Pre-War Fable

The cultists came in the night. Their raids had been growing ever more fervent, killing the people out on the fields and stealing the ones that were unfortunate enough to survive for some terrible purpose.

Their father had given Alexander a single task. ‘Don’t let them take you’ was the last words he spoke, shoving the NCO’s sword in one hand and Elise’s hand in the other. She was crying quietly, begging Daddy not to go.

He left to join the defense while Alexander took his sister into the cellar. He held his sister close as the distant sounds of fighting grew closer and closer.

By the time there were footsteps and screaming coming from the nearby homesteads, he knew what happened to the first line of defense. But he had to keep a brave face. He had to stay strong for Elise.

There was a crash at the door, and Alexander counted three separate footsteps looting their home. He pulled out the sword and held it in front of him. It wobbled in his hands, far too heavy and too big for a boy like him. But he wasn’t going to give up.

He was going to be a Soldier when he grew up. He was going to swear an oath in the town cathedral and defend the weak from the dark creatures of the night. He was going to—

…The cellar door burst open, and a man dropped down with a machete. He had a crazed look in his eyes and blood on the few teeth he had left. There were no words, just cackles and grins as he swung the blade around and lunged at the children…

It has been a month since the last raid. The dead had been buried and prayed for, too many to count. Many homes and huge swaths of the farmland had been destroyed, crippling the community. The people of the village had thought that there was nothing else that could be taken from them. But that didn’t stop the monsters.

Another raid, this time led by some sort of foul demon, had rushed into the streets. Some tried to fight it off, but most of the villagers ran for the cathedral. It has no huge oak doors or thick stone walls. It was practically the same as the other older buildings, save for the intricate stain glass window on the far wall. The whole town had given money to order one from abroad.

Some people clung to their families, others wept openly, and others still prayed at the altar for anyone, Angel or Demon, to save them from the monsters.

The doors swung open, and the mob of cultists smiled as their master looked over his prey. He spoke something in an infernal tongue about how they would feast on these pathetic worms. He tried to step inside to claw at the first person he saw…but he could not.

One of the men, with a single bloodshot eye and teeth sharpened to fangs, tried to enter the cathedral. But he was stopped as well. The swarming horde climbed on top of each other, trying to get inside at the trapped animals that lay in wait, but not a single one could enter the cathedral.

The building began to glow slightly, as the moon shone down through the window. Everyone was distracted by the almost comical sight, so only a few of the other children noticed the two spirits smiling down on the people below.

Not all heroes die in armor.

3 Replies to “Pre-War Fable”

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