The men slowed as we topped the hill. The road had disappeared.  And there standing in front of a fern-draped grotto,  was a tiny woman, a little over four feet tall. She wielded a two-handed great sword, the size of which would strain even a man of the front line. She was wearing a shift of rough- spun silk.  Alas her feet were bare, and long auburn hair fell down her arms and back...
Bile crept up into my mouth as the intention of this bunch was clear. "There, there, missey....We’ll treat ya nice.”
Then she spun, her hair circled out, and I thought she was bolting for the deep of the ferns. A glint of steel followed the arc of her hair, and I felt, rather than heard, the hollow  thud of two heads hitting the rootbound earth.  And there she stood as though she never moved.
One whispered, "Witch" and many just ran back down the road.
There remained five men that wanted blood for blood. Experienced solders all, they had brought down mounted knights in pitch battle, and no elfwitch would escape after a slaughter of their comrades-in-arms.
Not once did I hear the ring of metal on metal. Not one parry did I observe. Like a maple seed falling did her blade whirl and turn. Only the sound of wind blowing through a stone canyon could be heard.
She never cried out.
She never attacked.
And I loved her.

​                                                                                                                                 by © William Glascock