“Stop right there, you bastard!”
A young man steps out from the shadows of the wood.

Sword drawn, he bars the path. Tall, athletic, clad in green and black, longbow strapped across the back and a gaze that freezes his blood – somewhere he had seen these eyes before…

“Who are you?” Soren Barenson stands still, carefully eyeing the challenger, trying to assess him, rummaging through his memories to find some clue. “Why are you threatening me?”

The young man seems strangely familiar, red hair like his own, maybe not as wiry, streaks of golden blonde in it, tied in the back. High cheekbones, unshaven, the sensual lips pressed together he glares at Soren with slightly almond-shaped eyes that are the deep green colour of the beech leaves.

“You are on my land,” trying to buy time – cold sweat down his spine, “my men are just behind me, what do you want?”

“Justice!” even his voice seems familiar, deep resonant but with a strange accent.

There are no men with him today, he went out on his own, not to hunt as usual, but to think about his position, his wife and daughters. The gods had denied him a son, he was in desperate need of a proper heir lest his branch of the clan would loose their claim to the keep.
Since his elder brother had died in a hunting accident some seven years ago he’d been the leader. But daughters weren’t entitled to inherit and his young third wife had just miscarried and wouldn’t bear any more children.

“Justice? What for? I don’t know you, have never seen you before, who are you?” Hidden by his heavy cloak, Soren’s hand slowly creeps to the blade at his side.

“No, you are right, you haven’t seen ME before. But if you look into my eyes, you might recognize me anyway - they say I’ve got her eyes. You  should remember her eyes… and no, there are no men behind you.
I’ve been watching you for quite some time now, and today you left the keep on your own. It’s just you and me. Go on, draw your sword  - you should never put your hand on the sword if you don’t intend on drawing it.”

There is hatred in those green eyes – a cold hatred…

Remember her… Soren’s thoughts are galloping. Sweat dripping down his brow, running into his eyes, stinging – he is frozen, can’t even move to wipe it off.
Green eyes locked into his in hatred.
Milk-white skin, golden hair, a sensual mouth, high cheekbones…

Remember her…

Milk-white skin, golden hair, a sensual mouth cursing him, spilling out sarcastic abuse, flailing him with words…
Milk-white skin, golden hair, bruised cheekbones, sensual lips blooded, rage in his veins - boiling…

“Now you remember…” a sarcastic smile on his lips the young man points his sword at Soren’s throat.

Milk-white skin, golden hair, ripping fabric, ecstasy, holding her down, pinning her struggling body until she surrendered.

Milk-white skin, golden hair, soft breasts, rage in his veins, his blood boiling, forcing her legs apart…


“You’d forgotten…you shouldn’t have. Draw your sword!”

Talina Greenwood.

“Who are you?” Soren’s voice is just a whisper, “please tell me who you are.”

“I am your death!”

Milk white skin, golden hair, soft breasts, moist warmth between her legs…


She’d surrendered to him, the victory was his completely. She’d responded, eyes closed, and for a short while they had been in unison. His hands had caressed her, his lips had kissed her, she’d turned her head away but her lithe elven body was with him.

Later that night she’d sneaked off, after he’d fallen asleep holding her tenderly. He had never seen her again.

“Draw your sword, lest I cut you down like …” deep, resonant voice, like his own, red hair, curled like his own, a strong nose like his own, cold green eyes filled with hatred like hers, high cheekbones,… a face betraying the dual heritage, half elf, half human.

“You are her - my son!”

“I am your death!”

The slender elven blade enters his body just underneath his sternum, forcing its path upwards.

“I didn’t…” Soren’s voice is failing, there is no air in his lungs, just blood.

The young man’s eyes still hold his. The last thing he sees is the green hatred in them fading, being replaced by a deep grey sorrow.


Eliah Darkwood withdraws his sword from the limb corpse of his father and drops it to the ground. Embracing him almost tenderly, he holds the massive body upright. Wet blood is warm on his stomach. He closes his eyes.  This should feel different!

Tears stream down his cheeks, a cold darkness seizes his heart. Chaos clouds his mind. The weight of his dead father increases with each heartbeat until his body starts trembling and he falls to his knees.


A scream breaks the silence. As he looks up, he sees a young human woman, charging along the path towards him, long red hair flowing, crying:


He snaps into action, tries to grab his elven blade, but it is stuck underneath his father’s body. The girl is closer now, knife in hand, horror in her grey eyes. He pulls his father’s sword out of the scabbard, meets her attack with a graceful dodge and hits her over the head with the blunt side of the blade.

She drops like a stone.

He quickly disappears into the dense wood, his father’s sword still in hand.

Sylvana Barenson


revised on the 3rd of June 1999
copyright by scerijne