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Cur Part 2 Chapter 13 “Rotgut”

Hey there, look content, see ya.

Haha ok, haven’t been super busy, just been in a weird place and my output has slowed to a crawl, I couldn’t even proofread. Just been feeling weird, all I’ve been able to put out is poetry. My emotions are just sort of all over the place. Could be the best time of my life, could be the worst, it’s hard to tell, only time will. So probably more of a content draught to come, just been spending hours not writing things, not being able to visualise it. I might need to take another break from it because I don’t wholey feel gripped by what’s happening right now. I dunno, just preoccupied I guess.

But hey gamepass is a quid again and I can play video games to distract myself yay. Sort of.

See you…

The snow crunched under foot as Airmed skirted the balding woods along the edges of the devil’s ladder. Taking the main path would leave her too exposed and liable to be set upon by bandits or ne’er-do-wells. But Airmed was used to the woods and knew them fairly well and could remain unseen and unheard taking her own path along the devil’s ladder.

The woods were stark and bare of leaves, the trees reaching up at the sun that blackened their bones. A bleaching white sun hung wearily overhead.

The girl was without fear as she hummed to herself calmly to distract from the cold and reddening cheeks. But there was something there on the tip of her tongue, some strange feeling. A twig breaking under foot caused Airmed to notice the stale silence. The whistle of the wind, no birds chirped or hare’s called, just the winds breath sweeping down the mountain.

She turned fitfully and saw nothing and then in the trees there sat a black crow, it cawed at her and flew away.

An unusual sound followed something akin to a wounded animal howl, a scream from a human garbled up in a bloodcurdling roar.

The girl instinctually drew a small short sword from under her furs as if she had her hand on it already. Expecting something evil and blood hungry to be lurking in midday sun stalking her steps.

“Come out now” She said almost to herself. Her eyes filled with fear but also a fatal resolve.

She looked about herself and seeing only snow and trees and dead leaves she relaxed for a moment. But then the noise came again and she could follow it. She trudged through the snow dropping her mead and the other liquid to give chase to the strange sound.

The horrible noise lead her deeper into the forest below the mountain. The noise sounded clearer as the forest became more dense with black ash trees. It lead her to a snowy copse deep in the forest. The sun was still out but it hung low and there was little light from the grey sky that would penetrate the forest. The trees stretching up like blackened skeletal fingers at the dull slate sky.

In the bushes there was movement at it lead the frightened girl to a small hollow or burrow dug into the side of a hill. From the hole blazed two empty white eyes staring at her.

The sound of sea lapping at the shore awoke the once king.

Bres awakened on a beach but where and whence he came he did not know.

“Am I dead?” He said as he opened his eyes and saw only water and sodden brown sand under him.

Bres rose to his knees and looking at the strange ring on his finger it all came back to him.

“Babd” He cried as he clawed at the wet sand.

He squeezed the clods of wet sand between his fingers. “I have nothing” He said “Nothing but this”. The ring seemed to hum strangely and he swore that it glowed for a moment.

Then an unusual sound like a ringing of a resonant bell but from under the sea. The ocean started to boil and bubble like a pot. The sea churning and turning white like that day he faced the last of the Firbolg on the beach and the sea ran white with the blood of his kinfolk. Half kinfolk, ex-kinfolk. He knew then that he should not have backed them into a corner, like he should not have done so with the people of Inish veil.

Something like a fish tail poked out of the water but did not disappear. It continued to protrude getting longer and stranger as it didn’t seem to move. It almost seemed as if it were a carved statue rising out of the unsettled water.

Then it seemed to fan out and get wider as if it were some tiny piece of some giant sea creature covered in a lacquered black shell.

As more and more of whatever it was rose slowly from the water it became obvious to him what it was. In fact seemed ridiculous to him both in not recognising sooner but also recognising it at all in it’s bizarre context.

There was no doubt that now he looked upon the bow of a ship but queer in it’s movement and incredulous in it’s rising. For it seemed almost like Bres was witness to it sinking but in reverse.

The former king of the Tuatha almost felt like a child, dumb struck. Wanting to rub his eyes in amazement as he witnessed the strange ship emerge from the sea. A ship of a design he had never seen before but also somehow seemed familiar to him.

It was black and slick like a deep sea fish and had no sails that he could determine, for why would it need them? Only fins and oars to traverse the sea.

The strange vessel broke ground abrubtly. Shifting it’s bulk on the sand like some sort of huge toad before coming to a stop a foot from where the former king was kneeling. He recoiled slightly and waited in the brief moments of silence that followed. Bres listened cautiously for movement or voices but none came.

A rope ladder was dropped from the port side of the ship, it appeared to be made from seaweed and hair. And for a moment Bres just stared at it.

Read the rest of this chapter and more weird shit here.

https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/13

Cur Part 2 Chapter 12 ‘Unearthed’

Hemlo humans.

Not much to report really just been writing and thinking, more poems and prose from your boy. But yeah been feeling really good, like better than I’ve ever felt.

Not just because I’m in love but I feel like I have some direction, a real sense of purpose. I dunno, it’s hard to process, I think if I tried to to lay it all out and really think about it I’d lose my mind.

I feel a pull from something or someone that I can’t explain and it’s so real and good and wonderful, I just don’t ever want it to end. And part of me doesn’t even want it to start because it’s so big and so powerful I feel like it might swallow me, like I might lose myself but then I think maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe that’s how it was always meant to be, to be one with someone and become something greater isn’t that how it’s supposed to go?

I dunno, I don’t wanna jinx it but I prayed for this, literally. I dreamt about this. I never thought this feeling could be real, maybe I’m still dreaming.

Anyway that aside, we have the time skip here as you can see, so things are about to get real, the birth of the ‘chosen one’. As far as my reading, I finally got around to reading that Parker book they made into a shitty Jason Statham movie and it wasn’t that much better, I mean it was better but not by much. It was both more action packed and cool and also more boring and anti-climactic. The ending was a total wash, I expected a tense tactical fight and it just fizzled out, it was sort of pathetic, totally lost me. But I see why they made a movie out of it, probably the only Parker book where there was a character J-lo could play haha. I mean this is the most lines a woman has ever had in a Parker book, probably why it was so boring and shitty haha.

It was ok, it just wasn’t that special, I didn’t feel a real tension or mystery at all despite Parker being in a weakened state should’ve heightened things and it just didn’t. I dunno, it just wasn’t very gripping, not as engaging as the other books.

But I finished it and I’m back to reading Elric which is always pretty good. I mean it’s better than the witcher haha. Watching paint dry is better than the witcher haha.

It’ll never be as cool or as gripping as the first Conan story, that was bad ass, I wish the witcher books and Elric and even the rest of Conan was as cool as that haha.

Anyway.

See you…

Six months later.

“Mother, mother?” A small pale boy called in vain alone on the dingy streets of the once shining city of Murias.

