Friday, July 15, 2016
Fiction Friday: Shadows of the Silent Sorcerer (Part 4)
Shadows of the Silent Sorcerer
John R. Lehman
“Silence girl,” he hissed.
Her eyes were wild with fear, and she tried to bite him, but he only tightened his grip. Her flesh was warm and the touch of it stirred fire in his loins.
“Be still wench,” he whispered. “Can you understand me?”
She nodded beneath his grip.
“I am Kurach and have come to rescue you,” he lied.
The girl seemed to relax a bit.
“Now you must remain silent while I contend with yon sorcerer. Then we shall be gone from this place. Make no sound though or we are both dead! I shall return soon.”
The girl nodded once more.
He slowly released his grip and the girl scuttled into the far corner of the cage and huddled there like a frightened animal. Placing a thick finger to his lips, he rose and softly padded up the winding stairs.
As he ascended, the light grew stronger and he paused to let his eye adjust. Still silence enveloped the tower and he felt a faint twinge of unease. He could see a glowing opening in the ceiling above him and debated for a moment launching himself up the stairs and bursting in howling a blood mad war-cry, hoping to startle the mage long enough to allow time for a killing stroke, but the heavy silence convinced him to continue his stealthy approach.
He climbed upward and passed through the opening into the chamber above. He paused once more, with his eyes just at floor level to survey this new room. It was roughly the same size as the room below, but far better furnished. The walls were made up almost entirely of floor to ceiling shelves upon which were haphazardly stacked countless scrolls and leather bound tomes. A large worktable, covered in strange mystical paraphernalia sat to one side, and in the center of the room was a low-backed stool, upon which sat the figure of a man in dirty threadbare robes. The robed man's back was to Kurach and he made no movement. To the left of the stool was a brightly burning oil lamp, its flickering flame jumped and danced, casting long shifting shadows throughout the room.
Kurach drew his blade from his belt. Holding his breath, he glided up the last remaining steps and into the room. Still the man on the stool made no movement. Kurach could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He had slain countless men in his life. Why should the sight of this man make his heart race? He crossed the room at an agonizingly slow pace, expecting at every step that the Sorcerer would rise from his stool to invoke some nameless doom upon him, but nothing happened. Upon reaching a point directly behind the stool he raised his blade and brought the hilt down with bone splintering force on the top of the Sorcerer's head. With a sickening crunch, the Sorcerer's head lolled to the side.
Satisfied with his grisly handiwork, Kurach stepped around to the front of the chair to look upon the face of he who had been known as the Silent Sorcerer. It was a plain, unimpressive face, neither old nor young. They eyes were open and staring in death.
Kurach sheathed his blade and bellowed a harsh guffaw.
"Sorcerers die as easily as other men", he said to no one in particular.
Still, despite the seeming ordinariness of the man whose life his had just taken, there was something disquieting about the corpse. Kurach felt a slight chill in his spine, but quickly dismissed it. The Sorcerer was dead and whatever treasure lay within the tower were now his, as was the girl. Kurach's mind turned slowly toward her as a savage grin broke across his features. It had been a long night and she would prove a warm and welcome diversion. He thought briefly about paying her a visit before he searched out the Sorcerer's wealth, but something about the tower disturbed him and he wished to be gone from it as soon as possible. There would be time enough for the girl along the trail, when he was far from this place. He turned to the worktable and began to rummage through the incomprehensible collection of goods for items of value.
(Next! The Conclusion...)