The Valkyrie

Chapter 1

Harry stopped – his right arm extended and parallel to his body, poised with his Épée kissing his opponents chest. His own chest heaved as his body recovered from the near torturous amounts of exercise.

His opponent brushed the Épée away and took off his glove, walked over to Harry and shook his hand. "Good game mate." He said relinquishing his grasp and taking off his mask. Harry took off his own mask.

"Yeah, you're getting better Haig. You might be able to beat me soon." Haig laughed as he walked over to his bag.

"Nah, as soon as I'm good enough to beat you, you'll refuse to play me. Keeping your oh so inflated ego intact." Harry laughed and downed the remaining water in his bottle.

"Definitely." He said after swallowing.

Harry said goodbye to Haig and the other fencers in the club, talked to their trainer and then left the sports hall. His eyes screamed as they refused to adjust to the darkness outside. Harry looked at his watch – ten o'clock at night. He sighed, it took him a quarter of an hour to walk across the campus to his dorm and he still had a paper to finish for tomorrow. He slung his bag on to his back and began walking down the dimly lit path.

He shivered as the shadows cast by the looming trees danced across his body. He stopped as he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. It was a text from his roommate Joel, asking whether he was going out tonight. Harry laughed and ignored the text; Joel knew full well that Harry was too lame to go out on a weeknight.

He put his phone in his pocket and suddenly felt a wave of alarm pass through him.

Someone was watching him.

He heard a rustle behind him. Harry spun and searched the darkness. There was no one there. He turned back around to begin heading home and saw a flash of black out of the corner of his eye. At least, it seemed black. He ignored it and carried on walking at a considerably faster pace.

His heart beat was pounding in his ears and the hairs on the back of his neck were constantly raised. Harry jumped as his phone vibrated again. "Go away Joel!" He whispered, shoving the phone back in to his pocket. He licked his lips and began to whistle a nursery rhyme.

A feminine laugh floated through the trees. Harry turned in their direction and stopped whistling. He saw nothing. A soft laugh erupted again but this time from behind him. "This must be a joke." Harry whispered, trying to calm himself.

Something touched the back of his neck.

Harry swore. "What the hell was that?" He rubbed his neck; it tingled where the thing had touched him. He tried to calm his breathing, he was stronger than this, why was he getting freaked out by shadows?

He scanned the darkness and saw nothing. There was no one out here with him so why was he so jumpy?

"Stuff this." Harry murmured to himself. He took hold of his bag from his shoulder and began to walk. He gritted his teeth and ignored the obscure shadows all around him.

Harry rounded a corner and suppressed a scream of shock. A pale woman glided past him. She seemed ghostly, her jet black hair streamed out behind her and blended with the gloom surrounding them. Her features were blurred and her figure was hazy too. Harry could however tell that she was wearing – he couldn't believe what he saw – armour. It glinted in the orange light cast by the streetlamp.

The more he focused on her the more obscure her shape became.

The woman was gone in an instant. Harry shook his head. He felt as though he was going mad.

Before he could think, Harry found himself following the path that the figure had taken before she disappeared. He withdrew his Épée from the gym bag and followed the shadowy woman.

Another light laugh floated past him. In the direction he had come from. Harry decided this was enough; he was too freaked out to think straight. He turned to go home and was met by the ghostly figure standing right in front of him.

"Shit!" Harry said looking away momentarily and then turning back to face her. She was gone. "That's it, I'm out of here." Harry said picking up his bag and marching back home.

The rest of his journey was uneventful in comparison.