“You are alone child, no one wants you, your own mother died at the sight of you” A fowl hissing voice said.

“Filthy halfbreed”

“Look at his skin, how it shines.”

“Like a fish!”

“Disgusting”

“Fomorian dog!”

“We should cook him up!”

“Your mother was a whore who laid with a fish!” A voice laughed.

“No mother, mother, where are you?” The boy called, his voice ringing through the empty streets of the shining city, the one of four that flew above the heavens in the lap of Dannuu herself.

“She is dead child, you are alone now… and forever”

Suddenly a stirring in the darkness as one falling off a log stirs in terror, the only sound the flicking and cracking of the dim dying fire. A figure stiffly shifting in the darkness groaned. The man rose from his seated position of waking and walked slowly over to a grand fireplace taking up a poker. The lithe man stabbed and prodded at the fire hatefully as if it had wounded him in some way. The pit spitting back at him sparks and flashes of vicious bubbling light. Illuminating the potmarked scarred face of Bres the once beautiful, king of the tuatha. His face at once was talked about throughout Inish Veil. Now cursed by the bard Coirpre, the treacherous half-blood king hides in darkness for fear of losing everything. For only a perfect king can rule the people of Danu.

He stood solemnly over the fire, the light glinting and lighting up his face in a hanging mirror over the pit. He sighed and touched his disfigured face and cursed under his breath. “Coirpre, how I wish I’d seen you die, I wish I had been there when the Fomor stripped the flesh from your bones. For the fomor care not for poetry.” Bres hissed to himself in the dark. The mirror shone strangely for a moment and a ghostly figure appeared there for a passing second.

“My son”

Bres turned in fright but there was nothing in the dark waiting for him.

“Who goes there? Babd? I told you not to disturb me witch!” Bres cursed.

“It is me my boy, my beautiful boy” The soothing ghostly voice said.

“Mother?” Bres gasped “How can this be?”

“I call to you from beyond death to deliver a warning and give new hope”

“A warning?”

“One comes that would take all this that I bequeathed you.”

“Who? Who would dare?”

“Nuada Airgetlám”

“Impossible!”

“It is true, he returns to take your rightful throne. But do not fear, you must away to your father’s kingdom, he will aid you.”

“My-my father?”

“High king of the Fomor, Elatha.” The specter held out it’s hand “Take this ring, so he may know you and go quickly.”

Bres reached out his to the specter and it’s ghostly hand slipped the ring onto his finger and it fit perfectly. But the moment the ring was on his finger there was a loud ruckus from outside of the keep of Dun Bresse. The sound of something akin to a battle but then just silence and then shouting, jubilant shouting.

Bres rushed to his tower so he could see what was going on outside by the stars and fire light of the many sconces and braziers lighting the keep.

Amassed was a great gaggle of peasants. A veritable army carrying farming tools and torches as weapons and shouting foul slogans. Some Bres was sure were reciting the poem of Coirpre himself, loudly and more vulgar than was intended by the dead poet.

Bres tightened his jaw as he watched this procession “Guards!” He shouted from the tower, almost immediately a group of armed guards rushed to meet the horde with spear in hand. But something stopped them. A name and a white horse and the man on that horse slowly trotting into the brazier’s fire light. The torches of the peasants parted to allow this grand figure to pass to the front of their grim procession.

A shining tall slim figure in white and gold riding. In his hand he raised the flaming sword of Nuada. The Claíomh Solais, shining brighter than a star, the light from it so bright Bres swore he could feel it’s glow on his marked face.

“Nuada!” Bres whispered to himself. And as he himself acknowledged who it was before the keep at Dun Bresse. So too did the guards, all in turn dropping to their knees at the sight of the once and dead king in his divine perfection.

Read the rest of the chapter on inkitt https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/12

Cur Part 2 Chapter 11 ‘The Quickening’

Henlo, back again and I still hate wordpress’ new format haha. I mean wtf is this shit bro haha?

Ok so got more content, coming pretty hard and heavy with it recently, especially the poetry as you may have noticed. More of those shitty haikus from chopped up songs but now Bardic poetry straight from the motherfucking heart.

Let’s just say I have a new muse but I don’t wanna jinx it. It’s already too perfect to be true. I never even considered writing bardic poetry again, I thought the first time for the book would be the last time, but I dunno what happened. Just one day the haikus weren’t doing it for me anymore. They weren’t enough to capture how this person made me feel. They weren’t big enough and they didn’t speak to my blood, to my ancestors like this did.

I realised I was sort of larping and losing connection to something writing japanese poetry, I mean I still love it and won’t let it go, but I’m not japanese, my ancestors aren’t japanese. I mean they’re probably not irish either haha. But they’re certainly celtic.

Something inside, this person awakened a love for my ancestors, a love for the land and people, something calling back to an ancestral past I never felt before and I couldn’t ignore it, couldn’t get a grip on it with a haiku. I need to use the bardic style to properly put my feelings into words.

I don’t know what that means and I hate to speculate so soon at risk of sounding like the fool I know I am.

But yeah, I dunno, I just… sigh.

See you…

Cur’s mocking laughter echoed through hall where no other sound existed.

“Come now, come to die” He cackled mirthlessly.

“No Firbolg, he cannot be beaten” Tuan shouted from the spiral staircase. “We must away!”

“Away where beast? We fight in Magmel itself. There is no escape but through blood.”

“Perhaps there is another way.” A strange tittering voice whistled musically and seemed to be all around them like a flock of birds appearing out of thin air.

Suddenly the entire wall of the dining hall turned to autumn leaves and exploded outward. The masked men were knocked against the other wall of the castle and destroyed instantly. The boy left unharmed stared at the gaping hole in the castle wall cleared away as leaves falling into the ocean and the rocks below.

None of them could believe their eyes as with the leaves had come a giant beast standing nobly in between the carpet of maiden corpses.

A huge majestic stag stood between all gaping eyes. And atop the stag a rider in pale green armor, a helmet topped with branches that looked like the horns of a mighty deer. An axe at his hip of some alien construction and a harp on his other that gleamed with gems.

Balor was awe struck but his instinct was to kill whatever it was that had intruded in his castle. The childs face distending as before in a horrible silent scream as the eye emerged again.

The rider unhooked his harp lackadaisically and played a soothing tune. The melody taming the eye as it shrank back into the aspect of Balor which became limp and motionless.

“Alas I have come for you Firbolg” The strange green rider said in a loud jovial tone as he re-sheathed his harp.

“Who are you spirit? How would you die?” The barbarian hoarsely croaked.

“I would’st not die last of the Firbolg for I am life and life I once gave to you when you lay dying.”

“Cernunnos?”

“I know not this name sir, I am known as Bredbeddle” The spirit said, his voice full of mirth.

“The horned one sent you?”

“I know not of this horned one you speak” The riders voice was playful and full of jest.

“No games from you trickster of the woods. What have you come for?”

