I’m working on a short story, A Journey’s End, with help from my friend Laz (and anyone who would like to help edit). As I complete each chapter, I’ll post it up here. Keep in mind, that chapters posted on my blog have not been edited, and the final version may change. Also, as a courtesy, I would ask that you notify me if you do see any errors that need to be addressed. I hope that this story will bless your life and draw you closer to God.
Chapter 2: Goloff returns home to a devastating scene.
Goloff’s legs burned as he continued to push himself. Never before had he run so hard, and for so long. Yet, nothing, not even the reality of fatigue, would slow him down. His friends struggled to keep up, but they also shared his concern…his fear.
As they worked their way through the last clearing each of their jaws dropped as they took in the carnage before them. Dwarves lied around them, maimed and ripped limb from limb. Blood stained the landscape and the sickening smell of death hung in the air.
Here and there, the body of a goblin or an orc could be found, but the dwarven casualties outnumbered them five to one.
“Lillana. The children. No.”
He ran to their small hut on the north side of town. Even the children were not spared. Goloff’s legs gave out and he fell to the ground, letting out a roar of pain. Sobbing followed.
From nearly a dozen yards away, a weak voice could be heard.
Goloff stood up and looked in that direction. He found a young soldier. He had been sent here recently as part of contingent to help guard the town against attacks. Now, he was likely the only one still somewhat alive. Judging by his wounds, that would not remain the case for long.
Goloff bent down by the young drawf, his face red with anger and tears. “Tell me, lad, what happened? How could we be overrun by goblins and orcs?”
“Sir, it was like nothing I’ve seen.” He coughed up some fluid mixed with blood. “They were…they were organized. They feinted and flanked us. Sir, they were… they were merciless. I…”
“It’s OK, son. Jus’…Just relax.” Of course, it wasn’t OK. Goloff knew the young man was dying. “What’s yer name.”
“U…Ukon. Sir… Promise me. Swear to me…”
Goloff knew what the young man was asking. Goloff had already decided on the task the moment he set eyes on his dead family. However, holding the dying solider here would be an appropriate place to solemnize the oath he already made. The fact that he would do so in front of a dying witness only added to the irony.
“I swear… I swear to ye, Ukon, and yer family, that I will find those responsible for this atrocity, and I will personally take their lives. Blood fer blood. Life fer life.”
The young soldier smiled weakly, and took his last breath.
Goloff went into his hut. Beside the doorway lied his tree axe. While great for chopping trees, it lacked the necessary balance to be effective in combat. He went to his bed and pulled out a blanked from underneth. Inside was his warrior’s battleaxe he used while in service. He packed some necessities and said one last prayer for his departed family before walking out.
When he did, Khord and Yakon stood outside. Their faces maked with the same sorrow and anger on his. Yakon spoke first.
“No one was left alive. No one. There’s not a single survivor.”
“I know,” Goloff replied.
“We’re going to the keep… to report this to the king.” Khord said. “You coming?”
Goloff looked them in the eye. “No. I took an oath.”
Yakon looked a little uncomfortable. “An oath? I think that goes without saying, Goloff. We will make these monsters paid for what we did. We’ll go back to the king, report what has happened and…”
“I made a blood oath,” Goloff interrupted in a low growl. “I will find who lead these goblinoids into this battle and I will kill him, myself. I cannae do that under the king’s command. No. I go. Alone.”
“My mind is made up. I will take care of the matter, or I will die trying and join meh family.” Goloff picked up his bag, with his axe strapped to his side. “May the gods watch over ye.” They stood in silence as he walked off, knowing that any further discussion on the matter was pointless.
Coming Soon: Chapter 3… Rebellious Royalty