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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Life by Moonlight: Part 1

The command thundered between the surrounding mountains, as the nearing army stormed onwards. The clouds were blackened and cast a dim light over the battlefield, the only source of light from the aberrant flashes of lightning. Together they struck fear in the heart of man, promising imminent defeat and death to those who wait. Thunder rumbled overhead and filled the valley with its song, as the steady beat of rain grew stronger and more boisterous. The torrential downpour transformed the once lush, grassy field into a barren swamp, in a matter of minuets, but the oncoming mass seemed unfazed and did not slow. Battle cries raged and grew in numbers, the shrieks now barely audible over the thunderous storm and blustering winds.
And then he saw them.
Disfigured creatures swarming in the distance, as far as the eye could see, until they merged into a gigantic black cloud. It was full of a strange black light, an area of nothingness that burrowed through the air, engulfing anything in its path. No light was emitted, but rather it sought out and absorbed what little there was. It covered the surrounding area, flowing over the distant hills and never stopping, never slowing. Leaching the life out of the land.
In the distance the beasts had looked normal and almost human, but this was far from the truth. They all varied in size and shape, no two the same, and although they resembled man, their flesh was rotten and black, and their bloody eyes filled with a hated unknown to anything alive. They stormed ahead with a single-mindedness determination, oblivious to anything but their one and only goal. They were not here to conquer, they were here to destroy.
They were only half a league away now, but they were cloaked in darkness, masking their grotesque forms and any other features.
“Now!”. The commanding roar was bellowed from somewhere behind him, in the mass of silver armour. He just had time to witness the legions fall into position, before the approaching army reached its prey.
The spearmen were on the front line and lowered their pikes against the approaching doom. Hand crafted wooden shafts with metal tips, were all that stood between the two opposing forces. Behind them, legions of archers released a sea of arrows on the enemy, dropping them dead. Limp corpses littered the ground with wooden shafts protruding from their bodies. But this was a mere scratch on the enemy’s endless army, and the dead were simply trodden on and forgotten. The latter approached they rammed into the weapons, sacrificing themselves. They managed to support the numbers for a while, but they were soon overpowered and the barrier was broken. 
The entire army took out their broadswords and hacked away at anything that moved. The field stained red and littered with countless generations, the enemy reached him. Fear rushed through him and he froze. Unable to move, he saw his imminent death, only moments away.
A creature emerged from the crowd and walked towards him, sword flashing in the crimson in the light. Then he realised the creature wasn’t carrying weapons, they were weapons. Its arm was flat and razor sharp, it had no need of a sword. They had been born and raised for this single purpose. The creature swung for him, angling its arm downwards. He managed to raise his arm just in time, to block the attack, and shield his exposed flesh. The sound of crashing metal echoed  throughout his mind as he focussed on the creature. Attack after attack, he avoided the deathly swings, but never able to attack, himself. Then, he missed. The creature dropped its left arm and sliced his chest open. It all went suddenly silent. As his eyes lowered, he looked at his blood covered hands, and it all went dark.

To be continued ...


Anonymous said...

Great! Thanks a lot, Jack! Now I'm gonna have nightmares tonight!! lol

Lord, what a picture you painted-- slashing, sword-like appendages, blood spraying from open chest cavities, the sky blackened with the mass of the onslaught... Well, it's nothing I've ever imagined, that's for sure! My nightmares had more recognizable creatures... wolflike, with bloody fangs... Bad enough, but no match for these that you depict!

Very original! Nice work, young man! I can't wait to see more; I'm already praying for salvation, in any form, for your main character. Is it a dream that he awakens from or a battlefield of the past or future? I guess only time will tell... :P luv, tman<3

Wayne said...

You do have a talent for writing Jack. I got introduced to the sword-and-sorcery reading the Conan series of novels by Robert E Howard, a Texan believe it or not who wrote for the pulp fiction mags of the depression era and was a pioneer of this genre. They made a few Conan movies but they don't do justice to the novels. I wonder if Peter knows about this amazing Texan writer. Keep up the good work Jack. bfn - Wayne :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, what intense imagery! This is incredible writing, Jack! Thank you for sharing this talent with us. I'm looking forward to more already!

Peace <3

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