Running from Death (chapter 4)

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Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:19 am

So, I came up with this idea a while back, it sounded pretty kickass when it started up so I got it down on paper. Now, I'm known to my brother for having loads of ideas, writing the first chapters and then not posting them and abandoning the whole thing. Well this time I have an idea that will hopefully stick, and even have a sequal (or not). It's basically about Death's assistant being identified as the one who must die next, therefore he goes on the run from Death himself into the dangerous underworld. That's all I'm saying, and I promise it not to be shallow at all, it has other themes and sub-storylines. Just give it a chance to start up. So here it is. Oh, and comments please, praise and contsructive would be appreciated.

Prologue

Have you ever been involved in some sort of supernatural ordeal? You know, like a cult or maybe some sort of clan where you worship vampires and other dark, evil creatures? You know, involved in something more supernatural than usual? Well, if you have, I can make a bet that it’s not as bad as the mess I’m caught up in. I just so happen to be Death’s assistant in fact, which is actually terrifying but rather fun at times. As a child I’d never believed in Death, he’d seemed so distant and far too unrealistic. Of all the creatures in the existence: Werewolves, Vampires, Lycans, Demons and much, much more, he seemed like the one who’d be so obvious to exist to the point where he didn’t exist. Though I’d never seen Death before, and he was just involved in tales of old, leaving me in great disbelief about his existence. That was up until I met him at the age of 25. I was supposed to die of course, like most people who see Death, but I didn’t. I was supposed to be killed by a gunshot, a mere bullet to the chest, but I wasn’t. Death saved me, as ironic as it was. He said that it wasn’t my time to die, but instead to move onto another life, a new life, to become his assistant. Curious, I accepted the offer (well, I didn’t have much choice, he’d let me die if I didn’t) and took me into the very depths of the underworld, to Death’s cottage, where everything was silent and no colour shone, not even the colour of the sun. T’is a grim place, but I’ll get to that later on in our tale. Anyway, ever since that incident, I’d been running around after Death, harvesting souls into the afterlife and even becoming him for a day. But after 10 long years of helping Death, my time had come. I, Death’s very assistant, had to die. It had been scripted, it had been prophesised and Death wanted me out of the way. This is the tale of how I escape into the open and attempt to outrun Death’s sting, this is the tale where I learn that not even Death’s assistant can out-run Death.


Chapter 1- A normal day in the underworld.

Being Death’s assistant isn’t an everyday, normal job. In fact, out of every job out there, only one soul gets to do it, and it always seemed to be a human who ended up having the job. I don’t know why that is of course, it just seemed to be that way, Death seemed to favour humans. It wasn’t racism, it was favouritism. I guess it was always to do with the fact that humans were the most uncorrupted beings out there, especially in the underworld.

Anyway, being Death’s assistant meant that I spent a good lot of my time running around collecting souls and moving them along to the after-life, such as what I was doing at the moment. Currently I was walking into a bar full of supernatural creatures, looking for the unlucky being who was about to be taken from the very underworld and sent into the afterlife, and my, what a dangerous job it was, due to the exposure of the bar I was walking into. ‘The Old Lycan’s Tavern’ was known to be one of the most ferocious bars in the whole underworld, known for its large death rate, this place was most certainly not a family place, but was the perfect place for any drunken male to die and not really be noticed or remembered whilst doing so.

Cries of joy and pain boomed from the bar, you could hear them half a mile off, as I had done when approaching the bar. This put me off greatly, like most things did. See, unlike Death, I was quite cowardly and tried my very best to avoid trouble, despite the fact it always found me anyway.

As I approached the bar I noticed a dark figure stood by one of the few windows the bar owned, the light from the inside of the bar shining on his body. He was dressed in complete black and seemed to have his teeth sunk into a young woman’s neck. I tried to pay no attention to the vampire whilst he was feasting, I didn’t want to be his next victim after all.

The sign of the bar had fallen apart to the point where it missed the letters: T, O, D, L, A, T, V. The remaining letters had rusted around the edges and some looked like they were about to fall off. The bar itself was falling apart with 3 smashed windows, the doors hanging off their hinges and several dead bodies of an all manner of creatures pinned up on the walls. I was really shaking now; it looked like the rumours were correct, as I’d feared. I was only human as well, I wasn’t super-strong, nor could I transform into a wild beast or was an expert in weapons, I was just a normal human who wielded a normal sword as a weapon.

I crept passed a dead werewolf pinned up on the wall and through the doorway. I was nearly deafened by the amount of noise bouncing around the bar. Glasses were being smashed, objects were being thrown around, one bloke was screaming, everybody was shouting and even a couple of people were brawling in the corner.

Making my way through the bar quietly, not wanting to attract attention to myself, I casually walked over to the bartender. Behind the bar stood a lanky human, his skin was a tanned colour and he wore a jet black suit which just so happened to match his hair. This was the bartender. He stared down at me with his blood red eyes as if I didn’t fit in the bar (in all honesty, I didn’t blame him, I stood out of the crowd like a raven in water) and growled: “Can I help you?”

I hadn’t had a drink from a bar in ages, so I wasn’t sure what they brewed in bars now-a-days, especially in a treacherous one like this one, so I went with what any normal person would have gone for in my position. “One coke please,” I smiled pleasantly. Yeah, I definitely didn’t belong here. I found the nearest stool to me and sat on it, trying to look like I actually belonged here.

