Shadow's Grasp - Parts 6 to 10

Author: MMW

Disclaimer: See index


Within the room that served as prison
Vin and Buck sought to clear their vision
For as they waited for their strength
They realized something else at length

With a lack of clarity in their minds
They remembered something each in kind
For once at night they’d each awaken
And from a cup a drink they’d taken

Drugged they did believe the wine
Which caused them each to lose some time
And cause their difficulty in thought
And steal the strength both men sought

For try and try as they might
Both knew they’d ne’er see the sight
Of sky and wind and countryside
And no more as free men would they ride

Unless the two could find a way
To purge their systems on this day
Of the drug that sapped their power
And seemed to weaken them each hour

Though each man refused to admit
That this could quite possibly be it
For the drug could very well be poison
Which could kill before the boys rode in

And then it was with these thoughts
That a noise outside their attention caught
The sound they tried to identify
Was soon answered as to their eye

The cause of the noise revealed
A woman bringing in their meals
Answers from her they would try to win
So Buck gave his best and winning grin

But the woman looked away
Refusing even one word to say
As Buck did his charm employ
Vin observed her lack of joy

And in her face he read the fear
And did not miss the single tear
As Buck offered gentle words
Vin could see that they’d been heard

Both men knew she held their hope
But even as she cleared her throat
A thought did seem to cross her face
And quickly she did leave that place

Each man sighed and eyed the fare
Deciding of it to beware
For they needed their thoughts sharp
If from this place they would depart

But as they fought the tempting smell
Outside their prison not all was well
They heard a struggle and a shout
And wondered what it was about

Too soon their answer came by way
Of whip lashing flesh making them cry nay
For each lash was followed by a scream
But each scream grew weaker or so it seemed

And then the sound of breaking bone
Drove the horror truly home
For whomever held these two friends
Could not intend a happy end.

And fear then clenched these noble hearts
That they would each play the part
Of victim of the torturer’s need
And that they would die ‘ere they were freed

As piteous moans’ echoes did last
Outside resounded an evil laugh
That their blood and souls did freeze
And for freedom increased their need.


As the five did ride Josiah’s mind
Did travel back through space and time
Unto a point in his youth
When he had sought both pow’r and truth

But he had then been led astray
By those whom upon innocents pray
At first the cult had promised knowledge
That could not be gained at any college

The leader who was known as Crow
Did the dark arts closely know
And he deceived Josiah’s mind
Until almost too late the truth he’d find

And step into the darkest night
And prevent the unholy sacrifice
Of a woman young with unborn child
As all the cult members went wild

For Josiah’d breached their sacred rite
And now found himself in deadly plight
For Crow condemned him to play the part
Of sacrifice where they’d take his heart

But behind Josiah stood the Goat
And held a knife to Josiah’s throat
And with evil laugh he did rejoice
At the Crow’s sacrificial choice

For jealousy had claimed the goat
As every one did clearly note
And Crow in disappointment gave
The goat a chance to soothe his rage

By keeping Josiah imprisoned there
And keep him alive with careful care
Until the night of the full moon
When Josiah’d meet an untimely doom

But before that fateful night arrived
Josiah used a trick from a tribe
He’d studied with not long ago
A trick that no one there would know

He broke free and did escape
From a violent and deadly fate
But as he hid in nearby brush
A chill of fear his soul did touch

For he saw goat’s madness grow
As he heard the order of the Crow
That the goat and he alone
Would bring Josiah to Crow’s throne

Where Josiah would pay the price
For saving their only sacrifice
And should the goat fail to bring
Josiah back to feel death’s sting

Within a generation’s time
The goat would meet a fate sublime
For he would stand in Josiah’s place
And meet Josiah’s deadly fate

After hearing the orders vile and dark
Josiah felt the beat of his heart
Increase with fear in the night
And know he must seek the light

Slowly, slowly he did leave
And for his innocence did grieve
But o’er the years he’d forgot
All the things that he should not

And now two of his brothers’ fates
Depended on him not being late
To bring them home from Darkness’ wrath
And ensure they walked on Light’s path

He knew the rest he’d have to tell
So the Seven would avoid the hell
Which Crow planned for Josiah’s soul
And which no man should ever know


The goat thought back to the night
Josiah ruined their dark rite
And caused the goat’s nightmare to wake
When Crow ordered Josiah’s life to take

But Crow had paid with his soul
When he came for goat who failed the goal
Twenty years had passed without
Bringing Josiah’s capture about

But before the Crow could take his life
Goat had struck out with his knife
And vowed Josiah’s life to claim
As more blood his soul did stain.

