by Laine Scheliga
This is the true story of Black Leg, a vile yet remarkable man somehow forgotten through the meandering passages of time’s labyrinth. Black Leg was the vilest mercenary on land and sea. He was a man of great cruelty, and so mean you could feel him coming from nearly a mile away. Still in spite of Black Leg’s rank disposition, the man possessed the handsome countenance of blue blood nobility. He was sharp of wit and mind, and none could match his bravery in battle. Black Leg had been hacked, cut, bludgeoned, hung, racked, clubbed, knifed, slashed, punctured, imprisoned, tortured, and shot many times over. He was said to have harvested over a thousand scars, and his body was covered by hundreds of tattoos from all ports of call. One of his large testicles had fallen off, and this he carried in his pocket with pride on a string as a memento. From time to time, Black Leg also carried the influenza, syphilis, the plague, and many other illnesses that hadn’t yet been identified. These maladies and conditions, in attempts to compromise his constitution, were unsuccessful. At one time however, a lead musket ball had lodged itself deep in his lower leg during battle. The ball had induced a black, stinking infection that slowly crept through his body. The infection festered and rotted and seeped and stank, turning first his foot black, then his leg, then his right hip, then his abdomen. Some said Black Leg would die when the infection reached his heart. Others said that because Black Leg had no heart, he would not die. Ultimately, the terrible infection was defeated by the toxic and indomitable spirit of its host. The infection weakened, died and receded, leaving behind only the stiff and wretched black leg that became the man’s moniker.
No man could strike fear and disgust into the common man as did Black Leg. His wit was lacerating, yet he was equally fierce with broadsword, lance, pummel, dagger, club, flail, mace, his fists, and his teeth. In spite of his waning skeletal countenance, Black Leg was physically powerful with an otherworldly endurance. He never seemed to require food or water. He knew many secrets of the fighting arts gleaned from travels to the Orient. He knew the locations and vulnerabilities of man’s internal organs and knew how to best attack to splay them and cause them to burst. Black Leg had been known to snap the necks of pestering monks and others of the clergy with his bare hands as commentary on all religious hypocrisy.
It was said that Black Leg also enjoyed eating children for breakfast. This could not be proven, but it was common knowledge. All manner of animals shunned him; the most vicious of dog, wolf, and coyote ran from him in abject terror, tails between their legs. Rats, bats, roaches, spiders, scorpions, and large beetles, however, were another matter. They freely crawled upon him, even nesting on him and in his beard when it amused him.
None could kill Black Leg, though many had tried. None could reason with Black Leg whether he was drunk or sober. No enemy was ever spared, no man ever given quarter . Black Leg’s skills were vast, his remorselessness an absolute.
As a result of these characteristics, Black Leg was much in demand as a mercenary. To have Black Leg in your ranks on sea or land was a guarantee of victory, though it would likely be a victory of a grotesque, repulsive, heinous, and nightmarish nature.
Black Leg had nothing to lose, and hence his efforts were always encompassing in the absolute. He had no fear of death, for he was death incarnate. He had no love, no pride, no honor. He had no desire of worldly things; not riches nor power, for he took whatever he wanted whenever he wanted it, and he was always richly rewarded for his services. He was utterly without the gluttonous impulse of regular men, because everything was already his for the taking. It was as though a large piece of the human need to accumulate was absent in him. Black Leg existed only for the fight and the extremities of excitement that he could extract from it. Whatever came as a result of it was peripheral. And, at first, Black Leg was very happy. His legend grew from battle to battle, so did his preternatural and unappeasable hunger for cruel and savage conquest. Many score of men fell around him, from the most honorable to the most despicable. Black Leg killed without prejudice. He killed terrible man-monsters, pesky scoundrels, arrogant officers, noble savages, gallant warriors, skilled war-seasoned soldiers of all class and distinction and vital seamen of all rank, so long as they were deemed the enemy by those who paid his commission. Year upon year men fell at Black Leg’s hand, battle upon battle, commission upon commission, corpse upon corpse. And Black Leg soon became very rich. But, ultimately Black Leg was dissatisfied. No adversary had ever proven his equal. None. Until one day, Black Leg was to discover a nemesis worthy of his wrath and his better in corruption. This adversary was unlike any man that Black Leg had ever encountered, because this new adversary was a woman, a very beautiful woman. Her name was Lasha Froide-Morte.
In many ways, Lasha Froide-Morte was not unlike most women. Like all women, Lasha Froide-Morte was without principle, honor, or conscience. She was incapable of linear thinking or sensibility. And, like most beautiful women, she was self-absorbed and vainglorious to the point of self-idolatry. She was also unceasingly greedy, profoundly ignorant of her own ignorances and in full and willfull disregard of her distortions of character. She was also one of the most beautiful and shapely woman in the world, which gave her great power that she wielded over all men with ruthlessness and guile. Where the deadly Black Leg was physically destructive, Lasha Froide-Morte’s skill was the wanton and cheerful evisceration of the very souls of any man who desired her. Her jealousies were legion, her appetites ravenous and unappeasable, her cruelties calculated and wrought of the whimsy, meanness, and the absolute pointlessness of womankind. And, or course, the first time that Black Leg laid eyes her, he fell madly in love with her. Here was a tempest of a woman whose essential evil clearly trumped his own, thought he. A creature truly worthy of the sheathing of his most profound and legendary truncheon! Perhaps, thought Black Leg, she would be worth the trouble to woo, then to capture or imprison if necessary for his regular personal service and abuse.
