Storymania Logo



Short Stories

Surrender by Taylor Triste - [149 words]
Shadow's Adventure by Maritza Vargas Shadow(me) has to find Menchi, her pet dog that oddly looks like a cat, but gets caught up i... [518 words]
Where Does She Go From Here? by Desi Williams It's about my life thus far... in a way. [477 words]
Selection From I Displace The Air As I Walk by Marjorie Kanter "I displace the air as I walk" is a collection of short literary pi... [432 words]
When Robots Go Wrong by Alex Reuille This story is based off of the book I, Robot written by Issac Asimove, to learn more about... [654 words]
Unfortunate Side Effects by Liz Quinlan Some old English homework. It's lvl 7+, though!!! And I'm afraid its not particularly ... [552 words]
Twine-Stiry 3 Of The Insanities Of Hotel Romm 63 by Bryan King Man is has thoughts of killing himself. [750 words]
The Waiting Room Of Evil by Rich Honour A warning to all those who are forced to wait here. [584 words]
The Tunnel by D Shultz A man awakes in a small room to find himself inside something he never would have imagined. [1,760 words]
The Sun Has To Shine On Every Dogs Ass At Least Once by Jeremy Lucko A short tale of James Sheffield. Just a piece of this mans... [1,207 words]
The Phantom Hitchhiker by Liz Quinlan Well. It's about this dude, right... Oh who cares. Read it. Then you'll know. [485 words]
The Human Weezburger by Rachel E Smith When in the future humans are bred for meat, controversy stirs, and one girl in particular... [2,409 words]
The Conservatory by Alfredo Velazquez Rodriguez Velazquez Is a short story about a boy who dreams to play the pianoi but has many struggels to get there... [1,502 words]
The Clearing 2001 by Steven Gilbreath Nature has its own way of helping us ease painful memories we were certain would never fade. [1,106 words]
The Cat And The Shotgun-Story 1 Of The Insanities Of Hotel Room 63 by Bryan King A crazy man threatens to kill a woman. [246 words]
The Car An The Shotgun-Acontinuation Of The Cat And The Shotgun by Bryan King The woman is now the crazy man's hostag. [791 words]
The Building (Part One Of ?) by Bradley Grimes A man awakens in a white bed, surrounded by white walls. Clueless as to what lays ... [1,158 words]
The Building(Part 2 Of ?) by Bradley Grimes Phillip Morrison continues his travels through the seemingly endless building. [1,767 words]
Stupidallicallidumbocious by Pratik Patel This could be you. [889 words]
Reverend Matthew-Story 2 Of The Insanities Of Hotel Room 63 by Bryan King A buisness man teases Pator. [827 words]
Requis by La Carlotta A short fantasy story. Unfinished. Should be updated soon. [2,113 words]
Nights In The Asylum by James Nite The staff of the infamous Bellsing Mental Insititute begin questioning their sanity with t... [3,479 words]
My Last Addiction by Kimball A story about a young guy and his life's addiction. [1,265 words]
Methought I Heard A Voice Cry by Deborah S Wang Two soldiers struggle with the fact that one is greater than a million. [1,041 words]
Lucy by John A Durler Fred Franks went on an errand, returned seventeen years later. ďI got the milk.Ē He said. ďThey drink bee... [1,300 words]
Karen's Revenge by Martin Abram Love has really gone wrong this time. [1,392 words]
It Happens; It Matters. by Steve Deutsch After a date with the girl of his dreams, a young boy thinks about the changes in life ... [2,004 words]
How September 11th Changed The Life Of The Freemans by Alex Reuille This story is about 9-11 and how one family felt the effect... [876 words]
Harmless Fouls by Travis M Shreve A short storie for college students. [1,391 words]
God, Help Me, I Don't Want To Die by Bryan King A demon shows a man his destiny. [3,373 words]
Friends Again by Eli Robbins This story is about a kid who doesn't fit in at his new school but he finally does after some hel... [2,365 words]
Firehouse 9-11 by Alexandra C Karones This stroy is about the Twin Tower attacks in 2001. It is about two firemen who are friends and ... [1,037 words]
Confessions Of A Perfect Prom Dress by La Carlotta Drabble. An English assignment. The prompt was "'Parting is such sweet so... [331 words]
Cold Heart by Aaron Aackerman A Mystery washes up on shore. [415 words]
Chapter 1 Inkheart Sequal by Justin A Anfuso This is the first chapter of a story written in the same style as "inkheart" was writ... [528 words]
Big Blind by Phil O'buster When you lose someone, what do you do? Do you move on? Or do you try to forget? And if you try to for... [1,098 words]
Becoming A Bludger by Ian Kidd Humor Personal. [1,500 words]
57 Minutes Until by Bryan King How the end came. [474 words]
Nights In The Asylum: The Bellsing Hauntings by Dylan Michael A story of the director of a Georgia mental institute, a patient, ... [3,478 words]
Bury Me Alone by Kayla Meadows A story of achieving redemption and recognizing loneliness. What started as a sentence of thought... [3,998 words]
Night Visitors by D Shultz Unwanted visitors arrive at a home during the night. [1,199 words]
