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Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
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Deliverance

by Michael Bishop


Night has fallen and he lies there mortally wounded. All the previous day he and the other heroes fought the enemy to a standstill. Now the armies have now gone leaving the field to the dead and dying, and the scavengers who have come to prey on them.  

Suddenly he is aware of a presence at his side, warm and loving and deeply maternal. For an instant he imagines that it is his mother, but he knows that it can not be. She is at home at the croft many leagues away.

A voice speaks softly in his ear. “Lie still. Help is on its way,” the presence says.

It calms his fears; that someone cares is all that matters in his final moments.

For her part, she watches the two forms approaching her man, human carrion here for only one purpose. They are dressed in rags and one is much taller than the other although it is hunched. Their minds are shallow and their souls weak so it is no trouble for her to draw them in.

When they are closer they stop like the jackals they are, just in case their target can put up a fight. However, he does not move so they continue their advance. A few more paces and they are standing over him. The smaller one pulls out a knife, whether to cut throat or sever finger ring she does not know. No matter, it is time for her to make her move.

She is not cruel and so does not hurt her victims needlessly. However, there are some who do not die without pain.

One moment the forms see nothing but her man in the moonlight. The next, their eyes are blind to the world and their minds filled with the radiance of her majesty. They raise their arms to cover their faces and they cry out as their souls are ripped from their bodies.

For a split second a warm sensation flows through his body whilst his ears are filled with a loud scream. Then all goes silent and he feels again the nip of the cold air. It is now he realises that he is not as injured as he first believed. The wounds in his arms, legs and abdomen are still there but they are less painful than he thought they were a moment ago.

Her presence had gone, but before he questions why, she returns. “Go now whilst you are strong,” she whispers and he immediately obeys. To his surprise, he is able to pull himself to his feet and head for the hills and safety.

As he makes his way across the field he can see other scavengers like those on the ground near where he once lay. They ignore him; he guesses they are too busy plundering the dead to bother with him.

                                                                               *

She watches him go. She feels tired, but she pays no heed to her fatigue; her work is not yet done. Looking around she spies another fallen hero still alive. She goes to his side.

“Lie still,” she tells her man. “Help is at hand.”



2016-02-22 06:21:24
micheledutcher - I like the premise of the story. I thought the old english wasnt necessary but the rest of it kept my interest.


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