In a desolate world where the continents have shifted and the climate can rise and drop within a matter of hours.
Our story begins in the north, near what was once known as Darwin. The land is split and controlled by various factions, each ruled with an iron fist by a single 'Prophet'.
We find our hero or anti-hero (I will let you decide), in a desolate wasteland of old Australia.
He is a 'Bacca'.
A soldier for hire.
Fighting when he is told to and drinking when he is not.
He drinks to forget...
To forget his past and the things he has done...
Hello and welcome.
Thank you for choosing to read Sword out of all the other books on here, I am extremely grateful.
It contains violence and blood but it is not rated mature, so be warned.
This is my second endeavour into writing. So please don't hesitate to comment good or bad.
The updates on this book will be very slow as I am currently working on 'Aurora' my other book.
Title book: Sword - A Book of The Damned
Author: Lee Dawson
Copyright © 2017, Lee Dawson
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, stored in a database and/or published in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
He reaches for the familiar grip. Feeling comfort in the silk wrappings as it moulds to his remaining fingers. He takes a deep breath, holding it. He tightens his fist feeling the ancient shark's' skin beneath. Letting out his breath, he releases his sword from its sheath, he holds it by his side, point facing away as he moves into his stance. First his left foot, toes pointing away, then he plants his right and waits. He waits for the signal. They all do.
He looks around himself, men to his left, men to his right and even a few women dotted here and there. They all have different clothing, some in hide, some in denim, even some in skin. He closes his eyes with a shiver at the thought, smelling the dried-out flesh. He looks around noticing the various weapons. There are machetes, hatchets, bats wrapped with wire, old Bowie knives, a few maces, various hammers big and small, even some halberds. There is a small group with short recurve bows. And even a battle axe with a blade the size of a bulls' head. That one wielded by Dax, a great slab of a man six and a half foot of pure muscle.
He takes a deep breath, taking in the surrounding stench. His eyes focusing on the task at hand. He relaxes his grip then tightens again. Snapping his eyes open he looks forwards, trying to block out the surrounding sounds. He senses the start coming as the men around him start to fan out giving him more room. He has only noticed this recently. They seem to respect his strange skills but the way they look at him, they almost seem scared somehow. He wipes it from his memory as he continues to loosen then tighten his grip, waiting.
Then he sees them, the large caravan moving towards their position, bright lamps shining out, lighting their way. The lead carriage old but well-kept. He can see the old language scroll work even from this distance. Beautiful, he thinks, then remembers. 'They will be heavily armed and aggressive,' they told him. 'Carrying riches, you wouldn't believe. Be vigilant and merciless, they will be the same.'
He shakes his head, trying to clear his mind. 'Focus,' he barks through gritted teeth. He breathes out relaxing his muscles, he rolls his neck and relaxes his grip. 'Mmm, better,' he says to himself, the last thing he needs is for everyone to think he's mad too.
'Ready yourselves,' he hears through the haze of his mind. 'And wait for my signal you dogs, then, we attack,' this, he hears more clearly. He breathes in and out again tensing, preparing himself for the coming carnage and slaughter.
The caravan is near now, he can see the blue eyes of the coacher on the lead carriage. He senses the others around him now as they all tense, seeming to almost vibrate. That want to kill and be drenched in the blood of your enemies, something he has felt many times before again and again. He embraces it now forgetting what he used to be. He forgets his past and almost revels in the fight to come now.
Here it comes, the caravan is almost upon them now. He breathes out again feeling the fury building inside, his heart racing, the hairs rising all across his body. He clenches his teeth and then smiles thinking only one thought, 'this was what I was made for.' Then it comes.
'NOWWW, move NOWWWWW,' comes the signal from his left.
He moves first, sprinting forwards from the shadows, his blade by his side. He is silent as he leaps, he goes up high, swings once and lands in a crouch looking for his next victim as the coacher's head lands in the mud behind him. The horses carry on for a few strides then start to slow. He can hear screams now as the others join the fight. The screams of men and horses alike.
