Chapter 1: Dark Forecast

Chapter 1: Dark Forecast

A Chapter by Gregory Hill

Constructive Criticism needed!


      A dozen well-shod hooves clattered down an unnamed road. The road was nothing special, barely set apart from the billowing heads of grain that covered the well-plowed ground. But, like everything in this land, it had a history. A history that was long forgotten, even in legend. Even as the winds of time and the storms of ages washed away empires, and established the new, the road did not change. It had held peasants, and kings alike. It had seen evils and good, reign and pass. It had seen the birth of ages now turned to dust. And yet, in all its lifetimes of being, only once had it ever beheld this sight. It was not one that the road wished to recall.

      Six men also beheld the sight. They were Dakri, a band of elite soldiers under the command of Lord Assiri. As Dakri, they had trained all their life to to be as cold as steel. No matter the deed, and no matter the victim, they executed it with cold-blooded certainty. Even as Dakri, however, the scene before them stirred their emotions.

     A sign, once proclaiming the name of the mud-thatched inn, hung awry, obscured by a crimson stain. The men's horses pranced uneasily on the rough-hewn cobblestones, and an acrid stench rolled into the air. A rough, dark mud oozed onto the once white stones under their hooves. All fell silent. Even the horses were rigid. It was a dead silence, the likes of which nothing living should ever hear. A silence, like a grave, surrounding the unholy heap of carnage that littered the village square. A silence which heralded the darkness of our world.

      From the pile of bodies, faces stared back at the Dakri. Faces pleading, accusing, and rebuking the men for their deeds, and the deeds of others. Faces full of pain. Faces that once smiled and laughed. Faces that would never smile again. Man, woman, and child, they lay there, never to rise. As the men looked from face to face, from body to body, from woman to child, they knew it was not a sight they would ever forget. Not a sight they could ever forget. With one last glance, the Dakri, as one, turned and rode away. The road, at it watched them leave, sighed. For this was only the beginning. The end was worse.


      The Dakri rode well into the night. When they did finally stop for sleep, it was at the edge of a small clearing beneath several large oaks that had seen better days. Even as they dismounted and tended to their horses, no one said a word. They had seen their share of carnage, but somehow this felt different, and somehow they were not yet rid of it. They lit a fire and had a quick dinner of roast lamb which they had saved and warmed on the fire. With dark thoughts and darker faces the Darkri, one by one, left the small fire until one remained. His name was Nathan. As the eldest of the five Dahkri, he was seen as their superior, though, as they were always following orders, leadership was rarely needed. Even so, he had been a Dahkri for a decade now and had, over the years, developed a...sense. It told him when things were not as they seemed or when things were not quite right. A sense which had kept him alive these ten years and resigned countless others to their grave. A sense which now was anything but silent. He was not foolish enough to ignore it, however, without knowing the cause, there was nothing he could do but stay alert.

      The fire was dying down and for whatever reason, Nathan felt that it would be best to keep it going. Heading into the stand of gnarled oaks, Nathan heard the howl of a lone wolf, far away, yet he stopped in his tracks. Lord Assiri had seen wolves as omen's of ruin, and had cleared the land of them less than a year ago. This far from the border of the wild lands, if there were indeed wolves, the border was gravely weakened, and had been for some time.

     Absentmindedly loosening his sword in its sheath, he began gather fallen wood. There was quite a lot, for even thought it was well into spring, none of the trees had any new growth and many were no longer standing at all. Bending to pick up yet another branch, something inside him stirred. Something was wrong. Dropping the wood, he slid his sword from its sheath and with the deft steps one who had spent a quarter of his life in the dark, he slipped back towards camp. Rounding the last faded oak, Nathan stopped. He was too late.

© 2013 Gregory Hill

Author's Note

Gregory Hill
Please don't just say its good or bad, give me at least something small I can fix about it! Anything, if it sounds wrong or doesn't fit well, just say it! Thanks Guys

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I think you should switch uneasily and pranced in the 3rd paragraph: "The men's horses uneasily pranced on the rough-hewn cobblestones..."

Posted 10 Years Ago

Likin' it. Likin' it.
Okay, something small to change about it; never speak to the reader. It pulls them out of the narrative, reminds them that this is just a story, messes up the picture you're painting in their minds. "...if you will," in Paragraph 5, was that kind of point. Second person point of view. I'd try and avoid parts like that.
I'd read on, though, so keep writing!

Posted 13 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on August 27, 2010
Last Updated on June 25, 2013


Gregory Hill
Gregory Hill

Fallbrook, CA

Hi all I dont like writing about myself so I will be brief. I am 16 and I live in Fallbrook Ca. How much more brief can you get? I have some songs I like on here: more..

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