He stepped out now to view his prize
Two men he had, two souls, two lives
And both would lead him to the end
When they brought to him their friend

He watched them sit in the light
That did the dark shadows fight
His soul recoiled as he read hope
And of their actions he took note

Behind him then he heard the sounds
Of his helper making rounds
And with a glance at the two men
Confirmed he’d use them to his ends

Then slinking back to shadow’s arms
The goat smiled at his henchman’s charms
Knowing she would always do
Exactly what he told her to

For in his private, power place
He held the key to her fate
For somewhere held against his will
Her child played and giggled still

A pawn, a tool, a handy chain
To control her again and again
To make her do as he would bid
Until of her soul she was completely rid

Then she would come and be his mate
Together they would create
A kingdom worthy of their power
And together rule from their tower

But never would she look at him
So he was forced to begin
To destroy the beauty of her soul
A beauty few would ever know

To save her son, she’d do his will
Though her soul rebelled and fought him still
So many lives and so much pain
Lived on her a constant stain

Forgiveness seemed beyond her reach
Though for her freedom she did beseech
Yet somehow now as she approached
She knew these men to be her hope

How to free them she did not know
Somehow she would free them though
They would help her find her son
Once this devil they’d overcome

But for now she had no choice
As the demon’s black and chilling voice
Ordered her their wounds to tend
And then to their needs to attend

For they were preparing for travel
As his string of clues he did unravel
Knowing that the end was near
And that he had not one thing to fear

As she passed by to obey
He reached out, one more thing to say
"You my dear are ever mine,
From now until the end of time."


Buck and Vin all day had worked
Until their fingers all did hurt
But they had made a hole to spy
What all occurred on the outside

What they saw did stomachs turn
But also knowledge them did earn
They saw the torture of a man
And slowly they devised a plan

For preparations were being made
That indicated they would not stay
At this location that much longer
Which meant they needed to get stronger

For if their consciousness they retained
Then a readiness could be explained
To make a break at time opportune
Provided that neither swooned

But though the drugs their systems fled
They were still weak without daily bread
And their injuries thought minor still
Were enough to sap their will

As they planned their action plan
Both men did quite quickly stand
When the door did open up
And a voice did whisper low and rough

And warn them against escape attempt
The voice was filled with contempt
But the form did not the voice match
And Buck and Vin stopped their attack

For they were faced with a slight woman
Who earlier had brought their food in
And so the two watched respectfully
Hoping she would speak ‘ere she did flee

"I have come to tend your wounds,"
She spoke as her voice filled the room
Buck and Vin exchanged a glance
This could well be their chance

"Thank you ma’am" they each did say
And let her tend them as she may
And quietly did each man speak
Keeping their voices soft and meek

The words they said did have effect
But she had not spoken yet
For she knew her nightmare stood outside
Listening, so her time she did bide

Hearing shuffling steps fade away
She turned to the men and she did say
All that she had on her heart
And the three discussed a plan in part

Her time was short and she did leave
But assured them she would meet their needs
And provide good food for them to eat
So as to their strength both men could keep

Much of their plan would have to wait
Until the day had grown late
For the goat would only walk at night
Fearing the daytime and the light

But once upon the unknown trail
Buck, Vin and she would avail
Themselves of the opportunity
To break away and be set free

Then to her son they would make
Their way together with all haste
And hopefully arrive
To rescue him safe and alive

Then the four would find their rest
And the future would become the best
They could make it for the two
By offering them a life brand new


Following the trail’s ride
Chris felt the danger grow inside
He didn’t know who was the goat
But Josiah’s look did close his throat

As quickly as he could track
JD moved forward, ne’er glancing back
To spy the countenance of Josiah’s dread
As if already his friends were dead

Ezra then and Nathan too
Rode in silence, not aware what to do
The fivesome quickly made their way
Until the dwindling light announced end of day

Many miles they had come
Hoping each clearing would be the one
That would fin’ly reunite
And put an end to the dreadful fright

But with each mile that passed them by
Each one wished that they might fly
And reach their brothers finally
That together they once more would be

As JD caught Chris’ eye
The blond looked up and read the sky
Knowing there was naught to do
But settle in the whole night through

For they could not read the trail
Though against this plan his soul did rail
For something whispered in his ear
That to Buck and Vin death hovered near

Looking o’er Josiah’s way
He knew not what words to say
But saw the knowledge in his eyes
That he would never compromise

Come night, come snow come sleet come hail
His two lost brothers he would not fail
For once before long, long ago
He had mistaken the power of his foe

But now he knew and would not lose
The precious family he did choose
No more would he dare surrender
His happy friend and his defender

For Buck and Vin meant to him
An opportunity to win
The soul he’d lost so long before
And thought he had regained once more

Though it might end his life
For his brothers he would fight
But after they did find the goat
He would ride away and leave note

For all his brethren not to follow
But for this battle to allow
Him to stand and fight alone
Against a darkness best unknown

For within the light Josiah walked
But in the night the goat did stalk
And in the shadowed lands did dwell
Seeking paths to service Hell

"Make camp," was Chris’ order clear
And quickly all did gather near
And prayed the night to swiftly pass
As they settled in the grass

Each man lost in thought did sit
As horses stood their tails a-twitch
And soon each man did settle in
‘Til nature’s call did attention win

And one did wander a bit away
And in a clearing the light did play
To reveal two corpses and a note
Which read, "To Josiah from the Goat"

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Email: MMW