Shadow's Grasp Parts 21 to 25

Author: MMW

Disclaimer: see index


Once more on the trail did Goat
Allow his mind to flit and float
Along the paths where it will
But back to Josiah it wandered still

The preacher man had been his foe
And that failure had to go
He thought the man to trail behind
And rejoiced within his evil mind

At the thought of Josiah finding
The one dead but still in bindings
And then the other who would go
In a painful way and very slow

Leaving blood and skin and more
Upon the land’s dirty floor
To lead to Josiah to Goat’s seat
Of power where the two would meet

But that would still be days away
And from his path, Goat would not stray
For he knew his time had come
To meet Josiah one on one

And defeat his nemesis
With pain and anguish to assist
For Josiah would be mourning those
Whose life to take the Goat had chose’

But Goat would have no such worries
As from his presence all did scurry
For when Goat’s dark was full revealed
Josiah’s fate would then be sealed

And death most painful and sublime
Would defeat his faith Devine
And then once free of failure’s shadow
Goat could then pack and go

With his fair bride,Millicent
And from her arms, her son he’d rent
And replace him with their own dark child
Who would be evil and quite wild

And carry on Goat’s dark ways
For all her nights and all her days
But first things first, so Goat decided
As against his daydreams himself he chided

For danger must still lurk behind
And it wouldn’t do for Josiah to find
Goat and the man before the moment
That all things were in place, each component

And so little did Goat suspect
That even his plans which were his best
Would never reach completion’s stage
For he had underestimated Josiah’s cold rage

And had no clue that his woman
Had chosen to walk the path most human
And left a map with short-cuts drawn
With intent that Goat would ne’er ‘gain see dawn

And as the small clearing they did approach
Millicent in Goat no worry did note
Until within the tree stand
She saw the light bathe a man

And knew within her heart most true
Exactly what she had to do
For as Goat flinched and slid to ground
Millicent did turn around

And headed back for the cart
Where she would play a different part
And free the man who promised aid
Though she was nervous and afraid

For whate’er Goat would do
Would affect her son anew
And she wanted all the help
To bring down Goat, the rabid whelp


Out upon the road where he fell
Vin began to wake and felt unwell
His head did hurt, his stomach spin
His arms did ache as did his chin

Each bruise was aggravated, hot
As he struggled for coherent thought
Trying his best to remember
He finally found memories’ ember

And recalled the beating harsh
And felt his throat severely parched
His hands were bound, his ribs were bruised
His body ached and he had no shoes

But determined fire burned inside
And from his promise he would not hide
Though now his straights looked grim and dire
Within Vin burned a hero’s fire

Finding strength he didn’t have
He worked until his hands did grab
A sharp-edged stone to cut the rope
That he could better go find Goat

For with Goat dwelt fair Millicent
Who from her arms her son was rent
It struck within Vin a chord
One that could not be ignored

For he thought of his dear mother
Who died when he had no other
And Vin vowed to never see
Another boy be that lonely

So with hands freed of bloody ropes
He rested searching for some hope
That he could accomplish his noble task
And bring Millicent and Alan together at last

Struggling to his sore feet
He prayed his friends he soon would meet
For his strength was on the wane
As he discovered each new pain

His ribs which had once been sore
Were now cracked or possibly more
And the fall had wrenched his knee
But in dark all damage he could not see

He could feel his battered wrists
And bruised hands that wouldn’t fist
Without much pain, but he went on
Knowing each night was followed by dawn

And for Vin right now it was darkest night
And he couldn’t imagine seeing the light
For the drugs did drag him down
And he kept hoping to be found

But he knew hope was a fragile thing
For he had felt disappointment’s sting
Too many times within his life
To believe in help within his strife

So he struggled onward still
Not by strength but force of will
Until exhaustion claimed his mind
And the correct trail he could not find

But he didn’t know he’d strayed the path
As he fell to earth and slipped at last
Into unconsciousness’ waiting arms
Unaware of danger, unaware of harm

He gave no thought to his own needs
As from him each sense did flee
Leaving him with unease
Beneath the gentle swaying trees

He’d rest for now, he’d rest until
He had slept and reached his fill
But as nighttime faded out
Night creatures all were wand’ring ‘bout


“Josiah”, the evil Goat did hiss
But in the moonlight did not miss
The glint of moonlight on gun’s steel
A hint that fate had turned the wheel

But as he scanned the surrounding brush
He became aware of fear’s crush
But he put his faith in darkness’ power
Which grew with each night’s hour

He knew he couldn’t take them here
But he also knew safety was near
He would need a captive ‘ere he went
And his mind did think of Millicent

Glancing ‘round he spotted her
Giving in to goodness’ lure
And sneaking ‘round to flee the man
That could soon force Goat’s hand

But swift and sure were Goat’s moves
As his path his mind did choose
With unearthly howl and demon growl
Goat shot Josiah a feral scowl

“Not now, but soon,” the Goat did hiss
As he got off a shot that was a miss
And Josiah stood and drew his bead
But into his path stepped Goat’s steed

And Josiah shouted out in rage
No longer wise, no longer sage
But charging at the dark-cloaked man
He wanted to get Goat in hand

And make Goat pay for all his sins
And ensure he did not win
But Goat was swift and dodged away
Intent that he would not stay

And grabbing Millicent did he
Hold knife to throat as they did flee
Keeping five men at bay
As Goats minions stepped in to play

As the lackeys did attack
Josiah could only turn his back
And curse as Goat did ride away
Vowing to meet another day

But quickly did the five subdue
Each of goats men who foolishly drew
Knife and gun to fight the five
In a fight they would not leave alive

With Goat’s men dead and dark full on
The five could only hope they’d won
The return of their missing friends
And bring this nightmare to an end

But as they checked in the cart
They found their goal, but just in part
For Buck was bound and waiting there
But Vin was gone they knew not where.

