A: Call me Gorias.
Q: Gorias, tell me of a conquest of yours, a lady, that you truly regret in leaving behind.
A: First, sparky, there’s a big different between a woman and a lady. If ya dunno it, I dunno if I should tell ya.
Conquest? Sounds like I stormed her pelvis with a boat and a series of fellas all armed to the teeth. Ya get me wrong in that regard. I never ask for it, never am for want, they offer it willingly, not due to my legend, although some have…but my guile, my way, my words, will wrap around a woman’s heart and draw them in.
There was this woman in the Ruins of Norasham I met a few centuries ago, I think I was ‘bout 300 at the time, prime of my life, heh, and she lived up there in the mountains in the ruins of one of them ancient cities folks think the Atlanteans or Lemurians built. As luck or bad booze would have it (I was out) I happened across that woman, a red haired lass, all pale skinned and pretty like I like them, just as a few savages were about to overrun the place & eat her, and not in the sexy way. Yeah, I wonder if God is fucking with me, having me run across a redhead with alabaster skin like I love so much. I oft suspect a succubus when that happens, ya know? Because the Devil has a hard on for me for dispatching so many of his guys.
A few of them dart blowin’ asshead locals had her pinned down as my horse, Traveler, and I staggered through the ruins from a fight against the Chimera of Helvetica. Well, if I’m lyin’ I’m dyin’ but I took out my swords and got rid of several of them little pricks fast like. Damn, they smelled worse inside than most, prolly that combo of mulberries and wild hogs so prevalent on that mountain, makes for a bad gastrointestinal diet. But I digress.
I cut through them and reckon she was glad to see another civilized face. We cut’em, down, me with these fancy swords of mine and her with a tomahawk & sickle, dang she could swung. All covered in gore, glistening in the dying days light, reclining in exhaustion on a stone effigy carved to an unknown god…damn she was beautiful.
Once her breathing slowed & all them guys died, she told me ‘bout her life, her crap husband that treated her bad and died of the ass bleeding sickness. She stayed up in the mountains around there as she was from mountains elsewhere and that was her comfy zone. Good for her. She washed in a falling stream and so did I, once I got my dragon skinned armor off. Not too proud to bitch, but she sure wasn’t ashamed to strip in front of me and I followed suit. No, we didn’t fall in bed there, dang, get a clue. She and I cleaned up and I admired her body, though not perfect, marred by bites, scars, a childbirth and hell, life. If ya ask me, that’s more beautiful than any prim, kept model of the palace halls, but I digress again.
Once dressed, she made me some food from scorpions, locusts and honey that was damn nice. She then told me more of her story, as women are apt to do, of a harsh upbringing, her terrible man, and all that. So hard, so injured, yet, she was beautiful in the middle of those moldering stones. Was it chance, the will of God or Satan I happened along to save her? Dunno, may by no means know, but I kept her warm that night. Yes, we ended up doing the copulation thing and I’ll spare the details, for as I’m not a Lord anymore, I still have enough gentleman in me to not screw and tell too much. Mind you, she was a wonderful lover for that night, day and evening. Yes, I regret I’ve never seen her again. She laid on my chest, hand on my heart, weeping, as if lamenting she couldn’t have me forever, but glad to have had me the once.
That’s life. It’s full of disappointments, but ya gotta grab happiness while ya can. In the face of a world besieged by demons, their offspring and evil folks, that brief happy time, a few words, the touch of a warm body, it can make ya go on, many for 400 more years.
Her prettiest aspect? It sorta shocked me, frankly, as I suspected at first the succubus had arrived, but no…
She broke the embrace and leapt up to grab one of my swords. Damn but she looked great as she swung down at the coiled copperheads like a properly trained axe-man from Albion. No hesitation, no sharp intake of breath, non of that pussy shit, she struck home true and sliced that freakin’ snake in a few pieces, then went back for more.
I don’t care who ya are, ya gotta love a woman who isn’t afraid of snakes.
Her name? I wish I could tell ya. That is a bad part of being 700 years old, some things fade, but a face, taste and touch, that lingers for centuries…names, not so much. Yeah, I recall my first lover, who doesn’t, but not that woman in the ruins. More is the pity. That is a sad thing, but I can’t dwell on it. I’m a death marcher, after all, which means I carry on until I’m done.
There, how was that?
About the Book
Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul, Volume 1
by Steven Shrewsbury
Book Synopsis: Journey into the dangerous and exciting world of Gorias La Gaul in this collection of short stories from highly-acclaimed author Steven Shrewsbury! Volume One includes the tales “Day of Iniquity”, “Ashes of the All-Father”, “Author and Finisher of Our Flesh”, “Insurmountable”, and “Beginning of the Trail” (a prequel story leading into the events found in the novel Overkill).
Fans of authors such as Robert E. Howard are sure to love the adventures of Gorias La Gaul, as he battles all manner of adversaries wielding two blades fashioned from the wings of angels!
Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul is Sword and Sorcery as the genre was intended to be!
About the Author
OVERKILL, HELL BILLY, THRALL, BAD MAGICK, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, STRONGER THAN DEATH, HAWG, TORMENTOR, GODFORSAKEN, the forthcoming PHILISTINE and BLACK SON RISING. These titles run from horror to historical high fantasy. He tries to drown out the rumors that he is Robert E. Howard reincarnated with beer. When not wrangling his sons, he can be found outside in his happy place.
Tour Schedule and Activities
9/30 Library Girl Reads and Reviews Contest
9/30 Ian’s Realm Interview with Stephen Zimmer
9/30 Book in the Bag Review
10/1 Azure Dwarf Review
10/1 Bee’s Knees Reviews Reader Interview Stephen Zimmer
10/1 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post-Steven Shrewsbury
10/1 Lost Inside the Covers Review
10/2 Beauty in Ruins Character Post-Gorias La Gaul
10/2 Come Selahway with Me Guest Post-Stephen Zimmer
10/2 Sheila Deeth Guest Post – Steven Shrewsbury
10/3 Deal Sharing Aunt Promo Spotlight
10/4 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Promo Spotlight
10/5 Spellbindings Promo Spotlight
10/5 Jorie Loves a Story Review
10/5 Jess Resides Here Review
10/5 SpecMusicMuse Guest Post – Stephen Zimmer
10/6 The Flipside of Julianne Promo Spotlight
10/6 L. Andrew Cooper’s Horrific Scribblings Review