Welcome, once again! (I hope)
Each week, she posts a prompt, and writers will make a short, thousand-word story based on it. Last week, the prompt was “News” and as soon as I saw it, the idea of a newscast for happenings not included in my “Challenge Of The Velah” story just popped up.
This week, Week 12, the Theme is Horde. Same as last week, when I saw it, a narration I should have been ready for began playing in my mental caverns. Then, I got locked out of that blog for some reason I’m not quite sure of (*ahem). I thought I’d have to miss it, but something for “The Barbarian” popped up. Since the time limit is midnight, I might have time to realize the pleasure of posting a contest two weeks in a row. Who knows, maybe after the fifth post or so, someone might like it and explore the rest of my online stuff, tell their friends so they get excited about it, who in turn tell still others. Before long, I’m an Internet Star!
(Advance to 8:22 to get the full scope of the following ‘twixt me and myself. If you feel the urge, that section goes until 11:41. It’s okay, I’ll wait… Good stuff, huh?)
Slow that down some. And turn off the volume, too; that portion of William Tell Overture already plays as a theme song, and it’s not you most people think of when it plays.
But, I digress.
Back to the topic:
- 1000 words max
- fictional tale (or true if you really want)
- PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
- Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
- Go for the entertainment value!
- Post your story by Midnight PST
- Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
- Have fun!
UPDATE; Rachael has posted that she would extend the deadline to noon her time on 6/3. I think I just might…
Here is my go at it:
The Barbarian halted to inspect the area. There were multiple imprints scattered all the way to the edge of the cliff.
The tracks led in circles, scrapings indicating rapid shifts of momentum. One set were the sandal-boots of Zoab, the rest looked like huge dog prints. The thought tried to rule itself out, for no dog he knew of left prints bigger than his flat hand, and none left only two prints per stance instead of four.
As he knelt to test the firmness of the displaced dirt, a sound whispered in the breeze.
The Barbarian turned and snapped his head to the side to aim his ear toward the rustle in the bushes. Drawing his sword into his left hand, he rose to a crouch, right arm extending in front for balance.
A form shifted in the brush, and a low growl sounded from his left. He scanned that way, keeping his head facing the direction of the first. When the first creature began stepping out into the open, there had sounded some seven rumbling growls.
The lead hound stood back, its white fur broken only by a black stripe from the top of its head to the nape. As he sized up the menacing animals, he notice the other seven had mostly brown fur, mottled in places with white, gray and black.
The Barbarian backed as far as he could to keep most of the horde in sight, shifting his weight smoothly and pulling out a dagger.
He felt the edge of the cliff, over which it appeared Zoab had fallen, behind him, as an ease of the heat bouncing off the red-brown stones and dirt they stood on cooled his back.
Knowing none could creep up behind him, he stood his full height, pushed the tip of his broadsword in a crack and shifted his belt to better reach into a satchel, stitched into individual layered compartments, for the dozen throwing knives.
The biggest wolf stood to its full height as well, and, spreading its arms wide, roared full volume and swung its clawed hands forward to send its forces in a rush.
The Barbarian slid fore and down, whipping out three knives at once. Each left at successive moments, timed to strike the closest invaders between the eyes. Three fell with a thud and a small slide, where they died in a flow of their own blood.
He shifted his feet back below him as he hurled a fourth at another, slicing its shoulder as it dodged to the left. As the Barbarian tried to rise and fling another blade, two monsters hit him from the side and back. The knife he had shot from his hand as he slammed onto the hard ground.
A yell and a curse rang out as one of them sliced down and laid open the flesh of his right leg. He made another grab for a projectile when sharp teeth sank into his right forearm. He pushed against the bite, wedging his injured appendage deeper and forcing the thing back.
He followed, his good arm wrapped behind its neck for better leverage as he landed on top of it. Bringing his left hand down, he snatched at another knife and slashed across below the pain. He felt the bite ease and slashed again, finishing with throwing the blade aside and into the temple of the other, which had finished its turn to attack again.
The Barbarian rose, inspecting his cut leg with a glance and tearing a section of his tunic for a bandage. He reached his sword as he completed the tie, and yanked it free. A wince drew back his lips as he gritted his teeth against the pain.
“Come finish it, then, you mangy lap dogs.”
The leader lowered its head, as if it understood the challenge, and sent a low rumble to his last two cohorts. They responded by shifting to opposite sides, while Lead advanced from the front.
“Right.” The Barbarian pushed off with his left leg, leaning the tip of his weapon to stab into the gut of one. He forced the hilt down, raising the point up and yanking to lay its entrails in the dirt. He spun as he fell, a dagger sailing toward the opposite body. The creature tried to dive, but aimed the wrong direction and found the speeding edge of the broadsword slicing through its neck.
Wounded, bleeding, the Barbarian intended to use the last of his strength to finish all of them off. The leader emitted a yell which sounded half human, then spun and made off towards the West.
The Barbarian collapsed against a boulder, pushing the gashed skin of his leg together to stem the already slowing flow of blood. The bite on his arm had not been too deep, since he had jammed it into the back of the thing’s mouth. When the wound on his thigh remained together when released, he tied a fresh cloth over it.