The light was yellowed with the day’s death. All the beasts which eat green and growing things were seeking their places of slumber; the others, those which feed on flesh and gentle things, were waking. I stood at the crenulations of my castle wall looking out across my infinite plains. The sun’s own death throes painted fire red my rolling fields of wheat. I smiled a handsome smile as tendrils of wind fingered through my crops like a giant’s hand through his mane. It was magnificent… but something was amiss. I heard the shrill call of a maiden. She came running, with flaxen hair and cherub cheeks, and stopped short at the sight of my muscular build. Her hair was parted in pig tails. She wore a halo of sunlight.

Fair Maiden

This maiden, fairer than fair, told a tale so distressing. In the dark nights of these past autumnal months, a band of evil doers with poison tipped daggers had moved into her cottage. She had run with naught but her life to tell her gallant king of their trespass. You see, my boundless kingdom is so vast that even one as vigilant as I can’t see to it all. But that’s not to say that I’d let such an insult, as offered by these fey villains, stand unpunished.

Evil doers

So I dallied not. I traveled forth with all haste to my armory and plucked forth from my panoply a weapon so fierce that even this band… nay, this army of treacherous scum would weep at the sight of its steely might. The beautiful hens of my king’s court, like so many ladies in waiting, watched on with fear painted on their lovely faces. Could these enemies succeed where countless scores had failed previously? They knew not. I knew victory was certain, but only because I knew the depth of my chivalry.

Blade

I am awesome, let there be no mistake. But in this fight, I was to face more than one thousand foe. So I called upon my alchemist and had him brew for me a most noxious poison. I say let these fiends taste upon their bodies the very poison they intended for my fair maiden. This poison of his was to be “propelled by aerosol,” but I’m not privy to wizard speak, so I had no choice but to trust the man. And just to err on the side of safety, I went looking for The Beast to aid in my quest. This particular beast is a terror from the Orient. Its yellowed fangs of ivory have been reddened often by the life blood of those who seek to imperil my kingdom. The Beast, I tell you truly, is a mutated descendant from the great grey wolf with a howl that can frighten the dead further into the underworld.

The Beast 1

Nay… that rendering of The Beast doesn’t capture its true ferocity. None save I have seen The Beast prostrate its self so lovingly for I am the only mortal who can best such a creature in combat and earn its submission. I pray thee to but give me another moment. I shall find another portrait of the creature which will stir in your very being the visceral fear of being eaten alive.

The Beast 2

Yes. Yes I say. That’s more like it. Do you see that hooded gaze? Those proud ears laid back in warning of wrath? Few have seen what you’re seeing now and lived to tell their kin around the hearth fire such a tale of narrow escape, but back to the matter at hand. I took my poison and my blade and The Beast straight away to the fair maiden’s cottage. I wasted no time with warnings or offerings of truce. I spewed forth my poison as The Beast barked in triumph. Mine enemy was slow to offer a volley. The cold air of my realm, which makes men out of boys, had stolen from my foe his wits. The ichor in his putrescent veins ran like the sap from a felled tree, slow and gelatinous, but death was coming on quick wings. I swung once with my mighty blade, and I did raze to the ground my foes’ fortress. Bodies fell and writhed on the hallowed ground of my ancestral home…

Razed

Walls of grey stone, most probably constructed by witchcraft, parted asunder before my might…

Grey Walls

And the soft underbelly of my advisories’ cave-like dwellings was finally exposed. I stepped forward slowly, knowing the day was mine. My shadow blocked out the last rays from an evening sun as fear and despair took root in the hundreds of doomed hearts before me. They pleaded and buzzed for mercy as my enemies are wont to do, but I heard them not. I raised my mighty blade, and smote the life from those who would dare harm my fair maiden.

Comb

Seeing that the battlefield was cleared of living enemy, she came running to impart upon my brow a kiss, a favor of love, to name me her champion. It’s good to be king.

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32 thoughts on “A Vanquished Foe

  1. J.J. Anderson, just popping on over to say many, many thanks for your follow that you bestowed upon my blog. Greatly appreciated and you are warmly welcomed aboard. Have a great year and keep on writing, MM 🍀

  2. I loved this! I swear I tried to follow your blog forever ago but I never get updates. I am going to attempt following again to see if it will actually work now 🙂

    1. I’m sure that a huge part of the reason that you don’t get notifications for new blogs is that I never post new blogs. I need to pick up the pace a bit, but all of this schooling nonsense is getting in the way. You, on the other hand, seem to be just a prolific as always. Congrats on all the success!!!

  3. I bestow upon you my beloved king this piece of congratulatory correspondence of my honor, peace, blessings and well wishes. You are mighty indeed! I bow in your presence as only a good queen should in the midst of such greatness. And I bid you my thanks, good sir, at visiting my land of many words. You can be assured I will be treading the lands again soon to venture towards your magnificent kingdom. We shall have a most welcome visit, I am sure. My gates, as well, shall always be open to such a gallant protector. I will present you with tea and shortbread upon your arrival and later, we will converse and laugh over meat and wine. Be well.

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