It's been a bad few months for me lately (not going to bore you with the details) and hope this gets in under the deadline.
As ever, these are just thoughts which came to me upon a subject...my words try to make sense of the images and visions I get, but I don't own those stories or 'write' them in that sense.
Comments & criticisms, etc are always really appreciated - I always want to improve and produce better stories for people to read.
U]"Closest Thoughts"[/U] (994 words, not including title)
The battle over, I drop to my knees among the fallen, soiling my previously unblemished armour with the vitality of ferals and heretics.
My sword still clutched double-handed, I take great pains to ensure that it stays away from the ground so that no gore sullies it's pristine blade.
However, the same cannot be said for it's pommel, which still drips with brain matter from the last skull I crushed.
I spend several seconds trying to catch my breath, yet the reason for my fall lies not in physical exertion: I had barely broken a sweat paying homage to Him by cutting down such unbelievers.
Instead, my obeisance to my master is part of a ritual which I have undertaken every day -as well as at the end of each battle- for the last 157 years.
Recalling the statues of others of my kind in our order's halls, these catechisms and whispered devotions have remained constant for over a millennium.
The prayers must be intoned and His name invoked at the soonest moment.
It is...necessary...even if others believe it disloyal or disrespectful.
Although they only know the merest rumours about what I carry, even fearless comrades still avoid me and give me wide berths when I traverse the corridors of power.
A sweet smell assails my senses...just as it always does...just as it always shall until I breathe my last and the next steward takes over.
A numbing of the temples, then a scratching in the middle of my shoulder-blades which I cannot reach (let alone assuage).
All this speaks of my tormentor. Yet I take comfort that my own litanies offer equal strength, knowing that my words can burn it's soul, even if it were to attempt to invade my own.
Repeating words I have spoken a thousand times, I utter beneath my breath:
"You have no hold here. This is as it will always be for you now, until your ending-time."
Never using the same words, it always uses the exact silky-smoothy tone; a particular set of sibillant notes which still shock me each time I hear it's debased tongue:
"But we have had sooo many conversations, human..." it inveigles.
"Who else knows you like I do..? Which other entity could inflict the emotions we both know triggers the tastiest memories, despite your much-vaunted willpower?"
"Emotions long discarded...creature. I am no mere human. I passed over what I was in favour of what I am now...a vessel against the darkness. Your darkness."
"Ah yes, the darkness that you know sooo well. Yet against which you shall futilely scrabble until your bones are dust and your 'good name' lies trampled and forgotten beneath the feet of countless other fools and liars.
"Given all we have shared, I shall let you into a little secret: Cellerius was the wrong choice for my gaoler. his mind buckled and reeled beneath the temptations all around. Though he did not fall, he was the closest to it. Second only to yourself, of course."
Fury blazes in my heart at the surname of the first of us charged with my duty.
Azure flames crackle at the edges of my mind, the hissing and sizzling of burning daemon-flesh instantly overpowers my armour's auto-breathers and my own protective implants.
I can almost see the fatty gobbets of it's warp-stuff dissolving before me; I know that the blood-sodden earth beneath my knees will be similarly scorched and blackened.
“Venerated and cursed amongst all others in my order...named anathema to your kind...I speak it thus: Champion Alleran Cellerius!"
A huge spasm rattles my entire form, shaking me even within my form-fitting armour, as the prisoner's agonised outburst takes hold of me, too.
Every time I hurt it, the visions are different, yet no less shocking.
This time, I am assaulted by a vision of corroded iron fingers gouging furrows into plascrete pavements...the wet wrenching sounds of limbs ripped from yet another hapless victim...the frenzied munching of fresh heads by some slobbering glutton.
Enervation seeps into my limbs, trying to completely rob me of strength and allow the sword to touch the earth.
It would be soo easy. Such a small, simple to allow the thing...I am forbidden from speaking it's true name...to have what it wants.
As my will ebbs away, I feel it supported at the last moment by the centuries of faith and brotherhood of those who have also stood sentinel over this artefact.
Thus emboldened, another tooth-rattling shriek of protest from the entity tells me that I have won this round.
But such victory is tempered by the sure knowledge that it shall not be vanquished in my lifetime.
"Yess, that's right! I shall never be yours!" it laughs as I recognise my ultimate failure.
"You are I are bound together for always until your sight fails and your brain recalls it's last images. Memories filled with the inevitable visions that -as your limbs wither and putrefy- I shall be there to watch and gloat, forgetting you and eagerly welcoming the next naive replacement host-to-be!"
I stand back to my feet, sheathing the blade in it's force-locked scabbard across my back.
Ignoring my comrades and even the cries of our wounded, I invoke the final words of binding which will ensure that The Blade of Antwyr never again reaches the grasp of lesser mortals:
"Each day is a battle which I survive. Every evening is a nightmare I contain. Your end might not be today, but our war continues and you shall ever be bound."
Hours later, as we depart, even the vast roar of the Stormraven's engines cannot drown out the daemon-blade's humour-filled whisper:
"Battle? Nightmare? My ending? War? You are not even worthy to be called 'competition', frail little man."
I try to remain resolute, but my armour clatters trying to mimic my unconscious movements as I shiver at the awful truth of the words.
Urgently trying to trace any living relatives of Private Sam/Samuel "Jock" Wilson (Black Watch, No. 6 Commando, UK Army Service ID 2764432, died 10.06.44). Any info/suggestions gratefully received.
"Mockles! Pent on silpen tree, blockards three a-feening. Mockles! What silps came to thee, in thy pantry, dreaming?"
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Last edited by andygorn; 04-23-13 at 07:38 PM.