A Truth about Heroes

A skyline fire azure in color crackled over the moors. It speared the heavens, from east to west, and spread itself among the mountains. Quiet came, as it always must, for a time. But soon thereafter, the bombardment began again. To the rider, this was a reflection of the unceasing maelstrom within his heart.

The lance he discarded. It thudded heavily, spraying mud upon the haunches of his warhorse. He raised the visor of his helm as a host of raindrops struck against the plate of his armor.

They were running. Coming for him.

He brought forth his hands, releasing the reins for a moment, and stared at the drops of blood as they washed away. The deluge was so thick and the night so dark now that he could not see the enemy. Only hear them calling. Wordless as a demon’s wail.

“How, now, do we fly?” he said.

God did not answer. He rarely did.

Another trident of lightning flared across his world and for an instant he could see his killers come. They were scarcely more impressive than knife-wielding peasants, but they were many.

Now the rain washed clean the wound on his hip. The arrow shaft had broken, but the head remained to burrow further into him. The helm’s weight became too much to bear. He pulled it off and tossed it away. To where did not matter. He would not need it again.

The wind brought forth harsher rains. He may as well have been swimming. His shoulder-length hair, heavy with water, tugged at his scalp.

He could hear their iron knee-joints buckle and grind, and the twist of their shoulder plates. Then, he saw the insignia sewn into their jerkins over their hearts. Red and white, with the setting sun at its center.

The nearest cried, “Murderer! Duke slayer!”

“I am called many things,” he answered.

They struggled up the hill, through the rain, sliding over the mud, trailing venom and hate. He raised his longsword in one hand, hilt soaring above his head. It weaved with the wind.

For one brief moment, the sky was lit again, and then the arrow pierced his neck.

...Coming Soon, a splendid preview of my latest literary feat. A tale unlike any you've ever read-- or your money back!!* I'll give you one hint: August, 1096.

*Notice: Refund available in 0/50 States and no nation overseas. J.R.T. reserves the right to laugh and laugh all day at your gullibility.

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