The bartender spat down at me and laughed viciously. “A coke? Are you joking me? I think you’ve got the wrong place mate.” Surrounding creatures were now looking around at me, some staring, some laughing, and some just throwing queer looks at me. I went red, not with anger but with embarrassment. My face heated up. I had a matter of minutes before I would be attacked for being so weak and odd, as far as odd went around here anyway.

“Well, what’s your speciality then?” I asked, continuing to smile, shifting slightly. A lot of eyes were upon me now; it appeared that most of the creatures in the bar were paying all their attention on me. The brawl in the corner was still continuing though, but besides that everything was quiet. I inhaled down most of the surrounding air in one swallow in an act of fear.

The bartender looked around, chuckled, leaned down and positioned his mouth next to my ear. In a hoarse whisper loud enough for everybody to hear, he replied: “Blood,” before releasing a sinister laugh from his mouth. Everybody around me began to laugh as well, there were high pitched shrieks and eerie laughs, but none of them compared to the bartender’s.

I shifted around on my stool uncomfortably before asking out of curiously, “Are you a vampire?” It seemed like a pointless question, but this conversation was getting pointless and was only going to lead to me being killed, and soon as well. Where was Death?

“No, I am not, but if you would like to meet one, there’s one feasting outside, I can introduce you if you want?” The bartender chuckled menacingly once more. More laughter crackled through the air around me. I felt a hand gripping onto my left shoulder. My right hand sprung straight for my sword’s hilt, wrapping itself around it. “No point fighting, you’re out-numbered,” the bartender smiled grimly. “Take him around back to the hell-hounds, they need feeding.” The audience of creatures, who were clearly enjoying my suffering, laughed and cheered once again at the bartender’s dark humour before another hand seized my free shoulder. I was stuck, I could barely move and couldn’t produce to the air to speak or scream. I needed Death right now, and he wasn’t around.

The hands tugged on me and lifted me from my stool. Around me stood many creatures, all laughing at my despair, some even jumping around in excitement. “HELP!” I cried out, aware of the fact that nobody would actually help me now. The laughter just roared even louder throughout the bar. Suddenly a burst of anger and energy shot through my body, filling me with sudden, sharp strength, an erge to defend myself simulated in my brain. My body clenched up tightly before I pulled powerfully. My right arm extended with my sword clasped tightly at the end of it in my knotted fingers. The beast within me had been unleashed.

I swung the sword randomly, trying to make the creatures back away, fully unaware that if they were to do so they’d drop me onto the floor and I’d be vulnerable yet again. My sword danced around, scaring away the beasts and the warlocks, the dead and the undead, the creatures of the night and the creatures of the day, before finding a target. Being the strong, heavy sword it was, it glided across a nearby Minotaur’s neck, leaving a deep wound across the neck, one that opened wide and travelled deep, killing the beast instantly. A fountain of blood spurted out of the neck, covering the creatures in a dark shade of black. All of them backed off, leaving me to drop down with a crash onto the floor. My right arm went numb and one of my ribs cracked, causing me to groan and moan loudly. Beside me stood the darkly cloaked figure, his scythe held tightly in his hand and his eyes glowing the eerie blue colour they always did. In the opposite hand to the scythe wielding hand he held an hourglass; all the sand piled on the bottom half of it. “Time’s up Assad,” Death said, his voice sending a shiver down my spine like always. It was like a hiss, but creepy at the same time.

Death bent down and placed his bony palm across the minotaur’s head, making a sucking sound as he sucked the minotaur’s soul into his own skeletal body. “Time to leave Ryan, I think it’s best after all after the mess you’ve created here,” Death chuckled, standing up and wrapping his cape around me. Of course, nobody around us noticed this, in fact what Death did was freeze time when he sucked the soul out of his victim, then he whisked us both away, everybody around unaware of what had just happened. Of course, the problem is that I’ve now just disappeared from the bar completely and the inhabitants of the bar would have seen me disappeared. That however was not my problem at all; chances were that I would never have to see them again, which was a good thing. A very good thing.

Death opened his cloak, allowing me to step out dizzily into his cottage. No colour shone here, the only colour was the eerie glow which accumulated from Death’s eyes. Everything was black and white, though I was used to this. I think the lack of colour here is used to represent the lack of life in the cottage, and Death hates colour.

“Now, Ryan, go do your business. Here’s the soul.” Death pulled out a small vial containing a faint silver wisp drifting around and handed it over to me. His bony hand touched mine, sending a shiver up my arm and straight to my spine. I withdrew quickly, hating the eerie feeling. “Now, I must go see which other soul I’ll be taking today, I’ll be back soon.” And with that Death faded into the darkness and far, far away from the cottage.

The lack of colour had always confused me; it’d always made me feel rather uncomfortable, with me being human and all and being used to colour. Up on the surface in the real world it’s all colourful, as you should know as you live up there, though living there for 25 years in colour and then suddenly being snatched and thrown into complete dullness was quite the shock.

I hobbled through the cottage as I usually would when I had a soul in my hand, and through the time room, a room containing thousands of hourglasses, all of them approaching the end of somebody’s life. The room itself had always reminded me of some sort of warehouse, with the rows of labelled hourglasses all counting down to the one event that nearly everybody feared. Death. Though my business wasn’t in here, so I carried on hobbling into the next room, one that contained some sort of cauldron that was nearly the size of me.

I briskly walked up to the cauldron, tightly gripping the vial. The soul seemed to be slamming itself violently against the vial, as if trying to escape, which was to be expected I suppose. You see, a soul mirrors the traits of its owner; in this case it’d be aggressive, as its owner was, hence why it was violently trying to escape.

