February 13, 2009
By Phillip Pennell BRONZE, Vancouver, Other
Phillip Pennell BRONZE, Vancouver, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The tunnel entrance shot an arrow of blackness into the heart of the blissful summer sun. the light hit the earth hard, baking it dry. Every one of his footsteps, no matter how light, pounded up a plume of dust. He was very hot; his hair was drenched in sweat, and his silver armour blushed a deep red in the presence of the interminicintly blue sky . The scabbards on his left and right hips were firmly attached to his belt, pressing hard upon his stomach. His thin, hawk-like face was saturated in perspiration and intensity. His lush, golden eyes glazed over in pain and thought. His lips were dry, his morale lowering. He stepped Cautiously towards the black cavern, panting with every breath.
As he crossed into the cliffs shadow, he heard an ethereal scream penetrate through the thick rock. A smirk crossed his face. Any ordinary warrior knew better than to enter this cave, even if they were good, they knew what awaited them.

Roland was no ordinary warrior.


The massive, jagged, pearl-white teeth dove easily into the flesh. Bone cracked under the weight of his immense jaws. He swallowed, and then dove in for the head. The pallor was a sickly white, its mouth was opened in an eternal scream. The eyes cried a dusty, pale blood, and a crimson pink frothed from his lips. He did not give this thought, however. He never gave thought to the pathetic challengers, like a man gave no thought to swatting a fly. His enormous maw stooped forward, and roughly tore the head from its shoulders. He crunched hard several times, the blood and fat sliding down his chin. He ate his victims raw, and ate them savagely. He ate greedily, and gave no thoughts to it. This did not mean he was opaque, or dense. Quite the opposite was true. He just didn't care. He gave his mind to more pressing thoughts, and continued his bloody feast, tearing once again into the tender flesh.


Roland moved with impeccable silence, despite wearing his weight in armour, despite carrying a multitude of weapons, he could not be heard. He moved with the speed and grace of a moonlight panther, but with the silence of a falling butterfly. He was fully aware of everything around him. The craggy, black rock bled pale, milky water. Even as he trudged through puddles, he was soundless.

Or so he thought'.

He was, for all intents and purposes, the ultimate predator. The footsteps came louder, now, soundlessly echoing throughout the darkness. Rushing hurriedly across the ashen catacombs, he reached a ledge above the path his victim was taking. He crouched low, eyes ablaze in intense fire. Claws grew from his gigantic paws, easily twice the size of a tigers. His muscles tensed, and a feral grin grew from his mouth.

Roland rushed through the passage, intent on moving forward and completely unaware.

The tantalizing aroma of fresh wolf blood wafted into his eager nostrils. He started for the cave passage, gingerly pulling his eleven-foot frame with him. As he reached the exit to his room, he stopped, startled.

He smelled human blood as well.

He groaned a wordless moan of pain. Leaning against the wall, his ribs slowly snapping inward, The silverback had taken him by surprise. But for a warrior of his caliber, that was insignificant. Within the last seconds of the fatal pounce, he had soundlessly, sightlessly, raised his blades. He had pointed them up, and moved them quickly. So fast had he done it, that even the wolf had seen nothing. It had felt it, though. Felt the cold steel as it impaled itself on it, felt them break through it, and through its heart. Blood shot, yellow eyes exploded in a cacophony of pain, and it spasmed several times, and then slowly slumped down, its full weight bearing upon Roland, and it was very much dead.

Normally, this would have killed a human. And Roland was physically normal. He did however, cling to life. Slippery in the blood pooling from himself and the wolf, he had squeezed himself free. A cold fire ignited in his eyes as he staggered down the passage, towards his ultimate goal. Never once did he think of turning back, despite having lost more than a sane amount of blood. He didn't turn, either, when he saw the shadow of the wyvern dance upon the wall in front of him.

He rushed at it, thoughtlessly. All pain was gone from his mind, all physical injuries were cured. They returned almost immediately, however, for no amount of determination could withstand the blast from the poisoned tail. He fell to the ground, and the wyvern turned, triumphant, towards its newest meal. It opened its mouth wide, and went in for the kill.
That's when the swords shot up, and went into its throat.
Roland could not hold on anymore. He started to fade away, his vision was blurring, and his resolve was at an end. He could feel the burn of the poison eating his insides. Just as he was about to close his eyes, however, he saw the glisten of a small gold object bounce out of the wyverns maw and onto the floor.

Recognition flared within him, gave him strength. He jumped up. Swore heavily, tears crawling weakly down his cheeks. The wyvern had just recovered, angered by the painful wounds, and was clearly as surprised as it was angry. But it was no mean foe. Even when Roland landed on its back, and in his dying moments unleashed the fury of his steel upon it, it was confident it could win. Nothing, nothing but the finest of weapons could penetrate its hide.

Yet the blades it faced now were very fine indeed.

The end.

The author's comments:
This was my first real short story, wrote it last year as part of a creative writing course. I've never had my work evaluated by a third party, i'd like to get opinions from others because I'm thinking of starting to write things like this for submission to contests/publishers.


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