Publisher: Inspired Ink ( Self published)
The holy water laced rungs burned his hands. He stumbled back from the bar, staring down at his blisters and burned skin.
“You will not act like as a savage here. Being turned on a battlefield with the stench of blood and death in the air would’ve driven any new fledgling into bloodlust. We won’t hold that against you. However, if you can’t get a hold of yourself, we will execute you. You understand what I am saying?”
Crewe snarled at the large, blond Viking with a long, wheat-colored braid and beard to match. Two braids stood out against his long beard. His brilliant blue gaze held a hint of battle lust he knew all too well as a mercenary knight. The authority sliced through the never-ending hunger.
“I’m hungry.” His voice was garbled, guttural
“And you’ll continue to be. There’s nothing that completely slakes the thirst.”
He clutched his stomach, rocking back and forth as the stabbing pains grew worse.
“You’ll weather this, or go insane trying. There’s nothing more anyone can do. It’s up to you now whether you live or die. I saw you on the battlefield in action. Your reputation precedes you. You’ve the heart of a fighter. Use that to defeat the hunger.” With that, they’d retreated, taking the light from the torches with him. The pain increased, and he curled into a ball. Moisture coated him. He touched his skin and came away with blood.
He could no longer sweat, yet he could do this? What kind of fiend from hell have I become? Is this my punishment for all of the death I brought in wars waged? His stomach clenched and he shook like a man with a fever. Rolling onto his stomach, he expelled a red river. The metallic scent enraged him. He lapped at the puddle only to oust it again. Disgusted, he pushed himself away from the area and crawled toward the other side of the cage. Convulsing, he watched the ghosts of his enemy fill the space, sneering down as he relived the killing blows he’d dealt. Shame kicked in as his life played in front of him. He spent a lifetime chasing coin and never helped anyone for no gain. He lent his lances to any cause that gained him profit. It was a soulless existence. Perhaps this was his punishment.
Time blurred. A brilliant light drew his attention to the opposite side of his stone prison. The light sped closer, pausing just outside of the cage. He squinted, and the light dimmed, revealing a woman. White wings stretched out behind her. Sleek, black hair tumbled to her waist. She carried a large broadsword and wore a shiny metal helmet.
“You were chosen for greater things, young warrior. Agree to fulfill a mission, and I will take away your pain.”
“Anything,” he croaked.
“Now is not the time. You will know when.” She knelt beside his cage and touched him with icy hands that soothed his broken mind as he eased into a blissful unawareness.