“I come for last of the Firbolg, I come as there is one that would meet you and put you on the path to your destiny.”

“Is this not my destiny, to be here now, to slay this Balor?”

“No last of the Firbolg, it is not his time to die nor is it yours.”

“Away with you woodsy one, I care not for your ‘destiny’, I care only to slay my enemy”

“But there are more enemies you may slay last of the Firbolg, but what of the one you lost, think to her and what it would mean to have her back.”

“Do not play with me trickster!”

“It is true what I say, you will be reunited with the one you love if you follow the path that I lay out for you”.

The Firbolg said nothing but the horned one knew his answer.

“Come now, we have no time to waste” The green rider put out his hand for the Firbolg to take.

Cur ignored it and climbed the mighty stag using the strange vine-like material that made the saddle to affix himself to it.

Bredbeddle turned to the doorway. “I had not forgotten about you my friend, come now shapeshifter, this concerns your destiny too.”

The sounds of footsteps now approaching, calling and gibbering in strange tongues.

“We must hurry, my power wains while my feet are not touching the noble isle.”

Tuan leapt and in mid flight took the form of a crow and perched himself atop the antlers of the great stag.

Within moments the room was flooded with fomorian warriors with savage barbed weapons. Their dark cloaks covering little of their flabby hideous bodies but all that greeted them was corpses and leaves.

Read the rest of the chapter on inkitt please and thanks https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/11

Cur part 2 Chapter 10 ‘The creature doomed to live’

Yay I didn’t kill myself haha. And Corona didn’t get me haha. And I have content yay.

I didn’t post anything last week but poems and stuff because I was just working on this, still kind of slow going but it’s good stuff, and it’s getting quicker. I feel good oddly. It only took the end of the world to make me feel like I was making headway haha.

But I’m actually a whole chapter ahead now, I feel a little reinvigorated, like maybe I might die with a smile on my face after all. I dunno, it’s too soon to tell but I think after this whole apocalypse thing is over my life might actually start making sense. Because lord knows it has not for some time now haha.

A body shouldn’t be this happy when all this badness is going on but I never claimed to be normal or sane and I have utterly no control over my emotions. I just feel happier and more blessed right now than I’ve ever felt in my whole fucking life.

And that’s all I’m willing to say about in case I jinx it haha.

See you…

The veil of night was lifting, a ghostly quietus fell at the mouth of the river Boyne. A rustling of the hazel trees sent shock waves into the quivering still born dawn. A woman, beautiful, her naked skin white as alabaster, her hair a dark earthy autumn hazel, like the trees that birthed the river.

She walked into the river slowly, she walked until the water was up to her ankles, her hips, her chest and until she was gone.

“Princess! Princess!” A whispered voice said. “He means to start without you! You must awake”

“Airmed, is that you?” Ernmas said groggily.

“Yes Princess, you have to hurry, I couldn’t stop stall him any longer.”

“But the sun is not even risen”

“Miach cares not for the position of the sun m’lady, only his own vainglory!” Airmed caught herself “I shouldn’t say that about my own brother I know but he is a fool and his eagerness will land us all in Bres’ keep one day.” The more fulsome maid helped the delicate Princess out of her borrowed bed. And into a robe more befitting witnessing the unveiling of the unknown. “Come now, we have little time to jabber.”

“Alright” Ernmas said faintly as Airmed lead her out of her room and into the strange hallway it felt like she was in only moments ago in the dead of night. She had hoped it would seem like a dream now but it was fresh in her mind. A part of her dreaded what she might witness at the top of that spiral staircase in the lab of Airmed’s brother Miach, son of Dian Cecht.

In her waking stupor lead by Airmed, it seemed like she closed her eyes and opened them once more in that fetid observatory that Miach had made his lab.

It was no different from the first she had laid eyes on it, the complete disarray that struck it was the chaos of a busy mind far beyond her own. But there too was an uncomfortable disquiet that hung in the air. As if a rot was nestled away in some darkened corner not yet to make itself known.

Ogma was there already, stern and solemn but also sad. He unfolded his large arms as the princes entered and made a slight bow. But said nothing and only stared at the centre of the room, where Miach tittered like an excited child.

Miach was lost in his own thoughts mumbling something to himself as he tinkered with unseen hands. Failing to notice or not caring when his sister and Ernmas entered the observatory.

“Ah marvelous, you’re just in time” He said when he made the effort to acknowledge their existence.

“Just in time for what?” The princess asked softly.

“Behold” Miach said as he directed Ernmas to the tank in the centre of the room with the opaque milky liquid in it. “We’re almost ready now, the solution has already been applied.”

“Solution?” Ernmas asked faintly.

“Yes” Miach said as he approached the stone table closest to the tank. One which had been cleared. He returned holding a strange pointed device made of glass and metal. The liquid contained within looked like water but shimmered with a dull putrescence of grey and blue as if it were petulant miasmal clouds. “My own creation, it uses the sacred waters that my father might have used during the great war but refined through my own processes.”

“And the-?”

“See for yourself” Miach smirked faintly as he directed her to the tank Ernmas was trying to avert her gaze from.

She approached it gingerly as if it were some kind of unpredictable beast or piteous retch. Slowly it came into focus. Beyond the milky liquid, pale bilferous limbs appeared, bobbing rhythmically in and out of the queer substance. As she reached the rim of the open top tank she could see it more clearly. The vaguest approximation of what was her father lay naked in the tank, it’s skin slick and squamous.

The body was motionless but for the slight undulating of the liquid. She looked at the face of her father and more closely at his neck as she could see that it was indeed the head she had brought with her. Attached by a means of some kind of metallic string. For a moment it was not Nuada’s face she saw floating in the liquid. But it was her own staring back at her with hideous stygian eyes that filled her with an unnameable terror.

It’s loathsome hand reached out and gripped her tightly by the wrist. The blasphemous thing pulled her closer to the tank. It’s hideous mouth opening filling her lungs with the foetid stench of death and decay. It uttered an accursed ullulating sound as foul black ichor poured from it’s mouth and filled the princess with darkness.

Read the rest on inkitt https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/10

Kur part 2 Chapter 9 ‘Ghost boy’

Henlo, me again, still not dead haha.

Feeling a lot better actually, was in a dark place for a bit but I decided to see it as a wake up call and I was gonna change my whole life. But then a global pandemic hits and every country I want to go to is locked down and I can’t leave my house.

So yeah that’s on hold but I still feel ok, despite possible looming death haha. I feel hopeful that as long as I can survive this bullshit I’ll come out on the other end healthier and happier. I feel fit, I look good and I’m ready to fuck life up, after all the toilet paper comes back haha.

So yeah, some light fantasy reading to hopefully get you through these trying times, best of luck.

Tuan was frozen for a moment and then the voice became all too familiar to him and he turned his head slightly to see.

“Birog?” He smirked. “You wouldn’t kill me”.

