Hooded figure: picture prompt

The spirits answered Aidan’s prayers by sending one of their own, it seemed.

Ravens announced its arrival from within the green-misted trees, a dozen or more flapping about the figure’s bent, hooded head. Their raucous cries set Aidan’s teeth on edge. As did the wolf which skulked by the figure’s cloaked side, although it eyed Aiden more with cautious curiosity than, he hoped, ill intent.’

hooded figure in misty wood bearing a sword

The figure bore the sword.

Aidan recognised it by the skull embedded in its tip. Foretold in prophecy handed down from generation to generation, this was the sword which felled one’s enemies. Aidan’s pulse thudded in his ears.  

Moonlight glinted on the blade, inviting Aidan to step forward and claim his weapon.

The wolf growled a low warning. Aidan halted.

‘Good spirit,’ he addressed the figure. ‘You come in answer to my fervent prayers, to bring me the sword of vengeance.’

‘I come.’ The voice was hollow, cold. Death itself.

Aidan clasped his hands. ‘May I approach?’

‘You may.’ The figure lifted the sword, keeping it vertical. The skull remained on the ground. ‘There is a price to pay.’

There was always a price to pay. Aidan waited.

‘Kneel,’ the figure commanded.

Aidan knelt.

‘Obeisance,’ the figure said, and Aidan bent his head. ‘I come for vengeance, as you rightly say.’

Aidan blinked at this new tone of voice. Here was the voice of his enemy. He lifted his head, sharply.

The wolf howled. The sword flashed down.

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3 thoughts on “Hooded figure: picture prompt”

  1. A hooded figure in the mists, head bowed, holding onto a moonlight-glistening sword resting on a deathly skull – a wolf at its side.
    Roger examined the picture in the library book more closely.
    Looked like as scene from King Arthur, or maybe Shakespeare’s King Lear – mysterious, evil, obviously with no good intent.
    He wondered what relevance this image had to do with the book he had borrowed – a book about his favourite character Biggles by Captain W.E. Johns.
    Unlike his classmates, Roger shunned sports and spent most of his time lost in the fantasies provided by the novels he devoured.
    Like his British hero, he imagined prevailing in World War I dog fights against the Hun – or, in peacetime, hand cranking the landing gear of his Avro Anson as he took off on yet another adventure with his buddies, Ginger and Algernon.
    So, this image of a hooded figure was totally out of place in this latest Biggles tale.
    As Roger peered, the picture began to take on a life of its own.
    He could swear the hooded figure was moving, out of the page, growing larger as he watched, until it was towering over him as he cowered on the bed in his room.
    “Who, who are you?” he stammered, a chill descending down his spine.
    “I am the ghost of pilots past,” the figure replied.
    “B..b..b..but what’s with the sword,” Roger squeaked. “Pilots don’t have swords.”
    “They did once,” the figure said. “We didn’t always fly around in planes, you know.”
    “Why are you in my book, then,” Roger continued, growing bolder.
    “Having a rest,” the figure confessed. “I am sick of running around fighting all these battles for truth, justice (and the American way, Ha! Ha!).”
    “Thought this book might be as good a place as any to take a break. I do have a lot of magic powers you know.”
    Roger thought he could detect a glimmer of a smile from beneath the hood.
    “And what’s with the wolf?” which by now had joined them in his bedroom.
    “Questions, questions, questions. Will you never tire of them, boy. Obviously, my constant travelling companion and he helps to keep me out of trouble.”
    “I still don’t understand how you can just come to life from a picture in a book.”
    “Look, boy, you like living in a fantasy world – and I am here to give you one like you would never believe.”
    And with that the hooded figure took Roger by the hand and, sword raised, they sailed out the window into the night sky, wolf trailing obediently behind.

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