Horizon And The Rosemort (Inspiration Point = It wasn't the wine...)
Wine did not agree with Horizon, in fact it practically had a punch-up with him.
Perhaps it was his half giant/half gnome physiology but one glass of red wine and his head was spinning and it didn’t just spin round in a circle, the way human heads did, but turned in spirals too, and figures of eight.
“You look like you’ve had enough to drink my friend”, said the portly, old landlord of the Rose and Unicorn inn.
“Tot at nall”, slurred Horizon, “I mean, not at all. Pour another one please, barman”.
Suddenly, there was a scream from outside the inn or maybe it was from inside the outt, Horizon was far too drunk to be sure but, looking round at the entrance to the inn, he saw the Landlord’s daughter, an entrancing dark haired beauty, but who looked, at this moment, to be in a state of some shock and terror.
“There’s a Rosemort in the village!”, she screamed, “It’s already killed two people and it’s coming this way!”
“What would it want here?”, said the Landlord, “Rosemorts only come as a vengeance
of some kind. When the spirits have been wronged by man”.
The landlord’s daughter scowled; her eyes, narrowing as she pointed an accusing finger at her father, “You know very well what it wants. It wants that fairy gold
I saw you hiding under your bed last night, that’s what”.
“Fairy gold?”, asked the Landlord, scratching his head and feigning innocence, “I don’t know what you mean, my dear”.
“You know very well what I mean”, said his daughter, “I saw you hiding it and anyone who steals gold from the fairies brings death and trouble upon them”.
“Perhapsh”, said Horizon; rising, with difficulty, to his feet, “I might be of shome asshishtance. You know, I am a hero of shome renown in my own country”.
“You can do what you like”, said the Landlord’s daughter heading towards the back entrance of the Inn, “But if you’re as wise as you are brave then you’ll get out of here before the Rosemort comes. That’s what I’m going to do”.
“Nonshense, lear dady”, said Horizon, “I mean, dear lady. I shall deal with your rampaging Rosemort forthwith” and , seizing a large bottle of wine in one hand and a sword in the other, Horizon walked or, more correctly, he staggered bravely foreward, out of the entrance to the old inn and into the main street of the village where he saw, for the first time, the towering terror that was the Rosemort.
Casting a shadow which was almost a mile long; it was, as its name suggested, a kind of Rose, but with long tendril like legs and leaf like feet instead of roots and long green tentacle like arms covered in thorns the size of shark fins and as sharp and deadly as axe heads.
“No fouler flower have I ever seen”, yelled Horizon, drunkenly, “But I, Hoziron!... I mean, Horizon, shall be the one to pluck you!”
But, before Horizon could take another stumbling step further, the Rosemort had lifted him up in one of its enormous green arms, as long as a winding, country road and, was about to slice him into plantfood with one of its razor sharp thorns when Horizon lost his grip upon the large bottle of strong-red wine and it tumbled down,
emptying out its contents as it fell, into the giant labyrinth of the Rosemort’s scarlet petaled head.
“Give me back my wine. You thieving flower”, shouted Horizon angrily, whacking at the giant green stem that was holding him captive in its iron manacle like grip.
But he needn’t have bothered raising his sword, for the wine was already starting to poison the monstrous flower.
Looking down, he saw its red petals crumbling to dust the way that burning paper turns to ash, then the whole of its head became too heavy
for the dying plant to hold up and started to droop as the creature slumped forward, clutching the tall spire of the village church and trying to support itself but ultimately losing its balance and falling to the dusty earth with a deafening thud.
Seeing the murderous, monster rose come crashing down; the villagers, who had been screaming and panicking, now gave out a gigantic cheer and the Landlord’s daughter grabbed hold of Horizon tightly and gave him a big kiss upon his left cheek.
“Thank goodness”, said Horizon, starting to sober up slightly, “Thank goodness, I had that bottle of wine in my hand”.
“No”, said the Landlord’s daughter, shaking her head and laughing, “It wasn’t the wine that did it, it was you”.