‘Overconfident’

There would be no justice out here for them. None but his own.

The snow crunched beneath his feet. His knuckles just as white around the haft of the axe. His job was easy. They were travelling indiscreetly. Overconfident.

He found them just as the red sun was consumed by the distant peaks. They sneered as he stood at the edge of their firelight.

‘Here he is,’ the bigger of the two said. ‘Told you that was the quickest way to get the job done. Kill those two and let him come to us.’

He said nothing reply.

‘Your turn then,’ the other said and spat into the fire. Then smirking he turned to his companion with words half formed on his tongue.

Overconfident.

He moved quickly, his mind made up many long, cold miles ago.

The axe split the first man’s head and sprayed blood over the other’s face. Methodically he put his foot to the dead mans back and pulled the axe free. The other man reeled backwards and tumbled into the snow. One hand fumbled for his sword just as the other raised for mercy.

There was none.

The deed done he crouched on his haunches and warmed himself by the fire.

They should have left him to his peace in the wilderness.

*

As morning came the snow had left only the handle of the axe exposed. A bloody marker against the white. The man was gone.

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