Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Ambush

The Ambush
Glenn G. Thater
March 9, 2006

How long had they hidden in wait under hillock and dale? How long had the craven beasts of darkest night and deepest pit stalked my heels?...waiting, ever waiting for the slightest sign of weakness or merest moment of distraction that would bewitch my mind or cloud my senses. These creatures of old knew their time would come if they but had patience and held steadfast to their evil plan. They knew that I, their nemesis, their arch-enemy, would someday fall within their horrid web and find myself at their mercy. Years in the planning, decades even - it must have been. But they are patient creatures; time means little to them. Older then the hills, more ancient than the seas. They could wait; they could outlast me.
It happened last night. As I wandered the darkened deserted lanes of the glen for untold hours in an anguished daze they crept silently from the darkened bush, they skulked soundlessly from behind the winter trees, they rose from betwixt the blades of grass and wintry piles of leaves of the lawn, and no doubt crept from beneath the very stones of the earth. The stealth of these demonic things, these fell lords of darkness notwithstanding, my perceptions borne and honed of olden days would have marked them and set them to flight despite their swelling numbers as ever I had in the past. But this night, my mind was numbed, my eyes downcast and my ears filled with naught but the sounds of my true love lashing me for some stupidity beyond the grasp of man and fathomed only by the women that I no doubt uttered.
They held back until I reached the threshhold of my castle, until my shaking hand had unlocked the stout metal portal. Then on they rushed, a plague of evil, a gibbering hoard of death - yelling the ancient war cries of their murderous diminutive people. "Long live Keebler!" they shouted, "Free Snap, Free Crackle, Free Pop" they roared. "Remember Papa Smurf" they bellowed. Their leader, the foulest of the bunch - a pointy hatted graybeard in blue - launched himself headlong at my throat screaming, "I wll roam no more!".
I turned, perceiving this ancient evil through tear swollen eyes and in despiration swatted at it. How I know not, but the clumsy blow struck home and sent my ancient enemy crashing to the ground at my feet. His minute minions swarmed just beyond the entranceway with swords drawn, all wild eyed and red-faced. Momentarily stunned were they by their leader's fall. That was all the time I needed. As the gnome king pulled himself to his feet shouting some vile gnomish curse I kicked him in the chest with all my might sending him flying into his fellows.
"Stinking gnomes," I spat.
I leaped through the doorway and slammed the door. My thoughts drifted back to my beloved, since she is truly all that matters most to me, as I locked and barred the portal against them whilst they cursed me and slithered off into the night...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Fallen Angle (Harbinger of Doom - Book 2)

Glenn G. Thater
April 2007

“How do you know these things?
Who are you Theta?
Who are you really?”
-- Ob to the Lord Angle Theta

The last of them went down – cleaved in half by Theta’s falchion. Geysers of blood gushed everywhere as the Duke’s guards charged into the room. A butchery of flowing blood and spilled entrails. Several corpses soiled the exotic carpet, some still twitching as such are wont to do. The dead wore the Duke’s livery, confusing the guards. The Duke’s guest – a hulking foreign knight stood beside the bed. Nightshirt drenched red as was his face and pants. Bloodied falchion in his left hand. His expression best described as annoyed; his aspect calm. He stood unmoving, staring at the guards with his piercing blue eyes. They all stood there still as the Duke and his personal bodyguards came dashing down the hall to the apartment’s entrance. The guards made way.
Harringgold’s mouth dropped as he entered and took in the sight.
“Are these yours?” said Theta, pointing to the dead with his right hand.
“I cannot tell,” said the Duke.
He motioned to the guards who adjusted the corpses so their faces could be viewed.
“This one has been in my employee some five years,” said the Duke, pointing to a decapitated head at the foot of the bed.
“This one has worked as a guard for a few months I think, perhaps a year. The other four I do not recognize.”
“Nor do I,” said the guard captain.
“Search the bodies,” said Theta, still standing tensed. The Duke nodded to the guards who then began to search.
“Looking for what?” said the Duke.
“A tattoo; a scar, a strange coin, or some such token.”
After some minutes. “Two bear the mark of the Black Hand on their shoulders.”
“Paid assassins,” said the Duke.
“These others all wore a gold coin hung from chains about their necks.”
“Put them down on the bed,” said Theta, as he strapped on his sword belt and wiped the blade on the sheets, then sheathed it. He briefly looked at the coins, wrapped them in cloth and pocketed them.
“I’ll need another room,” said Theta.
“Of course,” said the Duke, seemingly surprised at the request.
“One with a bath, and some bandages, and a few guards at the door that you can trust more than these.”
“You’ll have it. I don’t know what to say, this should never have happened in my fortress.”
You are right, it should not have,” said Theta, giving the Duke an ice-cold stare.
“I’ll stand watch myself,” said the guard captain, “with you permission Lord Harringgold.”
Harringgold nodded.
Servants led Theta to another room, two floors up. Ob appeared along the way.
“The bastards won’t stop coming,” said Ob. “Once The Hand has a contract, they never give up. Not never. They took five years to track down old Par Tandar, down in Minco – he was hiding out as a cobbler – but they got him – hung his head from a lamppost right in front of the tower of the Arcane. Not one witness. Theta, your only chance is to head for the hills and not stop until you’re back home – in wherever it is youse hail from.”
“I’ll deal with the assassins as need be – but it will not be by running.

If this excerpt from the story "The Fallen Angle" has caught your attention, you can buy the full story on Amazon.com in the book "Harbinger of Doom" by Glenn G. Thater, available beginning February 2008. Please feel free to leave comments by clicking on the 'comments' button below.