February 24, 2024

Rafael Silkskin:


This archived article was written by: Kiara Horowitz

I flew backwards, crashing on the ground by the fire pit. I could feel a bruise forming on my cheek as my eyes began to water. A trickle of warm, golden blood ejected from my mouth and slid down my chin to my neck. Even though my vision is hazy, I could make out five of the king’s guards laughing as they walked toward me.
“Rumpelstiltskin is it?” said the guard who’d hit me. He grabbed the front of my shirt and lifted me off the ground, the material cutting into my armpits and back. I’m just glad that he wasn’t holding me up with my leather jacket. “The King and Queen can’t wait for a formal introduction with you.” The others laughed with him at his hilarious choice of words.
I smiled. “I’m sure they are. Sadly I have better things to do.” I grabbed his wrist with both hands, twisting it, making it turn white. The guard yelled in pain and dropped me. I rolled and stood up quickly. They all looked at me horrified. I guess they found out that I could do more than spin straw into gold. All I’d done was stop the flow of blood on his wrist, it would return soon.
“Curse you old man,” the guard spat at me. His words made me feel better, at least now I knew the mask is working.
“Now, if you gentlemen don’t mind I’ll be on my way,” I said with a bow. “Give the king and queen my compliments. You all have done a fine job.” The guards moved in, pulling out their swords. I guess they did mind. Running toward two of the guards, I clapped my hands, jumping past them. Straightening up, I looked at them and laughed, they stood unsure of happened. They turned hearing my voice and stared at me. Still smirking I held up the sword blades of the guards I’d passed. They looked down at their now useless hilts.
I turned and dashed into the woods hearing them chasing me. Honestly, I didn’t know who had the advantage, them or me. I didn’t know this forest well. After all I wasn’t from around here. That was the only down side of traveling my whole life, I didn’t know anywhere like the back of my hand.
The trees started to thin and I could just make out the road a head of me; perfect. Concentrating on the other side of the road, my feet glowed gentle brown. Satisfied, I slipped the sword blades into my belt and leaped into a tree. I climbed like a cat before crouching amongst the branches, I watched my foot prints continue across the road without me. I looked back the way I came. The guards reached my hiding place, “where did he go?” one demanded.
“Look,” another answered, pointing at the road. “His foot prints.”
“Don’t just stand there,” the one who punched me barked. “They lead to the other side, get going.” They did as he ordered and followed my ‘trail’. Waiting until I couldn’t hear them anymore, I dropped to the ground. It was a shame I hadn’t played more tricks on them, but I needed to return to camp and pack so Randolf and I could leave.
My legs were too tired to run, forcing me to slow down. After a while I stopped. It could just be me, but the forest seemed too quiet and still. That wasn’t right. There should be the sounds of night creatures going about their business. The silence made me uneasy. I decided to travel by tree hopping. Jumping toward the closest tree, I stretched out my hands. Before I reached the safety of branches, something searing hot wrapped itself around my leg and tightened, bringing me back to Earth.
Landing hard on my chest, I rolled onto my back screaming in pain. I sat up and saw to my horror my one weakness: Silver.
A silver chain was rapped around my ankle burning my skin through the boot. I could already feel my blood boiling as it seeped out, wetting my sock. Gritting my teeth, my heart hammering against my eardrums I tried to pull the chain off, but only burned my finger tips.
The guards who had been hiding behind the trees came out, lighting lanterns as they headed toward me. Their captain squatted in front of me and picked up the chain as it were nothing. He glanced at me, watching me rock forward and back, gripping my leg with both hands.
“It’s funny,” the captain said. “I didn’t think it would work.” I’m so glad someone found this amusing. “But then,” he continued. “I thought you’d put up more of a fight.”