Robin Redcap
Since this week theme is horror, I thought I would share a couple of excerpts from a horroresque short story I wrote a couple of years ago. It was published by Freya’s Bower in the In the Gloaming-An Anthology of Faerie Stories. I had a lot of fun writing this story. The horror aspect allowed me to really dig into my imagination. I had to do a lot of research for this one short story because the tale of Robin Redcap at Hermitage Castle is real folklore and I wanted it to be as authentic as possible. I really need to think about doing another horror based romance like this someday.







A shuffling noise came from behind him. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end. A feeling of hopelessness filled him. He tried to shake it off, but the shuffling moved closer, intensifying the feeling. His stomach rebelled. Gasping, he straightened and shot glance at Kat. She wrestled with a thistle that had a lock of blonde hair tangled in its grasp, seemingly oblivious to the bleak sensation. How could she not feel it too? Every cell in his body screamed with dread…with alarm. Instinct told him to run, to not look behind him, that whatever stood there would change him…forever. No! He would not allow an odd sensation to overcome his common sense. Slowly, he turned. Astonishment attacked him as he registered their guest.
No, it couldn’t be. It was only a legend.
But sure enough, the sinful creature from the famous lore sat perched on the corner of the ancient fountain. The hunched powrie watched him with profound crimson eyes. White hair from its long beard merged with the colorless strands hanging around his shoulders. A wide grin spread across Robin Redcap’s face, showing long, sharp and black teeth. He raised his talon-like finger and beckoned him closer.
Graham couldn’t move, couldn’t even get his mouth to form words to warn Kat. He remained riveted in place. The powrie shrugged its stooped shoulders. With lightening speed, he moved over to Kat.
Graham found his voice as Redcap lifted his iron pike above her unsuspecting head. “Kat!” The raspy noise that croaked from his throat sounded more like a rusty gate opening than his own voice.

***

Redcap stepped forward. The bloodstained spike mesmerized Graham. Just a moment more and that steel would pierce his skin, slice his body into chunks. His mind rebelled at the thought. Against his better judgment, he lunged forward, tackling the faerie. “Stay back!” he snapped over his shoulder at Kat.
“Graham!”.
There had to be a way to defeat the creature. It couldn’t be this simple. No creature was completely immortal, was it? Something was its kryptonite. But what?
As they wrestled, he frantically tried to remember how to kill a Redcap.
Nothing.
The Recap’s evil laugh echoed off the walls. In that instant, Graham realized the Redcap was toying with him. That he alone wrestled for his life.
Kat’s cries penetrated his ears. Her broken sobs pushed him to roll the faerie over and pin him to the ground. He stared down at Robin’s smiling face as he wrapped his fingers around its neck. Again, the powrie laughed.
”Keep him safe. Dear God, please keep him safe,” Kat cried out.
“Bible verses!” Graham muttered.
The sly grin slid off the creature’s face, its eyes rounding in shock.
The powrie started to struggle.
Graham opened his mouth and shouted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
The creature hissed as if in pain. Instantly, he collapsed to the floor as the faerie disappeared in a cloud of smoke. A howl of rage sounded throughout the castle.

***

Robin scurried forward, his iron-shod boots resonating through the chamber. The iron pike lifted at his side.
Graham jumped to his feet, preparing to battle the creature again.
The instant that Redcap was just a breath away, Kat yelled the Bible verse she’d recited only an hour before. As she said the words, Robin’s lips curled up. A growl vibrated from him. He threw the sharp pike through the air.
The force of the spear entering Graham’s shoulder propelled him backward. He crashed against the wall, slumping to the ground. A hiss of pain escaped him, his shoulder burning white hot.
“No!” Kat screamed. She jumped to her feet.
A delighted laugh rolled through the castle. Redcap disappeared.
“Graham! Oh, my God!” She reached for him, but her palm hovered inches from actually touching him.
Graham grasped the rod in both of his hands as he fought stay conscious. His breaths coming short and sharp, he stared forward in stunned amazement. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.

Any horror romances you enjoy?
Esme
www.esmereldabishop.com
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