With speed and skill they did Buck free
And brought him o’er beneath a tree
Where Nathan did his wounds attend
As each man worried o’re their friends

For poor Buck would not arouse
Yet in his brain the knowledge housed
Of what goat planned and what would be
The fate of their tight company

So while they waited for Buck to wake
The others a fire they did make
And move the bodies of the dead
‘e’re the ground was stained red

And they each did search the men
Who Goat had chosen to defend
And found nothing of useful means
Just food, rope, whips and canteens


As the five did search around
They searched the cart and searched the ground
But could not find a sign of Vin
Not without or within

They had no choice but to wait
To find out where Vin’d been placed
And all that knowledge was locked within
Buck’s resting head once again

But just before the dawn did he
Begin to stir, though none did see
And fear gripped the ladies’ man
As he began to plot, began to plan

For though he was free from the rope
He believed to be in the hands of Goat
And wanted to gather all his strength
To fight his way free at length

And take with him Millicent fair
Before the two ran as a pair
And retrieved their wayward friend
‘E’re Vin met a gruesome end

But as he plotted and he planned
A sound reached him, the once again
He heard a sound he knew quite well
And all the worry from him, it fell

For the sound was of Chris’ spurs
A more beauteous sound he’d never heard
And op’ning eyes he saw the men
Who had become more than friends

Nate was first to note the change
And called out as the men did range
And drew them all unto Buck’s side
Which filled the noble man with pride

For safe within his friend’s embrace
He knew any nightmare they could face
But first he needed to find Vin
Then to the story put an end

For with Goat gone and Millicent
He knew that ‘e’re home they went
They would need to restore the son
And the sooner the better that they begun

But as he questioned his face grew grim
For now more than ever they needed Vin
But Buck was far too week
To set out his friend to seek

So with frustration growing strong
Chris took a breath, deep and long
And prayed Vin would in time forgive
And that his friend would still live

For they needed Buck to find the Tracker
There was no other way in the matter
But Buck would need to rest and heal
Before they all could with Goat deal

So biting back his frustration
Chris began his oration
On their plans and what to do
Ignoring the plea in Buck’s eyes of blue

Buck would rest as would the others
Then they would set out under cover
Of daylight when they’d not see Goat
And the wagon track they’d note

And cutting off all protest’ reply
Chris did look up to the sky
And wonder where was his friend
And how he would ever make amends.

And though they all did want to go
The wisdom they each did know
Of Larabee’s hard command
So none did contradict the man


Out on trail on horse they rode
Fair Millicent and the Goat
As Goat rode toward his hiding place
And Millicent recalled the face

Of the man who’d win her son
Knowing that once they’d begun
They’d track Goat down and free young Alan
So she accepted a simple plan

She’d go with Goat and play the role
Of what he expected, what he did know
Until the men did come for her
And this nightmare became a blur

For in Buck and Vin she placed her trust
For hope in them it was a must
For her fate otherwise was grim
And to not hope would let Goat win

So no protest did she make
As from her saviors Goat did take
The fair maid who longed to flee
And her freedom to once more see

Then worry bit at her anew
And she wondered what to do
For she knew not if Buck did thrive
And if Vin was e’en now alive

But biting back the painful thought
She did what Goat thought she ought
And soon found herself in Goat’s safe place
Her heart pounding as thoughts did race

But Alan came to hug her tight
And she knew she’d done right
To lead the men across Goat’s path
And end Goat’s reign of dark at last

And Goat did not expect a thing
As through his blood his fear did sing
At thought of facing his old foe
For having seen he did not know

If his power and if his dark
Would overcome Josiah’s heart
For in the man and in his friends
Goat had read of his own end

For the strength of five knights
Did squeeze his soul in fear quite tight
But the pow’r of the seven men
He knew he’d never see again

And hoped with all he had within
That dead is how they’d find their friend
For ‘tween the wounds and poisoned drugs
He should be in Deaths’ embrace snug

At least that’s what the Goat did hope
As fear seemed to clutch his throat
But looking upon his fair bride
He felt within a swell of pride

For if her captive he could keep
He knew his pow’r ‘d be complete
And the Seven could not win
And Josiah would pay for his sin

And fin’ly Goat would have revenge
And Goat’s penance would be at end
For though the Crow he had killed
Goat’s fear of him had never stilled.

But with stealthy silent tread
Had Alan’s nanny gone and read
The conflict living in Goat’s soul
And that was when she did know

The time had come for her to act
And claim her vengeance for the past
When Goat had killed her only child
The Crow, her baby meek and mild.

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