Upon reaching the cauldron, I turned the vial 180 degrees clockwise, letting the faint, silver wisp float steadily into the white, dull liquid that the cauldron contained. The liquid shone brightly and briefly once the soul had touched it before returning to its calm and dull state once again. I smiled. It was never hard to pass on souls to the afterlife, only problem was that you had to be alive, hence why Death himself couldn’t do it. That was my job done for the next couple of minutes, or possibly even in an hour. There was only one thing to do now. Wait. As well as congratulate myself with a bottle wine for surviving that bizarre incident in the bar.

I turned and returned through the time room, hobbling passed all the hourglasses not paying attention to any of the names on them like usual, which was a downfall. See, unknown to me, one of them read a very important name, a loophole in the job I possessed you could say. One of them possessed my name. Ryan Hutton. My time to live was running out.


Last edited by Romeo on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:23 am; edited 5 times in total
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Romeo
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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:19 am

Chapter 2- Discovering

So, unknown to me, my boss was going to kill me in a couple of day’s time. It wasn’t going well for me at all. But the discovering of said predicted death was the worst part, I was lucky I discovered when I did, or else this story wouldn’t be any longer than two chapters, which would be rather dull in my opinion.

My discovery took place a couple of days after the incident in the bar. “Ryan, you know what to do,” Death said eerily like always before pulling a brown, crinkled scroll from his cloak. “Nasav Muller, vampire. Hmm, interesting. I guess that’s going to be simple for you, considering the fact that vampires do not possess souls nor are even alive.”

A vampire? In all my years of this job, I’d never heard of a vampire who needed killing. Though I didn’t question this and only took pleasure from it. It meant that I was able to relax before Death returned with another soul. See, the other day Death had brung me along on his crazy quest to collect the minotaur soul because he felt like I was needed. If he didn’t feel like I was needed then he would not call upon me to help. It was all pretty simple when you got used to it.

Death disappeared before my very eyes, leaving me wondering what I could actually do to pass the time. I wasn’t too hungry, there was no T.V, my sword had already been sharpened, and I knew that Death would be back soon so there’d be no point travelling to the market to find something of interest to buy. This left me stuck, as well as bored and intermittent. I was starting to feel as if I should have gone along with my master to assist him, or at least wished that I could have. I sighed and decided to go see who was going to die soon, as I did when boredom struck me.

I strode into the time room and started peering at the hourglasses dully, once again sighing due to utter depression. This place did get pretty depressing at times, as you can imagine why. It also had that depressing feel to it.

The only sound in the room was the hushed sound of the grains of sand sliding down their hourglasses. The room had no smell to it and seemed rather dull all together. The name tags on the hourglasses all bore bizarre names on them, all but one, which I found to be both quite interesting and frightening. I was scanning the shelves lazily with my eyes when one name stood out against the rest. Ryan Hutton. I froze to my very spot.

I couldn’t move, I was immobilized, in shock. My time couldn’t be running out, no way. It was impossible, I was pretty much undead, I couldn’t be killed again. Then again, my master was currently out killing an undead demon right now, so is it really possible that I could be next? What if I was next? The top half of my hourglass was nearly empty and the bottom half nearly full, leaving me little time to escape. But how? I couldn’t escape Death, nobody had before, and I wasn’t going to embrace him, that’d be suicide. I had to run. Though now I look back on the events, I just wished that I’d stayed were I was and accepted my death, it’d been quicker and a lot less time consuming than going on the adventure I was about to have.

There was only one thing I could do, run. And so I did. Eventually, I found the will in my mind to move. I had to escape, but to where? Wherever I ran Death would follow and wouldn’t be far behind. But I had to try, if I didn’t, I’d only meet my death.

The first thing I had to do was escape the cottage alive. I doubted that I was supposed to be Death’s next victim, but by the looks of the hourglass, I’d be meeting my death soon, very soon. Very little sand had to slide now. I sprinted into my bedroom and pulled a giant rucksack, which was nearly the size of me, out from under my bed. My eyes scanned my room, looking for anything of use that I could take with me. My sword lay under my bed. Attaching the sword to my waist, I knew there was nothing of any use to me in the room, and so I left to search through the kitchen. The cupboards had a little food for me which I threw into my bag along with some poison and any other potions I considered to be useful, such as the one that would give me super strength for a very small amount of time.

In the pantry lie a sleeping bag that I brought with me all those years back when Death had taken me in. It, like everything else in the pantry, was coated in a thick layer of dust. As I pulled it up from the ground, dust plummeted to the ground, causing dust to scatter across the floor and all over me. Upon inhaling the dust I coughed violently, my eyes watering. The sleeping bag also was an item I quickly threw in my bag. I myself was covered in dust, which gave me the idea that I’d need spare clothes!

Back in my bedroom, I grabbed very little clothes (though those that could stand harsh climates) and dumped them into my bag. I only needed one more item now. The hourglass. I’d purposefully left it until last so that it wouldn’t have been crushed under the weight of all the other stuff I possessed. I heaved my backpack onto my back. I was ready. It was time to leave, after 10 years of service, I was dismissing myself.

The backpack slowed me down as I walked; it was far too heavy for my liking after all. I’d never been cut out to carry heavy weights, and I probably never will be. Approaching the transportation room, I peered around and sighed. This was probably going to be the last time that I ever laid eyes on the insides of Death’s cottage. It’d been a good 10 years inside this place, but I knew that it was time to part.