He flicks his wrist removing the blood from his blade as he moves towards the next carriage. His feet glide across the muddied ground, his footsteps almost silent. He reaches the next to the sounds of screams and cuts off a man to his left as he darts around the corner. The blade silent as it bites into his neck and comes out at the hip. He pivots and strikes upwards taking another in the leg severing it at the knee. He breathes out calming his heart as he flicks his wrist again.
Then he is off again, he races around the carriage focusing as his senses take over. He sprints to his left towards the noise. He rounds another carriage and drops to his knees, he skids in the mud as a large pole misses his head by inches. Still skidding, he swings back feeling the smallest bit of resistance. It's followed by a blood-curdling cry.
He's up and away before the body hits the floor. He walks this time, heading towards the screams once more. He can see the others now, hacking and slashing wildly, with no grace or finesse, their victims' falling at their feet, a bloody mess.
That's when he notices it, the carriages surrounding him bare the 'Borers mark'. They are a quiet and peaceful tribe of the Wanou'ee clan. He looks, now only realizing the pure carnage and slaughter everywhere around him. The mud around his boots slick with blood.
He tenses feeling his muscles bulging, the veins in his neck protruding like fat purple worms. He clenches his fists, open and close, open and close. He starts to shake as his jaw tightens. He closes his eyes trying to block it out, his breathing coming in gasps, his head starts to spin, then nothing, complete blackness in his mind. No sound. No light. Only darkness.
He wakes to the smell of burnt wood. He's kneeling in the mud, head bent, his sword thrust into the ground, it glistens in the slither of morning light rising in the east. He lifts his head breathing in through a bloodied nose. He wipes at it, smearing blood across his bare arm and face. Grabbing the tsuka of his sword he rises to his feet, his bones clicking and crunching from years of battles. He removes an old rag from his pocket and wipes down his blade before sheathing it.
He looks around on a scene of gore and carnage. Burnt and splintered carriages surround him, the sky thick with black smoke. He breathes it in, feeling the familiar burning in his lungs. He stretches up feeling his bones cracking one by one and the weight of his wet and muddy clothes. He starts to walk away passing burnt and hacked up bodies. He notices his comrades between the slaughter. He sees Gabriel and Karl both sliced in half, they lay almost together, side by side. He continues walking pulling his boots from the blood-soaked mud. He stops by a bull-headed man, Dax. He's missing an arm and has a large cut from his left ear down to his chest. It was delivered in one stroke, from a sword of the finest quality, his.
Walking on, he can see Dax's missing arm. He looks back to where he finally fell. He raises his eyebrows with a sense of appreciation and awe, he must be at least a hundred feet back. Impressive, he thinks. To carry on that far bleeding out his lifeblood.
He moves around the side of a burnt-out carriage, feeling the warmth as he brushes past. He freezes, his hand finding his katana on instinct. In front of him, he sees a wriggling form beneath a pile of bodies. He slows his breathing, his eyes focusing on what is to come. He watches as a small man with a muscular back, crawls out on hands and knees. He reaches with each hand, digging in the mud, trying to pull himself free.
He rolls his shoulders ready to attack, bracing his feet, his hand finding the tsuka of his katana. He takes in a sharp breath relaxing.
'Kamon?' He asks, knowing full well that it is him.
The small man freezes on the spot, hand reaching to an empty holster. He panics, his hands start to shake as his eyes dart back and forth looking for anything he could use.
'Kamon. Relax, you have nothing to fear from Me,' he says with a hint of a smile.
'I, I, I ...' He stutters, trying to stop himself shaking. He tries to relax but instead becomes even tenser, as his mind realizes who is behind him. He turns on his heel with arms outstretched, hoping that the killer blow doesn't come. He blinks in surprise at the figure kneeling down in front of him. He looks to be digging in the dirt, looking for something, unafraid in this compromising position.
'It's you? The one who turned on us. You killed...' He looks around at the carnage. 'All of us?' He says almost asking a question. 'Why? Why did you turn on us?' He asks, not really wanting an answer. He finally meets his eyes, green with creases at the edge, making him look older than his years. He notices a faded scar on his right cheek that reaches to his chin.