(Still Not Deteremined) by Wheaton - [1,423 words]
(Not Determined Yet) by Wheaton - [928 words]
Virtual Reality by Susan Friedman Based on a true story. [1,154 words]
Unfinished Business (2) by Richard Kelly This is a bizarre tale of a man who returns to his hometown after 20 years to confess t... [4,458 words]
Touched by Fiona Penmaiden The struggle of a twin to accept her sister's madness. [2,560 words]
Together Alone by Art Becaud A little dark but Hell, what's it all about? [780 words]
Through The Mind Of A Retard by Rachel Lynn Marshall Randoll Edward Miller isn't just any average middle school boy. He's a middle scho... [2,269 words]
Through The Eyes Of The Littlest Stowaway by Susan Friedman This story is about a nine year old girl who stows away on the titani... [1,138 words]
The War Of Dreughs by Hobie - [3,630 words]
The Nightstalker - Part Two by David Brian The Offender - [425 words]
The Nightstalker - Part Three by David Brian The Offender - [465 words]
The Nightstalker - Part One by David Brian The Offender An evil entity escapes hell and wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting world. [273 words]
The Lovely Peasant by G David Schwartz A short story. [773 words]
The Last Sunset by Alice W-M It's the story of a girl driven crazy by taunting and heartbreak. [679 words]
The Last Day by Erika Sutton Amber, a senior American student in Columbia is excited about her last day of school, however it t... [3,003 words]
The King's Best Soldier
Sorry, Right Number Part Two by David Brian The Offender - [347 words]
Sorry, Right Number Part One by David Brian The Offender An alcoholic lives to regret his past. [341 words]
Some Things Need To Be There by Steven L Howard You need some things to be there in order for it to be home. [1,611 words]
Sincerely Seventeen by Charice L Boyd A seventeen year old girl who finds love in the wrong places. She had everything going for... [4,112 words]
Rest In Pity-Eternal Friendship by Fithalene Noor Sometimes, animal's friendship is much more valuable. this story gives you the ... [478 words]
Rain Storm by Kaitlin D Fest A girl named Rain is snobby and really smart, her enemy, kyle, is also smart and in every one of her... [3,178 words]
On A Train Headed West by R Campbell A short story. [3,746 words]
Old Man And The Nagging Wife by Baylee Marie A story of an old couple that doesn't get along due to different feelings. This s... [1,612 words]
Nichol's Nightmare by Lynn Jacob Nichol, an older teenager, is faced with Bipolar Disorder. The story describes her, and her... [2,085 words]
Mystic Mirror by Chandra Ghosh Jain "Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type o... [4,425 words]
Mystery Meat Part Two by David Brian The Offender - [237 words]
Mystery Meat Part One by David Brian The Offender No plausible explanation possible. [230 words]
Mistress Mistrust by Ryan Kerr This is a story about a boy who finds out about love and how it an ruin your life. [770 words]
Loop by Gs Blackshaw A man's alternate lives collide and he must decide with whom his happiness lies. [882 words]
Life And Death by Andrea Nicole Newell This story is about a young man who discovers he has a tumor. The underlying conflict is that h... [2,317 words]
Last Caress by Kimball A story about a guy and his lost love. I wrote this in about an hour. needs refinement. looking ... [1,119 words]
Karma Yogi by Neeshant Srivastava Itís about an old man, a farmer and his work. It is a story of life dedication to his profession and... [2,667 words]
High School-Behind The Scenes by Meagan R Minor Jessica Freeman is a student at Lewis A. Morgley High School. She has to deal wit... [2,263 words]
Happy Valentine's Day by Derek Toney A story about a guy who's alone and out of luck on Valentine's Day. [2,178 words]
Goals Achieved by Vanessa Caldwell A teenage girl who strives after her passion while obsticles get in her way. In the end she succ... [2,458 words]
Divine Pigeon by Neeshant Srivastava Itís about a young boy wading through sands of time and his simple triumph in a belief that often... [516 words]
Curiosity by Thrishana Pothupitiya A short story from the island of Sri Lanka. [843 words]
Clutch Touchdown by Nicholas J Pangborn This is a sports story which shows never to give up. [749 words]
Boundless by Leah Russell A girl becomes bored with her everyday job. She overcomes her deepest fears and gains a good friend.... [3,773 words]
Blind Date Gone Wrong by Laura Fleeger Elle and Thomas go on a blind date and Thomas, isnt the most popular guy. [3,491 words]
Be Strong by Jill Johnson The story of a girl, Eliza, who was born into slavery in the Southern United States. She and her fam... [2,290 words]
A Letter To The Boy That I Loved. by The Lost Girl Something that I wrote while I was trying to get over a guy. [848 words]
A Job Well Done by Kimball This is about a guy who has a unique way of getting people to reach nirvana. this is just tell... [2,488 words]
A Final Conversation With Myself by Vijay Mohan Raghavan A failed love and a guys self realisation. [719 words]

