Friday, June 19

Wagon Train… Original Fiction by Xan

Amongst the devastation of three wagons, horses pawed at the ground trying not to panic. One of the three wagons lay in ruin, fire licking up the sides and wrapping around the top wheels. A small man sits up from the ground and shakes his head trying to remove the cobwebs from his head. The commotion startling him back to reality he dives for one of the two remaining upright wagons taking cover next to one of the large wheels.

Two guards fire their crossbows frantically at an unknown target in the forest. Several other guards lay strewn about charred by flame or holes blown into their armor from some other means.

As if by instinct, the small man scurries to the closest guard and begins to loot the body. As he is does so he seems to instantly assess value just by weight and outward appearance like a packrat or raccoon digging through a rubbish pile. As he tries to remove a rusty gauntlet from one of the downed guards he groans a little too loudly, a guard hears the commotion and turns to see a small shadow over the dead body. Realizing he had been spotted the tiny man darts quickly under one of the wagons.

In another section of the devastation a much larger being, nearly three times the size of the small raider on the other side of the commotion, begins to stir. He groans and rubs his head, the same familiar cobwebs he has felt so often the last few weeks returned to plague his mind.

“I am really growing tired of being knocked unconscious.” The large being mumbles to himself as he rolls to his hands and knees and looks around. “I must thing of a way to grow a thicker skull I suppose.”

To his surprise, four guards begin their way towards him. Before he has a chance to take cover he is spotted by the guards and is shot right away by two crossbow darts. Not wanting to wait for his demise, he tries to shuffle his way underneath the closest wagon. Due to his unusually large size he finds the access beneath to be a tight fit. The large man struggles to wedge himself under the wagon drawing the attention of all four guards; he draws the attention of all four guards.
To the other side of the same wagon a golden construct rolled over and held its head and then jumped as if its head were missing something.

“Oh drat, ‘she’ was my lucky hat too,” he mumbles to himself. “The children told me there were only three hats like ‘Betsy’ in the world and they scrimped and saved to by her for me. Oh dear, they will never forgive me now.” Hearing the clash of metal to wood he looks around and realized he was in the middle of a battleground. Dead bodies littered the ground all around him and four guards were slashing at something rather large under the wagon nearest to him.

“Oh my, my, my,” he squealed to himself. He looks underneath the ‘unoccupied’ wagon and sees a body about his build. He begins to crawl towards the dead guard. He makes it to the body and quickly assesses that the damage is minor to the armor and the weapons seem to be useable. The gaunt man mumbles to himself and the dead body, “Sorry, my friend, your taste in clothing is horrendous. Nevertheless, it will keep me alive until I get myself some decent clothes befitting my talent. You’re only as beautiful as your clothing, I always say.” He begins to wrestle to get the armor off as he hears a guard coming towards him.

The tiny man turns to a sound of crackling fire, just in time to watch two guards armed with crossbows become engulfed in flame. Screams echo through the dark woods as one guard immediately sizzles to the ground. The other is on fire while running away. The man runs in his direction as a bolt from a crossbow soars over his tiny head. The man darts towards the burning, screaming guard and ends his suffering. The tiny man looks up to see a white wizard make a gesture towards him to come towards him. As he makes his way towards the wizard, he notices the far wagon moving with two reluctant horses being pushed by whatever is under the wagon. The guards desperately swipe at the shadow under the wagon.

More guards with crossbows come out from behind and they notice the scrawny human fidgeting to get one of their fallen comrades out of his armor. Not wanting to see their fellow guards mistreated in any way, they begin to fire at the man. Crossbow darts hit the dirt around him as he increases his efforts to disrobe the dead guard.
Lightning and thunder crack through the night, blasting the menacing guards’ intent on killing the large man beneath the slowly moving wagon. The large man stops pushing the wagon and crawls out on his hands and knees amazed that the wizard commands Othr’s power.

“You must be one with Othr!” He bellows. “I must be blessed by Othr’s hand to have someone as small as you use his lightning. What is your name, Lord of the Light?”

“No time for that!” The wizard snaps. “We must leave, more guards are coming. Catch up with your diminutive companion over there as I go see to the others.”

“As you wish.” The giant lumbers over towards the miniature man, who is desperately raiding the burned guards’ body for anything of worth. Tending to his wounds the giant looks up to see a scrawny man walking with the wizard. The man does not fit too well in the armor and looks ridiculous. The giant chuckles under his breath at the silly sight.

“I am Philomar. Please we must flee here immediately. I will explain more once we arrive in my stronghold.” With a swift waive of his hands a portal opens up and the wizard begins to usher the three confused ‘travelers’ through the doorway.

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