King Phillip’s Island

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He was the fastest I’d ever seen.

We were back on King Phillip’s Island, and the fighting was hard.

The new troops had learned the lesson their compatriots had not. Dying in battle was better than dying at my mother’s hands.

Once more, we stood on the field, but neither the troops nor the Kinderzähne ran. They stood their ground and gave as good as they got.

I lost count of the number of dogs killed and wounded, of the ravens shot from the sky, and the bullets that slammed into me.

My clothes were nothing more than blood-soaked tatters, and I’d run out of ammunition for the Colts. I had my warclub in hand and the broken stock of a rifle in the other.

I was in the midst of the troops, pinned between a pair of them with bayonets keeping me in place. A pile of bodies was growing around me, and the men with the bayonets were afraid to let go.

They were right to be afraid. They’d get nothing close to a gentle death from me.

The sensation of steel scissoring through your innards is as curious as it is painful, and I was looking forward to making both men intimately aware of it.

As a Kinderzähne bounded over the nearest corpse, I smashed its head in with the warclub, and as brains and blood splashed over me, I saw the dog.

It was almost a blur as it leapt a trooper trying to bring his rifle to bear on it.

But the dog was too damned fast.

When it landed, the dog twisted and lashed out, its muzzle clamping down on the man’s knee and tearing it out.

In moments, dozens of other dogs of the same breed spread out over the field, driving the soldiers and surviving Kinderzähne into a small copse of trees.

My tormentors tried to run, dropping their rifles and stumbling over the corpses of their comrades.

It was of no use.

I tore the bayonets out and hunted them down.

I was denied vengeance as dogs and ravens assaulted the men.

Still leaking blood, I led the way to the copse. As the men and Kinderzähne hid, I took out my matches, found one that wasn’t damp with my blood, and set fire to the nearest tree.

As the flames spread, we waited to see how long it would take them to run.

I’m pleased to say it wasn’t long at all.

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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