'Inspired by,' The Barbarian

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

'Inspired by,' is a series of Stand-Alone Fantasy short stories inspired by the artwork of Frank Frazetta.

'The Barbarian'




The Barbarian


Sweat dripped from his long, dark, lank hair. It trickled over his mighty muscles and the many scars that crisscrossed his warrior physique. His eyes were slits of emerald death; his scowl was wolfish in nature. He was a stalking tiger amongst the denseness of the jungle, a barefooted silent killer. A Broadsword hung at his side in its primal leather sheath. A throwing axe was slung over his mountainous shoulders. A spear was gripped in his beefy, calloused hands. A lion skin loincloth covered his modesty.

He could hear his prey up ahead. They were clumsy, noisy and overconfident. They had come to his village in search of slaves, food and booty. They had left death, destruction and sorrow in their bloody wake.

He was going to repay all of that back to them, tenfold. His bull heart pumped hard and steady in his barrel chest. His muscles bunched up, rippling under his tanned, scarred leathery skin. His hands tightened around the ashwood shaft of his spear, as he heard the crack of a slave whip, lick soft female flesh.

Her scream rang out; he recognised it, even in its despair and pain. It was his mate, his woman... he was coming to reclaim her... he snarled, his teeth grinding together.

He saw movement up ahead; he could smell them, the enemy. They had perfumed, oiled ebony skin. They were from the east, from far across the great scorched plain. They lived in a giant stone-walled city. They called themselves civilised and honourable men. If killing the old and crippled was civilised, then he would rather be known as a savage barbarian, living and sleeping alongside the beasts of the jungle. For where was the honour in murdering the old and defenceless?

 They adorned themselves with strange robes and wore veils upon their heads and pointed sandals upon their soft feet. Gold bangles and other vanity baubles jangled at their wrists and around their civilised necks.

He wore no such baubles, for they served no purpose to the hunter. He slinked through the green, hot jungle, his dark eyes burned feverishly in his skull. He stopped... he looked up into the branches of the thick growing trees around him. There on a branch, a sleek panther lounged, its emerald eyes mirrored his own demeanour; wild, untamed and deadly.

The great cat seemed to sense a kindred spirit, a heart of untamed savagery that beat within that barbarian’s breast... It did not move, it let him pass without challenge...

He knew this primal landscape like the back of his own hand. He had lived here all of his life. He had hunted the jungle with his father and fellow tribesmen. Nothing could escape his hunter’s eye, his senses were on fire. His blood boiled like steaming water from the hot volcanic springs of the northern plain.

He drew his spear blade across his left palm. His skin split open and his ruby blood bubbled out. He smeared his bloody palm over his face and ran his wet tongue along the length of the cut. The tang of his own blood made him grin... it was a terrible thing to see, a wicked and brutal contortion of his savage features.

The jungle would open up ahead, very soon; there would be a shallow river crossing. The slavers would no doubt stop to replenish their water supplies for their long journey across the scorched plain. He would strike then, and his attack would be swift, brutal and merciless.

He came to a stop by a tree. His eyes darted about counting his enemy. There were a dozen of them. They were tall, thin and arrogant. Their robes were brightly coloured and baggy. They were armed with large curved swords. Some carried spears. Their skin was as black as that panther’s fur and their eyes sparkled in their faces like stars in the night sky. Their tongue was strange, fast and babbling. Unlike his own, more primitive guttural speech...

The slaves were chained together with iron, neck rings. They were all the young women of his village, two dozen of them. They had been stripped naked, many were covered in bruises and cuts, some with lash marks on their milky skin. They were destined for the slave blocks and the harems of the wealthy rulers of Ashaanrapur.

He snarled as his eyes fell on his mate. She knelt down cupping water in her hands and drinking... Her back bore fresh red welted lash marks. Her long black hair hung over her face.

A slaver approached her; he smiled seemingly taken carnal pleasure in her nakedness. He kicked her over and laughed. She shouted at him...

The Barbarian grinned; he had understood the insult she had cast at her captor... She was defiant and proud as a plains lioness as she stood up and shook her hair defiantly... If he were to fail in his quest to free his tribal women, then he would die content, in knowing that whoever added his mate to their harem, would die in their sleep with a knife buried up to the hilt, in their black heart.

The Barbarian felt pride rising in his breast and anger...

He burst through the jungle like a charging rhino, he let his spear fly.

The slaver had no time to react, his shocked face revealed the terror in his brain at his impending doom. The spear thudded into his chest knocking him off his feet.

The Barbarian was on him in three giant loping strides. He ripped the spear from the Slaver’s chest, and threw it again, impaling a second slaver with it...

His surprise attack was over. The slavers babbled like frightened geese in their strange tongue. Curved blades were unsheathed and spears cast at this hulking muscular savage, who had burst from the trees and slain two of them in the blink of an eye.

With the agility of a cat, he sidestepped and avoided the spears that came at him, as if in child’s play, and drew his own sword; it was a big broad-bladed savage weapon. It looked heavy and unwieldy. But in this barbarian’s chunky fist, it whistled, cutting through the air. And with an axe in his other hand, he threw himself at his enemy with all the ferocity of a wild beast.

