Tweet of the Day: Crusading without a Cross
She looked over her shoulder and spurred her mount on. I followed. Hooves skipped over stones. Heads dodged low branches. The forest opened into a small glade. A creek danced down moss draped square stones. She jumped from the saddle. Her mount ambled toward the water. I dismounted.
“What am I going to do with you?” I asked.
She spun in place. A tiny little thing with long black hair and large dark eyes. I’ve known her since forever and yet at times like this her thoughts strayed beyond reach.
“Take a guess,” she said.
“Not this again.”
She ran up to me and rammed her hands into my curls, “You can do whatever you want with me.” She looked around, “No one is watching.”
“What?” She yanked her hands free, “Ouch!”
“Enough games, what do you think of me?”
Her words still danced in my head.
You can do whatever you want with me.
“I think you are pretty,” I said. Not what the bards would call inspired by any means.
She sat down on a rock beside her horse, “Pretty like a kitten or a song bird? Or am I something else?” She stroke its mane. “What am I to you?”
I sat beside her, “You are dear to me, Guinevere.”
She drew closer. Her lips formed the words my heart ached to hear, “Would you forsake all others for me?”
“I would forsake this and all the worlds,” I said, short of breath.
“Then say it.”
The glint of metal caught my eye. Men with swords and axes descended on the glade. I dodged one attacker and slashed at another from the scabbard. Guinevere screamed behind me. A bearded brute dragged her to the tree line. I dance the dance of blades with two then three Saxons, a deadly dance of parries, thrusts and slashes. The man on my left heaved his heavy long handle axe. I sidestepped him and elbowed him in the back of the head as he went past. Countered the man in the center with a hit to the thigh. Ducked an overhead swing from the third man.
The axeman came back at me with an overhead strike. A dark form appeared amidst the sound of hooves. A bronze leaf spearhead ran through him from back to front. I spun about cleaved the second swordsman on the back of the neck. Guinevere tackled me to the ground, bloody knife in hand. A arrow whistles past us. Again, the dark rider with the bronze leaf spear struck down the archer and vanished among the clamor of hooves.
For a moment I lost myself in the flowery scent of her hair.
“Are you alright?” she asked.
“I’m–” I saw her hemline awash in blood, “What happened?”
“Oh, this. Well I stuck that one on the leg. Bleed out faster than a pig on a spit, he did,” she said.
The bronze spear rider reappeared with more men and our horses in tow. He lifted the visor of his helm.
“Apologies my Lord. I am Mordred, one of King Vortigern’s retainers,” he said. Strands of blond hair curled from underneath the helm. Icy cool eyes peered down at us from underneath his helm.
“Vortiger? The king of the southeast coast,” I said.
“No longer, my Lord. He made a bargain with these Saxons to serve him and they betrayed him. Those loyal to him where either murdered or exiled. We came north to spread the news yet these barbarians caught up with us. I’m afraid that it was us who led them to you,” he said.
“No need to apologize, we should have been more careful,” I said.
“If it is not much of an inconvenience, may I know to who I speak, my Lord?”
“Arthur, Son of Ambrosius,Champion of the Britons,” I said.