I saw this post on the Facebook promotion group for science fiction and fantasy and I want to thank Ryk Brink for his permisison to repost from his blog at: https://rykbrink.com/
Chapter 3: “A Kind of Magic”
That night a dense bluish fog came low over the village. The calls of hounds barking filled the silence as the moon rode high on the crest and half full overhead as the village slept all, all but one.
Some form of morbid curiosity and fascination drew her to the empty mucky bog that would be the stranger’s grave. As proclaimed, no markings but a heavy stone pressed down on the grave. The grave that lay far from the town.
What she was going to do not even she knew herself but the druiddess felt some unearthly pull to the spot. Maybe a morbid trophy would belay her curiosity maybe not.
She approached the grave with trepidation, as if it were the steps to a grand and foreboding house. With no torch whatsoever and the necessity arising. The young girl tutting pulled her sleeve back revealing a gold half torgue around her wrist, with which she gave three quick taps.
On the third tap the torque began to give off an errie glow almost like a will-o-the-whisp. A slightly greenish hue that gave her all the light she needed to see the grave clearly.
“I have to know” She told herself “I just need to see the body for a moment, I can’t let this opportunity pass me by.”
Her curiosity had betrayed her as she was not alone. Too late she noticed the noise, a slight drawn out scratching noise and veiled breathing sniffing sounds and a low growl or whine or whistle.
“Who is that?” She called out but no one answered.
The scratching sounds got louder and the breathing deeper and faster as she approached the grave. Her footfalls sinking into the loose wet earth of the bog.
“I warn you, I have a weapon!” The druiddess swallowed her fear as she approached fumbling her small hands over the clasps. Moving her robes awkwardly to reach the handle of the strange sword she had found herself the owner of.
The druiddess drew closer to the noise. Her and on the hilt of the sword and her other on the oddly designed scabbard but she did not draw the blade as she feared to do so. The blade it seemed to her analysis had some magical properties but to the nature of which she had hitherto not discerned. Drawing it in anger could have unforseen consequences.
“I have use of magic” She croaked, her voice breaking as she said it, casting the light from her torque over the grave. A dark small dark figure hunched over the grave was digging in the loose earth around the stone.
The druiddess forgot to breath, she tensed her cheeks as she tried to swallow the lump of fear in her throat. Having no choice but to pass the light of her torque over the squat stygian figure scrabbling in the muck.
To her relief, the light revealed little more than a shaggy mutt. A dog of an indetterminent breed was digging and scratching at the freshly laid grave of the stranger from a by gone age.
“Shoo!” she cried. Feelings of anger and relief washing over her. Anger more at herself for being scared of something so pathetic looking.
She assumed the beast was just after the freshly planted dead flesh as a not so easy meal beneath the heavy stone.
“Away with you!” She swiped her hand in the air but the dog took no notice, continuing to paw and scratch at the soft earth.
Birog looked around her feet and found a small piece of sandstone and hucked it at the beast landing a few feet away from it. The creature lifted it’s head to growl and bear it’s teeth briefly before skulking away into the mist again.