by John Xero
Gobbets of meat adorned the beast's barbed hide, like tufts of wool on a horrific hedgerow.
Harwen was on his knees, his crude sword hanging limply from a hand that a week ago had held a crook. Around him lay villagers and friends, armoured up and cut down.
The soldiers were gone to war but battle had come to Little Daleberry regardless, because Harwen had let his flock stray too near the caves.
The troll-thing, its rage sated, was shambling away.
Harwen tightened his grip, clenched his jaw and stood. He owed penance. He yelled and the beast turned back.