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Short Story Fridays: Severus the Rogue – Sowing the Seeds of Love


Tweet of the Day: The Elder – Part One

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24

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Strong arms picked me up from the ground.

“Aargh!”

“His wounded, Sir,” said a voice on my left ear.

“Have the surgeon check him,” said my brother Anthony. Between grunts and groans of probing fingers and a bony needle sewing my side I watched Erboracum burn.  Groups of orcs streamed into city through the open gates. Not many, but no doubt the city guard had its hands full with the goblin infiltrators. They could not stop the new threat. But my brother could.

“Ahem, Anthony…” I said, between painful winces.

His eyes were fixed on the city, “Yes?”

“How many men do you have?”

“About a hundred, why?”

“Yeah, well, aren’t you going to do something?”

“What something?”

My brother was not a complete dullard. He didn’t fool me, “About that damned city been burned to the ground!”

“Father wanted me to bring you back, nothing more, nothing less.”

Dammit, those bastards are going to kill Justine, or worse!

“So you’re going to stand by and let these barbarians pillage the city? What do you think it’s going to happen after their done here? I hate to face an emboldened orcish horde descending on our home.”

“No orc will crawl over our walls,” he said.

“Yeah, well, if you hadn’t noticed, dear brother, they just marched in, after the goblins opened the gates for them.”

“Then we shall slaughter any goblin within the walls of Virocorium.”

Damn you!  How in damnation do we share the same blood?

Appeals to my dear brother’s sense of morality failed. It was time to try another route, a well worn and successful route, “I guess you’re right. You could wait for the enemy behind the walls of our city or you could ride to the rescue of the beleaguered citizens of this town. A furious charge that would hit the back ranks of the enemy. I doubt these bastards could stand up to the might of your well trained troops fighting for the lives of fellow humans.”

“Not they would not,” he said.

“But if you want your men to simply sit around and do nothing? Let the hero’s call pass them by and the rewards that come with it,” I said. Some of his men glanced at each other. “Your choice of course. But what a powerful choice.”

Make up your mind already!

“We ride! Optio, organize the men on a line across the causeway, I don’t want any of the marauders to escape or interfere,” he said.

“What about your brother, Sir,” asked the doctor.

He pointed at the two soldiers who hoisted me before, “You two keep an eye on him. If he so much as twitch in the wrong direction, feel free to knock some sense into him.”  They nodded.

“Glad to see you care, now off you go, to save a city, I’ll be here waiting your triumphant return,” I said.

With one swift move, he mounted his horse and led a charge against the orcs. As predicted they were caught by surprise, to busy pillaging to see the new arrivals. In less hour scores of orcs lay dead or swimming across the river in a vain attempt to escape.

Anthony rode back to our position,”Take him into the city.” He had lop sided grin. The damage was widespread but superficial.  Flanked by my bodyguard, I followed Anthony to Justine’s home. There she waited, with her father at her side.

“YOU!” the old man screamed.

“Father!” Justine replied. I became light headed, as if I drunk deep from a gold wrought goblet of finest dwarven wine. Her soft brown eyes, her dark long hair. I wish I was close enough to smell the perfume that flowed from her neck.

Her furious father snapped me out my day dream,” I demand justice!”

“It seems dear brother,” said Anthony looking down at me from his mount, “that you have wronged this man by, according to him, stealing his daughter’s honor.”

“Well, I….” avoided Justine’s eyes.

“I want this bastard’s head!”

“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that,” said Anthony.

Was my brother standing up for me? Father certainly would not like the Geta family to suffer the ignominy of a son killed like a criminal, high born maybe, but still a criminal.

“Not without a proper trial, at least,” he added.

“Very well, I’ll agree to that. Besides his guilt is evident,” said Justine’s father.

At that moment  Justice’s hand lingered over her lower belly.

Oh….

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