Rags worn, flesh muddy and scarred, the man raced down the cobblestone path with the assailants growing heavy on his tail. The skeletal remains of the thatched houses sucked life from their town, the gutters flowed with sewerage and blood, and in the air of the dark decrepit town lingered leaden, smoky fumes.
He maneuvered the town hesitantly, worried at each turn. His footing was careless and lacking substance, eventually landing into the bloated stomach of a large greasy man.
"What do we have here?" The man shook his brutish head left and right, his voice expressed class and elegance, contradicting his ghastly appearance.
Scuttering to his feet, the charcoal covered man brushed shakily on the man's hefty apron. "S..so sorry, sir. P..please f...orgi mi." His tongue uneducated and unpleasant to the ear.
His head furtively peered over his shoulder; any time wasted would be more time losing ground. He stood in a posture of vibrating sequences, pleading the man would back away and allow him to pass the narrow path.
The hulking man stood firm, wincing slightly as the lash of leather struck skin. The black man collapsed to the ground, face buried deep into the fragmented grey surface, blood treacle drowning his nose.
The aproned butcher glanced down; as if the man was beneath him both physically and mentally.
"One of yours, Odin?"
"Was, one of mine."
Odin drove the flaccid stick repeatedly at the wailing man, increasing its force each time. Men in grey suits stood beside him by the dozen, laughing as the man cried, a thick layer of urine surrounding his ragged skirt and the stones beneath.
"Tell you what, Butcher. You can have him when I'm done, I'm sure you can find some decent meat in this demon."
"A kind offer, your grace," Butcher caught the slave deep in the ribs, bone cracking when met with his pristine black boot, "but I'm afraid my customers wouldn't be satisfied with this degenerate scum."
"For your slaves, then. They must eat something, after all. What better than their own flesh and blood?"
"Right you are! A fine idea!"
After a stern nod from Odin, Butcher clutched a bony limp arm and dragged the body along the hard rough floor, into the abyss of his abode. The screams resounded throughout the town, muffling slightly as Butcher slammed the door shut.
Odin folded his arms and waited, staring intently at the flaked red wooden door. A smile stretched his dry face as the thud of blade hitting flesh and bone pierced through the door, followed shortly by the inherent silence of swine. He adjusted his red bow tie so that it lay parallel with his sky blue suit, walking with supremacy out of Butcher's territory; the men in grey trailing shortly behind.
* * * * *
Dust and debris tumbled down the ruinous stone wall that surrounded the town as he leapt onto it with smooth finesse. Perched like an eagle; cradling his leather boots upon the stone with care and humbleness, he surveyed the town below him. His silken sunshine garment hung low, softly caressing the roof of the wall.
The wanderer spectated the running man with a detached eye, too far to help, and not knowing the circumstances of the situation to know if he should. He must be cautious. The town disatisfied him - was this truly the town he had been foretold about? It looked nothing like that he had conjured up with his imagination, there was nothing glorious or wondrous about this land, just a dilapidated run-down carcass of a town, could it be that it did indeed hold the mystical treasure that was solemnly sworn to him?
He had traversed cruel lands and enduringly treacherous waters, he'd be damned if it was in vein. With one confident sweep, he leapt down onto the hard ground; in an empty corner of the town, landing with perfect poise and softness, treating the floor as if it were fragile glass.