The Barbarian Crazylegs
The barbarian Xatmec Crazylegs whirled his broadsword down on skull-faced cretin. Said bastard parried weakly and made his own attempt on Xatmec’s exposed shin. In a wild blur of metal Xatmec lifted the imperiled leg and stomped the attacking blade down into the stone floor, holding it there with all his weight; the grounded sword wobbled and bowed under his boot.
With nothing much else to do, the cretin gaped stupidly at the barbarian who’d bested him. Xatmec was a giant, with an enormous sweep of breast and the shoulders of an ox. He wore a tattered robe of deerskin that fell lightly over a beaten iron girdle. Gripping a chinked sword as heavy as a man, his forearms were massive with corded muscle. His great legs were at the same time fat and lean.
“Ready for hell, dog?” spat Xatmec. He waited, patient, for the other to respond, and then it occurred to him that perhaps the man couldn’t talk. Perhaps, during the cretin’s Bone Ceremony—when, with obsidian blade, he’d flayed skin and muscle neatly off his face, leaving unmolested only his red watery eyes—he severed his tongue as well. But Xatmec grew bored with such thoughts, and, in blatant defiance of physics, lashed his hefty leg upwards in a violent crescent kick. The speeding bulk of his shin connected with the other man’s throat. In a wet pop the man’s windpipe imploded, his jaw fell limp. The pupils of his eyeballs vanished up into the shadows of his sockets.
Xatmec took note of the swelling tongue inside the jaw, then, with his massive hand he gripped the entirety of his enemy’s face and crushed it like it was a cheap porcelain vase. The bone crunched and popped into a dozen terrible flakes. Freed from their cradle of bone, the cretin’s eyeballs dangled and rolled over a tongue buried in brittle white shards and speckled with unsightly skull liquids. As a desperate gurgling sound rose up from a now-faceless throat, the eyeballs jiggled on their bed of bone gravel and tongue and blood and brain wrinkles. As Xatmec left the dark chamber he noted with amusement that his enemy was still alive, stumbling around the room sprinkling bone bits on the floor. Choking on his own eyes.
copyright 2012 Bill Carson