At a campfire
A story about two travelling companions
What happens when you travel with a psychopathic killer, that likes to carve people up and you are the only one around? And why isn´t his companion scared? Find out below, in a 800+ short story in a medieval setting. I hope you enjoy it. Every comment is welcome too!
Two men sitting at a campfire.
“Can I kill you?” the bulky man said, looking over the fire expectantly.
“You know you can´t.” It was the same old discussion every time. Morus´ refusal sounded weak, even to his own ears. But what did it matter anyway?
“But I want to kill something.”
There it was. The only thing that mattered to his companion. Always this. “Just wait. We will get to the city soon.” He knew it wasn´t enough. It never was. Still, Morus tried. Not breaking with their ways, already a tradition between them, to be taken out into the light every once in a while.
“But…I don´t want to wait that long.” A whiny remark, like a child asking for his favorite toy. It still astonished Morus that a man like this could still be so child-like. It was unfair. Bor had no worries, no concern for anything other than himself and his pleasures. When he could kill, he was happy. For Bor, the world was easy.
“You have no choice, there is no one else here.” He sighed. Logic wouldn´t work. Still, he tried. Hoping to one day be surprised at Bor´s reaction.
“There was a hamlet not far back. We crossed it. I could be there and back before dawn.” Morus knew his companion was serious about this. Bor would run the whole night, just to be able to satisfy his desires.
“No. You know I won´t let you kill some innocent farmers. You might be a killer, but you are no monster.” Sometimes Morus wondered if that was still true, if it had ever been true. Or if it had been his wishful thinking all along.
“But I wanna kill someone!” His words were getting more agitated now, Bor´s eyes staring intently at Morus. It made Morus shiver, because he knew what was coming and had no reason to like it.
“You always want to kill something when you are bored. Get a pastime. I even bought you that knife for carving wood.” A distraction tactic always bought some time, but couldn´t avert the inevitable. Still, the knife had been expensive, so Morus might at least put it to some use.
“Yes, the knife. I love it. Carving is so much fun. But there is nothing here to carve.” Morus watched him take it out, admiring the gleaming blade. Glad that Bor´s eyes had found another target for a moment, he changed his position, so he could rise more quickly. Just because Morus couldn´t change what was looming didn´t mean he would take it quietly. It was time to give Bor a bloody nose, maybe that would change something in the long run.
“There is plenty of wood lying around, we are in a frigging forest.” With that, Morus grabbed a big branch from the pile they had gathered for the fire. It made him the focus of Bor´s stare again, but he had acquired a weapon for himself. Lousy, but better than nothing. Bor only regarded the stick for a moment, his concentration soon back to Morus and his desires.
“As if I would use my perfectly fine knife on something as boring as wood. It needs to squirm and scream.” He was drooling now, little drops of saliva falling to the ground. The charade was nearing it´s end. “I wanna kill something.” There it was again, a circle come around.
“And here we are again. It´s getting old. You know you can´t kill me, why do you always have to try?” Morus sighed. Bor was smiling at him now, an ugly smile, full of desire and craving. Like a man high on Korum. His prey in his sight, Bor stood, towering above the still-sitting Morus. The knife was flickering though Bor´s fingers now, too fast to follow, impossible fast for a brutish man like Bor. It always amazed Morus. He couldn´t free his look from the small piece of metal that would carve him up again tonight.
“Because I´m bored and I want to kill something.” And so Bor did. Morus´ defense overcome in a heartbeat, he cut him up. Like an artist, every slash measured, every stab deadly. His precision was brilliant, no wasted movement, no missing attacks. He was a master at this, his skill rivaling the gods. It didn´t take him long to reduce Morus to a sorry state; limbs missing, entrails all over the place. So much blood had flown, it had nearly extinguished the fire. Not even breathing hard, Bor walked back to his sleeping spot, desires fulfilled.
The next morning, both of them woke up, broke their camp and were already on the road when first light hit.
“Why can´t I kill you?” Bor asked, like every time. It was part of the ritual.