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From Chapter 1  Enters a Hero


The horse stopped, not wanting to proceed any further. It raised its head as it tried to detect the scents and odors of the woods. Something strange in the trees had distressed and alarmed the large animal. The horse’s hoof stomped on the ground as if he was protesting the command of his rider to move forward. The knight had handled many horses in his lifetime; some of them were for the joy of riding, and some of them were used in the agony of combat. One thing that the knight had learned from his experiences was to trust a horse, but never rely on them.

“Come on, boy.” The knight responded to his horse’s reluctance by lightly nudging the animal in the sides with his gilded spurs.

From a darkened section of the woods, hidden by the brush and trees, jumped out one of the undead soldiers of the evil force that had seized control of the world. This creature had once been a thinking man in life, but now was nothing more than a creature of instinct, attacking any living person or animal which ventured near it. It was a resurrected corpse, one of the walking dead referred to as a revenant. Its skin was gray and decaying, and its body covered by ripped, soiled rags that once were its clothes.

The walking corpse grabbed the horse’s bridle and pulled the large animal to the ground. The horse screamed loudly in protest at being hauled down to the earth. The knight was thrown from his saddle, his armor clanking and rattling as he fell. He landed on the ground hard, and was left shaken, dazed and disoriented from the unforgiving landing. The horse awkwardly rose and escaped into the woods, galloping as fast as it could, abandoning its master and leaving him at the mercy of the undead assailant.

The revenant pounced on the fallen knight, pawing and grabbing at his armor, trying to rip and tear it off. The living corpse pulled off the knight’s helmet, revealing the chainmail coif underneath.

Seeing the unprotected skin of the knight sent the revenant into a blood frenzy, its limited mind thinking only to tear into the soft flesh of the knight. The undead corpse moved in, sadistically trying to bite into the flesh of the metal clad warrior. The knight pushed the corpse away with his hands in a desperate attempt to the keep the attacker at bay.

The strength in his arms began to decrease and soon the walking dead was slowly descending upon him, getting nearer and nearer to his face. The creature opened its mouth to reveal decayed and rotten teeth. Its mouth snapped open and shut in anticipation of the knight’s flesh. Its tongue was black and grey. A part of the tongue has fallen off from the onslaught of death. The revenant grunted and growled like a starving animal that had finally caught its prey and was relishing the flesh it was about to consume.

The knight looked up at his dead attacker and could see the saliva coming out of the monster’s mouth, dripping down onto his face. The stench of this creature filled his nostrils and was almost unbearable, a pungent, decaying odor that made the knight gag and almost vomit. Fighting the natural instinct to heave, the knight continued to struggle against the deceased flesh attacking him. Realizing the peril of his situation, he desperately tried to think of some way to get the revolting creature off of him.

The knight was conscious that his strength was waning and his undead assailant’s would not, and he knew that when his strength did leave him the revenant would rip into his skin with its teeth. They were in a stalemate, but eventually his attacker would wear him down, and his precarious position left him vulnerable to assaults by other creatures.

A loud cracking noise echoed through the woods, so loud that perched birds were jolted from the safety of the trees and into the air. The knight saw the metal barbs that had punched through the skull of the revenant. The walking corpse now showed no sign of reanimation and collapsed to one side, motionless as it hit the ground.

Looking up, the knight saw a young man standing over him, about thirteen years old, no longer a child but not yet a man. He was tall, and thin, wearing tidy but worn clothing. He was still holding the club and he placed his foot on the back of the revenant to yank it back, pulling the barbs from the skull of the now completely dead creature. The club was dripping with yellow ooze that mere seconds ago had been the contents of the revenant’s head.

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