The Split Rock
- The Meeting of Might
Sean felt the earth tremble beneath him. "What was that?"
Melo stood. "He comes. Fear not, he is a long way away."
Sean looked in the direction Melo was pointing. He could see nothing. Spread out below them was a valley covered in heather and long rushes. It swept up the other side to another hill, not quite as high as the one they stood on. Somewhere on the other side he could hear a great rumbling noise.
"Go my little friend and stand beside that rock, there you will be out of harms way."
Sean did as he was told.
An angry roar filled the valley as a head of wild blonde hair appeared on the top of the hill.
"Stay there Sean, I must go into the valley to meet him."
Then Tharoc stood on the peak and Sean cried in despair. He was bigger than Melo! His legs were thicker and his arms looked stronger. His bare chest showed many scars - but, his face!
Sean stared in fear and wonderment.
The scar that ran down his face gave him the look of two men. The eye on the good side was a deep blue that was always on the move, looking at everything. The scar on the other side was long and jagged, in the middle a red angry eyeless socket.
He strode down the hillside swinging a club twice as big as Melo's, breaking everything in his path. In his other hand, he held a sack that he carried very carefully. When he saw Melo walking toward him, he gave a roar that shook the rock Sean stood beside.
"Tharoc! Stop this destruction, no good will come of it." Melo's voice carried clear across the valley. "What have you done to the people of Drum?"
Tharoc stood still, his club raised above his head. "I have scattered them all over the countryside, like they did to me! - except," he tipped the sack, "these two."
An old man and a young woman landed on the ground. They lay still for some moments, then the woman stood up and reached down to help the old man.
"Melo," Tharoc tried to smile, the scar made him look as if he were in pain, "meet the Chieftain of Drum and his daughter."
From his vantage point Sean could see everything. Even the distance could not hide her beauty.
She was tall and slim, her tight curly black hair barely touched her shoulders and she walked in a defiant way that made Sean admire her courage, even though she stood between two Giants.
So, this is the one Lansair talked about!
"Let them go," Melo pointed to where Sean stood, "There is a mortal up there, let them go and they can stand where it is safe."
Sean pulled back against the rock as Tharoc's empty socket swung in his direction. Then his good eye focused on him.
"So Melo - you want to fight me again. Good!" Tharoc glared down at the humans. "Get out of my way. I will get you all later."
Silence settled in the valley as the Chieftian and his daughter scrambled up to where Sean stood.
"Give a hand will ye instead of standing there with yer mouth open," her angry eyes held Sean's, "Didn't yer mother teach ye manners?"
He bounded down the hillside and put his arm around the old man.
"Let go of me will ye, ye must think I'm old or something."
The old man had a sheep's hide wrapped around his shoulders that he kept pulling tight around his neck, as if he were cold.
"Let me look at ye son. Ahh, so you're the one I heard of all those years ago."
Before Sean could answer the air was rent with the sound of thunder. Their eyes turned to the valley. Tharoc had hit the ground with his club sending shock waves up the hillside.
Melo stood before him empty handed. "Tharoc, we have fought before and all we got out of it was some cuts and bruises, with no-one the winner."
Again Tharoc hit the ground with his club. Sean thought the rock would roll down into the valley.
"We will fight Melo and this time - I will win!"
To be continued
© John W. Kelly