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Cold Steel

The Adventures of Sorg and Joethryn

by Blake W. Sherwin

The cold, blistering winds chilled his face,
The horizontal sleet numbed him whole.
For days he’d traversed this frigid place,
This snowy waste which so pierced his soul.

Progress unwavered despite his plight,
He had come too far to freeze to death.
Cold prevails in the absence of light,
A frost-laden mist upon his breath.

These northern lands were unforgiving,
The cold takes its toll on weary bones.
This journey he shan’t be reliving,
All flecks of sleet feel as they were stones.

He seeks warmth in a nearby cave-mouth,
Warmth relative to the outer cold.
After this trek he hoped to head south,
As he yearned to a warm sun, behold.

Having escaped the menacing gale,
He lowered the scarf down off his face.
The cutting winds make one feel so frail,
A coldness for which no man can brace.

Upon him a haggard countenance,
Normally full of vigor and life
Yet solemn and sombre all at once,
His face evidence of ceaseless strife.

His dark, stringy hair matted in sweat,
The ends of which touched his shoulders crest.
A grim, fierce focus filled his eyes yet,
Along with a trace of slight unrest.

This lone man, Sorg as he is so known,
Nomadic, destroyer of the vile.
Mysterious, origins unknown,
Slaying his foes, regardless of wile.

A faint breeze suggests this cave runs through.
Sorg thinks it wise to follow the cave,
Since outside a wintry storm did brew
The cold sapped his strength, which he must save.

He moved through the cavern with great care,
The light is waning with every stride.
The soft breeze still travels through the air,
As the dark filled corridor spreads wide.

In total blackness he hugged the wall,
Unable to discern his terrain.
In his mind the strange sounds did enthrall.
Scurries, scampers, whimpers in strain.

Suddenly wings beat upon his face,
For a time he thought this a foul beast,
“Harmless bats,” he thought, keeping his pace,
At which point the frightful flapping ceased.

He pressed on further, wits collected,
As skittering rodents tug his feet.
Any dangers his mind rejected,
The outdoor scent comes as if to greet.

The smell cut through the cavernous stench,
Leading him ever close to the light.
The cave grows brighter with every inch,
The mouth of the cave came into sight.

Emerging to the assaulting cold,
Into a sight-impairing blizzard.
Seeking the beast of which he was told,
This storms intensity was absurd.

Suddenly something catches his eye,
A distant form, obscured by snowfall.
A Hulking mass, ten feet high.
A being so large he felt quite small.

It moved with a slow, haunting shuffle
Which gave it a ghost-like appearance.
It stopped then progressed to a scuffle,
Bracing, Sorg retains perseverance.

Barreling forth, the beast makes impact,
The force of which sends his feet sliding,
The beast so quick, no time to react.
Feet planted firm after colliding.

He then gazed upon the fearsome beast,
A swollen mass of sinew and fur.
Snowy white hair upon it was fleeced,
Matted in a disgusting grandeur.

Gleaming icicles adorn its form,
Like a crude and natural armor,
A product of this terrible storm.
There was truth to the townsfolks' rumor.

Thick saliva glistens on its teeth,
With a snarl that would turn most men pale.
Sorg drew his sword from within its sheath,
Cutting through the frigid, blinding gale.

With a mighty sweep, his sword struck hard,
Muscle and ice soften the impact.
In disbelief he lowered his guard,
As the gruesome beast counterattacked.

Thrown from his feet in a vicious blow,
The thought of retreat not once occurred.
If his death came about from this foe,
His fate would be clear and not obscured.

They would not find wounds upon his back,
For that is the mark of a coward.
He would die defending this attack,
While on the ground the giant towered.

Sorg rolled to his side and to his feet,
Poising himself for an agile lunge.
A quick thrust, but he could not compete,
The beast deflects with an equal plunge.

The beast grabbed hold with both of its hands,
In a vice-like bear hug, bones cracking.
Sorgs arms pressed, crossed over his hilts bands,
An escape plan at this point, lacking.

Gripped tightly he inched his sword upward,
From his body, life was being squeezed.
Its chin punctured, the beast then staggered,
Causing its grip to be slightly eased.

In a last desperate upward thrust
Sorg impaled its skull with his cold steel.
The beast fell down to the snowy dust
Crushing Sorg with a weight that’s too real.

Mouth gaping, dripping, oozing with blood,
Even in death the beast held him fast.
Somehow he rolled it off with a thud,
Gazing upon this thing for his last.

Covered now with the blood of his foe,
He journeys forth to seek a warm bed.
Where he will wander next, we don’t know,
The monster he had sought now lay dead.

Copyright © 2016 by Blake W. Sherwin

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