Entering the City to Travel

by Banned Library in

In the fourth moon of the year of the Sizeable Serpent, Grog the Destroyer came forth. He walked across the Desert of the Moon. His feet were torn and broken, his throat near sandpaper with thirst. The sword on his back heavy and its leather strap digging into his bare chest.

    Upon finding the city of Arathorn in the kingdom of Y'eabud, he greeted the guard at the gate. Walls of pale brick stretched from horizon to horizon.

    "Yo, dickhead. Let me in," Grog said. Despite his thirst his voice held a commanding thunder.

    "Who calls me a dickhead?" the guard said.

    Grog pulled from its sheathe the sword Metal Death and planted his feet. The sword, forged by Grog's mother on his second birthday, glinted in the noon day's light.

    "Me and my sword, dickhead," Grog said.

    The guard pulled his own sword and hefted his shield. The shield bore the insignia of the house of Thornwood, the leaders of the Arathornian. Grog understood at once by threatening this man he had threatened the city itself. He set his feet in the ground and prepared to raze the world.

    The guard said little above a grunt as he gathered himself, feet apart and eyes bright like a panther. Grog would not draw first blood and patiently waited, rolling his dark shoulders. He lifted his head and felt the sun on his dark hair and allowed the sweat to trickle down his neck.

    The guard slashed right to left, coming at Grog low. Grog bellowed a roar and met sword with sword. A shower of improbable sparks fell between them. The guard backed up on nimble feet and Grog charged after him.

    "Meet your death, fucker," Grog yelled and brought down his sword.

    The sword sliced the thin wooden sheild as the guard attemped to block the blow. Metal Death sliced throught the man's arm and into his shoulder. The smell of blood found its way to Grog's nose and pushed him further into a rage. Red flew as the man screamed.

    Beyond the walls, other guards and citizens heard the screams. A dozen men with spears gathered at the gate. Above, half a dozen archers looked down, expecting to see a beast such as the Teethmaw or the Sentalac or an invading army. What they saw was a large hairy man with a giant sword screaming and chopping at a hunk of meat.

    "Jerry," the captain of the spearmen said to the captain of the archers.

    "Yo, Frank, this is messed up," Jerry called down to Frank, the captain of he spearman.

    "What's up? Another Sentalac?" Frank said.

    "Naw. Just a guy," Jerry said.

    "All that noise?"


    "You think we should open the gate?" Frank said.

    "Naw, we're gonna shoot the fucker," Jerry said.

    Jerry turned to his fellow archers and pointed to Archie. "You, kill that shit," Jerry said.

    Archie the Archer knotched an arrow and took aim at the man beyond the wall hacking at the pile of meat that had once been Olaf the Guard. He let the arrow fly.

    Grog heard the twang of the bow and raised Metal Death. The arrow clanged off the metal of the sword. Grog followed the path of the arrow to Archie the Archer and met the man's gaze. From the distance of thirty feet straight, Archie felt the gaze of Grog fall on his man understood his death.

    Grog ran to the wall, sheathing his sword. Launching himself up, his fingers found purchased in the mortor and Grog began to climb. Archie pissed himself.

    Jerry the archer captain looked from his frightened bowman to the madman climbing the city wall. To the other archers he said, "Well, shoot the bastard."

    Jerry knotched his own arrow and everyone but Archie began firing at the barbarian. Some missed. Some glanced off the large sword on Grog's back. One archer, Fraser, managed to get Grog along the shoulder blade in a long stripe, a near hit. Grog paused and looked up, finding Fraser and giving him the same stare Archie had recieved moments before.

    More arrows flew but none found Grog.

    "Hey Jerry, what's up?" Frank yelled from down in the gate courtyard with the rest of his men.

    "Not now, Frank. Fucker's a climber," Jerry yelled.

    Grog bellowed and grabbed at Jerry as he reached the top of the wall. Jerry jumped back and swung with his bow. It cracked on the large man's head.

    "Come here," Grog said.

    "No," Jerry said.

    Archie and Fraser turned and ran as Grog pulled Metal Death from his back. Grog chased them, passing the other archers. Fraser had stubbed his toe the night before making him slow. The lumbering beast that was Grog caught up to the limping man and cut him down with a single swipe.

    Archie had a great big dinner the night before. His wife, Penelope, made the best beans in Arathorn. This was widly known. Archie had eaten a great many beans, enough to spend the rest of the night giving enthusiastic praise to Penlope with his gas, even as they made slow and erotic love. While running from Grog the Destroyer, he farted in panic.

