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Monday, July 9, 2007

A Distant Echo Of Dark Shadows

Started December 24th 1999

"History is an account, most false, of events, most unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves and soldiers, mostly fools." {Ambrose Gwinett Bierce}

The night ripped open painfully dark and unforgiving. One lone rider garbed entirely in black, forever shrouded in the shadows he come forth into the night. Only he rode alone through the black forest draped heavily in the coverlet of darkness. His strong large ominous body encased in the black iron armour like his frozen heart, this man thought the cold strength of the iron and steel would protect him from all evils on the outside. But what of the most horrific evils were not to be found on the outside, but inside of all the hearts of men growing like a weed unchecked? Entwining their hearts until the heart itself chocked. All men had a dark side where the light can never be seen, a place that is cruel and full f the worse evils that one could think of. Most turned their back to the dark side, but there were those that who would thrive on pain and embrace the dark evil of their souls. Was he himself one of these men without a soul? Untouchable? Unreachable? Very plausible. A long black wool mantle covered his hard battle toned body from view; the heavy dense cowl that covered his head buried his scarred face from view. Shrouded in all mystic mystery he was. The dark shadows beneath the cowl, unfathomable to all that he may have crossed in his lifetime upon this Earth. And had he seen many a battle and many a war, and he had survived them all! Tall leafless trees stood like silent sentries in the dark of the night, the only ones to bear witness to what was to unfold. The silent sentries ran around the entire meadow of endless gold. The soft singing whisper of the grasses was the only sound that lifted up from the forest here and beyond. The night creatures were silent as if they too knew the melee was about to begin anon. Perchance they knew something he did not? The long black rider hidden against the winter cold hid his face from those he passed. Only now did he look freely up to the night sky high above hanging like a heavy black drape of densest blackest velvet shutting out almost even the stars themselves. The starts that did shine through were like beacons to the heavens, but forever out of his reach. That was up until he answered the last calling, he thought. No moon gave the silvery glow to the earth below shrouded in the shadows so thick that one could barely even so see that of their hands in front of their faces. A truly evil night of night's to be out, he thought to himself almost out loud. When at long last the might beast he rode stepped no further. Now he was surrounded by the sea of golden grasses long since parched by the late summer's drying heat, he felt alone and did not even sense the slightest of movements; here or beyond. He now sat astride his black charger in the very middle of the golden grassy knoll; the only movement was reserved for that of the grasses billowing gently back and forth through the night's breeze. This was the blackest hour just before dawn, the darkest time for those that crawl the night. Those that go forth in the cover of darkness must so sleep during the covering of light. Or forever be so caught in that of the mortals' eye. And he intended to be those eyes and reap the rewards of his life, life eternal. The beast he rode stood so still that they both had become at one with the night, joined into the dark shadows to become one. The slightest of breeze rolled through the tips of the grasses sending then the long lengths of black mantle rippling over the ebony hindquarters of his steed like that of folded wings of a giant black flacon. Then to the silky long hairs that ran the length of the black muscled legs of this fine beast blew with the soft touch, of phantoms breath. He knew why he was here, for no man, or beast has yet to best him in battle of any kind. Forever had he to keep his battle torn and scarred face hidden from those that would despise him for what he was. The best. To keep his face hidden lest all those that set their eyes upon his face would never forget. He had slain so many he had truly lost count to the number of dead that littered the length of his tortured soul. But he had survived the game and he was now about to reap those rewards.

"The sleeper has awakened!" He shouted to the unfathomable darkness' here and beyond. Only silence prevailed as he strained his hearing beyond normal compliance. Not one sound came; his mount breathed into the cold night air, the mist formed as his silvery breath swirled around now both their faces and the night had become so cold. He was not afraid; fear was not an emotion he felt or was capable of felling. There was no man alive that could strike fear into him. Only the formidable depth of heavy silence enveloped him, as though time itself had ceased to exist, his ears strained an echo of he was the only reply.

The sword that hung from his side had slain a legion of men that had fallen on his blade for only reasons that he knew and understood. He was a true mercenary. Loyal to no one but that of himself, his heart cold and loveless he went on to face his demons. He pushed back now the heavy cowl, no longer would he drape his scarred face in shadow. After this morn's battle his name would be spoken on the lips of all that heard of this tale of glory and sang to his name in Ballard's of bravery and strength. As the cowl fell back in even black folds of wool, his chain mail skullcap gleamed even with the absence of light as the metallic folds around his neck were pulled up to cover his thin boned skull, using that of his massive hands. His ice blue eyes surveyed the unfathomable darkness beyond the out skirts of the meadow of gold. He had come to terms with his destiny and was ready to face his demons, he was not afraid. Fear is best to be faced head onto see one's enemies in front of them, rather than creeping up behind on turned backs. Fear was not in his heart. No man had ever tested his true potential. He would waste lives for the very reason that he could and that there was none alive that could ever halt him. No one ever attested him. None had every dared to challenge him now and he had become bored and idle without use. Until now. And he heeded that call that urged him onwards like an unquenched Blood Lust. He had heeded that calling that thundered in his ears until he thought he would scream, but that breaking point never seemed to come. Until now. Now his battle torn heart and body having heeded to one last calling to battle. The just rewards of a Paladin, he thought vaguely.