“I have killed three hundred this night and maybe ten thousand more when the prophecy is fulfilled, what’s one more death?” The seer said coldly.

“You and your prophecies” He laughed “There’s a new one every week.”

The seer smiled “See for yourself.” She said as she pushed Tuan through the door.

Inside the bed chamber there was little light but Tuan’s eyes quickly adjusted, a beam of moonlight cast across tussled bed linens. Only the vaguest of shapes took form

“So you’ve come to rescue me”. A mocking voice said from the darkness, followed by a mocking laughter as feral eyes stared at the shapeshifter from the corner of the room.

Cur rose from a chair at the side of the bed clad in only a loin cloth. Pitilessly he tore the elegant silken linens from the grand bed. Revealing underneath a slight and strangely beautiful girl with only one giant eye where there should be two. The girl looked roughly manhandled but otherwise alive.

The barbarian tore the fine sheets and wrapped them around himself to form a crude tunic.

The barbarians keen eyes saw the hooded girl follow Tuan out of the darkness of the doorway. His wicked grin growing larger and toothier. He laughed again, his laugh punctuating the sounds of the waves down below and the silence like a crack of thunder. His laughter was like an attack all of its own.

The girl almost winced at the sound of it and tried to hide her face from his scrutiny. She looked down at the girl on the bed with pity and shame “The prophecy has begun, she is with child.”

“What is this nonsense?” Tuan gasped.

“She will give birth to the one that will slay Balor and free this land of the Femorians for good.” Birog spoke softly and from rote as if reading in a trance. “It’s why I brought you here.” She steadied herself letting the knife fall down by her side. “The child of three bloods will be the one to save this land and stop the stone of destiny falling into his grasp.”

“Him who? What are you talking about girl?”

“Elatha, the first born son, high king of the Fomorians. If he takes the stone, if Danu’s power over it weakens and the god of chaos has it under her wing, the world will fall into a blackness it will never wake from. I have seen it.”

Cur snorted. “I care not for this world.” He croaked.

Birog opened her cloak and revealed a strangely shaped object rapped in a lambskin. She carefully unraveled it, the moonlight dancing on the silver arm balanced in her hand. She tossed it as gently as she could at the Firbolg who caught it effortlessly in his one good hand. “It is your world too, Firbolg.”

Cur grinned as if he stared at the back of his enemy while they were taking a piss as he reattached the arm to his burnt misshapen stump. The pain he had quickly forgotten rushing back to him, the arm burned with foul magic. The castle was but a dull glow of the rot but the arm was like a lightning rod for it. And it sent a searing pain through his scars and there was a part of him that even missed it. The pain reminded him that he could feel, it reminded him of his hate.

“Now you die” He cackled.

“The child will surely die without me.”

“I care not for my bastard” He laughed.

“Then what of your own life?”

Suddenly as if through some magic there were noises outside of the door, heavy footfalls and shouting and gibbering in a strange tongue.

Birog smiled and sighed “Our time is short Firbolg, would you waste it on killing me when I am your only means of escape from this place?”

Cur laughed wickedly as he approached. “I will kill you quickly woman.” He croaked raising his sinister silver hand to her throat.

There was a thud and cracking at the door. The Firbolg turned his head and in an instant the seer seemed to dissolve into the crystalline brick of the castle wall.

The Barbarian lunged for her apparition but clutched only air as the witch vanished from sight.

“They’re coming through, prepare yourself!” Tuan shouted.

Cur chuckled at the fear in his voice.

The attackers at the door were little more than beasts in the crudest shape of men. Foul slithery things with misshapen and uneven bodies, some with bulbous blubbering lips and glassy bulging eyes.

They threw their flaccid foul bulk against the door. In an instant it exploded and splintered out and a silver streak reached out and flew like an arrow across a moonless sky.

The barbarian was vicious and brutal beyond measure without a weapon even more so. He was fast and wicked and spared no mercy in savagery. He took the first one so fast it could barely gargle in response it’s doom. The Firbolg took the creature by it’s jaws and tore it almost completely in half as if it were a boneless fish. It’s hot entrails spilled out on onto the crystalline staircase, steaming with its viscious bile. The sound it made was enough to stop any mortal advance.

The other creatures stood frozen not understanding the desolation that leered down at them from the doorway,

Cur could smell their fear, he could hear it in their silence. Taste it in their hesitation, they were but mortal afterall, they feared him and he delighted in it. A wicked grin stretching across his scarred face.

A sword swung by webbed vaguely humanoid hands stuck out of the gloomy darkness and was caught in a silver hand. The barbarian snarled and snapped the crude sword in half. In one fluid motion embedding the uneven shard into a glistening yellow eye that spewed a black vile puss as the creature shrieked in agony.

Cur ripped the sword from the creatures gibbous wretched clawed fingers. With a slow dull pawing he wrenched the crooked snapped blade ripping the creature open from groin to sternum. Without stopping his attack he threw the barely living misshapen thing. Writhing and bloody with a clear blood onto the wide squamous eyes of the onlookers in the darkness.

Without fear or hesitation he threw himself upon them. Spears and teeth and claw pierced his body but naught stopped him. He overcame them like a grave digger gouging through loose earth and muck in his way. Hacking and chopping with a maddening indifference.

The remaining few unbrutalized fled. They ran into the dining hall that was now a mausoleum to the three hundred maidens that watched over the princess. But they didn’t get very far.

Without warning they stopped in their tracks as if they were caught in a net, frozen not from fear but an unseen hand gripping them. Their bodies crumpling and shrinking due to some invisible crushing force. It seemed almost like they were rotting right before the Barbarians eyes. They popped with some exuberant force. Their putrid entrails slapping against the cold walls of the dining hall and it seemed almost turning to dust as they fell.

“You’re not allowed in here” A sickly slight voice said.

The barbarian scanned the room looking for the source of the voice. He smirked broadly as he saw the child standing in the doorway, the child that called himself Balor.

Read the rest on inkitt for free. https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/9

Cur 2 Chapter 8 ‘Harsh Realm’

I’m back, kind of, not really, I died, I’m a ghost haha.

Yeah well I feel like one anyway. Been a pretty rough couple of months for me sort, not really I guess. I dunno, just not been in a good place mentally and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. I’ve been struggling for along time dealing with I don’t want to say depression because that’s gay af haha but I kinda don’t want to live anymore like every day haha.

It got really bad christmas time because of all the shitty christmas shifts and the rain and not my ex not letting me see my kid for over a year now, not a skype, not an email or picture, not on christmas or my birthday. Nothing. I’ve given up trying to appeal to her better nature, she doesn’t have one. I know you’re probably thinking I did something to deserve it and I kind of did, I tried getting over her and dating someone else and she didn’t like that one bit and I’ve been cut off ever since and on top of that the new relationship also pancaked, so not a great start to a pretty shitty year and I’m pleased to say 2020 is starting no differently.

