin aglow in her glorious light.

“Put some clothes on freak!”

Kennesaw covered himself and scurried back inside. They laugh now, but soon they will pay.

wc:  100

Continue reading “#FridayFictioneers – Moon Bathing”

Warriors – Episode 7

This was written as only a part of a larger story delivered weekly in a serial format.

Previous episodes:  Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6

Mountains Calling

Sweat slicked Colt’s long black hair, ran rivers along his face, and stung his eyes. Droplets flew across the small shop with every blow of hammer against steel. He wore a leather apron over a bare chest that hung low to cover his knees. He worked a bellows with one booted foot, keeping the furnace raging hot while placing the metal into the hottest part of the flame before pulling it out, pounding down with the sledge, and tempering the metal in the barrel of water to his side.

He had been at it since before the sun rose over the Great Sea in the cool of morning. That cool had burned away as the sun climbed overhead turning the day steamy and encouraging the salt wind to blow in from the sea. Still he pumped the bellows, pounded the metal flat, rolled one thin layer upon another, and tempered the blade again and again in tireless automatic motions.

If the piece came out, it would be a masterpiece. Both sword and ax, it would be a front heavy weapon as the blade turned from a long thin shaft expanding at the end into a sort of triangle with only one point, the point of the sword. It would be heavy enough to split a shield or skull, lite enough to carry with ease on one’s back or hip, and stand up well against a sword wielding opponent. Colt had taken to calling the thing a swordax and had thoughts of making another for himself.

Master Crandall would be by early tomorrow morn for it, and Colt was running behind. If he could get some help from the blasted fool who called himself Master Blacksmith, perhaps he would not be. But perhaps he would be behind and more at that.

Master Blacksmith Hammer, called Ham by everyone, was more a business man than a blacksmith now. There were lots of goods moved through his shop, but his hands seemed not to touch any of them except to pass them over the counter. True, he had a keen eye and could spot a flaw a mile off, and was always happy to tell his now only apprentice to fix what he saw, when he saw it. “The hammer no longer fits my hand boy, but I’ve still got the eye for it,” he would say several times a day as he instructed Colt to redo one piece or the other without mention instruction of how. That statement was often followed by a remark of how Colt could maybe one day turn into a passable smith himself if he would do something around the shop instead of just standing around. It was as if he wasn’t swinging the hammer all day and half of most of the nights.

It was maddening!

Colt wanted nothing more than to get away, but there was no way out that he could see. He could climb aboard one of the large fishers that sailed clear from sight before coming back with their catch. They always came back though. Almost always anyway. If he ever left, he would never return.

Sam, the latest apprentice to abandon Colt followed the coast to another city, saying that he could ‘prentice somewhere else and be better off. Colt had his doubts, and why leave only to do the same thing somewhere else?

He looked out at the mountains in the distance and shivered despite the heat. The stories said they were wild, dangerous things that no one ever returned from. Beast roamed those slopes, large enough to make an easy meal of a man. Colt had seen one such creature brought into town by a peddler looking to sell its coat. The wagon, surrounded by large men with bows and spears, creaked beneath the weight of the huge black creature. Colt thought that it must have weighed as much as ten men.

But it had been killed. Could the mountains hold some hope for him. He had heard that people lived on the far side of the peaks, in a fertile valley where they farmed and lived away from the constant heat and the salt wind that blew in from the sea.

That thought alone was enough to set his mind racing, if not his feet. He had nothing. Nothing except an apprenticeship to a man who would set orphan ass back on the street the moment he stepped a foot wrong. Colt feared that would happen everyday, and so he swung the hammer hard and without complaint.

Colt pulled the swordax from the water barrel and held it before him looking for faults. Master Hammer took the piece and scowled. “The storms take me and hurl me into the sea, but I can’t see what this thing is good for save chopping wood.” He swung it in an awkward arc. The weight on the tip of the swordax caused the old blacksmith to stumble forward. He appeared ready to throw the blade into the dirt, but thought better of it. “If that’s what the man wants, who am I to judge. Long as he pays, it’s all the same to me.”

Colt took the weapon back from his master with ease, giving it an easy twirl before hanging it on the wall. Ham gave him a look, and Colt did his best to look abashed. He stared out at the mist covered peaks as his master stomped off.

This is the seventh installment of a serial lovingly named Warriors.  It is my goal to have a new episode every week or so depending on life.  Please bear with me if I’m not as punctual as I would like.  Another portion will be posted soon with a target word count between 500 and 1,000.

If you would like to read 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 and welcome any comments you may have.

Thanks for visiting!