I screamed. Oh, how I screamed. The piercing cry rang through my mind, tore throughout my body... and still nothing but a whimper escaped me. A dry, rasped, whisper... broken. I was broken.
I shook violently, unable to focus. The strength in each of my limbs and muscles faded; in agony, all I could do was ache... all I could do was fall to my knees. The taste of iron overwhelming me, the luke-warm liquid beneath me sickening to the touch, I wept. There I wept.
I crawled to them, cradled her to my chest, and him beneath my arm. I tasted her in a way I'd never done before; the life that had slipped from her and fallen away, I tasted that which was left. A shell. Her warm glance, frozen to nothing; passionate eyes, dull and lined with tears... tears for me, tears that I couldn't be there. I couldn't protect her, or die beside her, and for that she cried. My partner.
The boy had slain three... striking a mortal blow to each of their necks, tossing them aside. He'd protected his mother like I knew he could. Even now, after being stabbed through at least three times, he held my old sword tightly. My boy.
I'm so sorry.
So very sorry I left you alone.
I can't remember how long I stayed there.
A voice rang out in the distance, but I didn't hear it.
Again and again it cried, yet I heard but only the whisper of the wind. Softly, the graceful presence of motion passed along the cliffs, reached from below as the waves ebbed against the stony front, and curled their way to the top like soft feather pillows. The peak was at just the right angle to divert the strong draft that came from the westerly winds, still it was not high enough to catch the rolling breeze. It tumbled down the peak with calming dreams, and brushed against the lone-standing house like a sea of feathers breaking on the rocks.
That's all I ever heard through the years, in the dream-filled and dreamless nights, those engorged with insomnia, and even in the reckless nights with her breath labored on the crest of my neck. It was for that reason we made our home in this place... it was for that ambiance that aided our happiness.
But that cry was ceaseless, and as much as the gentle wind gave to me its soothing bosom, it could not swallow the taste of fire. It could not quell the blaze that now began to burn; the rage of an inferno.
The scent of ash tore at my nostrils, and from my stupor I woke. With vindication I awoke.
"Sar Cathan! We know you are inside! In the name of the Holy Deity, you will be punished for your heretic crimes! I am your executioner, for the decree has been made – you are to hanged by the neck on this night."
The fire shall purge the past on this evening... this I promise to you, my dear and my boy.
Fifty-two men. Fifty-two soldiers. Fifty-two elites of the church. The breeze wafts over them like a comforter, but not a single one feels its touch. Their armor is not thick enough, their skin is not hard enough, yet still they deny its caress. What holds them now is not the silence, but fear.
They surround a small cottage, though two stories, it is humble in design and make. A thatch roof, a porch with chair and bench, large eyes that one can peer into, and blood smeared walls. The men have circled the building, each with their weapons unsheathed and ready to slay anyone should they choose, for they have permission to kill in the name of God. It has been three days since they first entered the home, and two since the heretic held himself inside. "I wonder..." murmurs one to the other.
"Is this really him?" he continues, "is this really the one they call Surtr on the battle field? Would a creature such as that live in a place like this?"
"He's a human like any of the rest of us... legends are legends... don't let it get to you."
"[color=darkblue]Human? I've seen what he's done to peo