1: Two Drunken Men And A Scythe
Dianna walked through Hourglass square on her way back to her flat. Hourglass square was a sacred place, according to legend; the Hourglass feature was created by The Grim Reaper himself. Looking at it now in the dark of night she could very well imagine it was. The two glass bulbs that held the sand was the size of a horse rearing up on its hind legs, the black iron that held the actual Hourglass had been painstakingly carved into a gothic masterpiece. Two black, skeletal iron horses rearing up on their hind legs with their front hooves on the top of the iron frame and bony wings spread wide guarded the Hourglass from either side. No one, not even drunks, dared to desecrate the sacred monument, not because they couldn’t afford the council’s fine but because even the drunks in Black Wick believed in The Reaper’s Wrath.
“Well, well, well. Wot we got ‘ere then, eh?”
Dianna recognised the slurred words of a drunken man all too well.
“Pretty lil’ lady out fer ‘er walkies” Came the boisterous reply of the first drunks friend. She didn’t look around, that’d be a sign of fear, no she changed paths and instead of going around the Hourglass, she went to it. They wouldn’t dare touch her there, The Reaper was said to protect anyone who touched the Hourglass bulbs when they genuinely needed help.
She’d never enlisted The Reaper’s help before, but then again she’d never been followed by some drunken guys who were probably going to do something terrible to her if they got hold of her. The footsteps were getting closer, closer; a hand brushed the ends of her hair.
Dianna sped up, hearing the men laugh and feeling them reach out again she thought Aw, sod this, I ain’t playing their sick game!
She ran for the Hourglass like her life depended on it, which it might.
“Oi! Don’tcha runs from us lil’ missy! We just wanna ‘ave a bit’o fun wiv ya!” One of them bellowed at her, he and his friend were running now.
Right at the last few steps to the Hourglass the men caught her, trying to wrestle her to the floor. Reaching out Dianna just managed to brush the Hourglasses lower bulb with her fingers.
A low sound suddenly resounded through the air, more a vibration than a sound and, unbelievably, the sound of horse hooves suddenly began to clatter towards them. The drunken men paused, looked up then started to laugh at her.
“Aw, does the ‘ittl girly wirly still believe in da big bad Reaper? Hahaha!” The man laughed again and hit her head against the pavement, lights danced behind her eyes. They can’t hear the horse. She thought. If they can’t hear it then why can I? Her thoughts where shattered by the sound of a horse bellowing loudly from behind them.
One of the drunken men screamed and the other let go of Dianna, turned and screamed a hilariously high pitched scream. Seizing the opportunity, she shoved the men away from her and got up. She froze, seeing exactly what had made the men scream like a pair of girls, there, stood in the mouth of an alley was The Grim Reaper upon a midnight black stallion which had muscles standing out like iron cable and fire burning in the pits of its nostrils. As if in slow motion the horse reared up, fire billowing from the pits of its nostrils, and then lunged forward with a tremendous bellow straight for the drunken men. They scattered, screaming and waving their arms around wildly.
The Reaper’s scythe barely missed cutting the top off one of their heads, chopping a lot of his hair off instead. He turned the horse around and swung the scythe at his friends head, again missing by a hairsbreadth, and chopped a large chunk of hair from the back. Even if The Reaper wasn’t going to kill them, they would surely die of embarrassment from their new haircuts which he’d given them. The men ran away into the darkness of an alleyway, poor Dianna had fallen flat on her butt in surprise at seeing the guardian of Black Wick right in front of her. The Reaper turned the horse to face her, hopped off and walked to her. Dianna looked up at The Reaper as he approached her, black robes billowing around his skeletal form.
He looked down at her then held his hand out to her, not wanting to offend The Grim Reaper, she tentatively took it. The Reaper gently pulled her to her feet, then, just as gently, he led her towards his horse. Dianna had no idea what was going on as The Reaper gently put both hands on her waist and lifted her onto his horse. The horse was horribly tall, taller than any horse she’d ever seen. She could feel its muscles moving underneath her and clung as gently as she could to its beautiful black mane so as not to fall. The Reaper waited until she was reasonably balanced on his horses back before letting go slowly then leaping on behind her, slipping his arms between hers and taking hold of the reins. Dianna’s heart was racing, was The Reaper taking her to her death?
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