#6 Merrin Oakheart

| November 7, 2010 | 1 Comment

The piercing clang of metal upon metal could be heard throughout the encampment. Slow cookfires lit the ground with an amber hue. Dirt and dust alike jumped into the air as Merrin Oakheart readied her back foot and held her sword vertically solid. The slick sage skin of her arms glistened against the moonlight.

Her attacker was twice her size and thrice her ferocity. He swung his arms behind his head notching his great longsword,the blade glinted in the orange hue. Gregor Marshborn was an uninviting sight, ugly and bulbous. His eyes often twitched without reason and he stank of rotting crickets, a pipe dangled from his mouth adding to his noxious perfume. Gregor charged Merrin and with a thunderous croak brought his weapon down overhead in a menacing arc. Merrin deftly parried the strike and twirled to her left, slapping Gregor in the back of the thigh with the flat of her blade. Gregor yelped in immediate, sharp pain as Merrin took no time for humor and gripped the hilt of her sword in a defensive stance.

“Grah! You are a quick thing, are you not girl?” Gregor snarled at Merrin, brandishing her gender as a weapon just as smithed steel.

“Quicker than you.” Merrin quipped. The pair had now taken to circling one another, their gaze intensely locked. The cookfires that surrounded them made dancing reflections in Merrin’s eyes. Merrin studied Gregor, his clumsy yet deliberate steps, his constant pauses revealed his wont to rush her once more. He was a bullfrog, this was apparent, but she was too graceful to be struck down by such an obvious rush. She stopped her circling path, baiting the colossal Marshborn.

Gregor again charged at Merrin, holding his longsword at his hip with both hands, tensing his muscles. His pipe dropped from his mouth and he again croaked, even more ferociously than before. Merrin waited until the brute was within an arm’s reach and dropped to the ground, her small frame made minuscule. Gregor was too large and too slow-witted to stop his locomotion and he rumbled past the agile girl. Merrin sprung to her feet and with surprising might brought the hilt of her blade down on the back of Gregor Marshborn’s head, knocking him to the ground in a dizzy spill. Merrin sheathed her sword and knelt down beside the fallen giant.

“Who is teaching who here, Gregor?” Merrin said with a light to her words.

Gregor rolled onto his back in a slow and laborious turn. Once on his back, he let out a breath and rubbed his pounding head.

“You are fortunate I like you, Oakheart,” Gregor spat. “But do not mistake me for a dullard. Your jests have no place on the field of battle.” His voice was low and his tone hard.

Merrin extended a hand to Gregor. “Noted. Do you think me ready to join the battalion? Will you recommend me to my Uncle?” She had a twinge of optimism to her words.

Gregor slapped away Merrin’s trifling hand and erected himself with a struggle. When finally he stood, Merrin was once again intimidated. She raised her chin and broadened her shoulders, a convincing image she hoped. He smiled at this, and patted her on the head dismissively. “You are just a girl, Merrin. Girls cook, tend to the wounded, mend our cloaks. They do not fight under the banner of Greenrock. I am merely humoring you at your Uncle’s command. He has more than just a crown weighing down his mind.” Gregor said flatly, with no effort to spare Merrin’s feelings.

“But Greenrock needs swords! And mine is better than half the men who ride!” Merrin pleaded.

“Aye, this is true, but your Uncle king forbids it. Best if you accept this, Merrin.” Gregor said as he brushed the debris from his chest.

“No, Gregor. I will not.” She mounted a nearby hitched sparrow hawk and kicked at its sides. The bird’s wings flapped in response, hoisting it and Merrin upward. Brown and grey feathers fluttered about.

“My Uncle will hear my voice. I will fight for Greenrock like my father and his father.” Merrin proclaimed. “Girl or not.”

The bird thrashed its wings with vigor and soared over the tree-line, into the black night sky.

Gregor shook his head, “Never have I seen someone in such a rush to die.”


Category: Fantasy

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  1. Jande Rowe says:

    The imagery in your writing is delicious; like it is already painted and you are just describing the scene. Beautiful! Thank you.

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