The Heartless Bastard
“Only a fool would do this.” Thomas grunted as he placed a mug of frothy ale on the table. As he sat down, people looked away quickly. The other patrons did not want to meet him eye level, which only added to his annoyance. Unconsciously, he touched the many small hills and valleys on his face.
“And you are a fool for following me, old man,” laughed the woman across from him. Cerulean eyes peeked from under a black velvet hat. She winked as she reached over for the mug and took a sip. The other patrons began whispering around her, some even pointing a finger at her velvet hat.
“I suppose it is working,” Thomas said flatly. The patrons scooted out of their chairs and quickly made for the back end of the tavern. Two rows of armed men, wearing full-bodied armor of the holy knights, filed into the tavern and lined around Thomas and the woman.
A holy knight with a draped silver cape over his right shoulder entered the tavern. He twisted his thin mustache as he swaggered and stopped a few paces from the pair. “What do we have here? Two scum sucking rebels shamelessly drinking in the open and no less the King’s tavern?”
Thomas sighed and folded his arms across his chest. “It seems I wasn’t aware that it is Fool’s day today.”
“Watch your mouth, ugly!” barked the holy knight.
“How original,” said Thomas and reached over and snatched the mug from the woman. “I’ll let you deal with him.” He nudged his chin at the silver caped knight.
The woman frowned and turned around. “I was expecting Sir Gerimiah, not some pig dressed in armor prancing around as an Archmon of the holy knights?”
“You whore! How dare you speak to me?” The Archmon raged and pulled out his sword. “You two will die now!”
“Hold up,” said the woman. “Are you sure that me and my friend are rebels?”
“Of course you two are. That hat has the symbol of the enemy of the holy Divine,” said the Archmon.
“Or I could’ve picked up this fine hat off a dead rebel body,” said the woman.
“Why would you do that?” The Archmon then shook his head. “Wait, I know what you’re trying to do!”
“Do what?” asked the woman innocently.
“What you are doing now. Enough of this prattle!” The Archmon wavered his sword with an air of authority. “Take them out now!”
None of the knights moved. The Archmon wavered his sword again. “Kill them now!” Still the knights did not move. The patrons, who had been watching the ordeal, whispered among themselves. The Archmon turned to one of the knights and pointed a sword. “You there, do you not hear my order!”
There was a creaking sound and the soldier’s helmet fell over, followed by a pink slush of flesh. The Archmon took a step back, his face paling as the rest of the other knights followed suite. Armors clanked onto the ground and liquid flesh fell into pools around the armors. The patrons screamed and sprinted out of the tavern, leaving the ‘rebels’ and the Archmon alone.
The woman looked over to Thomas who shrugged. “It wasn’t me,” he said and took a sip of ale.
“You two are not rebels. You are monsters,” quivered the Archmon. The hand holding his sword shook uncontrollably. “Monsters!”
“If we’re monsters, shouldn’t you try to kill us?” smirked the woman.
The Archmon looked at her, then Thomas and then his shaking sword. He repeated this over and over, unaware of a pair of slender hands closing around this head. His neck crackled, twisted at an odd angle as he slunk onto the ground. Standing behind the Archmon’s body was a figure draped from head to toe in white, face covered by a frosty cloth.
“Hello, wifey,” said the woman, waving a hand. “I should’ve known this was your doing.”
Thomas was wide-eyed and wiped his mouth. “Mistress Avanti.” He stood up abruptly and bowed. “Forgive us! It was Reese’s idea.”
“Traitor,” said Reese.
Avanti flicked a finger of silence. “We will talk later but we must leave. The others will not take lightly the death of their companions.” She looked around. “A shame that such specimens had to be disposed.”
“I shall make a way, mistress.” Thomas picked up the table and flung it away. He made a series of quick hand movements before tapping a foot on the ground. There was a sucking sound and a round shadow appeared where the table had been.
Avanti walked over the Archmon’s body and disappeared into the shadow.
“You think she’s mad at me?” said Reese, scratching her head under her hat.
“If she is, I don’t want to be you,” said Thomas and followed Avanti into the shadow.
Reese looked around. The pools of pink flesh had already sunk into the cracks of the wooden planks. The Archmon’s dead eyes looked at her, trapped in fear. She shook her head and walked into the shadow.