The Eye of Balor

Fearal had grown up living in Omata. It was a rough and tumble life in the small town that was only seen as a crossroads on the way to Cammarata. While the port town of Cammarata was seen as sunny and beautiful, Omata often looked dusty and dried out and far too hot. People who visited Omata rarely wanted to stay longer than a night and even then they rarely wanted to do that. The inn was rarely half full and most of those guests were caravans transporting goods to the markets of Cammarata or the ports. Fearal had even helped feed horses and move boxes for coins when he was a little boy.

Now he had just reached thirty years of age and he had never really done much. He had never left Omata during his entire life. The jewel of Altiria, the port city of Cammarata was not too far down the road but he had never been there. He had no reason to go to the big city where merchants tried to steal your money before the thieves could get at it. He had grown into a strong and honorable man. Sure, he was the first to admit that he was not the smartest man but honor went a long way. It had gotten him chosen by the town to be local constable and he was dedicated to keeping the law in Omata.

Fearal started his day on the outskirts of town, every morning. There he always got breakfast and strong coffee at the home of Pella. She was a beautiful woman who farmed up a meager existence near town. Mornings with Pella were easy and a comfort since Fearal was not a morning person. After Pella, he made his rounds to all the farms that surrounded the town. The only thing Omata had going for it besides shipping was livestock. There were three cattle farms and two horse farms and they all worked together in an alliance. Still, it was good to check on them because there were sometimes disagreements.

There had been no disagreements that morning. All of the horsemen and all of the cattlemen and women were playing nice which was always a blessing. Fearal made his way back into town and walked down the main street. Of course, that was also the only street in town but that was barely worth mentioning. He checked in on the general store and it was empty except for a single sleeping shopgirl. Fearal then headed over to the inn. The inn was generally where all the trouble was if there was going to be trouble. He always visited the inn second to last as it could very well be the hardest part of his day. He walked into the place with a sense of dread in his chest.

“I don’t have much time today, Murio. Please tell me there aren’t any drunks to toss or arguments to settle. I don’t think I even have time to make sure one of your bills are paid.” Fearal said as he walked across the floor. The inn’s main room was empty and sound echoed back from behind the front desk.

“Isn’t that your job, Constable?” Murio asked. He had inherited the inn from his mother and, like her, he accepted no nonsense.

“My job isn’t so strictly defined. You know I do what needs to be done,” Fearal said.

“Funny you should mention jobs that need to be done,” Murio said with a smile.

“Oh please tell me it’s not a drunk.”

“One of my guests has boxes at the warehouse. He said that there was a commotion over there last night. Did you hear of anything?” Murio asked.

“You know I sleep like a stone, Murio. I didn’t hear any commotion but that doesn’t mean anything.”

“So can you check it out?” Murio asked.

“Of course. It’s probably nothing but a rat,” Fearal answered.

“Do you need me to get the blacksmith’s boy so you can have some backup?” Murio asked with a smirk.

Fearal gave the innkeeper a rude gesture and headed off toward the warehouse. He had a rusty sword handed down to him from the previous constable. He had never had to use it this whole time and he was sure today would be no different. He grabbed the sliding door on the warehouse and shoved it aside. The unrelenting sun shined into the warehouse, illuminating the shelves and boxes. And yet, there was something in the corner that Fearal could not make out. Fearal advanced and something made him pull his sword this time. He found himself trembling and not knowing why.

“Did you really think a sword would help you deal with us, mortal?” A woman spoke from the darkness.

“Who’s there!?” Fearal called out. He pointed the sword at the woman as she came out of the shadows. There was still something huge behind her that Fearal just couldn’t see.

“It is not important for you to learn my name. It will do you no good,” She said.

“You need to leave,” Fearal said but his voice was far too shaky to be authoritative.

“Oh, we’re not going anywhere. We used to rule this place and we will gain the power to do so again,” The woman said again. “You are not important enough to know my name but I will introduce you to my husband. His name is Balor and the world will feel his gaze.”

The thing in the corner stepped into the light. It was nine feet tall and it had three eyes. The two that were open were cold and emotionless as they looked down at Fearal who was paralyzed by fear. Balor walked forward, step by plodding step until it came to a stop. Slowly the third eye started to open and Fearal could feel the sun’s heat become more unbearable. The heat was rising fast and Fearal heard the sword clatter to the floor without remembering he had dropped it. Too late, he realized that the heat was not coming from the sun but from the eye of Balor and Fearal screamed as he burst into flames. Balor marched toward Omata.

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