Go to page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 [23] 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
The King's Best Soldier
Beric races for home, haunted by a Dakhanni demon.
[1,270 words]
Susan Brassfield Cogan
Read a review from OVER MY DEAD BODY:
Order now from Amazon.com http://countess.notlong.com
Please visit my website: http://www.coganbooks.net

[September 2005]
[email protected]
A Rainy Night In Baghdad (Short Stories) This rain is the piss of Satan! [812 words]
Jubilee, A Novel (Novels) Paris is in flames and the hungry guillotine waits . . . [4,571 words]
Life, Death, And A Guitar (Short Stories) Life can turn on a dime and sometimes the guitar doesn't make it. [480 words] [Crime]
Murder On The Waterfront (Novels) Lady Margaret is an artist and amateur sleuth, Monahan is a hardboiled detective. Together they solve a murder with international implications. [2,358 words]
Nanotech (Short Stories) Alien technology is not for everyone! [971 words]
Path To The Top Of The M Ountain (Short Stories) You never know who is walking beside you. [500 words]
Pick A Pocket Of Sunshine (Short Stories) What a beautiful day for petty crime! [379 words]
She Dances Down By The River (Short Stories) Danger in the firelight. [453 words]
The Assassin (Short Stories) What lurks in the chill of the night? [440 words]
The Honor Of A Lady (Short Stories) Steel is drawn when the honor of a lady is besmirched. [321 words] [Humor]
The Stone Of Immortality (Short Stories) Do you want to live forever? [1,145 words]
Wicked They Come (Short Stories) What is making that darned noise? [2,930 words] [Science Fiction]
The King's Best Soldier
Susan Brassfield Cogan

Two days after midwinter, Beric saw Danzia, the most famous of all the Dakhanni, standing in the snow, thin as a blade. Hard as steel. He saw her because she allowed him a glimpse of her. Fear seized him when he saw her standing there, merely looking at him. If she was close enough to see, she could have executed him any time for the deed he had done. The deed that now haunted him like the demon woman herself.

Beric’s village lay only a little further. He had been pushing himself through the bitter cold, under the heavy sky, for two days. He longed to see his home one more time. Each beat of his heart yearned for that safety and warmth. In the few snatches of sleep he had managed, he dreamed of those he loved--his wife, his mother, his children. But the village might as well be in a valley on the moon. Death now stalked him in the snow and he felt he would never know warmth of any kind, ever again.

Beric hid himself from the cold gaze of the Dakhanni. He quickly unloaded his pack of everything but a few bits of food. The heaviest thing was the gold cup that had belonged to King Godfrey. Seven days ago the king had called to him in the midst of holiday revelry. "You are my best soldier," the king had said in front of the assembled court. The king had drained the deep red wine from the bejeweled cup and, in front of all the nobles, had given the cup to him. It was the proudest moment of Beric’s life. Now the bejeweled thing glittered at him mockingly.

Beric flung the cup away and stood, wishing he could fling away his burden of guilt as easily.

He hastened on through the snow-clad trees. No need to conserve his strength now. Soon the cold trek would be over one way or another. His heavy sword dangled from his waist. His dagger, red with innocent blood, would never again leave its scabbard. He should have thrown it away, too. The deed he had done with it cast gloom over his heart.

The unrelenting wind pulled at his cloak. Dark clouds crouched low on the horizon. A killing storm would roll in by nightfall but Beric would be dead by then or home. He did not actually hope for the latter, though his urge to see it one more time had become a need greater than the need for sleep or warmth or life itself.

