The rattle of gunfire raised the alarm.
I was up and out of my bedroll in a heartbeat, Colts in hand, as the soldiers around me reacted with equal alacrity.
“Where did it come from?” Marius demanded.
A sentry pointed to the southeast. “Toward the edge of town.”
A frown creased Marius’ brow. “We cleared that area yesterday looking for wounded and bells.”
“Someone’s there,” I remarked.
“Or they were,” Pedersen sighed, lifting up his rifle.
“How many men do you want?” Mikkelsen asked as he walked over, flanked by two sergeants.
“Just Pedersen,” I answered. “Any more than the two of us, and we’ll attract too much attention.”
“Pedersen?” Mikkelsen asked. “Limp and all?”
I smiled. “Have you seen the way the man gets in and out of a house about to come down around his ears?”
“Aye, Blood,” Pedersen chided. “That’s for brandy and naught else.”
A rough chuckle went through the men within earshot.
“True,” Mikkelsen admitted. “Take no chances, though. Either of you.”
Pedersen and I nodded, and I picked up my hammer before we left the protective circle of our small encampment.
“Think we’ll find trolls?” Pedersen asked.
“Holed up in a cellar?”
“No,” I stated. “But this hammer, heavy as it is, has worked. I see no need to get rid of it. Not when I can save ammunition.”
Pedersen grunted his agreement, and we moved on in silence. Neither of us made any noise as we passed through the debris-laden streets. As we reached the edge of town, I saw a fortified structure and glanced at Pedersen.
“It’s empty. Or it was yesterday when they checked,” he said.
We advanced upon the building, Pedersen chambering a round slowly as we neared the entrance.
Within, we saw a grotesque display of corpses. Seven men and a single creature the likes of which I’d not seen in some time.
“What in the hell is that?” Pedersen muttered.
I entered the building, crouched down beside it and turned the head from one side to the other.
“Skratti,” I answered. Goblins.
Pedersen spat and cursed behind me.
In a moment, he was helping me strip the dead of weapons and ammunition.
Where there was one Skratti, there were generally a hundred more.
Evening would be difficult.
#Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal