Writer-In-Progress; Sword and Sorcery Sampler, by A.R. Williams
March 31, 2014 2 Comments
This month I am proud to bring you an excerpt from A.R. Williams anthology Sword and Sorcery, a collection of sword-wielding heroes, dark magic, monstrous villains, and brave new worlds.
LEIF JURGENSEN GAZED AT the thirty-foot-tall doors in the side of the mountain. An elk made of iron and wood decorated both. It reared on its hind legs, its antlers a pattern of intricate circles that spiraled and twisted over one another.
Rows of giant icicles hung above the doors. They caught the fading light from the sun as it dipped below the mountain crest and shimmered like dying candles. The wind blew harder. Sharp and cold, it bit through Leif’s clothes and chilled his skin. Snow that had collected along the rock face fluttered into the air.
Leif scratched his beard and looked up at the walls for signs of a guard. He was not tall enough to reach the door knocker that towered twenty feet above him. He raised his hammer and slammed it against the door three times. Three booming echoes greeted him. Then silence.
Leif waited patiently, wind and snow swirling around him. He listened for the call of a guard questioning his presence. There was no one about as far as he could tell. Darkness descended quickly once the sun disappeared behind the mountains. The temperature would grow colder just as quick.
Leif shook his head. The tribe of the Elk was lax in its duties, overconfident that the giants that had abandoned the mountain would never return. Angered, he raised his hammer once more.
But the doors began to move. They ground slowly open, growling and rumbling as stone scraped against stone. A dark tunnel stretched ahead of him into the depths of the mountain. A warm orange glow came from a room further down. The smell of roasted goat and garlic wafted through the tunnel. Leif smiled at the promise of warmth, food, and companionship. He strode forward. His stomach grumbled from the smell of the cooked meat, but his heart ached from a greater hunger.
Behind him the doors banged completely open. No longer held at bay, the winter winds howled into the mountain hall in all their fury. Wisps of snow settled onto the ground, while shadows tall as giants danced on the walls.
# “The Blessed and the Damned” – Her daughter kidnapped, Lorna Jassan travels to Kuwar to get her back. But old friends, and old secrets stand in her way.
# “The Dragon Brood War (episode 1): It Walks Among Men” – Nothing is at it seems when Gerhardt is given a contract to kill a priest. That includes the assassin himself.
# “Sword & Sorcery Adventure: Winter’s Cold Heart” – In the cold of winter, Leif Jurgensen hunts a local monster in order to win the chief’s daughter’s hand in marriage.
A.R. Williams developed a love for reading at a very young age and in the fourth grade, when an assignment to write their own works of fiction was given, it occurred to him that he could craft tales for others to enjoy. His work has appeared in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Three Crow Press, and Every Day Fiction. A.R. received an honorable mention in the fourth quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest in 2010.
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