Day 10


He wasn’t what he seemed.

We’d bivouacked in what had once been a library and kept a fifty percent watch through the night. The Skratti tried to slip in a few times when I was on watch; the roar of the Colts in the dead town had sent some of the goblins running after others were laid out in the road.

Pedersen, I learned, was a smith before the war, and he’s turned his hand to a bit of armor from the orc who challenged me. The man won’t tell me what he’s crafting, but it’s a damned pleasure to hear his tools working at the metal.

This morning, Marius and I left the safety of the camp to scout out the route to the armory and the supplies.

All seemed fine until we came to the armory and found a young soldier standing watch beside a pair of cannons. Marius was about to call out to the man when I stopped him, and we were both thankful I did.

The young man turned around and showed he had no face.

A piece of skin with ragged edges was stretched taut over the front of the skull and pinned in place behind the ears.

Whatever the soldier was, a man he wasn’t.

I stayed behind our cover, drew both Colts and stood up.

The soldier looked at me and unsheathed his saber.

I put two rounds into the soldier’s chest, and while the heavy .44 slugs sent him a step back, they didn’t stop him.

That took me aback for a moment.

I’ve put down godlings and gods with my Colts, and I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to meet a creature so little affected by lead and hate.

But there wasn’t much of a choice.

The men needed the ammunition and the food.

I slid the Colts home, took hold of my hammer, and walked down to meet the creature while Marius waited.

The creature’s sword was fast.

I was bleeding from a dozen cuts before I got in my first blow, which the creature tried to deflect with the sword.

The hammer snapped the blade off at the guard.

As the saber spun away, I smashed the hammer into the creature, lifting it off the ground and crushing its ribcage. It fell back, landed hard on the road, and lay still.

Stepping forward, I smashed its head with the hammer until the ground and I were splattered in blood and bone.

Best to be sure.

#Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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