But a Moment's Courage

I am a hesitant author please be kind with my stores.

Image of Set Stories Free - 2018
Image of Short Story
Cold winds howl. As it has been for nye on a thousand years. The tyrant has had a tight hold on the nation for far longer than any should. All view it as unnatural, yet none have it with in them to stand. Yet it is the greedy tyrant's fault the lands grow fallow, the cattle thin and deadened, and illness sweeps the land. Yet cosy in his castle he sits ruling with iron fist killing all who appose him in gruesome public ways. None can stand. For when the greedy tyrant dose emerge from his palace he is clad in blacks and rust colored brown armor of massive build. Clad in such he kills all who challenge him. He has struck down kings, queens, princes, and dukes all with a fell swing of his sword.

What am I to him? What could I possibly change? For I am just a simple woman. A peasant no less. I stand before him in what?  Simple leather jerkin, pants of homespun cotton, soft well worn boots. Armed with naught but a simple bow and arrow. Never have I taken a life of another man, only have I hunted ever. My master, an ancient man of kind disposition, when he learned of my aim taught me then the aim of a hawk. Before we came to the castle of black stone he taught me how to hit the eye of any beast at any range. Yet how could I a peasant hunter defeat him? The slits of his visor the size of paper slits. I cannot aim that well. I cant! The cold wind howls louder carrying it an unnatural cold and unholy voice whispering my death to me. Fear claws up my spine and whispers through my hair. Looking to my side I see my master smile encouragingly at me yet his eyes held the same fear I felt. Closing my eyes I steady my heart.

My mind shows me once more the terror the man before me wrought. My mind travels home to thin farms and broken homes. From there to the green forests of old, then finally to he home of my master barren of the trees that once grew there a broken place that still held the air of what it once was. I steady my heart and ready my hand.

I open my eyes. Before me the tyrant is barring down upon me. I feel the cold wind upon my skin feel the fear in my spine. Yet unerringly I raise my arm. My bow a solid comfort. My arm steady as I pull the arrow back red feathers brushing my cheek. Aim....the creature before me howls, breath in.....it snorts in rage great fell sword raised, and....fear whispers in my ear, release. The arrow jumps away from me with a low thrum. Hissing through the cold,cold air. It seems an eternity before the arrow hits. The beast before me halts. The tyrant's blade falls from limp fingers. My arrow holds firm in his left eye. The world holds its breath, as he and his cruelly finally,finally,fall. The tyrant is dead.

The wind dies, crops grow, cattle fatten, disease die, trees regrow, and hope is borne. A good king sits upon the thrown, my master, with me at his side. Peace had finally come, and from but a moments courage.