The transportation room contained one teleporter. That’s it. If the cottage actually had any colour, the transportation room may actually have the ability to blind somebody. The teleporter itself teleported you to Ruthis market in Insiticle city, the market I’d always visited for supplies. That was the only reason I’d ever used the teleporter, any other time I left the cottage was to go do Death’s bidding.

I knew he’d be back soon, so I wasted no time and did not hesitate as I stepped forward into the teleporter and into the underworld.

Chapter 3- Insiticle City

Now, of all ways to travel in the underworld, this had got to be the worst. This is why I tried to avoid using the teleporter at all times and stuck with Death carrying me. For the 5 seconds that I was outside of reality, being teleported, it felt like I was being tossed around aimlessly, smashing into the walls of reality and bouncing into another wall. The colours around me consisted of a sickly yellow colour mixed with some sort of lilac colour. Those colours compared with spinning out of control as fast as possible climaxing in a brutal landing in a side street did not make a good combination.

I lay on the floor, my palms covering my face, a sickly feeling swirling around my head. If I attempted to stand I knew that I’d just throw up instantly. Beneath my body lay my backpack, which was digging into my back. Around me the world just seemed to rush around in circles, the dank walls around me, the grey sky, the rain that poured upon me, all of it. I could barely feel the air brush upon my face, all I could feel was the cold sting of the icy rain as if it was icicles spearing my face.

Feeling started to pour throughout my body as time raced on. Though it wasn’t a pleasant feeling, only the feeling of sheer pain and the limpness of my body. I decided, after lying there for a minute, to attempt to stand up, or at least sit up. I must admit, usually the teleportation wasn’t that bad, usually I was only throw around a little and landed in a field outside of the market, but this time, probably due to the heavy weight on my back, I’d landed in an alleyway, smashing into stone walls as I landed. But this didn’t seem like the market. Ruthis market had stalls, not stone walls. So where was I?

Of course, unknown to me, I was in Ruthis market, or not far off anyway. Only down the road from it, at least I was in Insiticle City. I’d just yet to find out. Eventually, I slowly made my way onto my feet, using a wall as support. The walls themselves were extremely slimy, I think there was something on them, and it wasn’t water. I retracted my hand from the wall to see find that it was covered in some sort of green slime that was moving. At that moment, I really did want to throw up, however, I knew I’d have to hold it in and keep going, so I reluctantly wiped my hand on the ground and walked down the alleyway.

Noise emerged from the end of the alleyway, the noise of people, of talking, of civilization. It made a difference from the quietness of Death’s cottage I was usually concealed within; the sound actually came as a slight shock. Sure, I’d been in loud places before, such as a couple of nights back when I was in The Old Lycan’s Tavern, but this was different, I actually felt free for the first time in a long time. I felt myself being drawn towards the noise, though I was happy to continue walking towards it.

The rain continued to shatter down upon me, and in the main street that I’d just entered all manners of creatures were running or walking as fast as they could, covering themselves with whatever they could find, in order to keep dry and to get out of the rain. Many creatures lay in the street, suffering from decease and poverty, some were even children. There was even the odd creature that lay dead in the streets, people just stepping over them. I was definitely in the poorer part of Insiticle city. It was filthy, gritty, the beings were rude, it reeked of death and the dead were buried under the dirt that the living had kicked over them as they were walking along in the streets. How you could live here was beyond me, though I didn’t want to even question it. I had to get out of the city, and towards the portal that took me home. Though in order to do that I had to travel through Ruthis market towards the gates.

I continued down the street, placing my linen cloth shirt over my nose to avoid inhaling the stench of the envoirment. I passed more dead beings, more ignorant beasts (who looked down upon me as if I was some sort of ant) and more grime, though as I ascended further down towards the market and gate my surroundings grew worse. The buildings around me weren’t even built properly; they were just made out of sticks and stones, just ready to crumble as soon as they were given the chance. The dead bodies became more frequent as well as the smell growing worse. It was obvious that the further down the city; the worse in condition it grew. At the top of Insiticle City lay a castle, one in good condition at that, as well as some well built house and high ranked beings and creatures.

Before long the market was in sight, though the sight itself wasn’t too pleasant. The rain pelted down even harder than before which created more rush between the inhabitants of Insiticle city. This of course lead to me being knocked around as I continued forwards towards the market, drenched to the bone. A strong wind also brewed, which lead to a slower journey down the road, as well as bits of rubbish being blown around the streets. Though before long the sound of the stall owners’ voices being carried in the wind was within hearing length, which gave me hope. I was nearly out of the city!

“Get all your needs for witchcraft and wizardry here!” Shouted one stall owner.
“Medicine! Heal and replenish yourselves here!” Screamed another over the crowd.
“Cheap, cheap clothes here! Comfy and tender and cheap! Get them here!” The voice of yet another stall owner cried.

In all honesty, Ruthis market was by far my favourite place in Insiticle city, and was by far the most useful, if you could find the stuff which actually worked and wasn’t tacky. If I looked hard enough I could nearly always find the stuff I needed and get a good deal out of it, usually saving me quite abit of money. As tempted as I was to buy some useful items, I happened to be low on money, and needed to be moving quickly, so I ventured forth, ignoring all temptation.

The stalls, unlike the houses around the market, were actually built pretty well as far as building stalls could go. They were able to withstand the strength of these gales with only moving slightly, which was pretty impressive. The stall owners themselves ranged from a variety of different creatures such as ogres to hags to dwarves to just plain humans (though these were rare in the underworld). The stalls were suited and their contents were suite to the owner themselves, so the stalls that were owned by dwarves contained jewels, gems and even armour.