'Yes. Turned on you I did.' His voice monotone. 'Look closely Kamon. Look at what we have destroyed.' He waves his hand toward the burning wagons and the dead. 'Settlers. Peaceful settlers, from the Wanou'ee clan. Do you know who they are? They started the 'Bundo' movement. They preach peace above all else. And we slaughtered them.' He looks at the ground clenching his fists, shaking with rage.
'I, I, I.' Kamon looks around again taking it all in this time. He can see it now, the clan markings on the sides of the carriages. 'What have we done?' He looks up falling to his knees. He sinks into the mud not caring. 'We only followed our orders.'
'BULLSHIT!' He screams. 'Our orders were to take from bandits, NOT! Peaceful settlers. We killed for no reason. And he knew it too. He knew what and who we were attacking.'
'We had orders,' he says, averting his eyes. He tries to get up but thinks better of it. 'We follow and obey. That is our way.' He pleads, not daring to look up this time.
'Enough,' he whispers, barely audible in the wind. 'Get up,' louder this time. He turns his head, listening. Nothing, he thinks absently.
Kamon gets to his feet, his left leg showing a pool of blood beneath him. He straightens himself, standing taller with effort. He looks forward trying to not catch his eye. 'Will you kill me like the rest?' He asks, his voice shaking as he speaks.
At first, he gets nothing back, this man, this killer silhouetted in front of him doesn't even move. He shivers, feeling the prickle of death himself, brush his spine. He searches for any sign of compassion but sees nothing. He looks into those deep pools the shade of green and instantly wishes he didn't, but now unwilling to look away. He stands up as straight as his leg will allow, takes a deep breath and braces for the final blow.
So, focused on the man's eyes he barely hears him at first. He blinks feeling the grit in his eyes. 'You will return.'
'What!' He blurts.
'I said you will return to him!' He growls. 'I will not repeat it a fourth time.'
'Yes, yes, I will return,' he stammers.
'You will take this message back and tell him. If we cross paths again or if I cross paths with the 'death dealers' again, you will all DIE.' He says the last with such malice it makes Kamon physically recoil. He looks across to the carnage that surrounds him, he shakes his head in disgust. 'DO YOU UNDERSTAND?'
'Yes." a whisper.
'I did not hear you. Do you understand Kamon?'
'YES!' He shouts, instantly regretting it.
The Nomad just stares. His face a mask of stone, unchanging in the now howling wind. 'Go,' he says. And with that he turns and walks back toward his killing field, leaving a bleeding Kamon alone surrounded by the fallen.
Thanks for reading.
New chapters will be posted When I can.
He removes his scarf, breathing in the fresh air. It's still tainted with the remnants of the sandstorm that just passed. He takes a small sip from his canteen and then sets off again. He heads south into the morning heat feeling the sweat already dripping down his marked arms. The sun rises from the south now. He was told once, as a child by the old ones that it was once different. The whole of this land different in another lifetime. Now the land is scorched with little life. With a sparse handful of towns and various outposts scattered throughout this barren continent.
He pulls the straps of his satchel tighter, feeling the old horse hair through his dirty shirt. He wraps the scarf around his face once more, the dusty sand invading his nostrils. He walks again through day and night, his legs feeling good from the strain. He climbs over a dune and sees a faint light to the east, it glows like a beacon in the surrounding dusk.
'Finally.' he mumbles. 'A decent meal for you tonight me thinks.' He closes his eyes, making them water at the sides, the tears almost dry as they reach his cheeks. He takes another step feeling the tiredness in his legs as his body start to relax. He pushes on, his mouth watering at the thought of a fresh meal. Trudging down the dune, his feet sinking up to his knees, he strains his muscles as he pulls them through. He reaches the bottom hitting solid ground. He twists and crunches his feet feeling the smaller rocks and sand through his boots. He sets off again on a much flatter route joining an old worn in path heading straight for the town.
Just a little teaser.
More to come soon...