Writers block mainly this chapter took me weeks crunch out and it’s just ok I guess. I was mainly trying to find a new job in another town and just start fresh and try to forget. But I was inspired to start writing again because I fell in love with someone new and it was magical for about a week before she just started ignoring for no reason and it fell apart. I don’t understand any of it but I can’t get more than two words out of her, it’s really unsatisfying. And pathetic because I deserve this, I deserve misery, I’ve done nothing to deserve happiness. But I’m not evil, I try to be good, I didn’t choose to be this way.
Don’t worry this is not a suicide note haha, imagine that a suicide note at the top of chapter about cyclops rape haha. I’d never do that, I’d never deprive my child of eventually knowing who her father is. I never knew who my father was, he died when I was a baby, I can’t describe to you what that pain feels like. Like not knowing a part of yourself, missing something you never had. Knowing your life would be totally different if he’d lived and been there to guide me. Make me into a man like him instead of the shadow of him that I fear I am.

Yeah so happy fucking wednesday anyway haha.

The barbarians heart pounded with vicious glee. Keeping in time with the cold wet slap of his own bare footfalls as he ascended the spiral staircase.
Nothing but dim darkness stalked his steps as he heard no sound other than that of his own breath burning in his lungs daring to be free.
It occurred to the barbarian this must be some kind of passage, that was never lit as it was not meant to be traversed often. The girl must’ve carried some sort of lamp to light her way, or if not the creatures of this castle had no need of light. Cur with his only hand balanced himself along the wall as he ascended, attuning his eyes to the murky blackness. He stopped to listen but heard no other breath, no clinking of armour or heavy clad footfalls. Only a slight whistling sound like the last breath escaping a corpse.
He pressed against the wall from which the noises came. The wall relented without much force and slid away. Still it revealed only darkness, but in the distance he could hear the cracklingof a fire and the glimpses of dancing shadows.
A tight dead end lead down a grand hallway dimly lit by distant firelight. The barbarian strained to listen for voices but heard naught but the dying fire.
At once he saw it as if a black sheet had been lifted from his eyes; a grand and grotesque fire pit. It gently smouldering in the centre of a huge high ceilinged dining hall.
The barbarians eyes adjusted to the dim light enough to see that the dining hall was not empty. But instead lining the floor were the limp bodies of what could’ve been hundreds of young women.
The Firbolg eyed them coldly, noting their garb, they were young fair women. Some full tables of women with just red hair and another with blonde and another were brown and raven haired. They wore black robes and appeared as Tuatha or even human. Their skin took on a white bluish glow like the scales of a fish and Cur knew they were Fomorian or some mix thereafter.
But more pressingly, they were most certainly dead.
Each their lips wetted with some drink that had been the murderer. The last of the Firbolg did not dwell on this good fortune, Cur merely let out a low mirthless chuckle as he waded through this newly made mausoleum. The door at the far end of the dining hall beckoned him. Cast as it was in the finest bronze and gold leaf with crystalline reliefs in the surface, making it shimmer like that of an undersea gem on a reef.
He placed his hand on it and felt it relent as the wall of the passage has before. He grinned and laughed as he forced it open, chuckling wickedly as he stalked the crystalline staircase. The walls too of the tower were made of an almost translucent stone which no doubt was forged by some form of magic.
The barbarian climbed the tower tirelessly, grinning like the devil ascending from the pit on a crystal ladder. Looking out he swore he could see the black abyss of the night’s through the crystalline stone. The moon full and wide and beaming at him and then suddenly ducking behind a thick cloud bank to hide from the Firbolg’s gaze.
At the top of the tower the barbarian came to a door. A small door which rested ajar but only a crack allowing but a sliver of silver moon light to bleed into the crystalline stair case.
The Firbolg grinned with anticipation. His blood rising and falling with the tide and the moon at his back watching sheepishly, a vile satire he slowly pushed the door open.
The moon shone through a large oval window shaped as if it were a silvery mirror of the sky. The cloaked moonlight hung suspended by a light myst before it fell on a bed fit for a queen, or a princess.
Upholstered in a rich sea green silk, silks of the deepest blues and emerald made up the bedding, they seemed to shine in the moonlight like scale. Each pinprick of light dancing on the material as if it were the bed of a sea covered in precious gems. And the most precious gem a giant emerald that was an eye of a girl.
It was not a trick or an illusion, her hair cleared from her face the maiden was beautiful. Hair as soft and as pale as milkweed but as full and as bodied as the head of a dandelion or a sea anemone. Tustled as it was as she stared dough eyed with her one giant beautiful eye at the barbarian heaving in her doorway. She raised herself on her forearms in her thin white silken night gown. Blinking with her one green eye in the middle of her forehead above a pert upturned nose and pricked ruby lips. Her skin so soft and white it was almost blue, and when the moonlight hit it it seemed to become as translucent as the stone that made up her tower.
“What are you doing here?” The familiar whispered voice said.
But the Firbolg had no sympathies nor words for the girl. For he could hear nought over his own heart beat pounding in his ears and the rushing swelling tide hitting the rocks below. The moon light filling him with purpose as he lurched towards the bed. A sardonic low cackle in the back of his throat rising and a grin spreading across his wicked demon face.

Read the rest of this chapter over on inkitt https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/8

Cur 2 Chapter 7 ‘Name written in water’

Hey all, gotta get through this quick because time is getting the best of me today, I really hope I get banned on facebook soon because procrastination is real and I get so much more done when I’m not on that fucking time sync website haha.

So another chapter out and I’m not gonna lie, this was hard to get out and it’s pretty short. I’m really struggling to get these chapters out recently, I can just barely do a chapter a week when before I could do like four or five. And I don’t even think the added time is adding to their quality. I just feel totally uninspired recently and I think a big part of that is yeah sure my constant failures to get any critical success or an agent to even give me the time of day. But moreover I’m not reading as much as I used to and I want to blame myself for that but I gotta say I haven’t felt engaged by any of the books I’ve been reading, maybe it’s me but The witcher series was dull as dishwater to me, The shadow got old fast and now Conan. The first couple of stories totally hooked me but the ones after are pretty much retreading with no real direction. There’s no timeline, it just seems to jump around with Conan fitting awkwardly into whatever story there is.

I feel like I’m not getting a good grip on the character and the world when every story just jumps around and doesn’t seem to go anywhere or ends abruptly. I just don’t feel encouraged to read it.

Honestly I used to hate reading as a kid because school would force me and I’ve pretty much always been the kind of asshole that wants to do pretty much the opposite of whatever he’s told. So even when we would do group reading in silence I wouldn’t even really read the books, I would just pretend to to spite the teacher while thinking of whatever I wanted haha.

And then we were reading stuff like Harry Potter which I don’t regret not reading at all. But I thought I wasn’t interested in reading until weirdly I don’t remember how this went but I had this girlfriend who loved reading and for some reason that made me want to do english lit in college despite having read maybe three books in my life, that might be an over estimation because I probably didn’t finish those books and they were probably factual ones about serial killers haha.

