Shadow Dancer

The midnight air was rotten with the sweat of working men and spilled alcohol. The tavern was full of the hollers of drunkards and the catty cackles of the night women. Galairon sat in the dark corner of The Ruddy Cudgel writing in the near darkness.

“These streets are walked by sinners. Blood flows in the gutters and mixes with the shit and filth of the people that reside here. All around me I see rapists, murderers and molesters, not a single innocent soul among them. Fine by me, no guilt for the inevitable collateral there will be tonight. There are no victims here, only retribution.”

Galairon stabbed the last full stop causing the ink to splatter. He raised his hood as he stood and finished the foamy bitter brew. With a subtle wave of his hand, Galairon summoned a wind spell and all the flames lighting the bar went out. The tavern became an uproar as the scum fumbled for a source of light, many walked toward the exit.

“Felix. ‘Killjoy’. Forester!” Galairon yelled above the riot, using the power of the wind to amplify his voice. The crowd let out screams and whimpers of fright as the voice boomed. With a click of his finger, a single wall sconce lit up in the opposite corner of the tavern to reveal a heavy set, bearded man with a heavily broken nose and a deep scar in a vertical line down his left cheek ending just by his mouth. The brute looked unimpressed by the show of magic as he continued to drink his beer and eight of his goons surrounded his table at the edge of the light.

“So many guards for such a weak link in the chain. You’re going to tell me about Yolden Vass, if I need to tear you apart limb from limb.” Galairon drew out the last words. The mention of Vass made Forester pay attention suddenly.

“Who are you?” he slurred, “Too afraid to show yourself?” He laughed and was joined in chorus by his goons.

Aiming a fist in the darkness, Galairon loosed his wrist mounted boltgun; the bolt flew across the bar and caught the goon to Forester’s right in the teeth, shattering them into pieces, and continued to travel through the back of his neck and nailed it too the back of the wall. The wide-eyed goon took a moment to come to terms with his death before he collapsed over his boss, bleeding all over his clothes. Forester pushed the gurgling body to the floor and stood, instinctively wiping the blood off his pants. The second bolt loosed from the boltgun and shattered Forester’s knee. As Forester crashed to the floor and he saw two glowing blue eyes staring through the darkness, then they were gone.

The unsavoury patrons began to run for the exits, but a few of the braver brutes stayed to watch by the bar.

“Get some fucking light in here!” shouted Forester as his grubby skin began to turn pale.

There was a click of fingers, and all the lights sparked into action. Galairon was nowhere to be seen. The thugs stood their ground, searching the now empty room for a sign of the attacker. Then, from the rafters, Galairon dropped, two daggers in hand which he sunk into the back of one thug who had strayed a little further out than his companions. As the blood spurted from the mortal wound, Galairon span round on his toes, throwing the two crimson blades with unbelievable accuracy into the throats of two other goons. As the remaining four began to react, cudgels in hand, Galairon completed his spin, unsheathing a beautiful curved sword. The blade rang until its master sliced one of the gang from crotch to chin, spilling vital fluids and chunks to the sticky floor. The blade now above Galairon’s head, he used the momentum of his spin to dexterously avoid a blow from the side. The attackers mistake was his last as the swift blade split his head from his neck creating a crimson geyser and his flabby body convulsed to the deck, convinced it would stand back up. With his back to the last two guards, Galairon fired the final bolt from his wrist gun into the foot of one, pinning his foot to the floor before silencing him with a pirouetted diagonal slice from shoulder to abdomen. Still kept in place by tissue, the upper torso took a second to fold over backwards spilling its gory contents over the now red floor. The final gang member stood dumbfounded at the ferocity and speed of the attacker, he simply closed his eyes and waited for death. Galairon blasted him with a wind spell into the wall, making him useless, but alive.

“Just me and you now Forester.” Galairon spoke without any sign of effort, “Where is my family?”

Forester chuckled, “You’re him, huh? Galairon the Shadow Dancer. With a name like that, I expected you to be, less, impressive.”

“Tell me where they are!” growled Galairon, he took down his hood to reveal his face for the first time in the light. His bright blue irises contrast his dark skin. A neat beard was diminished by a fanged grimace and forever marred by a claw marked scar across his cheek and lips.

“By the Gods, a true Fael.” Marvelled the wounded leader almost drunkenly. “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”

With a flash, an orange globe of flame appeared in Galairon’s hand threateningly.

“You think I’m scared of you, elf, after the things I’ve seen. The Dread Master has shown me a future you cannot begin to fathom.”

“The Dread Master, huh?” Galairon managed a chuckle, “Is that what Yolden refers to himself as these days?”

Forester laughed, “The Dread Master, Yolden Vass, even he is but a pawn in the nightmare game you’re trying to play.”

“Where are my family?” Galairon forced, raising the flame to Forester’s face.

“I have seen the end Galairon, I know what awaits you. Maybe we’ll meet again sometime.” With a last effort of strength and speed, Forester stuck a bizarre knife into his leg which unleashed an ungodly stench upon impact. As he covered his mouth and nose Galairon was flung through the air by an unseen force emanating from Forester’s body. Galairon twisted in the air enabling him to plant his feet against the wall before skilfully landing on his feet. Forester was gone, and the bodies of his followers had turned to ash. All that remained was the semi-conscious goon he had spared.

Walking across the empty tavern, the elf picked up a mug of ale and emptied its contents over the still living man. The youngster floundered and panicked as is the sticky draft was fire. Galairon pinned him against the wall looking into his frightened eyes.

“What do you know, boy?” grimaced the elf.

“Oh gods, I’m sorry, I was just repaying a debt I swear, please don’t kill me sir.” The boy was younger than Galairon had expected, perhaps considered a man by age, sixteen years old, but still a boy. He let him go and sat him down.

“How old are you boy?” said the elf with sincerity entering his voice. “What are you doing here with people like Forester?”

“My family owed him money sir. I was sent to run errands for him as a means to repay the funds. He took my sister to his hideout, I just wanted to try and get her back, honest.” The boy snivelled.

“Can you show me the way, boy? Can you lead me to his hideout?” said the elf calmly. The boy nodded. “Let’s get you cleaned up and you can take me in the morning. Do you have a place to stay?” The boy shook his head, “Then we shall rent a room here tonight. GILBERT!” yelled the elf suddenly. From a hatch beneath the bar came a large, bald man in a grubby apron.

“Where’s the bodies Glair? There’s not even any blood.” Said the barkeeper in a friendly tone.

“I feel that is going to be a long story when I find the answer to that. So, for now, I’ll tell you they’ve been taken care of. I need a room, for me and the boy here.” Said the elf.

“Don’t you go wrecking my rooms now!” joked the barman, “I didn’t think you were that way inclined” he sneered with joking eyes.

“The boy just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time my friend, I’ll get him cleaned up and rested, I think he’s had enough dealings with the underbelly types to last him for the rest of his life.”

The barkeeper smiled and tossed Galairon a key. “Be gentle.” He sniggered as the elf helped the boy up the stairs to the room.

Gilbert the barman meandered round his empty tavern shifting chairs under tables and collecting glasses. A shiny object from the corner of his eye caught the man’s attention. He bent down and picked it up. It was a strange knife made of a curious, greenish metal. More so, its engravings were hellishly beautiful and intricate, with a strange, many-eyed creature featured upon the grip. The barman pocketed the blade and continued his cleaning ritual as the early hours came creeping over the horizon.

Categories: Other WritingTags: , , , , , ,


Student of English Literature, Comparative Literature and Classics at Glasgow University. Aspiring writer and poet who dabbles in acting when he can. Or in short... "I like words"

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