Glörell stood facing the calm waters, her bare feet sinking into the thick, cool sand beneath her. In her right hand she held a short tomahawk, it’s tip dripping with dark red almost black blood. Her long, blonde hair lay braided down her back and she wore an iron-plated breastplate with a chainmail shirt beneath. Spots of dried blood flecked her cheeks and forehead. Glörell stared at the creeping waves with a fierce intensity, her piercing blue eyes giving her a cold, hard appearance. Her skin was smooth as marble and milky white in complexion, her lips full and slightly parted. Taking several deep breaths she glanced around her. A wall of forest trees lay behind her and two tall cliffs stood at either end of the long, empty beach. Glörell threw the tomahawk at the beach floor, it’s sharpened end embedding itself in the soft sand and began removing her heavy breastplate. It fell on the sand with a dull thump as she then focused on unfastening her chainmail. This too fell to the ground. A cool breeze whipped across the sea, ruffling Glörell’s long dress. Her body shivered but her face remained stony, apparently unaffected by the chill wind. Her fingers curled around a fastened knot behind her neck and after a few seconds of fiddling, the simple, brown dress slipped from around her. Her naked flesh prickled with goose bumps and her pink nipples stood hard and erect. Glörell stepped nimbly over the heap of discarded clothes and armory and marched slowly towards the icy waters.
She was short and curvy with wide hips and muscular legs. Her shoulders were broad for a woman and her arms toned and defined. This was a woman who knew how to handle herself. Although she exhibited a certain level of femininity with her shapely physique, she walked with a more masculine gait, her legs making long strides to the water. Her muscles flexed and quivered as her legs and feet pushed against the resistance of the sinking sand. Reaching the water she paused to unite her braid, allowing her long, blonde hair to unfurl and roll down her shoulders. The small waves gently ebbed and glowed their way between her muddied toes, cleansing them of some of the more recent dirt. Glörell closed her eyes and inhaled salty fumes from the ocean spray. Her full lips curled into a slight smile as she stepped forwards into the dark waters.
The strong woman’s face remained the same, stuck in an emotionless expression. There was only one instance where her face betrayed an emotion. When the water had reached her waist there was a sudden dip in the depth level, the freezing sea lapping against her ribs. A momentary gasp escaped her lips, accompanied by a flicker of the eyelids. She paused and recomposed herself and then without warning suddenly dived into the semi shallow waters. Glörell remained beneath the surface for quite some time, pushing herself further down by kicking out with her legs. Feeling her lungs beginning to ache she broke the surface and shook the hair from her eyes. The water was so cold that it gave her a headache but at the same time she felt exhilarated. It was highly refreshing and Glörell felt an immense sense of freedom being bereft of clothes. Floating around in the cool waters allowed her to feel a degree of separation from the land itself. After she had washed herself and cleansed her body of the previous battle she slowly waded back to the shore.
It was while she was pulling her dress back on that Glörell felt that something wasn’t right. Crouching low to the ground she yanked the tomahawk from the sand and scanned the treeline. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary but Glörell couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being watched. Then a blurred movement in the bushes up ahead caught her eye. Instinctively Glörell snapped into a fighting position and lobbed the tomahawk in the corresponding direction. There was a yelp as the weapon disappeared through the screen of foliage, followed by a dull thud as it came into contact with something. On her way to investigate she paused and bending down, scooped up a sturdy, fallen branch. Glörell half expected it to be one of the locals from town, boozed up and looking for a good time. Well they had picked the wrong woman to mess with Glörell thought to herself as she cautiously parted the bushes. But it wasn’t a boozy local. A small, grubby faced child stared back at her, a mixture of fear and guilt in his dark brown eyes. Glörell’s axe sat embedded in the tree above the boy’s head, pinning his winter cloak to the bark.
‘Is that you Arul?’ Glörell said, chucking away the stick and folding her arms.
The boy nodded his head solemnly, knowing he was in deep trouble.
‘Were you spying on me?’ Glörell demanded.
‘No.’ Arul muttered quietly.
‘You’re lying Arul.’ She said disapprovingly.
Glörell felt a little relieved. This did not completely cure her embarrassment and insecurity at being spied on naked. However it did ease her mind that it was a curious child as opposed to a randy man.
‘Come on.’ She said and wrenched the axe free of the bark. ‘I will take you back with me.’
‘Are you going to tell my mother?’
Glörell glanced at Arul. He looked absolutely distraught and his short legs trembled. She felt a little sorry for the small creature but couldn’t do anything to help him. It was her duty to inform the mother and besides the boy had to learn that his behavior wasn’t acceptable.
‘I’m afraid I have to.’
Arul nodded and his shoulders sagged, accepting his fate. Glörell reached out for the boy’s had and gave it a reassuring squeeze.
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