A good way to start the week? I hope people think so. Enjoy episode two of ‘The Calling of a Myth’ 🙂
Flash Fiction Series – The Calling of a Myth
A soft salty sea breeze blew its way across the land, mixing intimately with the smell of smoke and death that was hanging around like a vulture.
What had transpired in the coastal village of Pisca was despicable by anyone’s standards. The day before had seen an immense raid by the barbarians from the eastern hills – an unusual spectacle as they were known for keeping themselves to themselves and only fighting with each other. Nonetheless they had come and they had gone through this small fishing village like a lava flow setting fire to people’s homes and demolishing the traders’ huts without conscience. Women and children had either been slaughtered needlessly or taken as slaves; all the able-bodied residents who had fought back in a futile attempt at resistance had been gutted and left to rot in the smoky sun; and crucial food supplies, drinks and silver had been taken with a gluttonous greed. The wide dirt track that was the village’s spine was littered with charred wood and discarded belongings that had not been deemed worthy of taking.
Amidst the wake of the brutal ransacking two figures waded their way through the littered path. One of them stopped, assessing the devastation from beneath a thick dark green hunter’s hood. Tenrian idly adjusted the brown leather gauntlet on his right hand as he rolled his tongue around the inside of his mouth. ‘This is getting out of hand,’ he remarked blankly to his companion.
Fiona closed her eyes as a fresh wave of salty sea air whipped at them suddenly. She breathed in heavily, her curvy blonde hair dancing behind her. She murmured to herself before addressing her friend’s words. ‘Someone must be instigating these attacks. There’ve been seven in the past three weeks. If they were all being carried out by the same group of people then it wouldn’t seem so unusual, but that’s not the case.’ She looked across to the opposite side of the track at what used to be some kind of thatched wooden building that had probably been someone’s home. She felt her heart sink to her feet.
Tenrian shook his head not out of disagreement, but out of despair. ‘We’ve been investigating each of these attacks since they began and we’ve gotten nowhere.’
‘You never know – this one might reveal something to us.’ Fiona gazed up at the hazy sky, her sharp blue eyes failing to pierce the shroud of smoke above.
‘You’ve said that the last four times now and nothing has come to light.’
‘We mustn’t be so negative, Tenrian.’
The hunter huffed and walked forward slowly, his deep brown eyes scanning for something; anything that would shed some light on what had been going on in recent weeks. He finally stopped walking around after a few moments of silence and kneeled down, laying the points of his fingers onto the warm ground and angling his head to one side.
‘Getting anything?’ asked Fiona as she shuffled her armoured feet through the blackened dust. She laid a gloved hand onto the hilt of her broadsword and sighed.
Tenrian sniffed deeply, longingly. ‘All I can sense is what you’d expect after such a display of sheer brutality.’ He shook his head sorrowfully. ‘Maybe if we look around we’ll find something more.’
They commenced their investigation, examining the remains of burned out buildings and sifting through the scattering of bodies and belongings. The variety of twisted faces that were strewn across the floor was stomach wrenching. Tenrian and Fiona had both seen their fair share of bloodshed and death, but nothing could have compared with what lay before them this day.
‘Fiona – look at this.’ Tenrian stooped over the mangled corpse of a young brunette woman, her legs broken and body slashed viciously.
What is it? You found something?’ she inquired, her voice releasing a mound of enthusiasm. She may have been in her early thirties, like her companion, but she acted with a teenage enthusiasm that betrayed her initial appearance.
Tenrian ran an analytical forefinger across the dead woman’s body, slowly coming to hover over a single wound that was set aside from the rest. ‘Look at this wound.’
Fiona bent down and peered at where Tenrian was pointing. ‘Let’s take a closer look.’ With that she reached forward and tore the clothes of the corpse apart to reveal the fatal array of injuries. She scanned the pale body intensely, noting the distinct difference of the body’s reaction to the wound. ‘That wound is a lot more precise, not to mention the black scarring around it.’
‘I think…’ Tenrian leaned forward and sniffed the wound cautiously, swiftly reeling back with a look of disgust. ‘It’s poison – this woman was stabbed with a small poisoned blade. The entry wound isn’t typical of a barbarian weapon.’
‘That we know of?’
Tenrian shook his head. ‘No, Fiona; this wasn’t a barbarian led attack if I were to hazard a guess. I know we had our suspicions about the attacks being instigated by someone and this has more or less confirmed it in my eyes.’
Fiona stood up and looked around at the edges of the village and beyond, paranoid that they were being watched. ‘What poison is it?’
‘I’m not sure,’ Tenrian replied as he straightened up to his feet. ‘I have a sneaky feeling that it maybe something rare and unobtainable in this part of the world.’
‘We should take a sample and return to the city as fast as we can.’ Fiona walked a few paces forward and looked out over the sea, the rush of the air whistling in her ears with the souls of those who had been lost.
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