But my english teacher was the one who got me onto Raymond Chandler when we were doing a module about the great gatsby which I had to compare it to. And Raymond Chandler changed my mind about books entirely. I literally devoured the entire series of books. The story and characters and the action just blew my mind, it wasn’t some lame wizard shaking a stick at people. It was this grizzled p.i throwing punches and lead and it was awesome and I couldn’t wait to sit down and read it and have this mystery unravel before me.

And needless to say this goes double for the Parker series because Parker is Philip Marlowe on fucking red kryptonite haha. Instead of unravelling crimes, he’s planning and executing them.

So I really think I might just drop Conan and read the next Parker book, it’s just a shame because I was saving the Parker books and I will be heartbroken when I run out. I might just buy the comics and read them over.

Anyway, running out of day light for job searching, got one I think is promising but I can’t keep hoping, need to keep doing if I’m gonna be where I wanna be with the people I love.

See you…

Ernmas awakened on the riverbank, the moon hung bright and high in the sky, the sound of the night music was deafening. Frogs croaked and crickets chirped as she raised herself to look around like a lost fawn.

“Where am I?” She whispered to herself.

The water was still and cool and shone blue almost like a mirror.

All was serene and peaceful until out of the water a horse’s white head emerged. The horse crashed and splashed for it’s life furiously.

The horse was drowning and without a seconds thought Ernmas stepped into the icey cold water to save it’s life.

She tried to sooth it with her voice as she got closer, the horse slowed and calmed but still splashed and struggled to keep it’s head above the water.

Ernmas laid her hands upon it’s mane and attempted to pull at the horses neck. But her hands were stuck in place and trying to remove them was painful and burned. The horses eyes glared red and it bit into her shoulder and pulled her under the water.

Ernmas erupted from her dream fighting for air, the wall of sleep a miasmic sheet of icey water encasing her.

She fought for the air in her lungs but from the darkness came a soothing shushing sound and a soft warm hand on hers and on her face.

“Shh calm yourself, you were just having a bad dream that’s all” A young girls voice said.

“Who’s there?” Ernmas whispered softly.

A lamp was lit and a girl with red hair became visible in the dim light. Her face was freckled and slightly plain but the heat from the lamp ignited smells of wild pressed flowers. Her hair was curly and wild like cotton grass and she had a slightly upturned button nose like a doll with pricked pursed lips.

“Have no fear princess, I am Airmed, Miach’s sister” The girl smiled warmly. Her eyes were a deep hazeled green and her voice was soft but reassuring and without pretence.

“Oh hello-“ The princess said confusedly, still in a stupor from her dream.

“If you’re having trouble sleeping, I might have something for you.” Airmed said as she started to rise from the seat she’d taken at the side of Ernmas’s borrowed bed.

The bed itself was simple and elegant, fit for a noble or lord but certainly below the station of a princess.

“Oh no, please, no magic.” Ernmas said.

“Is no magic princess, it’s my own herbal remedy, will you come with me?” The girl said stretching out her hand.

Ernmas looked at the hand which looked soft but stained at the tips with green and under her nails there appeared to be soil and it gave off an earthy smell.

“Yes, and please call me Ernmas” She said as she took the girls hand.

In the hallway Ernmas suddenly felt a chill as though someone was watching her. Although the hall was dimly lit by the lamp light she could not miss the boy with almost platinum blonde hair. His bright golden eyes staring at her from the darkness of a doorway. The eyes stared at her impersonally almost like an animals.

Airmed tutted loudly and said “You should be in bed, away with you now!”

The boy scampered off into the darkness without a word or an expression on his pale little face.

“Who was that?” Ernmas asked.

“It is the wee lad Ruadan”

“Bres’s son?” Ernmas gasped.

“The same one.” She nodded.

“Won’t his father come for him, is it not dangerous to have him here?” Ernmas whispered.

“If Bres knew where he was I doubt we’d be having this conversation” Airmed smirked cockily lifting the lamp to illuminate the rest of the hall. “Besides all that, soon enough he’ll have bigger thing to worry about.” She said smiling and tilting her head in the direction of the end of the hall. “Come along, don’t fret I’ll have you tucked in bed in no time.”

In the daylight the guts of the castle were like a maze and in the gloom of the night it felt certainly like an endless dungeon. Or the bowels of some evil beast with the howl of the cold mountain wind outside lashing the castle walls trying to get in. Almost nothing stood out and the princess couldn’t hope to make it back to her room alone.

Airmed lead her down a tight corridor.

“I make my own herbal remedies here in the castle.” The girl said.

“How does anything grow on this mountain”

“Ah nature is a magic of it’s own and life can sustain the most harsh of climates. Some of the hardiest of plants can be found on the base of the mountain and some of the hardiest people too.”

“How often do you leave the castle?”

“Not that often, only when we need supplies, I trade for most of the essentials with the townsfolk below the mountain. My poultices and tonics can fetch a high price with the village folk.”

Airmed lead the princess through a large dark door opening it very slowly and quietly.

Ernmas tiptoed after her as she lead her through a small office.

The red haired girl tutted “He’s always doing this.” She whispered as she put her lamp down on an oak writing desk and picked up a blanket that was hung over a chair. She took it over to what Ernmas could now make out by the light was Miach himself, asleep at his desk, his face nestled between the pages of a book. Airmed covered Miach in the blanket and tutted again “He sleeps at a desk more often than he does in his own bed.” She paused to look at him sullenly while he slept before starting slightly as she remembered why she was here. “Oh yes the sleep solution” She whispered to herself as she picked the lantern back up.

Ernmas followed as Airmed lead her to a musty smelling cold store room with a stone floor.

She tutted again as she searched the high shelves “Where is it?”

Ernmas couldn’t see much in the room that was not illuminated by Airmed’s lamp. That aside she felt strangely drawn to a large glass container which seemed to emanate a ghostly warmth from it.

Although she could not fully see what it was, it was large and placing her hand on it it was cold to the touch but it gave off an energetic charge.

“Ah here it is” Airmed exclaimed. She turned back to try and find her charge in the gloom. Airmed shone her lamplight into the darkness to find Ernmas standing before the large tank now illuminated by her lamp light.

And inside the tank was what appeared to be the preserved dead body of a mutilated and deformed Nuada Airgetlám .

Check out the rest of the chapter right here.

