Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11-18-14 Writing Warm-up
2:02 PM

11-18-14 Writing Warm-up

11-18-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Four Fools Press, All Rights Reserved - http://fourfoolspress.blogspot.com
Story and Characters © R. R. Hunsinger, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

The barren stretch of beach was little more than wind blasted rock as the small boat ran up on its gravelly edge. Two stout fair haired men leapt out into the freezing foam and hauled the craft further out of the surf. The eight others that formed the remainder of the crew followed quickly and the within moments the light, but sea worthy craft was above the high tide mark and staked fast to the shore.

Erlik Rowenson, called “Black Erlik”, wrapped himself tightly in his salt encrusted, damp, woolen cloak—the mail beneath his leather jerkin offering little warmth. His pale blue eyes scanned the rock and pebbled beach, following along the low hills covered with brown stunted grasses, to the west where shear craggy cliffs rose above the gray white capped sea.

“Home.” The word was the bastard son of a sigh and a curse.

The white bearded grizzled leader of the small expedition approached Erlik. “Yer here and safe as promised.” The elder extended a weathered hand, as brown and tough as the rest of him. “Now, as ye promised.”

The dark warrior dropped a heavy gold ring into the older man’s outstretched hand. For that treasure he could have easily purchased his own boat.

The fisherman nodded, feeling the heft of the ring in his palm. “You and yours will find the village over yonder,” He directed with his chin.

Erlik returned the nod with one of his own. “I am grateful.”

The old fisherman just grunted and motioned for his sons to follow and they trudged up the beach toward the low hills and the village of Ap Mathin beyond.

The wanderer’s hobnailed boots crunched sea shells and loose rock as Erlik walked along the bleak beach away from the men that had borne him across the rough seas, to the worn path he had known as a boy. It wound up toward the craggy cliffs then down to the valley concealed between the massive face and the low hills that lapped at them, like waves frozen in the eons. There was the squat, round hovel of his youth and likely birth, though his mother never said as much.

Erlik discerned no smoke from the cook fire that once smoldered constantly with the peat and drift wood that Rowan used. Coming upon the hut he saw the ground about it was wild with brambles, no sheep or goats had grazed here for a long time. The stones that made up the walls were crumbling; the mud mortar and moss sluiced away with time, the thatch, such as remained was rotted and sparse. The rickety door, half off its moldering leather hinges, leaned at an odd angle. Without conscious thought, Erlik gripped the hilt of the broad sword that had been his father’s, in turn serving him as constant companion for the last ten years. With a rough, battle scared hand he pushed his way inside, and then quickly fell back.

***

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