[Author’s Note: Here is the conclusion to the story. Sorry it’s up so late. Here’s the first part in case you missed it.]
The Apocalpse of Blythe – Part 4
And then Blythe heard something. A voice, low but strong and coming from… It can’t be… it felt like it was coming from her own sword.
~I am vengeance.~
~I will destroy the maggot that would harm you.~
What is going on? Who are you?
It spoke words of terrible vengeance, words of torture and pain. The words did not echo aloud in the dark alley. They spoke directly in her mind. The tip of her sword began to glow faintly as if it had been left in a fire.
And then she understood.
The sword had awoken. It had a mind and a will of its own. It had become the violent anger in Blythe’s heart.
She stood and cleared her throat.
Garron twisted back. “I thought I told you-“
“Not to run? Don’t worry. I won’t.”
Garron raised his sword again. “Perhaps you just need a stronger lesson.”
His braggadocio just infuriated her more. Blythe shook with anger.
“Perhaps you should just-“
Blythe felt the sword jerk upward in her hand. It clanged hard against Garron’s blade.
Her eyes widened. It had moved by itself. She hadn’t even consciously known Garron was making an attack.
But the sword knew.
Garron stepped back. He turned his head and stared at Blythe for a moment.
Blythe threw her weight forward. The sword aimed itself at his chest.
Garron dove backward and moved to parry.
The sword danced in Blythe’s hand, twisting and adjusting aim.
Garron’s sword missed and swung wide.
Blythe’s sword sunk itself into Garron’s thigh. It sizzled like meat in a hot pan.
Garron’s mouth opened wide and he made an obvious effort to scream, but no sound came out.
~Delicious. Just taste the fool’s pain and fear.~
The sword pulled itself free of his leg.
Very little blood seeped out the wound. The flesh had been seared, and it made a smell that was a cross between bacon and burning hair.
Garron attacked wide and hard like he would swing an ax.
The sword jerked again in Blythe’s hand and stopped his wild strike. The clash was loud, but she barely felt the contact at all.
~He will suffer.~
Garron came at her again and again in a wild frenzy.
It did him no good. The sword knew where every attack would land. It knew the perfect counter for every strike. And it loved the taste of his blood and his pain.
Garron tired quickly. His shoulders dropped, his mouth hung wide and he limped on his right leg.
Blythe’s beautiful hair twirled in the air as she danced around him. For the first time in her life, she was in total control. It felt good. No more being threatened or pushed around. Never again would she be simply the weak daughter of the tavern owner. Never again would any man dare to take advantage. She was strong, and she was angry, and now with her sword, she was lethal.
Blythe stopped and stared a moment into Garron’s eyes.
His eyes were wide and darted about like he was looking for a way out. Like he was terrified.
He had probably seen that same look in the eyes of his victims a dozen times, maybe more.
Blythe stood tall. “You are afraid. Perhaps you fear me like others have feared you.”
She reached up and ran the fingers of her left hand through her hair. “But it is not enough.”
A cold smile crossed her lips. She pointed the tip of her sword at his heart. “Justice demands more. “
Garron sucked in some air and swung again.
Blythe felt the sword lead her hand. It arced her parry downward and away.
The swords met.
Blythe’s wrist gave a subtle twist and Garron’s sword clattered to the ground.
Garron dropped to his knees and gasped. “Please.”
“How many times have others begged you?”
“I promise. I won’t-“
“Don’t lie to me.”
~Make him suffer.~
The sword pulled toward Garron’s face.
~Make him pay.~
Blythe took a step back. “No.”
She closed her eyes and shook her head. I can’t torture anyone, even him.
~He deserves this and more. Hurt him.~
But her burning anger was gone. She had won. She was in control.
Garron had lost, and he would always know it.
That’s enough. I don’t need to become a monster like-
Blythe lowered her sword and looked over at Mala huddled in the corner.
Mala’s breathing was shallow. Her clothes were ripped, and she shook uncontrollably. She hadn’t made a peep since the fighting began.
Blythe felt a ping of sorrow for the poor girl. She’s so weak. She’ll never be able to defend herself against… Maybe he does need to-
Garron let out a guttural yell.
He was diving through the air.
Blythe threw herself back. She wasn’t fast enough.
But her sword was.
The greasy villain fell headlong onto the tip. His weight pushed the searing blade clean through.
His yell transformed into a gasp of pain.
Blythe twisted and threw her left shoulder against his crashing body. He held all the stronger to the hilt with her right hand and pushed back.
His feet landed in an uneasy stance.
Their faces were inches apart.
Blythe could almost taste the ale Garron had drunk as a thin breath slipped from his lips.
Garron mouthed a couple of words. His legs wobbled. His cruel eyes widened even more in the dim light.
Blythe pushed hard with her left arm.
Garron’s weight tipped backwards. He made a feeble attempt to get his legs fully under him.
It was no use.
His torso leaned away, his body slid from the sword, and he collapsed in a heap onto the cold ground.
Blythe stepped back.
Garron’s body shook as he took his final wheezing breath.
It was over. He was gone.
A wave of guilt washed over Blythe. She had killed a man. A disgusting pig of a man, but he lay lifeless in an alley, and it was her doing.
To make things worse, no one had dared openly believe her when she told what he had done. Would they believe her when she declared it was self defense?
And what if his father…
The thought sent a shudder up her spine. His father controlled a lot of people. Would they imprison her for defending her life and virtue, as well as Mala’s? Would they hang her? She hadn’t considered what his father’s response might be. And what would everyone else in town would do? Would they see her as a hero, or would they be furious that she upset the status quo?
~I have a solution, but you must act tonight, before they know. While his family sleeps, you just-~
A knot cinched up in her stomach and she dropped the sword.
The clank echoed in the silent alley.
That would be murder. I can’t…
Blythe looked up again at Mala.
Mala’s tiny frame continued to quiver, but she made no sound.
She’s so tiny. And still so frightened.
Blythe made up her mind. She walked over to Garron’s tossed-aside shirt, picked it up, and tossed it to Mala.
“Put this on. Go home and burn it. Then do your best to forget everything that’s happened tonight.”
Mala took a deep breath and nodded.
Blythe reached down and picked up her sword.
A stiff breeze whipped down the alley.
Mala fumbled with the stained shirt.
Blythe turned and ran off into the night.