“You!” A hag pointed at me as I passed her stall, “I sense that you’re in great danger, I can see that you are in need of some help!” The hag wore a black cloak and bore warts and scars upon her crinkled face. Her eyes were a menacing yellow colour and her nose a crooked shape with an enormous, brown, hairy mole sticking out of the wrinkles. The very little teeth she possessed were a greeny, yellow colour and were out of place, making her smile even more unpleasant than what it should be. Overall, this woman scared me, and urged me to move along faster.

However, before I could escape her arm shot out and snatched onto my arm, her nails tightly gripping my skin and clothes. “Getta off me!” I said in absolute shock. The feeling of her touch was worse than the disgusting look she had to burden through her life. She also hurt, and left me with scars after that grab.

“You’re in deep danger! I can sense it; your death is rapidly approaching! You must listen!” She shrieked.

“Yeah, tell me about it,” I muttered, batting her hand off of me using my free hand.

She seemed to have not heard my comment and continued with her preaching, which in my opinion seemed a little overdone and it was obvious she was acting in order for me to buy her merchandise. “You must buy some protection! They’re all coming for you, and when they do, you shall fall dead, and he shall laugh as he claims yet another victim!” Her shrieking got to the point where my head felt like exploding. I gave her an uninterested, sour look and continued on my way, stepping away from her reach. “No! Come back! You’re in grave danger I tell you, grave danger!” Many people were now staring at the hag, some even laughing at her craziness. I however just ignored the crowd and continued, wanting to find some shelter. I may have been in a rush, but I still needed somewhere I could re-fill my water skin that I never considered filling up in the rush of escaping Death’s cottage before I attempted to steal a horse so that I could ride towards the portal as quick as I could. I was lucky enough to know a respectable enough inn not far from where I was standing where I could stay for an hour or so whilst I thought out my plan.

‘The Captain’s inn’, unlike ‘The Old Lycan’s Inn’ and its surroundings, was well built and attractive. The owner was a friendly elf who housed many respectable folks such who had no homes and talked to every one of his visitors and remembered their names, especially the guard captain and his fellow guards. The inn itself was clean inside and well kept, its entire sign was complete with no missing letters and the place was frequently cleaned. The beer and ale was good enough to impress even dwarves and half giants, plus it sold drinks suitable for all races and ages. On the couple of occasions that I’d been into the inn I’d got along with the barkeeper and had always been satisfied by the drinks.

I approached the inn and smiled. This was going to be the last time I’d be entering the inn, so I knew I’d have to make the most of it. However, I knew I didn’t have time to be dawdling around so I forced myself to not take very long. The door was a clean, wooden door, nicely carven, or at least as far as doors can go in being nicely carven. It was always homely enough of a door to impress me and make me feel like I was walking into a friendly place. As soon as in the inn, the elf barkeeper raised his head and smiled. “Welcome Ryan, please, how may I help you on this dreadful day?” The place was packed with creatures; this may have been due to the rain though. All of the creatures were drenched in water and some sounded like they were full of cold.

I made my way over to the bar and sat on a stool next to another human, who looked pretty anxious and was fidgeting quite a lot. I chose to ignore him and continued with my business. “Hello there, I’m just passing through. I just need my water skin re-filling and a bit of shelter for about an hour,” I smiled, withdrawing my water skin from a side pocket in my backpack.

The elf returned the smile but only friendlier, taking the water skin from me and placing it under a tap. “Where are you heading then?”

“Out of the city, I need to get out of here very fast. Between you and me, somebody wants my head and I don’t fancy sticking around any longer,” I chuckled, acting as if I lived in Insiticle city, taking my water skin back and placing back where it belonged.

The elf chuckled and replied with: “Trouble eh? I guess that’s what it’s like down here in the underworld. Stay as long as you need, though if you don’t mind Ryan, I must continue to serve some more customers who appear to have just come in.” The elf beckoned over to a group of guards who had just proudly stridden through the door. The human next to me hid his face from sight and continue shaking, this time more violently.

I nodded and smiled before opening my backpack. At the top lay my hourglass, which had frozen and was no longer working by the looks of things. My death had seemed to have been put on hold due to my escape from Death’s cottage, though how long it would be on hold was beyond me. I stared at it for a couple more seconds, my gaze transfixed within the glass. I sighed. Why was it so soon that I had to die?

To my horror though, a gasp of amazement sounded from next to me. “An hourglass of Death!” The man next to me stated, surprised by his luck of finding one. “But how? How the bloody hell did you come across one? Luck? Or are you a secret friend of Death’s?” The man had stopped shaking and it seemed all of his attention was on me and my hourglass.

I shut the rucksack and stood up quickly before scowling: “None of your business!” I started to stride towards the door before he said something that surprised me.

“Or are you on the run from Death himself?”

I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around to find the human smiling at me devilishly. “Nice guess, now I must be on my way, I need to get out of here,” I replied before turning back around to walk again. This time however I couldn’t even set off before the man had grabbed my arm like the hag had; only his touch was less spine shivering and a lot more pleasant.

“Not so easy. I don’t want to draw attention to the two of us, because between you and me, those guards want me hanging above the castle’s doorway. But if you let me come with you, and promise to explain how to explain how you came to retrieve the goody in your bag, I am willing to protect you from harms way until you figure out how to get out of this mess.” I was tempted at that very minute to call the guards over but decided it would be a little harsh, and that I could do with some help.

