FOR THE WORD HORDE!
Thousands of them, warriors covered in the blood of fallen subjects, their axes stained crimson from predicates who never knew it was to be their end.
“Sean, this is not just any group of warriors you’re teaming up with, this is the Word Horde!”
Their swords are terrible in the light of a scalding sun, gleaming with the ferocity of verbs, nouns, and adjectives ready for a fight. I too am ready to do battle; to sacrifice my body, (mostly my fingers and hands) to the cause.
“I will join the Word Horde!” I scream, and the din around me is terrifying, but it certainly gets my adrenaline pumping.
The drums thunder with the promise of hand-to-hand combat, page after page of it.
We charge, individuals made strong by a common goal. To whoop these readers upside the head, and go in for the kill. To shake those in search of literary entertainment to the core. None of them have any idea what’s in store, but oh let me tell you, we got a fever inside us. Inside of me, my ancestors are high off wode, and the thrill of Valhalla, cheering in unison.
Lightning cracks the sky, scorching the horizon, and a storm begins in an instant. I grit my teeth, get ready for it. The smile on my face would set a clunky paragraph to crying.
Rain soaks the land, and a qualifier falls beside me: I grab his mace. A terrible spiked metal ball attached to a wooden handle: I slam it into the spine of an adverb as it advances upon me, shrieking onomatopoeic obscenities.
“Great job Sean, I like what you’re doing here!” Ross says, and he’s in a terrifyingly scant amount of armor, his hair underneath a horned helmet.
“I didn’t see you, brother,” I say, knocking a weak noun off of its feet, ducking as one of my Horde looses an arrow, which slams home into the heart of a particularly poor word choice.
“I’ve been here since the beginning!” Ross shouts, and the slash of his mighty golden editor’s sword is a thing to behold.
A beast of war barks by my feet. I see it’s none other than Elinor Phantom, the terrifying battle hound out for blood with our Word Horde. May the gods help whoever crosses her path of vicious bloodthirsty hunger.
“How many words did you want me to kill?” I shout over to he of the Locked Heart, and he shouts back “as many as seems appropriate,” before he slices another poor word choice down the middle with his powerful blade.
“FOR THE WORD HORDE!” I scream, and lose myself in the chaos of battle, a berserker in a frenzy.
This battle is just beginning, friends. We need warriors to join up with the Word Horde. Can we count you among our number? Do you long to slay boring sentences in the moonlight? Do you worship the Gods of Story, and plot, and Character? Understand, once you join, you must dedicate your energy to the Word Horde. The only way out of this is in a hole in the dirt.
Our Word Horde has anthologies like Cthulhu Fhtagn!, Giallo Fantastique, the Shirley Jackson Award-nominated The Children of Old Leech, and Tales of Jack the Ripper. Our Word Horde has novels, like Mr. Suicide by Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author Nicole Cushing, Vermilion by British Fantasy Award nominee Molly Tanzer, and We Leave Together by J. M. McDermott.
“Tell them about the upcoming warriors joining up with the Word Horde!” Elinor growls at me.
“I didn’t know you could talk!” I shout back, breaking a lazy sentence’s neck with my mace, my word killer.
“Shut up and tell them about the stuff on the way!” she barks out, and proceeds to rip the Achilles tendon of a sad antecedent.
“We have Orrin Grey’s new collection Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts coming in October!” I roar, and snap the forearm of a demonstrative pronoun with my bare hands. This pleases me.
“And ALSO?!” she bellows in a timbre I didn’t think such a small creature could emit.
“Oh, and Livia Llewellyn’s collection Furnace in 2016!”
Before I know it, the Word Horde is alone, our foes seem to have retreated, for the moment. Seeing their comrades rendered into so much spilled ink seems to have put the necessary fear into them they should have had from the start.
“Not bad for a first battle,” Ross says, and puts his hand on my shoulder.
“Do you always wear so little armor?” I ask he of the curly man-mane.
“What do you mean ‘so little’? This is a lot of armor for me. Normally I have on way less.”
The adrenaline of the battle having died down, I start to seriously question my decision to become social media manager for Word Horde.
“Come on, I’m gonna order a pizza,” Ross says.
And like that, I’m back on board!
“LONG LIVE THE WORD HORDE!”
–Sean M. Thompson
Social Media Manager