He presses on the injury,
Holds the wound closed gingerly,
And rushes down the barren hill,
Empowered by a desperate will.
He asks for strength and righteous eyes
To resist the creature’s lies.
He sheathes his sword, gets out the bow
As he spots her house below.
Perhaps it is adrenaline, perhaps he has been healed –
He cannot feel his arm joint, the wound seems to have sealed.
Below the valley opens up, the bandits have returned
Now they will pay dearly for the lesson they won’t learn.
One bandit lies upon the floor, an arrow in his side
Then the beast approaches and they’ll wish that they had died
They writhe in pain right where they stand as jagged claws erupt
From fingertips as they change into forms foul and corrupt
Two tear into each other, the other two stand still,
Submitting to the beast’s commands, they’ve lost their own free will.
“See my perfect justice, did they not deserve to die?
And by each other’s faithless hands, that does so gratify!”
“These other two shall serve my noble purposes henceforth;
When we are finished here, we will proceed to cleanse the north!
That ignorant canned pilgrim dares to fight against my reign;
While you two tear him limb from limb, I’ll play with his weak brain.”
The beast’s two standing servants charge up with a rapid lope,
Daric fires an arrow, and one tumbles down the slope.
He draws his sword a second late as the first one leaps
It glances off his helmet with a cut that slowly weeps.
With Daric’s sword now drawn and glowing, fear shows in its eyes,
But feral orders from the beast lead to its quick demise.
It pounces down from its high rock, is skewered on the blade
It thrashes, spasms, gurgles, as its life signs quickly fade.
Daric pulls his blade out and turns to head on down,
He’s just in time to hack into the second minion’s crown.
It collapses instantly, he feels a surge of pride;
Now naught between him and the vile beast’s vulnerable hide.
“Stay back!” cries Beatrice as it batters down her door;
She fires arrows through the gap as spruce planks hit the floor.
They strike the beast right in his chest, he merely grunts and grins,
Pulls them out and drops them as if they were but patchwork pins.
It opens up the door and invites her to come out,
Ignoring Daric’s charge towards him with a mighty shout.
A half-dead minion on the ground trips Daric with its knee
The beast then slowly shakes its head and calls out tenderly:
“Beatrice, my precious fawn,
We stand before a whole new dawn.
You killed your father, brothers all
When in your inner monster’s thrall.”
“No,” she whimpers at the door,
Then starts convulsing on the floor.
“Now retake your perfect form
As we start the cleansing storm.
“Kings will bow before us as we triumph, side by side.
Behold, you puny mortal man, my glorious blushing bride!”