Of course, the beautiful seductress Lasha Foide-Morte would resist Black Leg’s many charms. At first.
Black Leg first spied Lasha Froide-Morte tending to the bar at the Four of Wands Pub in Wigtownshire, near the Gateway to the Gallaway Hills, in Scotland. Black Leg was between commissions, just released his duty as bounty hunter on the River Cree. Having hunted and ruthlessly dispatched his charges, brought back their heads and collected his due, Black Leg, pockets full of gold, had taken lodging at the Four Wands and was drinking and eating his fill. Wigtownshire was unfamiliar territory to Black Leg, but it mattered not, for he was treated as nobility wherever he went. The wine had put Black Leg into as pleasant a disposition as he was capable, and his eye was drawn to the spectacle of the beautiful woman behind the bar. He watched her closely.
Her eyes flashed green and wicked, her lips were the color of human blood let to run. Her skin was a rich nut brown from regular wanton nakedness in the sun and sea. Her hair was long and black as coal, as wild as wind-blown wheat. Her breasts were bounteous and boasting a full and deep display of magnificent sweating cleavage into which her customers stuffed banknote and coin. Her haunches were thick, round, robust and ample, and she wore no undergarments at all, a fact that she demonstrated to her advantage whenever possible.
When Black Leg first saw her, he was immediately entranced with her uncanny beauty and the imaginative depravity of her language. The recipient of her profane assault at this moment was the drunken Monk Brother Dulrimple, whom she was clubbing in the head with a heavy ale tankard as she spewed imaginative invective. Brother Dulrimple had neglected to tip Lasha for many dispensational services of ale throughout the course of the day. The Monk, drunk and nearly penniless, had suggested that he would gladly contribute Lasha’s tips directly to the monastery, eliminating Lasha’s need to tithe. Lasha was having none of it. And thusly she slammed drunken Brother Dulrimple in the head with the tankard. Strangely, as she clomped him, Brother Dulrimple’s prodigious loinal protrusion became astonishingly aroused, jutting visibly turgid from beneath the folds of his monken robes.
Black Leg was delighted by the woman’s unsecreted disdain for the hypocrisy of clergy. He had never experienced such desire to know a woman, feeling his own legendary and prodigious tumescense begin its own turgid clamber.
“Perhaps you’d care to visit my quarters for a game of chance?” suggested Black Leg, when the beating of the monk was through.
“No chance,” said Lasha, well-winded of her efforts.
“No game of chance?” asked Black Leg. “No quarter given?”
“Neither quarter nor chance, Sir Black Leg.”
“Ah,” said Black Leg, doubtful. “Then you may force me to drag you to my chambers by your pretty hair and pound you like chopped meat.”
“Please understand, Sir Black Leg,” she said quickly. “Indeed I am deeply flattered and pleased to have your Ruthlessness here at the Four Wands, provided you don’t decide to kill me or any of my guests. At least,” she added, looking down at the moaning and still turgid monk, “those that tip.”
“Killing you would be a shameful promotion of the priesthood,” observed Black Leg. “And this we cannot have. At least for the moment,” said he.
“Amen,” said Lasha.
She busied herself then again, uncertain behind the plank, she drawing ales and sliding them down the bar as Black Leg continued to study her with great interest and growing desire. She examined him lustfully in return, fearful yet curiously aroused.
And, as the fates would have it, the two found themselves together that very night in Black Leg’s quarters at the Four Wands. Their lovemaking was immediate and without ceremony, and a most violent derivative of the act. Their bodies slammed one into the other in wanton collisions of savage and animalistic rutting, each consuming the other in coequal measure, explosive in equal parts rage and passion and degradation. The physical assaults of their lovemaking was very near murder. For many hours they pounded one the other, roaring and groaning and shrieking like monkeys, in all possible permutations of positioning. One could not seem to get their fill of the other, nor did their passion show any sign of exhaustion until early the next day when the morning sun finally worked up the nerve to creep through the cracks in the walls. Both, then, fell to bruised slumber; a sleep so deep that it lasted for nearly a week.
Soon afterward the two were wed with much pageantry and fanfare; the badly bruised Brother Dulrimple overseeing the ceremonies with proper pomp and affection. Black Leg retired comfortably with his beloved in a spacious villa near the river. And there they lived happily ever after with much violence, malevolence, infidelity, jealousy, and broken crockery. Until, one fine and lovely day they brutally murdered one the other in a final and magnificent mutual manifestation of their perfect, unfettered and abiding love.