Prompt courtesy of BeKindRewrite‘s Inspiration Mondays.
The knight lowered his lance and charged into the forest. Dense shrubs pulled at the destrier’s legs while bare branches snapped and scrapped against his armour, screeching like a banshee in heat.
The forest cleared and the knight forded a stream. He lifted his visor and listened. The beast he pursued was quiet and could be hiding anywhere. The knight heeled his horse, moving up and down the stream’s bank, looking for tracks. The muddy shore gave way to flat sandstone blocks, rising up into the forest. The knight urged his mount to climb. The stone steps gave way to a thin, but well-used trail snaking up the mountain.
The monster materialized somewhere behind him and slammed into the horse’s flank. Confused and panicked, it swung around, throwing the knight to the ground. He landed hard on his side, bouncing around inside his armour. The terrified whinny of his horse forced him to his feet. He pulled his sword free, ready to attack.
The horse lay dying, its barding punctured and bent, legs snapped, neck twisted, blood geysering from rips and bites. The knight kneeled and rubbed its neck and ended the brutality.
The beast appeared in front of him, all teeth and claw and menace of a painful death. The knight attacked.
Days later, a search party set out to find the knight. A high-pitched scream brought everyone to the stone steps. The knight’s page found him, broken and bloodied and bent, his plate mail crumpled and torn, his double forged steel sword snapped clean in half.