The massive black beast that he rode now pawed at the hard ground not yet frozen by winter's cruel hand. This mount that he now rode had bore him faithfully to the Four Corners of the known land, his giant black hooves scratched the hard turf, and he too felt the surge of the upcoming battle. The wait would not be long my eld friend, he thought as he listened to the harsh echo of the scraping earth. He reached out for his gauntlets located in under the pommel at the front of his saddle, a place where he always kept them. He tugged them free feeling the heat of the Blood Lust take control of his experienced body. An experienced knight could almost always taste the Blood Lust of the battle upon his lips. The thrall of battle could never be ignored. When the gauntlets enveloped his calloused hands, the strong leather worn smooth with years of faithful service; he felt youthfully exhilarated. Next was that of the black helm that was moulded into the creature that his heart had truly become. The black metal moulded to that of spikes sharp and protruding from his skull like demonic tumours; adding even more Gothic horror to him. The polished black iron would protect his head, although that did not apply here, he did not know who his foe was and doubted that this mere covering of polished iron would be enough to thwart his foe. But T’would suffices of this he knew for t'was all that he had. The anticipation was roaring in his ears as he pulled the helm on. Even his black mount could hardly be steady feeling the up coming battle, the air felt energized as the hairs on his large muscular arms stood up right. The very air had a faint hint of copper; he could taste the blood in the air. Was this part of the game?

"I am He and I heed thy calling!" Cam a voice from all four corner of the grassy meadow at once, being nowhere and everywhere all at the same time.

"Show thyself Demon Spawn!" He answered back to the unknown voice, defying the owner to come forward and play the game.

"Art thou the one whom pledges foredoom of no equal man or beast. Or god?"

"Aye, I am he that so pledges this badge!" He was quickly becoming annoyed with the hearing of only a voice and no man yet to behold. Growing more impatient with every moment of this lengthy wait of senseless word play. "Enough! Show thyself and cease this senseless woman's prattle! I grow weary and impatient!!" His last words lingered in the air as if tangible as an oath of the heart.

At the far end of the meadow the trees and tall shrubs parted as though a mighty strong fist had come down and tore them from the very Earth. Clumps of dirt and rocks the size of his closed fist came raining down around the area where he was still astride his black charger. They flew, the missiles with the use of such amain force at being uprooted, perchance by the very power of God himself had been used. He was not sure why he thought this; he had long ago abandoned any form of god. He thought, as he felt the first of the stinging blows of flying debris. The meadow was littered with rocks and large splinters of ancient oak and evergreen sat in deep holes from the amount of unseen force that had been used. The yellow grasses were now pounded into the ground by a powerful breath from the unseen force that had previously called out to him. The noise was deafening to the ears of those if they and been here; he himself ignored the noise and drew the heavy length of his black mantle to shield the head of his mount from the sharp rain of stones. He covered himself with the large black mantle while the skies now opened up and above raining down the torrents of rocks that fell from the very heavens’. He would never cower, When the torrents had finally ceased he stole a glance up to the far end he looked, his face awestruck. The grand ancient forest that had stood towering for eons now lay like slumbering giants sprawled out on their backs along the mossy forest floor surround the meadow of gold grasses. He was only awed at this showing of amain strength; he himself was never frightened of even facing the possibility of forfeiting his own life for such a challenge as the one before him now. The meadow was not longer like it was; shambles and ruin' chaos and pandemonium, reigned now.

A lone black rider emerged from the shambles of the forced opening as Mother Nature gave birth to a new evil spawn of a creature that sprang from her womb. He too was hidden deep beneath the heavy folds of a mantle that was long, that too was nearly dragging the entire length of the massive black steed that was the mirror image of the one he rode now. And was He? Is this the adversary calling?
He looked at first he thought that he recognized the lone dark figure as he rode free from the shadows of the broken trees, their roots hanging down like twisted banners announcing his arrival. The light that lit the meadow was not the natural kind like that of the Sun or Moon. Not even the stars could be given merit of that most unnatural essence. And as he peered into the fathomless black shadows that filled his cowl where the other's face should have been, was but a featureless void of dark shadows staring ominously back. Although the deeper he gazed into the unreachable fathoms the clearer the image became on who had become his adversary. The first long black rider was appalled by what he seen there now; realizing the true threat for all that he had ever stood for had at long last become his true adversary. His large black mount leapt into action; he drew his well-honed blade in a song of skill and experience, as he drew on the full extent of his courage and valour. He saw his long black adversary as a mirror image of himself acting as though he would and doing all that he would do. Or have done?

1 comment:

Djierke said...

ah m'lady you have posted your story again. I can never tire of reading it again and again. Thank you.

That's Life

That's Life

The Master Of Her Domain

The Master Of Her Domain
There is One for everyone. The Master of my Domain is the axis in which my world spins. There shall only be but One. Among men and women, those in love do not always announce themselves with declarations and vows. But they are the ones who weep when you're gone. Who miss you every single night, especially when the sky is so deep and beautiful, and the ground so very cold......