Shorts: Reaper’s Market

This short story is Chapter 1 to my first novel “The Reaper’s puppet”.

These are short parts of the story, that have been edited and reedited to create the actual chapters of the novel.

 

The beautiful burnt skies slowly drew to a close, hiding the sun with a deeper shade. An old watchtower stood silently guarding the market town. He stood with the posture of a haggard gentleman, gazing down at the villages closing up their stalls for the evening.

A faint chill flew with the wind, hurrying both customers and salesmen to call it a day. The town became dormant in minutes, silent and still. An armored figure walked casually into the market, touching one of the wooden stalls.

“Closed already?” the man asked, looking over his shoulder, six men dressed in the same attire joined the guard.

“This happens every year Sir, what is the meaning of this?” one of the men queried.

The first guard scanned the area, “Avalin Young,” he replied with a sharp tone, “I know you’re lurking somewhere around here. Quit playing games and come quietly for once!” he shouted, his voice echoing through the streets.

In the distance a couple of wooden kegs tumbled to the stone pavement; rolling towards the guard’s, the fire crackers hidden inside exploded as they reached their target.

“What makes you think I will ever come quietly?” a female voice called from a distance.

“Show yourself!” the head guard growled, his vision clouded by the smokescreen. The female voice laughed, walking slowly through the fog with small crop scythes in each hand. Her hair was coloured white-blonde; the curls tied in a messy ponytail with a piece of cloth. Her eyes were dyed like sapphires, her clothes tight to her body, yet tattered like rags. A smirk appeared across her face, launching herself at the head guard.

“Do you know what today is?” Avalin young asked, holding one of her crop scythe’s on his throat.

“I believe it is December fifth,” one of the other guards replied.

“Why does that have any relevance!” the head guard snapped.

“Today is my birthday,” she smiled, removing her weapon from his throat, “So can you not just leave me alone for one day please?”

“After the crimes you committed, you shouldn’t even be allowed to stand on our streets,” he growled, removing a pistol from his leather holster.

Avalin snarled at the heavily armored group; backing off slowly as the head guard fire a bullet at a small silver bell dangling at the foot of the watchtower. The alarm was ear-piercing; ringing through the dormant town, waking ever man, woman and child from their beds. Commander Grey nodded to his man, each of them pulled out their silver rapiers from the holsters.

“Get her!” he growled. His men scrambled towards the intruder in the market, rapiers held across their bodies. She stepped back slowly waiting for the opportune moment to strike her enemy. As one man approached her, Avalin grabbed him by his tiny throat, swinging him into the other guards. She drew her rusted crop scythes from her holsters, holding up her guard.

“Come at me Commander, I dare you.” She smirked, her sapphire eyes fixed on the armored man.

“Don’t test me child. Have you forgotten your place? You are a criminal, don’t you forget that!” Commander Grey shouted in reply.

The town’s people watched from their open windows and front doors, some carrying the smaller children in their arms. A faint cry from one baby filled the still atmosphere; its mother tried to rock it back to sleep with a soothing lullaby. Avalin turned her head slowly round towards the mother and baby, her cold eyes leaked small crystal tears. The lullaby the young mother was whispering to her child touched her heart.

“Thinking about your poor deceased mother,” Commander Grey snorted at the girl. In the brief moment she was distracted, her guard was down and he was standing behind her. Avalin’s sapphire eyes widened, she felt a sharp pain rush through her body; her enemy struck her, between into her boney spine with an impenetrable force. His fist, heavy with metal armor rammed into her fragile body.

 

Avalin’s skinny legs buckled under the weight of her heavy body, as she fell she turned back slowly, glaring deep into her enemies soul. She lie on the dirty ground, her muscles crying with agony.

Commander Grey towered over the young girl, “I’ve waited so long to catch you, Avalin Young,” he sniggered, “You know, I feel sorry for your poor deceased mother.” Avalin glared at him, her sapphire eyes like daggers into his. She slowly pulled her body from the dusty ground, like a puppet on a string.

“She must have gone through hell, giving birth to a demon like you.” He remarked. Avalin’s perfect proportioned face screwed up in anger, she gripped tight of her rusty crop scythes.

“You have no right to speak about my mother,” she spat at her enemy, her blood beginning to boil.

“That’s rich coming from her killer,” Commander Grey smirked, “Don’t make me laugh, outlaw.”

Avalin scolded, her grip tightening on the rusty scythes. Suddenly she ran at her enemy, striking hard against his shiny armor. Commander Grey seized his opportunity to punch the young girl hard in her pale face. She was sent flying backwards; tumbling into a wooden market stall, crashing into a pile of empty barrels. Crimson tears dripped from her peach lips, streaking down her chin.

Commander Grey’s grin grew smug, “All you have to do is come with me.” Avalin young slowly pushed her tried body from the rumble, crimson stains on her suede gloves, as she staggered towards her enemy. The young girl held up her guard, both hands gripping tightly to rusty crop scythes.

“Just give up already kid, it’s useless trying to fight me,” the guard grinned.

Avalin Young continued to stand her ground, her guard firmly up, “I will never stop fighting.”

The amored man sighed,  “I admire your determination, but save us both the hassle and give up already.”

“Never!” the young girl screamed. The townspeople stared at her, frightened of her abilities.

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