Cur Part 2 chapter 6 ‘The living word’

Yo,
Wanna get this out of the way quick because I’ve been currently reserving thursday for escaping my current state of wage slavery for a better state of wage slavery somewhere sunnier haha.
Or I might do some spamming but I’ve been blackpilled on that for a while now since I keep getting banned and spamming on gab or twitter or minds is basically a waste of time. And even spamming on facebook maybe five people see it unless you throw some money behind it and even then it’s just some fucking asshole telling me I need an editor for my raw manuscript, no fucking shit I need an editor. So fucking constructive, it’s why I hate writing groups. Most writers are assholes, myself included, they don’t want to help you, they want to stand on your face and make a slamdunk haha. Those groups are cancerous, full of bullshit political shit and crabs in a bucket that want to get together to justify their own mediocrity.
What I hate more than anything is those posts from like people who have an example of someone who succeeded or got famous in their like fifties or sixties and it’s usually someone you’ve never heard of haha. And they’re like ‘success has no age’ or some bullshit designed to make people who are younger and suck think that one day they’ll make it. It’s there to like ease tensions and make people think they have plenty of time, but in reality all it does is make people complacent. If you make people think they don’t have to chase their dreams right now they’ll put it off and they’ll keep putting off til it’s dead.
Like my brother is always telling me that there are actors who didn’t get famous until they were like forty, but the thing is they were putting in the work in their thirties while he does fuck all haha. It’s just something that he tells himself so he doesn’t need to do anything now but wait til the toothfairy drops it in his lap haha.
I’m not giving up my dream but I guess I’m kicking it down the road because right now seeing my daughter is more important, it’s the only thing. What’s the point of succeeding if I can’t be with her?
So I am going to find a job in barbados and I am going to be with her and I’ll work out the writing part later, because I do have my whole life to do that but every day I lose those precious moments with her and that’s something I can never get back.
Besides my inspiration is in the toilet lately without her and her mother. Everything I write just seems shitty and lifeless lately and it’s because I need to get real and get the fuck out of here. I need stability, I need a real job and I need to be with my daughter and I can work the other stuff out later.
And I know I’m selfish and autistic and I’ll hate working so hard and wish I was at home playing videogames all day but I’ll tell myself that I’m doing it for selfish reason, that being with her and being there brings me more joy… and I can still play videogames occasionally haha.
Ok shit, I need to stop talking about this and actually makes some waves to make it happen. Kinda got all my hopes wrapped up in this perfect hotel job which I’m perfect for, it’s basically the same job I do here but not in hell four thousand miles away from my baby. But I need to find more to apply to, I can’t keep putting all my eggs in one basket.
K gotta jet.
See you…
The horses snorted, their breathe heavy and hanging in the cold air near the peak of the devil’s ladder.
Ogma climbed down from the coachman’s seat, he took some time to inspect the horses and tug at their bridles to make sure they were secure.
Once he was satisfied he trod the deep snow and stopped for a moment outside the door of the carriage before calling out. “My lady, we have arrived.”
Ogma then opened the carriage door and stepped back to kneel in the snow holding his hand aloft for princess Ernmas to take.
His hand was large and wrapped in a thick riding glove covered in filth, dried blood and snow. Noticing this he took it off and discarded it in the snow.
His hand was lithe but looked strong and nimble, she filled it with her smooth dainty hand the colour of milk, almost weightless. She made her way down from the carriage, carrying herself with regal nobility but with a slight smile that betrayed her sadness. Her eyes carrying the same wisdom as her fathers but also an innocence that bared hiding from the world.
Standing alone now she walked through the snow coming around the other side of the carriage.
Ogma reached into the carriage where sat a square package wrapped delicately. He retrieved it with the utmost care and lifting it gently with both hands and climbing down from the carriage as slow and gracefully as possible.
“I don’t see it.” She said softly.
Ogma went to her side, the package in his arms “Look closer my lady”
The princess turned and instantly looked at the package, a wave of regret and sadness passing over as she seemed to smile and sigh. “I’d almost forgotten about that” She said wistfully, melancholy hanging heavy on her delicate features. Turning back to the shape unfolding in front of her she narrowed her vision and slowly as the snow thick white wind abated she saw a contrast. A line forming around a white shape.
“I see it, it’s amazing, it must be some sort of sorcery.” She gasped with childlike wonder.
Perhaps, an illusion, possibly the weather and a trick of the eye.” Ogma said.
Before them stood a castle naturally camoflouged by the weather. It seemed to be designed to do exactly that. The castle itself was low slung and seemed to follow the natural curve of the mountain plateau it rested on. The buildings jutting out unevenly to mimic the shape of a natural rock formation. The light colour of the stone and the snow making it seem almost invisible against the skyline. A narrow path towards the portcullis too was shielded by a thick embankment of trees and it snaked up the sheer face of the cliff at odd angles. A wall surrounding the castle seemed to melt into the snow covered trees. The castle itself rising only slightly higher than the wall but for one white spire which stood at it’s highest point.
“The spire, I bet he can see the whole valley from that point.”
“Most likely.” Ogma agreed.
She turned with a whimsical smile and said “This is the top of the devils ladder.”
“Yes my lady.”
“Well lets see if he’s in” She smiled.
Cur’s laughter echoed through the hall. The room was vaste, the ceilings seemed higher than was possible due to the squat nature of the castle. The hall was stark, naked of any furnishing but for one cyclopean door cast in bronze and gold with a carving of a giant evil eye on it. Cur’s laughter abated as he looked around the oversized room. The floors and walls seemed to be slicked with some strange viscous substance and there was an odd smell. The walls and floors bore deep scratches not made by any man. The smell, it was faint but it was familiar, blood and something else much worse.
“Is this Balor shaking, does he fear me?” Cur croaked grinning.
“Balor fears no man” The strange voice under the veil said.
“Then he can show himself to me” Cur laughed staring at the strange gaunt figure in the mask.
“You will see my face, although I have many.” A child’s voice said.
The robed woman and the man in the mask stepped to aside and in their place stood a small redheaded boy wearing a long green tunic made of spun silk. The face of the boy child was pale and freckled but the eyes and the expression were that of a man certainly. The eyes shining an evil purple, their glare seeming to pierce through Cur. The childs smile presented as innocence but betrayed a deep malevolence as he surveyed the barbarian coldly. As if he were a bull being readied for gelding.
“Does this face please you firbolg?” The child smiled but there was something unnatural about it, it was just a little too wide and the way his face moved didn’t move as skin and bone should. The movement was almost akin to how an eel or a snakes flesh moved. His face moved as if it had no bones at all. “Perhaps you’re wondering why I had you brought before me, but I suspect you already know.”
Cur began to laugh morbidly, his eyes wide and mad.
The boy smirked once more with his ghoulish unnatural face, pale and bonny the mask covering ancient horror. “I have heard tale that you are undead and cannot be killed by mortal weapon.” The boy smirked and walked closer to the barbarian. “My eye is no mortal weapon, tomorrow morning at sun rise you will feels its power and be but ash.” The boy smiled.
Cur laughed again.
“I have been tasked as your executioner, a job in which I relish and comes with it a certain poetry” The boy smiled wickedly. “As it was I that dealt the final blow to the clan firbolg.”
Princess Ernmas lifted her cloak almost up over her knees and began to trudge eagerly through the snow. Slowly working her way up the snaking path lined by snow covered rowan trees.
“Wait my lady, allow me to lead the way!” Ogma shouted after her trudging the deep snow along the path, his words blown away by the terrible biting mountain wind.
Nevertheless he returned to his charge’s side within the maze. Under the chin of the overgrown rowan trees that loomed over the path, almost blotting out the sky over head. On the other hand they also shielded them from the terrible winds sweeping up the mountain.
If you want to read the rest of this chapter head on over to Inkitt

Cur 2 Chapter 5 ‘The devils ladder’

Shit, fucking facebook, I’ve literally just been shitposting all day and forgot to even post this haha.

