Day 12

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It was a hell of a fight.

We’d missed the hellhounds and the wyrm, though we could see the devastation left behind by the dragon’s breath.

What we found instead were Skratti.

Too damned many of them.

Those wounded strong enough to shoot were left to guard those who could not, and Marius, Mikkelsen, and myself led three smaller units into the town. I took the center road with Pedersen and six others while Mikkelsen and Marius came in on either flank.

The Skratti hit us first, firing from a secured and fortified position in a house still smoking from the wyrm’s fire.

They were learning how to fight.

The accuracy of their fire had improved too, and I took a bullet to the left lung, which set me back a step or two.

As my body forced the lead back out of my flesh, Pedersen’s brains were splattered across my face as he leaned down to check on me.

I confess I became angry.

He’d been a good man, a fair card player, and a hell of a drinker.

I pushed Pedersen’s corpse off my legs, stood, and brought both Colts up to bear as I strode toward the Skratti position.

The heavy .44 caliber slugs tore out chunks of wall and slammed into the faces of the Skratti as they tried to bring their rifles to bear. I felt a few more bullets strike my legs, but my hate drove me on.

I clambered over a shattered wall, entered the house, and killed the wounded.

None were left alive when I finished.

When I exited the back of the house, I found one last Skratti trying to drag himself out of the garden. His legs were bloodied and useless, his eyes wide with fear and growing panic.

He was unable to look away as I emptied the casings from my Colts, put them in my pockets to reload later, and took my time reloading the pistols.

“Mercy,” the goblin whispered.

My Colts answered, a pair of rounds slamming into his chest.

Marius came into the garden as the Skratti breathed his last. In silence, the officer handed me something small. It was brightly polished on one side, the Blood family crest carved into it.

I held in my hand a matchbox, deftly crafted from a bit of Orc armor.

Blinking, I cleared my eyes and wiped Pedersen’s brains from my face. #Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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