Widow Maker

The clash of metal rang through the great hall. The sound bouncing off the huge stone walls, reflecting off and into the ears of Alec. This was the day that he had waited for all his life. The one reason that he had clung to survival for more than a year, trying to heal his wounded soul. He heaved his great axe into the skull of an oncoming guard. The huge weight coupled with the shear force of Alec's swing, sent the blade through the armored head of his foe. The swing, so strong, it split the once great guard of Emperor Talon in two. Right down through the nemesis's once beating heart.

Alec put his foot into the gut of the fresh corpse and took a deep breath. The pungent aroma of blood and sweat filled his nostrils as still more blood flowed from his latest victim, staining the ground where he stood. With a kick, the lifeless body freed itself from the axe and fell, spilling more of its crimson contents.

Alec wiped the blood and brain matter of his, what seemed to be, thousandth Imperial guard, off his axe by reaming it into the stomach of his one thousand and first. The pain of this unexpected disembowelment was evident on the face of the dying solder as he grabbed at the gaping cut trying, in vain, to keep his intestines within him. With that, more bodies choked the floor around Alec's feet. The sent of fresh dead mingled with the smell of the old and rotting. Any other man that was not as hell-bent on revenge would pass out with just a small whiff of the heavy air.

Two guards came now at him from both his front and back. He whipped the axe forward. Cleaving the air and missing the intended targets. Alec grabbed the weapon and tried again. The hand of death did not hit just air on this second volley as the blade decapitated the guard in front of him. Though the great axe struck home, the weapon was so sharp that it went threw the neck of the imperial troop as easily as it did the air. The headless body fell before Alec. Its missing head had been flung some twenty feet down the hall by the same force as that which propelled the great axe, Alec's lust for revenge.

Now the second iron clad warrior came forth trying as so many had to stop this one-man army. Axe in hand Alec rose to meet his newest foe. The guard was first to act, swinging his sword through the air. Alec blocked the attack with his axe. Wedging the sword blade between the two sides of the axe and with a quick twist, Alec ripped the sword from the enemy's hand. The death dart stuck into the chest of a third guard that was coming down the hall to the left of the ensuing battle. The second troop froze as he looked as his misplaced weapon that was now protruding from the chest of his comrade in arms.

Turing back to Alec, the baffled guard gave the questionable remark, "Good shot." Alec took this odd moment to wipe the blood and sweat from his forehead.

The guard looked once more at his lost line of defense and then back at Alec. The guard stood up and put his hands in the air to visually weigh his options. Back and forth until he came to a conclusion. He stood a moment nodding his head agreeing with himself. The guard readied himself once more and rose his fists. Alec was surprised at first to see this act of suicide but saw no way around it. He lifted his axe ready to fight. The unarmed warrior saw this, stood up once more, and started to weigh his options. Blood started to boil as Alec tried of this cat and mouse game. Once more, the guard nodded with approval, put his fists up to fight and in a flash bolted for the door. Alec swung to stop him but lodged his axe in the thick oak doors of the hallway. He grasped the handle and tried to pull the axe out.

With a large heave, the axe freed itself from the door. The smooth polished blade looked good as new, shining in the noon sunlight. The long handle, elaborately decorated with the image of the dragon of death, was clutched tight in Alec's hand. The Dragon spanned the whole length of the handle and used the two large blades of the axe as wings. The head, a sharp point split the difference between the two blades. The tail rapped around the handle, ending in a loop at the end of the axe. Engraved on the handle was the name of the axe, "Widow Maker."

"Widow Maker.." He thought. "What an adequate name for this hell spawn demon of an axe."

It was in fact with this very axe that Alec had become a widower. Fifteen years had past since that dark day. Fifteen years since the 'grand' Emperor Talon, who was at the time just a power hungry warlord, killed his wife, Emily, with this very axe. Fifteen years since he watched her die in his arms, since he made this vow. To avenge her death at all costs. For fifteen years, he had sworn that this day of reckoning would come. All this time he had spent training, preparing, and dreaming of this day. Now all his hard work was to pay off. He was about to do what he had envisioned doing so many times before. He would kill Talon with his very own axe, his very own "Widow Maker". This he swore in blood.

He smashed the door in front of him open with his fist. A small trickle of dark read slid down his noes merging with the sweat and dried crimson blood from previous battles on the day. He raced after the coward that ran and followed him up a flight of stairs and into a ballroom. The room was filled with lush art work, fine silver and oak furniture. The tables all were full of fine food and deserts from the world round. Every thing in its place ready for a huge feast. Each wall of the room was covered top to bottom with paintings of all kind, portraits, landscapes, still life and more. Each priceless in its own way. Alec turned as he looked all over the room, his eyes skimmed that walls. He froze as he recognized one of the works.

"Could it be?" he whispered. As he moved closer, the dark truth came into light. In the middle of the room, a painting of a beautiful Goddess dressed all in gold sitting on a golden thrown hung on the wall. The gentle gaze of the goddess peered over the room. "It can't be! Is that my. my. Emily?" How long had it been since he wielded a brush instead of an axe? He had finished this painting, his finest work ever, the day before. The day before he had made his vow in blood. He knelt down in forgiveness and started to weep.

How many had he killed to try to settle the score? How many more would die? How many widows would there be because of Widow Maker? How many must pay for the crimes of one man? Since her death he had only thought of how to make them pay. How to seek revenge. Never had he thought of all the innocent lives that he would have to take so that he could kill one man. Never had he considered that he would have to give up his soul to find vengeance. Nevertheless, it was too late to think about that sort of thing. He had come this far and could not turn back now. His soul already was condemned to the fiery depths of hell. Nothing could change that now.

Alec rose to his feet, and wiped the tears from his face. "I'm sorry my love, I have to do this." He said as he touched his fingers to his lips and then to the Goddess. He lowered his head as the last of his tears fell, grabbed his axe and headed for the throne room and his vengeance. Whether it was the Goddess herself or just the last touches to a fifteen- year-old masterpiece by the artist, it is said that on that day, the painting came alive and the Goddess cried.

Alec walked with Widow Maker over his shoulder up the last flight of stairs and down the last hall to the throne room. No guards jumped out to stop him. No troops stood in his way. It was just he, Emperor Talon, and this axe. For fifteen years, all he ever thought about was seeing Talon die now it was the last thing he wanted to consider. If it were to be, then killing talon in cold blood would be no better than had happened to Emily.

Alec entered the throne room to find what he had expected to see. The Emperor surrounded by fifty of his best men as he sat on his golden throne. A large smile could be seen on the heartless, and pitiless face of the murderer emperor. With just one look at that face, Alec knew what he must do. He must, for the good of all keep is blood oath. Alec yelled out a battle cry, lifted his axe and ran headfirst into the fifty men.

The Emperor stoop up and slowly walked out. Leaving the mayhem behind, all the while laughing at the suicide of some nut with a big axe. He turned, looking back one more time, hoping to see the mutilated corpse of the man with the axe. When he turned, the only thing he saw was the leading edge of Widow Maker.