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Shattered Swords

A Fantasy Microfiction

By Matthew FrommPublished 5 months ago 1 min read
created with Midjourney

Ruby blood dripped down his ornate longsword’s blade onto the arena sands–blood they said would run black as mud. Cathar stood over his prey and pulled off his helm. The nameless ogre lay low upon its back, knee shattered by a well-placed strike from the anointed knight.

Above, the assembled court yelled their derision. Men and women who never wore armor heavier than silk rained chants of " death " upon the two warriors.

The onlookers chanted their jeers as the Ogre shifted onto his forearms, pain ripping across his tusked face, but resigned to his fate. They raised Cathar on dread tales of those tusks - how even a dying ogre would devour him like a rabid dog. His jagged iron sword lay broken, and his tattered leather armor clung weakly together, scoured to rags from Cathar’s assaults. He did not moan nor plead. Instead, the Ogre greeted Cathar with familiar eyes still full of life.

As their gaze met, Cathar saw something entirely unexpected but exceedingly familiar to the seasoned warrior. Something intimate.

Under the cries of the crowd, Cathar struck.

His longsword fell discarded to the sand as Cathar carried his adversary from the silenced arena.

Years passed, and Cathar’s son, the very likeness of his father, rode peacefully through a pleasant Ogre village, the ink on their treaty long since dry. An Elder sat on the longhouse porch, lame leg tucked beneath him as his smiling children waved at the knight. As their eyes met, the old Ogre smiled.



I love the classic trope of the nameless/faceless horde in high fantasy, but there are very real implications to such dehumanizing language and characterizations. I hope pieces like this can chip away at those falsehoods experienced in the real world.

If you've enjoyed this, please leave a like and an insight below. If you really enjoyed this, tips to fuel my coffee addiction are always appreciated. All formatting is designed for desktops. If you're looking for more fantasy, check out this piece of mine:

You can check out all my works below:

Short StoryMicrofictionFantasyFableAdventure

About the Creator

Matthew Fromm

Full-time nerd, history enthusiast, and proprietor of random knowledge. The best way to find your perfect story is to make it yourself.

Here there be dragons, and knights, and castles, and quests for entities not wished to be found.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (11)

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  • Rick Henry Christopher 2 months ago

    Wonderfully written. I love how it ended. Excellent writing!!!

  • Celia in Underland5 months ago

    Really well written as always. Unexpected but entirely satisfying ending!

  • River Joy5 months ago

    Oh I absolutely adore this. It reminds me of the Urgals in inheritance. Approaching "monsters" with empathy and understanding is a thing that most high fantasy lacks. You are right, it is also often paired with coded language about race and "othering" people. Really well done, and I am glad you shared this as something that you feel describes you.

  • ThatWriterWoman5 months ago

    LOVE high fantasy like this! Nice Matthew!

  • Mother Combs5 months ago

    great fantasy, love the ending

  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    There you go shining again! This is great, Matt and I loved the A/N. I will learn High Fantasy one way or another, lol. Thank you!

  • SC Wells5 months ago

    We definitely need more humanising portrayals of non-human fantasy creatures. This was a very refreshing tale on the trope

  • Addison M5 months ago

    The happy ending was a nice surprise. Excellent as always.

  • Hannah Moore5 months ago

    Well, I was not expecting the happy ending...and I loved it.

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Spectacular!!! Love it!!!💕❤️❤️

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