Reluctantly I replied: “Go on then, but if they’re after you, then we need to move, and now!” My last couple of words turned into a hiss as I looked over to the guards. The barkeeper was indicating to them that their target was over by me, grasping my arm.

The man’s eyes widened upon the very sight as he screamed: “RUN!” As I made for the door, the guards charged at the pair of us, unsheathing their swords, a look of pleasure in their eyes. The man pushed over a nearby table only to anger its occupants, one of which threw a punch his way. The man ducked sharply only so that a nasty looking ogre could be hit by the punch. The ogre retaliated with a swing towards the occupant of the table as the man crawled away from the two of them. At that very moment the whole inn burst into a battleground. Everybody seemed to be fighting, throwing their drinks and objects around the room at one another, seizing others and tossing them around the room. This made it very hard for the guards to get to the man, just as he had planned. “Come on!” He shouted as he dragged me through the chaos. The poor elf bartender was struggling to keep all the commotion down, but wasn’t doing too well, as the guards weren’t at catching their target. I personally was being compressed between the moving figures in the inn. Ducking and evading, I had trouble avoiding incoming fists and glass bottles which shattered against the wall as they narrowly missed my face.

The two of us burst through the door and out into the grubby streets. The rain was still pouring and the mud on the ground was sloppy, but we had to continue. It wouldn’t be long before the guards caught up and we both knew that, which lead us bursting into a sprint towards the stable. My partner in crime seemed to be faster than me when it came to sprinting, though I blamed that entirely on the weight I was bearing down on my back, though on numerous occasions he urged me to hurry up. My feet continuously sunk in the deep mud, and even one time I fell onto my hands and knees, though I carried on, noticing that the guards had burst through the door of the inn angrily, their heads shooting in all directions to look for the two of us. Just as I was turning a corner one of them pointed at me and burst out shouting, speaking a language I couldn’t even understand, though that might have English with the guard’s mouth full of blood.

We soon approached the stable, which also happened to be poorly built, near the gate. The stable owner looked at us curiously as we sprinted at him, before deciding to move out of the way as he was about to be knocked down by the victim of the guards. “Sorry,” I quickly said as I sprinted past him. His face wore a confused look, only to become more confused as spotted the guards following the two of us. He merely pointed at the two of us who were currently leaping onto horses.

The man escalated onto the nearest horse to him, which was a muscular one that was a shade of chocolate brown. He was already galloping away before he’d fully mounted the horse. I however took my time choosing, not large amounts of time, but a little more time than he had, valuing my pick. I looked over at the other side of the stable to see some sort of dark beasts staring at me, all of them with two heads and head eyes, all looking at me as if I was some sort of snack for them. How on earth didn’t these horses get nervous with those things next to them at all times? I didn’t have much time to think it through as the guards grew nearer and I had not yet picked my horse. Eventually I settled on a white horse, not the most muscular, but it looked like it could go at a reasonable speed and wouldn’t eat me. I wasn’t used to riding horses, so I didn’t want one that would chuck me off it in the middle of some wild plains and leave me to die. Upon mounting the horse, it shot off in the direction that the man had rode off, galloping as fast as any stead I’d rode before had. The sickly feeling in my head returned. I closed my eyes held tight, only to hear the guards screaming behind me.

“Gate keeper! Close the gate! Close the gate! Don’t let them get away!” They bellowed in our direction. I opened my eyes to find that I was steadily catching up to my partner and to see the gate keeper rushing around frantically up in his little hatch, preparing to close the gate.

“This is going to be a close one!” The man screamed joyfully, as if he actually enjoyed this. I looked back at the guards to see them running towards the dark beasts, mounting them and setting off after us, pointing their swords at us as if they were jousts.

My partner gracefully rode under the gate with no problems at all, though as soon as he’d escaped the city the gate came crashing down. I was close, so I decided to risk it, if I didn’t I’d be dead, and if I was to be crushed under the gate I’d also be dead, and if I escaped I’d have a shot at survival. What choice did I have really? I slapped my horse on the backside, attempting to encourage it to move faster, and so it did. Much faster. I knew I could make it if my horse kept up this speed. Flopping my body across the horse’s back, the pair of us narrowly avoided being crushed under its sheer weight. I cried out loud in joy. My blood pumping fast around my body, my adventurous side was showing. “WHOOOOOOO!” I screamed, punching the air. My partner looked back and smiled, halting his steed.

Cries of hatred and anger sounded from the other side of the gate, all from the guards. Casually, the man rode over to me and asked: “So, what’s your name?”

“Ryan,” I replied. “What’s yours?”

“Aaron, the treasure hunter, hence why I've taken an interest in your little treasure, and your life. The guards were after me because I attempted to steal a map, though that failed. Epically,” Aaron replied, chuckling slightly. “Come on, we have to move before that gate opens.” And so the two of us set out across the grassy plains, the rain pounding on us and our horses galloping at high speeds. The two of us were in great peril, which made our friendship grow stronger over the time we spent together. This was only just the beginning of our adventure and troubles.


Last edited by Romeo on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:22 am; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:19 am

Chapter 4- Death’s Game

The weather continued to be shockingly bad that day, making out journey even more troubling and harsh. The gales of winds were unyielding and slowed us down, pushing us back. As the day grew darker the two of us stopped and took cover under a patch of trees, sheltering ourselves against the rain and trying to use the trees as cover from the rain. It was hard to tell what was surrounding us as the rain and wind stopped most things from being visible, though I could make out that for miles upon miles we’d be still riding upon grassy plains, meaning if it decided to stop raining anytime soon the road would be easy going for a while.