King Godfrey had explained everything so clearly. If King Roderick were to die, then war would end and the people could finally live in peace. What a blessing! Beric was King Godfrey's best man, the only one with the courage and resolve to do such a grim deed. The king filled the heavy gold cup with wine and urged Beric to drink. Beric drank. He pledged to do the awful deed and bring peace to his people.

When Beric topped a rise he glanced back. The Dakhanni was closer. Another breath of fear shivered his vitals. She was playing with him.

Without hope, he increased his pace. Some time later, atop another rise, he saw she was gone. That frightened him more than the sight of her soulless eyes peering up at him.

He rounded a familiar bend, almost home. In the snowy path sat his gold cup. He halted and drew his sword.

"Show yourself!" he called to the silent woods.

Only silence answered him. Frantically, he looked all around and up into the snow-laden tree branches. He kicked the cup into the underbrush and ran down the path. The sun far above the dark clouds was sinking. The world was becoming gray and indistinct.

Then his gold cup landed in a little splash of snow before him. He stared at it, shivering. Daniza, the most famous Dakhanni, emerged out of shadow like a wraith. Beric gripped his sword hilt, trembling. Danzia had not drawn her blade.

“Aren’t you here to kill me?” he asked, his voice husky.

“Yes,” she said. “But you do not deserve the mercy of a quick death.”

“I only did what I had to do,” he said. “You would do no less.”

“Dakhanni choose their killings. I would have done less.” Her words were bleak and cold as the stones under the snow.

“So you choose to kill me?”

She shrugged.

“Queen Allena sent you,” said Beric bitterly. “You are her creature.”

“I am her friend.” Danzia drew her sword. “You murdered that which she loved more than life itself. You will not live to rejoice in that bloodshed.”

Beric remembered Queen Allena’s cry, vibrant with the agony of a damned soul. “There is no rejoicing in what I did.” In fact, deepest regret rolled over him like the dark clouds above. Suddenly his sword was too heavy to lift. His heart was too heavy to bear this weight. He focused on the golden cup in the gathering gloom. In this light the jewels looked like dark blotches of disease.

“I will submit to you, Dakhanni, if you will grant a last wish.”

“I can kill you where you stand whether you submit or not,” she said with a touch of surprise. “What is your wish?

“To see the lights of my village.” She said nothing, so he pressed on. “Walk with me. Only a mile or two further. When I see the lights I am yours.”

She stared at him. He could detect no mental struggle, her gaze was impassive. “Put your sword beside the cup,” she said. He did as she asked. He thought of putting the dagger there also, but he didn’t. The deed and the blood were his do bear and would bear that burden a little longer. He walked past her. A moment later she appeared at his side, silent as a shadow.

Beric had known that Queen Allena walked to church in the evening. He knew she would be protected by a single guard and the traditional midwinter truce between her people and his. Behind the queen walked a young maid carrying Roderick, the baby King. Beric had lain hidden beside the road. When the queen and the guard were well past, he snatched the maid and killed her silently. Beric caught the babe as it dropped from her lifeless arms. No more than half a year old, King Roderick looked at Beric with the wide curiosity of all infants and also died without a sound. That innocent look haunted Beric. That, and the cry of Queen Allena when she found what he had left for her to find. That keening agony flung itself across the void and pierced his heart as no blade could ever do.

Beric was the king’s best soldier and he did what he had to do, but the deed had destroyed him. The Dakhanni would merely complete that destruction.

They topped a familiar rise that, in summer, would overlook a sweet meadow. The village nestled below in the curve of the valley. Many windows glowed yellow in the glittering dark. In the distance Beric could hear the lowing cattle being driven into a warm stable out of the coming storm. Love and sorrow stole over him. He had brought peace to his kingdom and to the quiet village that held all he loved and now some small portion of that peace came to him as well.

He felt a flash of pain as the Dakhanni blade entered his back. He fell to his knees, not taking his gaze from the village below. Then the last of the light failed and he fell forward into the unforgiving snow.


Submit Your Review for The King's Best Soldier
Required fields are marked with (*).
Your e-mail address will not be displayed.

Your Name*     E-mail*

City     State/Province     Country

Your Review (please be constructive!)*

Please Enter Code*:

Submit Your Rating for The King's Best Soldier

Worst     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     Best

© 2004 Susan Brassfield Cogan
April 2005

Copyright © 1998-2001 Storymania Technologies Limited. All Rights Reserved.