Wednesday, November 12, 2014

11-12-14 Writing Warm-up
11:33 AM

11-12-14 Writing Warm-up

11-12-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Chris Miscik (Owned by Wandering Men Studios), All Rights Reserved -
Story and Characters © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

Heodez slid-stumbled down the snow-slicked scree pile. She flicked her blue-green eyes sky-ward and barked, "Ya, Fadder, I know, I know. Suren I'll be careful not to break my fool-neck, Fadder."

Many from her home thought Heodez insane--or as the Celts often termed it, 'craicte', or even, 'doo-lally'--for speaking directly (and familiar) with God. For Heodez, however, it was a natural and normal as speaking to one's mother, one's brother, or one's best friend. She'd always heard the Voice of God. She'd always spoken to Him, and of course, He'd always answered.

Perhaps that was one reason why she was her people's princess, champion, and patron saint. Or, perhaps it was because they were more frightened by her than by the things she protected them from... For, as the old Celtic saying went: "Bad as I like ye, it's worse without ye." Regardless, it was her position, and her titles, and her unusual nature, which had her out on the snow-slick crags and spires of weathered rock this day, seeking the fiend which had begun plaguing their small village.

"As suren as I get home from helpin' those fair-skinned Normans across the sea, I'm back out ag'in, Fadder. Poor for sure is the woman who cannot get any restin'!" Heodez drove the tip of her ULFBERHT-blade into the frozen ground and ran a gloved hand through her unusual, spiked cockscomb hairdo. The blade was a fine one--a gift from the Hrethel, the King of the Geats--and flashed in the mid-winter sun like an earth-drawn star.

"I hear yer call and feel yer hunger," Heodez said to the blade, "soon ye'll be drinking deep from beasts of me own homeland. Soon ye'll be gettin' a name, too, I'd wager. Though, the fare here may not be as sweet as the Vendo blood from across the grey waters--"

 A roar that seemed to split the skies ripped through the snowy landscape as a long, lanky form loped out from a crown of craggy spikes. Heodez was shocked into stone-like stillness from the horrific and sudden appearance of the thing.

Over twice Heodez's considerable height, the creature was covered with long, matted tangles of whitish-grey fur that mimicked the wasted, snowy landscape perfectly. Spindly arms and legs that were little more than corded twists of hard muscle and springy sinew emerged from the emaciated frame of the beast, ending in distinct fingers and toes, (six, to be exact) each tipped with hawk's talons. The creature had a face, if it could be called that, which was a small patch of darkly colored fur, or perhaps flesh, out of which stared two hollow sockets that served as eyes. A train of twisted and matted fur seemed to form a small cloak of tentacle-like appendages upon the beast's back. Heodez could not tell if these horrible extensions moved of their own volition, or merely upon the cold winter wind.

Finally, Heodez found her spine. This, as usual, directly and quickly led to her tongue. "So, ye be the feared windigan, eh? Ye be uglier than I thought ye'd be."

Apparently, the beast could think and reason, for it screamed in disgust, anger, and hate at the Crazy Celt and charged. When open, the windigan's maw encompassed a space far too large. It was almost like the bulk of the beast's head and upper body was naught but a red cavern filled with yellow, serrated knives. When closed, it looked as if there was no mouth at all.

The thing was fast. Far faster than Heodez. A single swipe from it's razor-tipped claws took her head clean from her shoulders.

The windigan crooned a howl of triumph as Heodez's head--now lying on the snowy ground--blinked in surprise at the swiftness and ferocity of the attack. Then, Heodez's head spoke. "Suren you said it was fast, Fadder. But by the Throne'a'Heaven an' all the holy angels, I did'na think it could'a been that fast!"

The windigan's howl died in its cavernous throat, and it cocked its shaggy white head in complete confusion.

Heodez's body stooped, retrieved its recently removed head and placed it unceremoniously back in place. Then, the Crazy Celt withdrew her bright and shining ULFBERHT-blade. She grinned, her blue-green eyes sparking. "Nice, m'beastie, but yer not the first to remove this head from these shoulders, suren!"

Then, the battle truly began.


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