    This made Grog enjoy the chase even more. A farting prey held great amusement to the large man. "Come back, gassy one. You felt brave enough to loose your arrow at me then feel bravery as I shove Metal Death into your open anus," Grog said.

    Archie continued to run, visions of his wife and beautiful children passing through his head. He wished to see them again, to hold them one more time, to laugh over the farts from his wife's beans as they lay naked in the moonlight.

    "Please," Archie said and reached the ladder to the courtyard.

    "Do not beg for your place in hell," Grog said. He swung his sword and missed Archie's head as the small archer slid down the ladder. Grog sent out a frustrated roar and leaped down after him.

    The archers had recovered and began firing down at Grog as he sprinted toward Archie. Jerry screamed at them to stop. "Let the spearmen do their job with that beastly motherfucker, boys," he said.

    Frank the spearman captain had his men lined in a row. He saw the archer run across the courtyard in front of them.

    "Isn't that Archie?" he asked.

    His second responded, "Yes, sir. You can tell by the farts."

    Grog lumbered in front of them, chasing Archie.

    Frank said to his men, "Spearman."

    The spearmen answered together, "Ha, lord."

    Frank said, "Let's kill the dumpy bastard."

    "Ha, lord," the spearmen said and began to advance as one with sheilds locked.

    Grog heard the shouts and the man call him a dumpy bastard. He gave up his pursuit of a single gassy archer to challenged the dozen spearman. Red filled his vision as he spun on his heel and charged.

    The city of Arathorn in the kingdom of Y'eabud retains a long memory. For centuries they have told of Orthon the Great who skinned the pack of man-eating wolves. They have told of Tubs the Crock Killer who killed crocks on the Day of Gift and Men. For centuries after, they tell of the assault of Grog the Destroyer and how he took on the city of Arathorn and vanished forever.

    Grog slipped between the poking spears and met the sheilds with a heavy thud. His large body met the wood as a ram might, splintering the sheilds. He thrust Metal Death between them and felt flesh split and reveled in the dying gutteral sounds of a spearman.

    Reeling back again, Grog prepared to push forward again. The spearman had no preparation, not understanding the violence they met this day. When violent men find violence uncomfortable, the violence has trancended itself and become a simple hope for survivial. This hope found itself in the spearman's hearts and the hearts of the archers above who could only watch as their comrads found death.

    Then the woman shouted.

    Grog stopped and looked over his shoulder. The spearman relaxed as the weight of Grog's glare relieved itself from them.

    She stood at the opposite end of the courtyard. Known as the Thorn of Arathorn, she wore black robes open in the front exposing pale round flesh. In her hands she held a glass orb as red as her hair. Her mouth opened in a dark oval and she said words no one understood.

    Grog saw her flesh and her shiny bobble and felt a stirring from within the red violence of his mind. Surrounded by shields and spears, he was not turned by her. He gripped one spear and pushed Metal Death into another man's chest.

    The sound of bees began. The sound came from within. The sound came from the Thorn woman and her red sphere. Men screamed and Grog continued his assault but the sound of bees increased.

    Her words took form as a cloud, an angry cloud of small creatures that resembled bees. She directed the cloud at Grog, the sound in his mind.

    The spearmen found themselves trapped between the gate and Grog. They died slow as Grog slowed, the sound of insects in him grew.

    Five men fell to him before he turned to the Thorn. The red had released itself from his vision. The woman stood before him.

    "Go beast. Go and be gone from here and his world. You have killed what is ours and are no longer welcome," Thorn said.

   "That what you think, witch?" Grog said and lunged at her.

    She dropped the orb to the stone courtyard. The cloud of red insects swarmed toward Grog and the sound in his mind. Her words in the strange language fell hard on him as he stomped toward her. The orb crashed and split and the world went dark for Grog the Destroyer.

    Pain centered his being. Grog had known pain, great pain from his childhood in the Pits of Isaacson to his learning of the sword on the Sea of Wicket Delight. Grog felt this pain not only in his flesh but in his soul, a loneliness of forgotten love or emptiness of hopes dashed.

    Grog opened his eyes on a new sun on a blue sky. The grass under his body was soft instead of itchy and coarse. Rising, he found himself next to a building of dark brick.

    Grog the Destroyer had reached the Banned Library.

This post is part of NaNoWriMo 2017. All this November, the blog will be select entries of Grog's journey to becoming the library's children's librarian. If you want to read it early, in its entirety, join the Friends of the Library on Patreon.