Rain was falling, not hard, just consistently, making the road muddy and waterlogged. Trees soaked up water and ferns gave off almost a sweet smell as the water touched their stems.
Standing to the side of the road was a small boy. He was sobbing uncontrollably. Even a snorting sound behind him failed to break his lonely stance.
A white horse pulled up alongside him. The boy’s soft brown hair was wet through as the rain mixed with tears rolling down his face. He was not scared when this towering figure blacked out the light around him. The sharp blue uniform with a white strap across the chest and white helmet stood out. The boy just pointed down the road to an overturned cart.
The lancer leaned down and collected the young lad in one quick swoop. He gripped him tight, as they embraced each other. He then rode over to a red horse chestnut tree by the side of the road and placed the young boy on a fork in the trunk.
“Climb the tree, Jack.”
The lancer turned to face the overturned cart. His horse reared a little as its senses picked up danger and his hand tightened on his lance. Slowly he urged the horse on, the rain still falling slowly, giving a rise to a damp smell. The cart had been violently hit and knocked over. The driver of the cart had been ripped in half and all that was left were his legs, still caught up in the seat.
Then the first image came into sight; a group of flesh-eaters were feeding over a small girl’s body. Her legs were on show, and her white dress was now another colour. The strands of blonde hair that remained were scattered around the feeding group.
There was a razor-tooth sitting close to a tree. Its huge frame pawed at several dead bodies, guarding its food with intense ferocity.
Further up a small bank was a large man dressed in black priest clothes. He was pressed on top of a badly injured woman. She was still trying to push him off, although her life was slipping away from her. The man was kissing her and touching her defenceless body.
None of them had seen the lancer. He stopped for a second and a tear ran down his cheek. This was to be his last for now as rage started to engulf his body. He took out his knife and cut his arm. This renewed his concentration. With that, he lowered his lance and began a full charge at the razor-tooth. It was too busy eating to notice the lancer coming at it with full speed. When its eyes caught the glimmer of light reflecting off the metal spear it was too late. With deadly precision, the lance was thrust into the animal rupturing organs and piercing its heart. The beast gave out an almighty screech as it keeled to one side. Breathing heavily it tried to roll over, but the wound was fatal. The lancer leaned forward as the creature drew its last breath, making sure the animal saw his eyes as he took his sword and cut the beast’s throat.
This commotion had stirred the flesh-eaters. Two of them started to move from the girl and make their way over to the lancer. He withdrew his lance and sheathed his sword. Dismounting from his horse, which stood by the dead razor-tooth, he started walking towards them. The first flesh-eater quickened its step. It could not run, but sensed fresh meat. The blow that came down on its head sent it tumbling to the ground. The lance was then jabbed through its skull.
The other flesh-eater kept on coming. The three behind him had also left the body and were now moving at speed towards their foe. The lancer was controlling his anger well and kept a cool head as he struck the lance into the left knee cap of the flesh-eater nearest to him.
He then brought the pole round and knocked it down. The creature tried to stand but was instantly knocked down with a kick to the head and was then decapitated with a rough cutting action from his knife.
The other three flesh-eaters were now in range. With his lance he struck one in the head, bursting the spear through its face, then, quickly withdrawing it, he brought the pole around and knocked the legs of the other two away. Whilst they struggled to get up he finished them off, bringing the lance up and down on both of them, paying meticulous attention to their heads.
He turned around to see that the priest had risen from the woman he was attacking – the Lancer’s wife. He was a large, muscular man with a strap across his chest and a sword attached to his belt. He had a fresh scratch down the side of his face. His eyes fixed on the lancer, he began to clap and gesticulate as if he was enjoying the performance. The lancer stared motionlessly back.
The priest wiped his mouth and glanced over at the dying woman. His eyes then focused on the lancer again. It was then that a shred of fear crept over him. He would not just be fighting a soldier; he was now fighting the husband of the dying woman and the father of the dead child.
Sensing moment he drew his sword, picked up an axe from the ground and came at the lancer. He moved quickly for a man of his size and used the bank he was on to gain speed to plummet down on his victim. The lancer stood still and waited. Three hundred yards, two hundred yards, one hundred yards. The priest let out a war cry as he prepared to slash the soldier in front of him. To his amazement the lancer lowered his lance. The priest was closing in and did not really know what to think. He wanted to make this a quick kill and return to his unit.
The lancer calculated the distance and let the pole hit the ground. He then swept his right hand to his side and drew his revolver. He was fast and took aim within a fraction of a second of the gun being drawn. His finger squeezed the trigger and the round burst out of the chamber and nestled into the charging man’s stomach.
The priest kept on running for a moment or two before falling to the ground. He dropped his axe and sword and clutched both hands to his stomach. Pain was spread across his face. The light around him went dark and he looked up with desperation at his executioner.
The lancer took off his white gloves and tucked them into his belt. He then knelt down to maintain eye contact with the priest.
“You will pay for your sins here today.”
The priest tried to shake his head.
“Show me mercy, I beg you.”
No sooner had he let those words slip out than he received a kick in the stomach. Then he felt a sharp pain in his left, then right shin. The lancer made sure he could not walk again by piercing flesh and bone with his sword. He then grabbed the man by the hair and dragged him over to a large rock. His head was placed on the stone. The priest tried to move but the pain stopped his body from shifting.
The lancer went over and picked up the priest’s axe. He slammed the butt of the axe into the priest’s head, not killing him, but leaving him stunned. Whilst he took a moment to come round, the lancer used the axe in quick succession to take off both the man’s arms.
He looked at the lancer. His eyes were full of desperation and pain. With one fell swoop, the lancer took his head off. He stood there for a moment or two afterwards, breathing heavily.
He then turned and ran over to his dying wife and held her in his arms. She was fatally wounded and struggled to talk. Tears ran down her cheeks as she looked into her husband’s eyes.
“Look after the children; look after them, my love.”
Her voice was weak as he pressed his face next to hers. He would never tell her that there was only Jack left. She took a deep breath in and passed away.
Shock hit him. He held his wife and cried and for the next few minutes he was lost as he gripped her body tightly. The pain was too much.
He had to refocus. He knew Jack was still waiting up a tree. He carefully laid down his wife and fetched his horse. He then went and retrieved his son and placed him by the cart. Quickly moving the dead priest’s legs, he told Jack not to look over at the creatures. Jack knew his sister was dead, but did not know his mother had passed away as well.
In the cart the lancer found a small shovel and began to dig a shallow grave. Holding back the screams within himself he carried his daughter to the hole and gently placed her down. Then he fetched his wife and placed her alongside.
He called Jack over to him. The lad could hardly walk and fell to his knees on seeing his mother’s face. The shock of losing his sister and mother was almost too much. The lancer wanted him to say his goodbyes the best he could before he buried them. The lad lay on the ground shaking as his father bent down and hugged him.
“Jack, we do not have much time, my beautiful boy.”
He picked his son up and held him tight. Both of them began to cry. It helped to release pressure. Five minutes passed and Jack whispered that he wanted to kiss his mother one last time. He knelt down beside her and kissed her on the forehead. He took his sister’s hand and also kissed it. He then went and stood by a tree and told his father to do what he had to do.
The lancer buried them and made a makeshift cross. He went over to Jack and hugged him again.
They collected the horse and saddled up, then with a small kick to its side started off down the road, leaving the carnage behind them.