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.’
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.
‘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.
Find Cheryl’s flash fiction and short stories, including audio versions of some, here!