We shouldn’t have left the keep unguarded.
But we did.
Driven by our need for sustenance, we abandoned its empty larders to forage beyond its protective walls. From the outside it looked so substantial, its smooth walls defying any intruder. We thought it was secure. Impenetrable.
We were wrong.
The foul creatures ambushed us when we returned. Black and winged, they swooped down when we re-entered the keep, the harsh buzz of their language beyond our comprehension but their evil intentions horrifyingly clear.
Back to back, we swung our weapons again and again until we prevailed.
We hauled away the mangled bodies and cleaned the battle-gore from the walls and floor. Then we set ourselves to the task of fortification. We blocked even the smallest aperture, securing our stronghold.
The rest of the day we waited, alert to the slightest hint of another invasion. We could see them circling outside, but none penetrated our bastion. At last, exhausted, we crept to our bed. Though we knew they seldom attacked at night we slept fitfully, one ear listening for their vile clamour.
Morning dawned clear and hot. Still they circled, but none breached our walls. At length, reassured, we withdrew to our separate chores.
Several hours later I returned to the keep alone.
Laden with the garden’s bounty, I stepped inside unprepared for the seething horde of black monsters, their battle cries rising to a maddened pitch.
I knew they would give no quarter. Their hive-mind brooked no compromise, no mercy. And a single touch from any of their loathsome legion could transmit a veritable cornucopia of disease.
I sounded the alarm and threw myself into desperate battle.
By the gods, they were fast; but they were so many that my strikes often vanquished several at a time. Black bodies surrounded me, falling one upon another, piling three and four deep. Beset, I could allow no time to ensure merciful kills. Their wounded writhed among their dead, their lifeblood and entrails defiling the walls around me.
Again I cried the alarm and reinforcements arrived. We fought valiantly, but they were too many and we were still fatigued from the earlier skirmish. At last we were forced to retreat. We fled, barring the doors behind us.
Standing outside, supporting each other in our despair, we swore to return.
After a week without food or water, they would be weakened. Now we knew where they had breached our defenses. We would fight again, and we would win.
Next week we would retake the keep.
Story synopsis: The houseflies in our new-to-us RV are driving me crazy! We screened off all the appliance vents and thought we’d solved the problem, only to discover that the window screens weren’t properly attached and the whole place was absolutely buzzing by the time we got back in the afternoon. Despite a fly-swatting marathon that left the interior smeared with guts, we still didn’t get them all. Next weekend we’ll fix the screens, and hopefully win this battle once and for all. Flies are such filthy, disgusting little creatures. But at least I got a story out of it!
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Book 8: SPY NOW, PAY LATER is still on track for release tomorrow! And the contest to win a signed paperback copy closes at noon July 22, 2014 – click here to enter.