A short (tiny) story I've completed. PLEASE REVIEW!! GP for Reviews!!
Ezra was a warrior in the old country, but that was before the great attack by the northern monsters. Many had been slain in their raids, including Ezra’s own family, but Ezra had fled over the mountain barrier and into a new land. One where the soil was fertile and the woods and streams plentiful. Here he had taken up the blacksmiths art, for the need was immense. As more and more refugees moved into the area, along with them came farmers, butchers, warriors, and hunters. All of these and more soon found his new profession to be needed.
And so Ezra gained stature and wealth, thriving in this new place, and enjoying the peace that they lived in. He even started a new family, with a beautiful wife and two children.
Yet, something haunted Ezra; for no matter how long he lived in that place, he still could hear battle cries when he closed his eyes at night. And they beckoned him to make swords, so he did. Whenever he wasn’t making a plow, or shoeing a horse, or making tools and utensils to fill the many orders he received, he crafted weapons of death. Long swords, daggers, raptors and bows, he mastered them all, and then he improved them. He made better and stronger alloys. He varied the balance in the weapons until they seemed dance on their own.
The other town-folk laughed at him, calling him a fool. They rolled their eyes, and said, “…only a delusional old man would make swords now, for now is a time of peace…”
But still for many years he worked, making hundreds, even thousands, of swords; creating with his own hands an immense arsenal of weaponry. Swords fit for kings, soldiers, warriors, and even knives for assassins. Daggers and pikes, swords and spears - all were created in immense numbers.
Then the time came. That night it was said that the screaming of their mad cries could be heard in the air for hundreds of miles.
They had returned. The Enjoltinie came pouring out of the northern hills. No one knew how the monsters had crossed the mountains - rumors in later years abounded - but the slaughter was terrible.
People turned to Ezra for weapons and he gave them what they needed. They fought back, but to no avail. Slowly, they were forced to run or get killed. Families left one at a time and then were never heard from again.
They managed to kill a few, but the town’s folk suffered enormous casualties and were close to dying out. Victories were few and they were costly when they happened.
Ezra knew what was coming; he had seen it once before. The people’s supplies would get low enough and the Enjoltinie would start to feel their numbers shrink. Then it would happen.
The Enjoltinie would get mad - perhaps mad wasn’t the right word - but the level of depravity which they reached when angered was not even close to human. They took pleasure in pain and enjoyed getting killed. They’d laugh as you cut them down and then overwhelm you. They were monsters; not human, not beast, but something so far removed that they haunted people’s dreams. They were the reason nightmares existed and the bane of all that lived and loved.
The night it happened arrived all to soon, and the battle was terrible. People and Enjoltinie died in hundreds and thousands. Children died in their mother’s arms, impaled to each other with spikes. Fathers died defending those whom they loved, but the families wouldn’t live to miss them.
And then, like the sudden passing of a massive storm, it was over. Silence filled the night. The dark clouds burst forth with rain and the rivers turned red with blood as the land sought to renew itself. The night was cold and wet. Fires from the battle dwindled and died, not letting even the smell of smoke remain.
The next morning the sun rose and split the dark clouds and the valley turned green again. Birds sang in the treetops, but no one was there to hear them.
That is how it appeared; everyone was dead. The people had finally crushed the Enjoltinie, but at a terrible cost. Their families lay dead and their buildings were burned to rubble. Silence reigned supreme with no one to deny its power.
Yet, from one tiny corner of the village a sound was heard, a sharp metallic clang, and then another. Maybe it was the wind summoning the spirits home, or maybe it was a bird pecking at an ant on a metal shingle.
But, I know what I like to imagine. Ezra’s spirit is once again at its forge, no longer making swords; instead he makes a plow for himself as his family watches on and smiles.
Peace is finally his, and he intends to enjoy it.