'Flash!' Winter 2017

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

A short story written by Imaginarium member Hullabaloo22.

Chapter 10 (v.1) - Winterkill

Submitted: November 13, 2017

Reads: 126

Comments: 3

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Submitted: November 13, 2017





She rode into town without warning, suddenly and brutally unleashing her full power on us, the unsuspecting. We had never come across anything like her before and we really never stood a chance.


Not for her the carriages and rugs of royalty, the servants and the ceremony. She was fierce, she was strong. She did not need anyone to act for her; she was perfectly capable of acting for herself. Winter led her army from the front on her massive horse of silver grey.


Winter was heavily armed. Not only did she have a long sharp sword of the palest silver by her side but she carried twin daggers, long handled and lethal, sheathed on her back. She was dressed in a combination of thick fur and an almost pearlescent armour. Whatever the armour was made from it was something never before seen in these parts.


From the back of her horse Winter gazed down on us. Her expression was cold, unfeeling, devoid of even a hint of compassion. Her eyes were light blue, her skin so pale it was almost white. Her hair, the lightest shade of blonde, framed her face. She would have been beautiful if it wasn’t for the cruelty that emanated from her.


Flanking Winter to either side were her commanders, Snow and Ice. Commander Snow, as his name suggested, was the palest person possible. His skin and hair were white, but his eyes were red. An albino, then. His weakness would be strong sunlight but there was little chance of that coming to our aid: the sky was nothing but a heavy blanket of grey. Snow’s horse was pure white, even her eyes had only the faintest touch of blue about them. Whereas Winter’s mount was moving; pawing the ground, flicking her tail, twitching her ears, Snow’s horse stood still and silent, waiting for the word to move forward.


Nobody wanted to look at Snow. The red of his eyes spoke of nothing but blood dripped on to Winter’s battleground. Crimson drops on soft pure white. Snow carried not one but two swords, one on either side of him. Like Winter, he was clothed in thick furs that offered both warmth and protection, together with some of that strange armour. He gave the appearance of stillness, but of also having lightning quick reactions that would be impossible to evade.


Commander Ice is extremely thin. Everything about him looks sharp. His hair is grey but he does not appear to be old. His skin also seems to have a greyish tinge. His grey-blue eyes are piercing, holding your gaze although you long to look away. He has a sword, extremely long and thin bladed; but he also carries a cross-bow with bolts of pale steel. The furs he wears are darker than those of the others, grey with streaks of black. Again he is cold, unfeeling. There is something almost inhuman about his disassociation.


The army of Frost follows behind. They are all mounted on pale horses, all dressed in grey and white. They are all armed, ready to spring into action the instant the word is given. These soldiers know no fear. They will fight to the death without flinching and they will continue fighting regardless of what horrific injuries they sustain. Nothing short of death will halt them.


We may never haver seen them before but we have all heard the stories.


Winter faces us in silence. What will she want? Will we be able to meet her demands? She just stares at us with her cold and cruel eyes. Is she weighing us up? What could our small town have that would be of interest to Winter and her army?


But she is not making demands. She has not asked for one thing. One of us approaches her, stands before her and asks what it is that she wants from us. Winter grabs her sword and slays him where he stands, her movements so smooth and rapid that nobody actually sees the sword strike.


The man falls to the ground, blood quickly pooling around him. Winter holds out her sword, the crimson drips splash down to the ground. If she notices she does not show it. Her mount is becoming agitated, as if something of great significance has just taken place. All the horses now look alert, ready to spring forward. Only Snow’s white horse appears to be totally at ease.


Still silent, Winter lets her dead eyes fall on each and every one of us. It is almost like she wants to ensure that we fully realise that our existence means absolutely nothing to her. We are nothing more than an obstacle, an inconvenience that will be callously pushed aside.


Winter raises her arm, holding the sword with it’s blood-streaked blade pointing straight upwards toward the sky. The sword is steady. There is not even the slightest of trembles visible, even at its tip. This is a display of enormous strength and we are all held spellbound. We should be fleeing but we stare transfixed, as though we are no more than frightened rabbits.


Her arm drops. It is almost as though it is falling in slow motion. Everything seems to be moving slowly – the army, the horses, us townsfolk who should be panicking. It is as though time itself has been altered.


The horses start on their forward charge, their riders ready to massacre us where we stand. They will cut us down without blinking, with not even one second of hesitation. They will feel no guilt, no remorse.


I look around at my friends, my neighbours. We are all open-mouthed, screaming in shock. And then suddenly we take to our feet, too late to have much chance of making an escape. We scatter in all directions; some heading to the forests and some to the fields, some seeking cover inside the many buildings of the town.


Winter’s blade falls swiftly and surely, time and time again. The blade of her sword is almost entirely red within minutes. Commander Ice is firing bolts at fleeing figures, cutting them down before they make it very far. He does not seem to miss a target. Commander Snow thrusts out his sword, his strokes as sure as Winter’s own. The army of Frost spread out in all directions, calmly and clinically seeking out and slaying anyone that is making good their escape.


Where to go? Where to seek shelter? I’ll head for a building, try and find a dark corner to hide away in. I try to shut my ears to the screams, to the cries, to the cut-short moans. I won’t listen. I won’t look. I’m just going to keep my feet moving, my mind focussed on getting inside.


But Winter is thorough in her attack on our town. She is seeking us out one by one, together with Snow, Ice and Frost. The attack is swift and brutal, fast and clinically calculated. There is no frenzied fighting, no sign of blood-lust insanity taking a hold. Every action is calmly planned, measured, executed.


Will any of us manage to survive Winter’s attack? Will we be able to find shelter until she passes through and goes in search of other lands to conquer? The armies of Frost are approaching. All I can do is hope that my cover is adequate, that they will pass me by without noticing me and some of my neighbours. All I can do is hope that the whole town does not succumb to the attack of Winter.

© Copyright 2019 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.


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