The first slaver was felled like a sapling, cut through the midriff; he toppled to the ground, bloody and broken. The second slaver did not fare any better. The barbarian caught the sweeping scimitar blade high, on his axe. His broadsword rammed through the slaver’s body and burst from his back in a spray of red death, and guts, and screaming. The axe came down on the slaver’s neck, silencing his pathetic screams, relieving its body of its veiled head.

The Barbarian ducked another sword and hacked into a long silken leg, at the knee. The slaver crashed to the ground, flailing a bloody stump in the air.

The Barbarian was breathing heavily, his blood was singing in his ears, his vision was sanguine and his reflexes were lightning. He twirled and ducked and slashed and stabbed, and brought death and mutilation to all who came within striking distance of his sword and axe.

He threw his axe; it twirled through the air and thudded into the face of a nearby enemy, turning that civilised devil into a meat carcass for the carrion birds to pick at later on.

He faced another grinning devil; he swung his sword up in both hands. The cracking of splintered bones and the ripping of living flesh filled his ears with its glorious sound. Blood spilt out amongst unravelling entrails, staining the stony ground, crimson.

The Barbarian took a step back and lost his footing on some spilt guts. He came crashing down into the river. A face appeared leering down at him, scimitar raised for a killing blow.

It did not come; instead, a spear erupted from the slaver’s chest pulling out his still, red beating heart, for good measure. The slaver slumped to his knees and fell facedown next to the barbarian, who grinned at his mate, holding the bloodied spear in her hands.

The three remaining slavers backed away and ran into the jungle, they had seen enough carnal butchery from this barbarian and knew they faced a beast of a man, more dangerous than a wounded lion, more savage than a cornered tiger... They ran disappearing into the trees, hoping this savage beast would refrain from pursuing them and exacting his revenge on them...


The Barbarian stood up and made to give chase to those civilised cowards, but was stopped by his mate, who gripped his arm and shook her head.

He gave her a fiery stare, his eyes burned with a vengeance, but her soft face and shaking head quenched the savage fire burning in his heart... He nodded.

Let those cowards run back to their civilised walled city and tell of his people, the savage barbarians that lie beyond its boundaries eager and hungry and thirsting to spill their blood and entrails upon the ground should they ever return to his land...

Sheathing his sword the barbarian threw his mighty muscled arms around his mate and held her tightly and lovingly to his heaving, savage breast...


The End

'Inspired by.'

The artwork of Frank Frazetta

Submitted: April 16, 2021

© Copyright 2022 Celtic-Scribe63. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Jack Reacher's ancestor, for sure.

Fri, April 16th, 2021 12:22pm


I really liked the first J.R movie it has been on TV a few times over the last few weeks. I was not keen on the second one, though.
Yep, they both share the same trait, innovative in a fight, fast and brutal, and vengeful.

Fri, April 16th, 2021 5:28am

LE. Berry

Fiercely descriptive piece...

Fri, April 16th, 2021 8:38pm


Thanks' I dipped into my inner barbarian for this one...

Also, the cover art gave me the incentive to write it.

Thanks for the read and comments, they are invaluable.

Fri, April 16th, 2021 2:12pm

Vance Currie

I know your name well, Celtic, but I have never before read any of your work. The only reason for that is that serious fantasy is not my preferred genre. I was sure from what I have read of you that you area good writer, so I read this story to see if I was right. I certainly was. The story itself is excellent and so well written. I enjoyed it very much. I admire your descriptive style. It helped me live every moment of the story. I also write fantasy, but I would call it frivolous fantasy?aimed more at humour than drama. I could never match your skill as a serious writer.

Fri, April 16th, 2021 11:12pm


Dear, Vance,
Your praise of my writing has me blushing with pride. It is always pleasing to hear comments from my fellow Booksie writers, but to have such a distinguished member as yourself, giving me such a glowing review, I am bursting with pride.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your encouraging words.

With Kindest regards


Sat, April 17th, 2021 1:11am

Sharief Hendricks

An excellent and brutal story Celtic.

You captured the gore and brutality of the era perfectly as you always do...

This one brought back the coo memories of Arnie in his prime...

Loved it !!!

Wed, May 5th, 2021 3:26pm


I have to say, Conan was not far from my thoughts when writing this.

I wanted to capture the stark brutality of a barbarian world full of danger. I feel I did a good job.
So pleased you enjoyed it.
P.S. I hope you will read and enjoy the others in the 'Inspired by' series. :)

Wed, May 5th, 2021 9:27am

Eric Norse

Good depiction of the Cimmerian. Really liked the action with the axe sizzling through the air. I wouldn't use the word 'lank' when describing his hair, unless he was so wet it looked like he was stepping out of a shower.. All depictions of Conan I've seen have him with thick strong hair. Good job!

Tue, April 19th, 2022 8:02pm


Thank's for the feedback. It's always nice to hear from fellow Booksie members.

Of course, this was not Conan! I couldn't possibly use him in case I infringed on some copyright, somewhere! ;)


Tue, April 19th, 2022 11:37pm

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