Happy Halloween! NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow and as a special teaser, enjoy the first five hundred words of my Nano project: The Forgotten. The Forgotten is the sequel to Remembering Ashby and was teased in the free short Forget to Remember. Be sure to check those out and stay tuned to the Daily Dose and Twitter for more Nano updates!
She turned her head away from the sounds of death. Her sisters cried out to her with long, horrid sounds of pain and anguish. Xandie closed her mind to it, hardening her heart and putting one foot in front of the other. Blood spattered her face and soaked through the long strands of golden blond hair that fell in disarray around her shoulders.
Ahead, still mounted, the enemy gathered to make another fatal charge. They would run them all through, slaughtering them once and for all. In the distance, the horns of the clans signaled their approach, but they would be too late, even at full gallop. Her breaths came in short, staccato bursts through the mouth, refusing to inhale deeply through her nose less the smell of blood, bodies gutted, urine and feces choke her.
“Ahhhhh!” The shriek from ahead alerted her that her bare few moments became even fewer seconds. She closed her mind to the pain in her legs, arms, heart and soul. She closed it all out. The mind overruled the body. The body would feel nothing that the mind did not allow. She closed out the pain; she glared at the mass of men thundering towards her fallen sisters. She heard the death blows of horse hooves crushing tender flesh.
“A Thiarna, maith dom,” she whispered to the morning wind. Her right hand lifted and her eyes focused on the man in the lead and his horse. The power spread from her midsection, unspooling from within like so many tentacles of darkness released from their imprisonment. The man bore down on Xandie, filthy hair streaming in the wind, the promise of her death in his eyes, his eyes which locked with hers.
She pulsed with her will, her mind lashing out at his, deep sapphire eyes glowing with incandescent light. His thoughts became her thoughts and then she heard him scream as he threw himself from the horse, only to be trampled by his own war animal. Her gaze turned to the beast and the black horse reared, screaming a battle cry and lashing out with his hooves at horses and warriors alike. The wave of bleak death broke, scrambling away from the horse and she turned her mind to another.
The younger man, boy really shrieked in terror as her mind gutted his. He turned his sword against his fellows. He struck a bloody swath down the back of his own father and she left him screaming for his own death as her mind bent to another and another.
“I am Alexandria of the Avalon, you have trespassed upon us.” She spit, blood flecking her lips with each word. “We came in mercy. We came in peace. We came to mend that which was broken. You have shattered the peace. May your gods have mercy on you, for I have none.”
One man lunged forward, his broadsword gripped in two hands swinging. He screamed for her death as her mind set his on fire. He fell to his knees in front of her, sword landing with a thud and began to claw at his own eyes. One by one, the band of Black Guard fell until a ring of death spiraled out from the Sorceress.
The horn sounded from the south, closer and the thunder of hooves, of safety and respite drummed behind her. She listened for it dully, watching the life leave the eyes of a boy who could not be much older than her youngest brother. He reached out a hand to her, fingers straining, a word whispering on his pain twisted mouth.
“No,” The sorceress answered him, eyes burning with cold fire. “I do not forgive.”