Naradra, pt. 12

In a clatter of wood and steel she bursts from the tree line. The wind has died, but the blade still glows red in her hand. Her eyes search the area looking for movement. The night is still, silent as the grave. A cold hand pulls at her shoulder. She twists and drops, spinning away, slashing out behind her. The night fills with a low growl, the severed arm flounders like a stranded fish. Death stands before her. Death and decay. Swinging the sword around, striking at the neck, she watches the head fall. It joins the arm, useless, but still moving. With a push, the body topples, crumpling under its own weight.  

Before she can even lower her blade, she hears them, shambling and shuffling, from all directions. One after another they come for her, only to be felled like so many trees. She pushes forward, threatened at being overwhelmed by the wall of undead approaching. Her arms swing in mechanical rhythm until time itself seems meaningless. Only the burn in her muscles tell her she still moves. She reaches the beach and the onslaught stops as suddenly as it began. The moans of the damned replaced by the gentle lapping of waves. Looking back towards the trees she sees no pursuit.

Standing there, she waits. A cold chuckling pierces the night. Turning, she sees him… it… stepping from the water.

“You think I am so easy to defeat as that?” The red armor looks nearly as black as the night. “I’ve existed an eternity. Even your kind lives only a blink of my eye. You cannot stop me, at look at the suffering you cause as you try.” It motions to the space behind her, and she turns slowly. The bodies lay haphazard and twisted where they fell. Where they met her blade. But they are not the damned and undead that she fought. Out behind her, as far as she can see, lie the pale, still forms of hundreds of children. Heads no longer claiming the bodies near them.

“No… it wasn’t… That was not what I was fighting.”

Taking a step forward her eyes show shock and disbelief. The dead stare back, showing nothing.

“You killed them.” Its words now distant in her ears, “You killed them all.” The voice changes, from a sneering hatred to that of a frightened child. “Just as you intend to kill me…”

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