And now I have nothing to talk about.

Welp, enjoy the chapter haha.

This is not true, I was looking for a new job still.

But I hope you enjoyed the poem yesterday, by all the likes I’m guessing people did, I was just listening to that song the other day and it stirred up something inside of me and I had to make it my own, just a little bit.

This chapter is the start of part two and it’s kind of the start of a subnarrative, and sort of the theme for the whole book. If the last book was about death, this book is about rebirth and the pains associated I guess.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day.

See you…

“I say if you cross the devils ladder you must pay the devil!” A voice carried over the howling of the cold wind coming down the mountain.

 

The carriage halted it’s horses, the carriage driver was a large broad man wrapped up tightly. He got down from coachman’s seat to see what the ruckus was about.

 

The coachman cautiously scanned the snowy trail that passed through the rocky cliffs. The trail lead up the Carrauntoohil mountains known colloquially as ‘the devils ladder’. There was nary a soul to be seen. Only the rocky crags dusted with fine snow and the cold wind blowing in the coachman’s face. He wrapped his face tighter and climbed back up onto into the drivers seat and mushed the horses to continue up the trail. They whined bitterly and the coach creaked as it climbed the steepening trail.

 

“That is I, I am the devil!” A voice called out and then a man appeared as if from nowhere. The snow and the wind made it hard to see but the man had been laying in wait behind a large rocky outcropping. The hiding spot has blended into the rest of the mountain under the snow.

 

The coachman pulled his face covering down to gawp at the strange man.

 

“Be done with this foolishness and get out of my way!” The coachman called out.

 

“I will get out of your way” The man said. He was of average height but had a long bedgraggled beard and wild eyes rubbed red raw. The man just stood there but as he did more of his ilk came out of their hiding place behind the outcropping and joined at his side. They were savage looking carrying scythes and pitch forks and large butcher’s knives and woodcutters axes as weapons. “As soon as you give us all that you carry and then a little more.” The wild man said wide eyed

 

“Highwaymen then?” The coachman shouted over the roar of the wind.

 

“Call us what you like but you will not leave Carrauntoohil alive this day unless you give us whats in that carriage.” The highwayman said gesturing with a large rusty butchers knife.

 

The coach driver looked back thoughtfully at his carriage and then turning back to the highwayman he said. “I’m afraid I cannot do that, this day or any other.”

 

The highwayman laughed and wiped frost from his large unkempt beard. “You speak such honeyed words for a coachman, perhaps we will cut out your silver tongue and fashion a necklace from it.” The wildman chuckled with his shaggy cohorts.

 

The coachman seemed to slump in his seat exhaling deeply. Not from fear or doubt but instead a profound resignation that washed over him. Again the coachman climbed down from the carriage and landed heavy footed in the snow in the shadow of mount Carrauntoohil.

 

“You may take whatever you want after you kill me.” The coach man said as he drew an iron warclub from his belt. “But not before.”

 

The bearded man laughed and nodded “But not before, you are a brave one.” He looked eitherside of himself and said to his cohorts “Kill him!”

 

The bandits were a disorganized rabble and their attack was that of desperate fury. They leapt into battle as if the coachman were the cold and the wind and their empty bellies personified. Their feet crunching the snow as they charged.

 

The coachman did not flee their shouts, he stood his ground and waited his distance. They fought without formation or strategy, relying on numbers, surprise and brute force.

 

But none of these factors phased the coachman. The first bandit came at him with a pitch fork. He expected them to be cowards and encircle him and strike at his back but the hunger in their eyes betrayed their savagery. They were thin and starved and cold, their desperation had turned them into little more than wolves. They struck out as dying men struck out at the living, mindlessly and with unrelenting ferocity.

 

But they were slow and weak and the coachman was neither, he caught the head of the pitchfork and twisted it away from his body. The wooden shaft of it was so damp from the snow and the cold it snapped off in his hand. Not to break off his attack the bandit attempted to skewer the coachman with broken haft.

 

The coachmen’s strike was a perfect measured brutality, in stark contrast to their own. He struck the bandit with military precision to the side of his head to soften his skull. Then he struck it again in the same place to completely obliterate it. The blow sending shards of skull and brain matter at the other bandits.

 

Something that would have deterred other men, but not hungry wolves. They kept coming, spurred on by the steady roar of their bellies.

 

“I have no desire to kill you all, but mark my words, I will do so!” He was tall and stood firm like the mountains and the cold winds rushed through his words but they were too far gone to hear it.

 

They kept coming like an avalanche of pure need striking at him with tattered old scythes covered in rust. Axes with burred handles and knives that were as blunt as spoons. They did not stop, but neither did the coachman. He struck them down one after another with the cool clinical disinterest of a butcher slaughtering lambs until but one remained.

 

A woman with a kitchen knife roaring like an evil spirit leapt at the coachman and for a moment he hesitated and he could not parry the blow. The knife struck home tearing through the layers of raggedy clothing revealing a thick plate and chainmail armor. The tip of the knife shattered on contact. But the woman, undeterred by this and driven by pure madness aimed to cut the coachman’s throat. Something he could not allow.

 

He struck the woman with an upward blow killing her instantly, blood erupting from her mouth as she toppled into the snow.

 

The coachman looked down at her as she seemed to shrink into the snow, pink with her blood.

 

“Forgive me, by my honor I cannot allow you to have what I carry.”

 

The man with the beard was the last one left alive.

 

“What have you devil? Should I spare your life?” The coachman called out as he approached the highwayman.

 

“Nay sir” He highwayman said dropping to his knees in the snow surrounded by the bloodied bodies of his kinfolk. “I will join my village” He smiled, his red eyes seemed almost relieved looking up at the coachman. “And you, I hope to see you one day kind sir, in Mag Mell.”

 

“As you wish” The coachman said his voice ringing with a tone of resignation.

 

He killed the man with one blow to his head. There was very little blood. The man slumped to his side and fell to sleep as the snow started once more, covering him and his comrades in a blanket of fine white sleet.

 

The scene was maudlin and the coachman felt cursed to be standing in this graveyard of his making. He wished bitterly that it could have been different. He cursed himself as he cleaned his iron cudgel with a handkerchief as he made his way back to his coach.

 

Check out the rest of the chapter here.

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