The Girl with the Sword

The next short story!

Little girl, big sword, lots of dead monsters. It’s an interesting story in its own way. Let me know what you guys think!

Artist is Hapsam, you can find his work on Instagram or Tumblr

I want to give special thanks to the patrons who’ve supported me thus far:

Hypermice, Sean Young, and Mister Artorias

Check back on Friday for more news, with another short to follow on Monday! As always if you want to read the latest story and/or want to support me then head over to  Patreon and you can do just that for just a dollar! It means a lot, thank you!

 The Girl with the Sword 

Katherine’s white dress was splattered with blood. The remains of monsters lay around her, pools of their own blood spread across the floor. Crimson red flowed into the cracks of the stone floor. The musky smell of the cave and rapidly decaying flesh of the creatures mixed together. Her chest rose with deep breaths; the muscles in her arms and legs strained to keep the greatsword raised. A warm drop of red slid down her cheek.

The scaled, boar-like beast sidestepped before her; a snake-like insect went the opposite direction.

She adjusted her stance, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. The creature she had most recently cut in half lay behind her, its pool of blood growing to surround her right foot.

The boar snapped its jaw, tusks slick with grease and mud. The scales glistened in the moonlight that shone through the entrance of the cave.

The insect let out a hiss, long talons clicking in anticipation. Its thin wings flapped several times in impatience before growing still, preparing to lunge forward.

Katherine noticed the insect go still. The growing ache in her arms vanished as a fresh wave of adrenaline flowed through her. The greatsword rose and descended in a swift arc. The insect was split from its head to its first set of wings. The long tail of the insect thrashed and twisted. The second set of wings fluttered rapidly causing the back half of its body to rise uselessly.

She bit her tongue at the sharp pain in her left leg. Looking down Katherine saw the tusk piercing into the back of her calf. Her heart pound in her ears. With a twist, Katherine brought the long cross guard of the sword down into the face of the boar.

The boar wheeled back, causing Katherine to lose her footing. It stumbled about, blinded by the gash in its face.

Katherine stumbled several steps before falling, the greatsword sliding away from her grip. She spotted the dead insect close by and reached for a fang. She ripped the fang out and pounced forward to slam the point into the boar’s face, piercing between its eyes.

The boar jumped back, unable to get the talon out. Shaking its head back and forth, the confused boar rammed into a nearby rock, driving the talon deeper into its brain. It slumped to the ground, now dead.

She lay on the warm, bloodied ground breathing deeply until the silence was disturbed by a click of claws against the stone. She saw the movement in the corner of her eye. Katherine limped over to her greatsword, her fingers embracing the bloodied handle. The strength in her overcame the pain in her left leg and ache in her muscles, and she stood with a stagger. “Still alive?” Katherine whispered. With a deep breath, she began to step forward, dragging the sword behind. The tip of the blade scratched the stone as it went, the noise causing the beast in the corner to thrash more in panic.

The warmth of the blood against her bare feet as she took each step was a strange comfort; her heart began to relax. “I shouldn’t be enjoying this… Father wouldn’t approve.” Katherine paused before the creature, watching its broken limbs become entangled in its attempts to escape. “But then, why should I care?”

The creature stopped, its green eyes tilt up to look at her. Broken teeth parted, revealing its bloody maw. A whimper echoed from its lips.

She raised the tip of the great sword from the floor. “He’s dead now.” The sword rose higher into the air, poised to strike. “And it’s all because of you monsters!” She yelled and brought the greatsword down. The blade passed through scales with ease to meet the flesh within.

The creature squirmed for a moment, claws extending for her before it slumped back to the floor, letting out a final wheeze as it became still.

The sword clattered to the floor. Katherine looked around slowly at the variety of scaled and insect-like creatures littering the floor. Satisfied that no more were alive, she sunk to the ground. The adrenaline flowed out of her body as exhaustion hit her hard. Katherine laid back and closed her eyes. “What do I do now?” she asked aloud.

A wince of pain struck her heart at the silence that followed her question. She opened her eyes again and sat up. “I’m all alone now… why me? What do I do…?” Tears welled up in the corner of her eyes. “It hurts…” She moaned and bit her tongue again to try to distract herself from the blood seeping from her left leg. She tasted iron. Katherine took hold of the end of her bloodied dress and ripped it into a long strip. Wrapping it around her leg, she tightened it as best she could. All this because I ventured too deep into the forest.

Her eyes froze on her father’s body by the entrance of the cave. His massive body had been a wall for most of the monsters, with dozens of their bodies scattered around his. The second sword which he had wielded was still impaled through a tentacle beast that partially entangled him. A shiver ran through her at his large amputated hand that lay close by.

She looked over to the greatsword by her side, merely a sword to her father. Would I still be alive if the sword hadn’t landed close to me? A small smile came to her lips. All that training that I thought was a waste of time kept me alive. Katherine forced herself to her feet. Pain ached in her legs, but she pushed through it. She walked over to the entrance and paused by her father’s body.

Katherine met his determined gaze and grimace. “Thank you, Father,” she whispered and knelt by his side. She closed his eyes and stood, forcing back more tears. With a deep breath, she moved out to the clearing beyond. Broken tree branches, thrown rocks, and bloody bodies lay strewn across between the entrance to the cave and the forest. The trampled grass of the clearing now drowned in blood. I survived, which means I can’t give up. Father taught me as much.

She took a final deep breath to calm her nerves, the urge to cry vanishing. With a nod, Katherine turned back to the cave to gather her belongings. The journey will be hard, but I won’t give up. Not now, not ever.

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Author of the on-going serial "Perpetual War"

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