No bit of ground was dry; every bit of ground under the trees was damp to say that least, though nearer to the tree trunks the ground was driest, so we set out our sleeping bags there. Over the course of the journey so far, me and Aaron had been unable to communicate with each other due to the wind blocking out our voices, though now was the time to get talking. I slowly moved over to Aaron who was attempting to set up a small fire under the cover of the trees. He however wasn’t succeeding too well. Sighing, he sat down and looked at his failed creation of a couple of rocks plodded next to each other.

“So, you’re a treasure hunter? What sorts of treasure do you tend to hunt then? Have you anything we could sell for money?” I said, attempting to start a conversation between the two of us. Aaron started to shiver and turned around to face me, looking at me queerly.

“Yes, I am, as stated before. And I usually go looking through tombs and stuff, like grave robbing. Occasionally I’m hired to hunt treasure; it’s basically how I make a living. And no, I refuse to sell any of my treasures!” Aaron replied sharply and pretty viciously when saying his last sentence.

I smirked. “Do you even have any treasures on you now?”

“No, not now. They’re all safe in my vault in Tricope city. And there they shall remain. Anyway, I’m pretty tired right now, so I’m going to try get some sleep.” Aaron stood up and started to fumble through his small bag, pulling out a roll and flattening it out. It was still quite early and he’d not even eaten, though I said nothing of his odd behaviour and started to look for some bread. Within 10 minutes it seemed that Aaron had dropped into the deep world of dreams, and so I decided to follow him, agreeing that this day had been tiring. However, it was not for another couple of hours before I stopped worrying about death and closed my eyes, finally drifting off into an uneasy, restless sleep.


My surroundings when I woke up were damp. The grass, damp. The tree, damp. My sleeping bag, damp. Everything. Even the air smelt damp. But at least it’d stopped raining, and even my horse seemed pretty dry as it stood their chomping on the nearby grass. The sky had rid itself of its grey, abundant clouds and was now back to its normal violet colour (or at least it was normal for the underworld). The two suns were shining their bright, golden colours brighter than ever and there was even a rainbow sprouting across the early morning sky. Another factor that made me happy was the fact I hadn’t been murdered in my sleep.

I peered over the plains to spot a black, dense forest just looming ahead, forcing all feeling of joy to rush out of me. I shivered and continued attempting to wake up. Feeling slightly groggy, I started to root through my bag pack looking for breakfast. At that moment I noticed what, and who, I was missing. Before coming to a conclusion, my eyes scanned my surroundings, my head shaking around full of panic. I was alone. Where was Aaron? And where was my hourglass? I continued to panic and look through my backpack, propelling items through the air, all in search for the hourglass. It was gone. Aaron and his horse had taken flight with it.

I wasted no time with breakfast; instead I dived over to my horse to find horse tracks leading off in the direction the grim looking forest. My stomach churned, though I knew what I needed today. Scrambling around the campsite, I collected all my things and threw them unevenly into my bag, as well as strapping my sword to my waist, before hurling myself onto my horse and taking off on him in the direction of the forest, all in 5 minutes, maybe even less.

My eyes scanned the plains as my horse galloped along, though I could find no sign of Aaron or his horse, my horse however was able to follow the tracks of Aaron’s horse. The hope of not having to travel into the dense, black forest slowly crumbled as we approached the forest closer and closer. Unfortunately Aaron had decided to take the hard road into the forest, in a desperate attempt of escaping me and losing me in the forest.

I stared, transfixed by the chilling feel radiating from the forest. Past the first couple of trees lie a blood-curdling canvas of dark nothingness, and Aaron had headed straight into it. Aaron seemed fearless compared to me right now, though that courage was probably the thought and stupidity of his obsession with money and treasure. All that was motivating me at the moment was getting my hourglass back, and even that wasn’t enough right now. I knew I had to though, if that thing smashed anything could happen, I could die instantly for all I knew. I didn’t even want to think of the consequences. So I inhaled a large gasp of air, grew a pair, and rode forth into the forest.

There was little light in the forest; the trees were densely packed together, there only enough space between them for me to ride through. The trees went high up, very high up, so high that I couldn’t make out where their tops reached. As well as the dark, I was accompanied by a constant but slow paced breeze that seemed to send a jolt of frozen energy up through my bones whenever it brushed upon my skin. The dark made it hard to follow Aaron’s tracks, and soon I had lost them. I sighed. It was time to leave, but which way was the exit? I’d changed direction so much times that I was now lost. The forest had tricked me, I’d become another of its victims.

“Bloody hell, I’ll never make it home at this rate,” I muttered. There was only one thing I could do, continue onward and hope that I emerge out of the other side of the forest in tact.

For 5 minutes I kept riding through the entangled vines and roots of the forest, and still nothing interesting happened or was to be seen. The bare minimum light kept the vines and roots visible for my horse to avoid. Eventually though, a strong stench started to float around in the air, making it unbearable to be around the actual part of the forest I was in. Due to the fact I’d just inhaled the most dreadful smell imaginable, I sensed that I was entering the center of the forest. I tightened my grip on my horses’ reins and attempted to turn him around, however he kept on going, he disobeyed my orders as if he was drawn by force towards the center of the forest. “Back, turn back!” I ordered, but he did not listen, and it was not long either before my mind was telling me that I needed to go to the middle of the forest.

