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There’s Nothing In This World I Wouldn’t Do: Pt. 15

18 Jul

Last time, the four elves had finished with the necessary burial arrangements of the caravan of charr merchants.  Now with the tiny cub protected in their care, the four are determined to meet out blood justice on those responsible for the deaths of those who only traveled the roads.

TRIGGER WARNING: The following has descriptions of violence.
Those who find such descriptions squeamish are asked to skip this section.

O, Death
O, Death
Won’t you spare me over til another year

lyrics from Oh Death, as performed by Ralph Stanley

The bandits that occupied the small camp mingled about having put the recently acquired supplies into storage. A few talked and laughed about the entire haul, many bragged that they could now lay claim to killing Charr. The commotion died down a bit as one lone lookout came running into camp.

“We got trouble,” he called out as he came to a halt in the middle of the camp. “There’s four people coming this way, loaded for bear and armed to the teeth. They look like they’ve got death in their eyes.”

“Hmph,” one of the taller, more muscular bandits scoffed as he rolled his shoulders. “Four? What are they gonna do?” As though in answer, every single bandit in the camp heard it. It was a chorus sung by four voices. They all turned and saw the four standing at the entrance of the camp, weapons drawn, staring at the bandits. What was more eerie was the look in their eyes. They seemed to glow. They looked different from humans, as though they had some glow about them. While they did indeed look human, any bandit close enough could see the sharp tipped points of their elven ears.

And they could each hear clearly their voices as they sang.

Well what is this that I can’t see
With ice cold hands takin’ hold of me
Well I am death, none can excel
I’ll open the door to heaven or hell

Their hesitation was enough, even as they ran to grab their weapons. One bandit went for her mace and shield, but was met by a volley of bullets. She was forced to turn and face the four, and the last thing she saw was the barrels of a pair of Colt .45s aimed at her head.

And then she saw nothing at all.

Whoa, death someone would pray
Could you wait to call me another day
The children prayed, the preacher preached
Time and mercy is out of your reach

Two of the bandits rushed toward the dark skinned elf, hoping they could catch her off guard. The first to reach her met the butt of the Winchester .22 across his jaw. Stars filled his eyes as he fell to her feet, and then felt the spur from her boot cut into his neck. The life ebbed out of his bones as he heard the report of the rifle. The last thing he saw was his companion’s head snapping back and his body falling to the ground.

I’ll fix your feet til you cant walk
I’ll lock your jaw til you cant talk
I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see
This very hour, come and go with me

Two more of the bandits went to take down the more armoured elf, but soon found even she was capable and determined. The first felt the longsword cut into his midsection, feeling the warmth of his blood pour down his shirt and pants. Wren placed her armoured boot on his chest and gave a strong push to free her longsword, then swung twice quickly to catch the second off guard. The first swing made the bandit halt. It was the second that cut flesh, as the bandit cried out and grabbed his shoulder. His eyes grew wide as the tip of the blade drew closer to his face.

I’m death I come to take the soul
Leave the body and leave it cold
To draw up the flesh off of the frame
Dirt and worm both have a claim

An older bandit had no idea what a Smith & Wesson Army .32 was, or where it was manufactured. But she felt the result as the bullet entered her stomach. She dropped to her knees as she saw the elven bard approach, rapier held in her right hand and held up as though in a salute. In this vulnerable position, the bandit knew the end would be quick. She realized these four weren’t here to torture or steal or gain great pleasure from causing pain. These four were here for one purpose and one purpose only.

She knew her sins were laid bare, and as she felt the tip of the rapier, she accepted her fate.

O, Death
O, Death
Won’t you spare me over til another year
My mother came to my bed
Placed a cold towel upon my head
My head is warm my feet are cold
Death is a-movin upon my soul

The large, well muscled bandit could only watch in stunned horror as the four cut through his crew like a hot knife through butter. He saw the one in the center, at the lead. Cradled to her breast was what looked like a baby. But upon closer inspection, he realized that it was a charr cub. There was a charr cub in that caravan. And for a brief moment, he thanked the Six that he and his crew hadn’t killed the cub. He had no idea what these four would have done had that happened.

He snapped his attention back to the present, just in time to look up and see the barrels of the pistols aimed right at him. Part of him wanted to run, to fight back, but he knew that would just make things worse. That he’d suffer even more.

“Just take me,” he whispered. Then he felt the bullets. This is what I deserve, was his last thought as his body slumped to the ground.

Oh, death how you’re treatin’ me
You’ve close my eyes so I can’t see
Well you’re hurtin’ my body
You make me cold
You run my life right outta my soul

Four bandits just ran, scared for their very lives. The four elves didn’t stop them, didn’t aim their weapons for them. If they were too cowardly to put up a fight, then they weren’t worth the time or effect to waste a bullet. The others, however. The ones who continued to struggle and fight. They soon found out just how wrong their choice was.

Oh death please consider my age
Please don’t take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command
If you will move your icy hand

Almost as fast as the fighting started, it was done. Shani finally holstered her pistols and looked to the charr cub cradled to her. The cub was looking right up to her, and laughed and clapped her paws together when Shani looked down. For the first time since she entered that camp, she smiled a pleasant, loving smile.

Oh the young, the rich or poor
Hunger like me you know
No wealth, no ruin, no silver no gold
Nothing satisfies me but your soul

With the battle done, the four elves gathered the bodies and put them in a pile. Abisayo found a couple of containers of lamp oil and she and Wren began dowsing the bodies. Pania held a torch and waited for the signal. As Abisayo and Wren stepped back, Abbi gave Pania a nod. She touched the torch to a few ragged cloths strewn through the pile, and stepped back as the fire lapped up the oil and burned brightly. The air was thick with the stench of burning bodies.

As the four began to walk away, Pania tossed the torch into the pile, turning to never look back as the fire grew.

O, Death
O, Death
Wont you spare me over ’til another year
Wont you spare me over ’til another year
Wont you spare me over ’til another year

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Posted by on July 18, 2015 in Writing

 

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