The flames of the campfire crackled as the girls watched the sparks float up in the air. Galatea pulled her hoodie back and asked, “Mom, how about a story?”
Nurgada's eyes sparkled as she sat up, “Sure, which one do you want to hear?”
Setting her popcorn down Galatea asked, “I like any story about warrior Kathleen?”
“Good choice! It’s a perfect Autumn night to talk about a legend. Hmm…let me think…which one?”
Nurgada glanced up at the sky, closed her eyes for a moment and touched the rune of air she was wearing. Letting it go her hands began to act like they were holding a large ball while she recited into the wind:
“Legends of old
Legends of new
Appear before us now
So we can view.”
A large sphere appeared and floated up from her hands. Inside of it swirled different colors. “Warrior Kathleen,” commanded Nurgada and the sphere turned into pictures of the warrior.
In unison the friends of Galatea blurted out, “Wow!”
Galatea smiled as she softly shook her head no while placing her pointer finger over her lips. The girls smiled and nodded back knowingly.
Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly Nurgada said, “All Hallows Eve Battle.”
The sphere changed into a picture of a dark purple beast flying through the woods. It looked right at the girls, stuck out its tongue and screeched. The friends huddled together.
Nurgada continued, “One night each year evil things emerge and roam. Deep in the emerald forest a beast flew to the unfamiliar woods. It perched on a branch of a hundred year old oak tree. Gradually it turned its head and searched.
Warrior Kathleen had been on guard all night when she spied him. His haunting eyes, large wings and the blue horns on the top of his head gave away that he was the Nightmare Imp. Legendary for his use of blood magic and black magic.
Kathleen took her Estoc sword and pushed it into the dirt while she reached for the rune of Earth. She mouthed some words, barely making a sound.
‘My oath is my promise
To protect and guard
Those who are good
I’ll keep safe from harm.’
Releasing the rune she pulled up the sword and slowly made her way from tree to tree until she was a short distance from the beast. The backside of a large willow tree kept her hidden. She waited, hoping for the right moment to attack. It wasn’t long before they both heard noises off in the distance.
Kathleen charged around the tree. Both of her arms swung the sword as she attempted to stab the imp in the stomach. The Estoc bounced off as the imp slashed at her. Kathleen ducked but one of the beast’s gigantic wings smacked her. Her body hit the willow and the world went dark. The scream of the imp and the smell of decay jarred Kathleen back into reality but her eyes stayed shut.
The beast landed and rolled the warrior over. He opened his mouth and bent down. A long tongue came out and licked her check. Kathleen remained still.
The imp leaned back and hissed, ‘I should snap you and be done.’
Under her cloak Kathleen tightened the grip on her sword. A stream of blood trickled down her arm, over bruises and through clumps of dirt. It joined a larger cut at her wrist.
From above a branch cracked as a speckled falcon drove straight at the imp’s head. The nightmare imp looked up and Kathleen let out her own battle cry.
The beast turned his head and the blade cut the skin under his eye. Black blood trickled down the imp’s face as he let out a piercing roar. He grabbed her by the throat with his left arm. Together they lifted into the air. His purple claws slashed across her torso as he dropped her. Kathleen plummeted motionless to the forest floor.
The imp flew down and stood on all fours over her. Yet because she was so much smaller than him they were still several feet apart. His face grimaced when he saw her clothes had no signs of being ripped. Kathleen’s chest rose slightly and her lips parted.
“Not dead yet? You are a tough one.”
Several black splatters fell onto the swollen and bloody face. The imp smirked as he watched a drop of black blood soak into a gash on her forehead. He closed his glowing purple eyes for a moment while his own bleeding wound sizzled and grew new skin.
Looking back the imp noticed ornately carved beads braided in her autumn hair. He sniffed and got a heavy Earthy smell like the moss that grows on the dark side of trees.
‘Who are you? You are not a wizard yet you have magical things. You fight like a warrior who has fought many battles yet you are young. How did you know to attack my eyes, forest girl?’ he hissed.
The rune on her necklace caught his attention. Picking it with a talon he tried to snap it off. The heavy cord wouldn’t break. The imp took his teeth and tried to bite it but the razor sharp canines didn’t even leave a mark.
His hand reached towards her throat as the falcon screamed from above.The beast looked up and noticed the first rays of sunlight were about to break the horizon.
Putting his head down by her face the imp snarled, ‘We are not finished, little one. They call me the nightmare imp for a reason. My blood is now in your blood. We are connected. I will be in your dreams…every night.’
His wings started to beat and he lifted up as he let out a wicked laugh and hissed, ‘See you tonight!’
A soft moan released from Kathleen’s mouth. In her sub consciousness she replied, ‘You wish I would break that easily. I have endured more pain than you know. I’m a survivor. You don’t scare me and I am not afraid to die. I am strong. I am proud. You had better learn my name. You had better protect those eyes.’
The corners of her mouth rose up while her beaten body was still.
The falcon swooped down and landed next to her. It dug one foot deeper into the forest floor and with the other it grabbed the rune of Earth. Her trusted companion called, ‘Kaaack Kaaack Kaaack.’
In minutes several women showed up each with the same tattoo on their arm. They quickly tended to Kathleen, their warrior leader and the protector of the woodlands.”
Nurgada dropped her hands, bent her head down and was quiet.
“Wow Mom, that’s the best story! When I grow up I want to be like Kathleen,” blurted out Galatea.
Nurgada's face glowed as she replied, “Who says you aren’t already my sweet daughter. You are strong, proud and loyal.”
This story has wizard #3764 Enchanter Galatea of the Heath and honorary warrior #15515 Kathleen Protector of the Woodlands, owned by Oxsharon.
Special thank you to Panico for allowing me to use his Nightmare Imp Beast #6.