From the Storm

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It was early morning, but Magdalene Ka Atasha had not slept. Dared not close her eyes. Continued to push forward at a relentless pace.

She rode a black horse. The oversized beast was fast–its breath deep and heavy, its eyes wild like midnight storms. The sound of its hooves against the ground was like a giant's heartbeat. Strong and steady.

Behind her, the wind blew in haggardly from the prairies, moaning and howling like a tortured prisoner, and smelling of mud and dead grass. Ahead, in the far distance, fog lingered like ghostly whispers, haunting their surroundings in an uncanny stillness, hiding the dark mysteries which awaited.

The rain had stopped, but Magdalene could still feel the moisture's sour grip soaking through her clothes and armor, sinking into her wounded soul like a bitter curse.

She had come from a terrible storm, and an even more terrible past.

From chaos and from horror.

From hell.

She had committed countless acts of unspeakable cruelties from the past she came, but over that time even worse deeds had also been bestowed upon her. The violence she endured had made her in many ways stronger, but also in a sense had turned her into a monster. Had damaged her mind, and filled her heart with an anger which always felt as if it were starving. A ravenous sickness fed only by a lust for turmoil.

She believed she was once good, however. Once innocent. And she believed that person still existed somewhere inside of her. Somewhere far down in the twisted maze of what was once her humanity. The mangled landscape that was once her sanity.

This is why she pushed forward. This was her chance to end the evil. Her hope of surviving whatever future she had left.

For now, her memories were merely fading scars lingering at the edges of her mind, falling off into oblivion like suicidal mutes with every step she took forward. The further she traveled, the more she felt free from those hurtful acts. The more alive she became, and the more clear her sense of purpose.

Strapped to her back was an ancient sword, handed down from generations before her. It was crafted from black steal, with the names of her ancestors engraved into the hilt.

How many lives had been taken with this blade?

She didn't know.

She did know, however, that there were still more to take. Still more degenerate lives to snuff out like putrid flames. The thought of this filled her chest with a tingling warmth. Gave her the much needed energy to push onward.

Somewhere within the distant fog dwelt her greatest enemy, a diabolic man in ebony armor leading a small army. Everything bad in Magdalene's life led back to him. He was the start, and he will ultimately be the finish.

This was one final act of revenge. Her last commitment. Her salvation.

Time passed quickly, both from fatigue and from determination. The fog, which a moment ago had appeared so distant, was upon her now, devouring her. She entered the mist eagerly, knowing that somewhere within it her enemy was waiting to be butchered.

Dark shapes appeared in the near distance, and Magdalene drew her sword. She quickened her pace even faster, her heart pounding like a hammer, her hands eager for murder. This was it. The beginning of her final moment. Her purpose.

Yet it wasn't.

She pulled back on the reins, and the horse reared.

The dark shapes were of men, but they were already dead. A dozen of them tied to broken tree stumps, their eyes half glazed, and staring back at her.

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