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Labyrinth of the Mind
Short stories, whatever else.
The Chase
The forest was aflame, and all Rafael could see was fire in every direction. With one hand, he pulled his woolen cloak around his face, and with the other he gripped his sword tightly, his eyes scanning through the trees and black smoke. He wasn't looking for a way out, but rather, he was following someone.

Dante, that b*****d. Not only had he attacked Rafael's village in the middle of the night, but he'd stolen his woman too. Now the coward had fled into the fire that he and his men had started, thinking that they would get away with their spoils. There was no way Rafael was going to stand for this. Being the heir to the chiefdom, he had a reputation to uphold.

"Stop running, Dante! It's no use!" He said, running through a wall of flame into a small clearing. Two men attacked him, and he cut them down in a fury one after the other, leaving them bloody corpses in his wake.

"Forgive me... Master..." One of them spoke, reaching a bloody hand upward towards Dante, who was now face to face with Rafael.

Rafael regarded Dante. It was the first time he'd seen him so close. A prince of a rival neighboring tribe, young and boyish, not unlike Rafael himself.

Dante held his sword out before him, sweat pouring down his face. Strands of blonde hair hung over his steely blue eyes, which glared fixingly at Rafael.

"Rafael!" Jean cried out from behind the blonde prince, her red and white dress stained with soot and dirt, her pretty face baring the same tarnish. This was the woman that Dante had stolen.

"Silence, girl!" Dante snapped back at her. "Rafael, go back to your village! The girl is mine, you don't deserve her!"

"Ha! What would you know? You think you can attack my village and get away without any consequences? Get real!"

"Your people are brutish, and stupid, like you. She'd have a much better life in a castle, married to a prince. What can you do for her in your village of mud and huts?"

"Do you think I care about any of that? This is a matter of principle! You can't simply take what isn't yours!"

"Principle? What would you know of principle? You're a savage!" Dante attacked, slashing skillfully at Rafael, who was forced backwards a step. Their two swords clashed, parrying and slashing at one another without avail, neither of them able to gain the advantage. Jean watched on with wide eyes, grinding her teeth anxiously, crawling clumsily out of the way when the fight moved close to her. "Give up and keep your life! I've trained my whole life in swordsmanship, you can't win."

"Train all you like, you're still nothing but a weak, snot-nosed little coward!" Rafael slashed downward, and Dante raised his sword to parry, but this time it was a feint. Rafael redirected his blade, slicing downwards towards his enemy's wrist. There was a cry, a splash of blood, and the sound of a sword hitting the forest floor.

Dante staggered back, holding a bloody stump where his hand use to be, blood soaking into his tunic sleeve as his face turned a ghostly white.

"My... My hand!" He fell backwards and squirmed away from Rafael, who now stood over him, his silver blade gleaming orange in the firelight, dripping blood from it's tip.

Rafael looked down at the defeated knight. He could tell that he was afraid by the way he dragged himself away like some desperate animal. He knew that if he let him get away, he would likely come back later seeking revenge. Rafael's tribe wouldn't be happy.

"Get up! Get out of here, you idiot!" Rafael said, kicking some dirt onto Dante and swinging his sword in front of him. "You lost. It's over."

Dante squinted at him with suspicion, as if this was some kind of trick. He got to his feet, backing away swiftly. He turned to Jean, then to Rafael again.

"I won't forget this!" He said, and not in a good way, before turning and sprinting into the woods, quickly disappearing into the smoke and fire.

"Hey, you forgot your hand." Rafael said quietly, smirking at his own humor. His vanity was interrupted suddenly when he felt something collide with his midsection.

"Rafael!" Jean said, wrapping her arms around him and burying her head into his chest. Rafael rested his arm on her back, blinking at her. "You saved me."

"What do you mean, 'saved you'? I was just getting revenge for the village, that's all! You're just lucky they didn't kill you, or a tree didn't fall on you or som-" He got cut off as she lunged at his face, trying to claw out his eyes, "OW! Hey, watch it woman!"

"Don't say that! Don't pretend you didn't come here to save me! Admit it!"


She went after his face again, and he grabbed her wrists, laughing at her as she struggled against him. Then, a burning tree fell nearby, causing them both to jump and shout.

"We're not out of danger. We should get out of here." Rafael said, suddenly becoming more serious. Jean nodded eagerly.

"Yes, but we're going to talk about this when we get back to the village."

"Yeah, whatever. Let's go." Rafael grabbed her hand and lead her towards the trees. "Here, take this." He pulled off his cloak and put it around her. "It's gonna be hot, but follow me and you'll be fine." Jean nodded, and he lead her through the burning wood back to the village.

The battle was over, and all that was left was to rebuild, and put these damn fires out. Rafael cursed under his breath.

"What a mess!"

The End

Community Member
  • 03/07/21 to 02/28/21 (7)

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