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Posted: Apr 12 2012, 09:08 PM
A bug in the Swarm
Member No.: 4,579
Joined: 15-October 11
It was a steady slow rain that fell heavy with large drops that splashed in the puddles. Rivulets of water flowed across the ground. There was a blanket of gray clouds that hung in the sky and the light of day was fading fast. All was silent, except for the sound of the rain and the stifled sobs of the two terrified men that knelt on the ground.
All around them was a horror they had never thought to witness, though they had heard stories. Not that the stories were to be believed. As the two men sat staring and contemplating their fate, a young girl that they had gagged and bound just outside a farm house began to stir. Her blood and rain soaked hair covered much of her face, but one of her eyes was completely in view. As her eye slowly opened she blinked a few times as in disbelief, the realization of what stood before her creeped upon her and clearly unnerved her, for her visible eye widened and she began to sob uncontrollably as well.
There before them stood an army. Though not an army of men, but an army of neatly ranked and completely motionless skeletons with ornate weapons and armor. The skeletons surrounded them on all sides, and each of them knew that there could be no escape. After a few moments some of the skeletons began to move and make way for what one could only assume was the command of this skeleton army.
Out before them walked two skeleton guards dressed elaborately in gold and heavier armor with fine detail and another creature that resembled a man more than any of the others. He was wrapped in cloth though the visible flesh seemed stretched and aged beyond anything these mere peasants could imagine. These skeletons were different, each of them had an eery glow where the eyes should have been and one of them was wearing a luxuriant headdress that looked fit for a king with exquisitely detailed weapons and armor to match. As the skeletons approached, the sobs of the girl increased and she began to inch her way backward though she stopped quickly when she realized there was no where to go.
The leader stepped forward mere inches away from the two trembling men before him and leaned close to both their heads. Both of the men began shaking even more and one of them almost cried out in fear, but held his tongue and composure at the last second.
From what seemed like inside their own heads came a deep and disturbing voice that said, “I am Atekh-Ra-Amon, Tomb King of Numas.”
For a moment all was still, and then again they heard a voice, “What are you doing with this... child?”
The two men who had been looking straight down looked toward each other and both saw the fear in the others eyes.
The braver of the two men finally had the courage to look up and with a trembling voice he asked, “W-what are you going to do with us?”
As his face hit the ground and his mouth filled with mud he realized his mistake. His head was throbbing and he could taste the blood that now rushed into his mouth. He began spouting apologies and begging for his life.
“Get back on your knees and answer me,” the voice from inside his head boomed.
In an instant he was doing as he was told.
“I uh... we... we were going to sell her into slavery... please don't kill me,” he stammered and blubbered like a crying child.
Atekh-Ra-Amon stood for a moment staring at the young girl. She was breathing heavy, her eyes were bloodshot and she was covered in mud and filth, but he could tell she was beautiful. Probably no older than fifteen or sixteen. Long dark hair with deep green eyes and a face that reminded him of a time long ago before his death. She resembled a servant girl he had been in love with as a boy. The memory seemed so distant now. The pain of the memory flooded into him and for a moment he was lost in thought, but only for a moment. Finally the pain became anger.
He looked back to the two men and motioned for them to stand. As they stood, still shaking from fear they heard, “How much were you going to get for the girl?”
In disbelief they looked at each other trying to figure out what was going on. The weaker of the two just looked quickly back at the ground and tried to stifle a sob. Finally the brave one spoke again.
“Ten gold crowns.”
“I'll give you one thousand.”
The girl then burst into tears and said what sounded like “no” over and over again. Even through the gag the men understood what she meant, and now realized that she could hear what was being said as well.
The men just stood staring at the figure before them in a state of complete disbelief as one of the guard skeletons walked back out of view and returned a few moments later with a small chest and placed it in front of the men.
After it was placed, the skeleton opened the chest to show the men it was not empty. By their estimate, the gold was there. They both stood motionless, afraid to act too quickly. After a short time the skeleton army made way for the men to leave.
“Go now, take your baubles and leave this place,” the voice instructed.
The men warily placed their hands on the chest and slowly picked it up expecting death as soon as they touched it, but feared not following this creatures demand even more. As they began to tow the chest away the men looked at the girl, who was now in a fit of crying and almost on the verge of hysteria, and they could tell by her one visible eye, and her quickly shaking head, that she didn't want them to leave her behind.
They looked at one another and slowly dropped their gaze toward the ground and began walking, hoping that their nightmare encounter would soon be over. Suddenly, two skeletons broke rank and charged in front of the men with an unnatural speed but at the last second stopped and stood perfectly still blocking the path of escape. The charge caused the chest to be dropped spilling most of the contents onto the ground in a loud crash. Audible gasps escaped the from the mouths of the men as one of them cowered onto the ground pissing himself in the process.
The familiar deep grating sound inside their heads roared, “Did you really think it would be that easy?”
The men turned their gaze slowly and there behind them was the Tomb King Atekh-Ra-Amon with his sword drawn and his eyes blazing with anger. In a second it was over, both men slumped to the ground, their bodies broken and moving no more. Atekh-Ra-Amon wiped the blood from his elaborately designed khopesh on the cloak of one of the men then turned his attention to the girl. He sheathed the blade and moved closer to her.
When he stepped close to the girl she closed her eyes and continued to sob as she had done since waking. He knelt down beside her and reached to move the hair from her face. When his hand touched her cheek she recoiled in horror and screamed into the gag.
“Fear not child. I will not harm you as I harmed these fools.”
She stopped screaming, but the sobs continued. He moved the hair from her face and gazed at her for a moment. He removed a dagger from his belt and cut her bonds and removed the gag.
He said nothing else as he rose and walked away. She just laid on the ground crying as the army slowly marched across the field and into the tree line.
Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:40 AM
Member No.: 4,625
Joined: 1-November 11
that was a strange king.
really good story also.
I hope you will make some more writing soon.
Posted: Apr 13 2012, 10:20 PM
A bug in the Swarm
Member No.: 4,579
Joined: 15-October 11
Thanks, it just popped in my head one night and I wrote it down. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Posted: Apr 23 2012, 02:25 PM
A bug in the Swarm
Member No.: 4,808
Joined: 15-January 12
Certainly not how I would have expected a Tomb King to act! But what do I know Very good read, actually!