The strength of the stench increased over time and it was soon evident by the marshy ground that we were travelling into a bog. “Becareful of the boggy ground, one slip and we’re screwed,” I warned the horse, who seemed to understand everything that I said. Around me the ground was churning out grey, thick substances. The trees were rotting and oddly shaped, their branches reaching out as if they were claws. Stilettos of unusually shaped creatures hid behind the trees, none daring to step out into the open marsh.

There was a part of the bog where the ground was stable and no trees reached over to attack you. This was the part of the bog where my horse seemed to be going. There were no trees over head of the clear opening, leaving it and all its surroundings highly visible, which left me in sight of the one figure that stood in the center of the clear opening. One tall figure who was covered in cloaks and robes; one tall figure who leaned on a scythe taller than himself; one tall figure who let off the most eerie feeling possible.

Death had found me.

He slowly shifted his head up to look at me, his eyes glowing brighter than ever. “Ryan, you smart little man. You thought you could escape me,” he chuckled, starting to move slowly towards my horse, who had stopped dead in its tracks, frozen in fear.

“Stay away from me! I’ve come too far to give in now!” I shouted at him, briskly drawing my sword from its sheath.

“Wow, I daresay that I’m impressed with your courage. Whatever happened to my wimpy, cowardly assistant? Ah well, no time to ask questions. You know that seriousness of the matter Mr. Hutton; it is your time to die. Everybody has their time, and now is your’s. But I see you’re eager to continue living.”

“Yes, yes I am. You sucked me from my life at a young age, and I now intend on carrying on with what I started back on earth. I’m willing to fight you to the death to do so! Now get out of my way!” I said bitterly, a sudden urge to lunge forward at Death with my sword started to overtake me. Though my sudden serge of courage was starting to wear off due to the fact Death seemed to be growing taller, casting a shadow upon me.

Death let out a shrill laugh. “You think you can fight me! Oh, if I could cry, I’d be crying tears of laughter right now. You really do amuse me Ryan. But I like you, and for you, that is a good sign. You deserve a chance Mr. Hutton, a chance to escape because of your service towards me and the dark forces, so I’m going to play a game with you, if you are to accept of course. I will let you continue with your quest to escape the underworld. If you escape, I will let you go, be free of death until you’re of an old age and then I will meet you happily. However, you won’t be escaping that easily. The underworld is dangerous; war is brewing between the 6 continents, and you’re going to be the one who has to travel through it all. On top of the dangers of the underworld and the brewing wars, I will be sending all manners of assassins after you, all who will be intent upon killing you. If you ever want to just give up, call me, and I will come and claim your life. Does that sound fair?”

I couldn’t believe it, at first I thought it was some sort of trick, how was Death offering me a way out of death? Wasn’t it his job to make sure that souls die when it comes to their time to die? Whether I could trust him or not was unclear, but what choice did I have? Accepting Death’s terms seemed like my only way out of dying. I sheathed my sword and stared at him for a couple of seconds, looking rather confused. An uninterrupted silence formulated between the two of us as I slowly and cautiously made my decision. Death had always been patient, but not even I was sure if he was willing to wait any longer for me to make my decision.

Eventually, I replied simply with: “I accept.”

“Ah good! This shall be amusing to say the least, and I’m sure anybody who knows of our little game will be making bets on whether you make it or not, though I daresay, the odds are against you,” Death chuckled. “Now, I want you to show me the hourglass that you stole from me, as it will be the key to show you when danger is nearby. When danger is nearby, most of the sand in the top half will slide down into the bottom half, signalling that your death is nearby. If you somehow escape your death, the sand will lift back up to the top half. Now, the hourglass.” I was speechless, I actually needed the hourglass and Aaron had stolen it from me and was no where to be found. However, before I could reply to Death’s request, he said: “But of course, you do not have it in your possession at this moment, in fact you had it stolen from a pathetic man. Not a good start for you. But, you’re in luck that I’m kind and I’d found him already.”

Death opened his cloak and out fell a terrified looking Aaron gripping the hourglass. He crashed to the ground, his skin white and his body shivering violently. He quickly launched himself away from Death and towards me, scrambling along the wet, moist grass. “I’ll let you decide what you do with him Ryan, but now I must take my leave, I’ve got another victim’s life to claim. Oh, and just a tip, I’d kill this one and run if I was you, I was the thing scaring the local natives off, they sense I’m leaving now, and they’ll soon be upon you. Good day.” And with that Death turned into a mere shadow and was gone.

Around me and Aaron many man-like creatures started to limp towards us. Their bodies seemed to have decayed over time, their skin a brown, shrivelled texture and their teeth (if they had any) were a yellowy-greeny colour. The bones of the creatures seemed to be exposed where their skin had been ripped or torn. A smell like none other radiated from the creatures, a smell far worse and stronger than the one of the bog. They all carried sharp objects and weapons, as well as wielding sharp claws on each of their fingers.

My horse shrieked at the sight and feeling of their presence. I knew we had to act quickly; they were closing in on us and fast. “Ryan, help,” Aaron whimpered like a dog as he shook my foot. I had half a mind to take the hourglass off of him and leave him here as live bait for the swamp people whilst I rode off and escaped, and that seemed like the logical thing to do. But, being me, I’m not that cruel, so I leaned down and pulled him up onto the back of my horse (of course he helped get on the horse, I’m not all that strong after all) and snatch the hourglass off of him. “May I advise you let me hold that just whilst we’re escaping, just so you don’t drop it on the way out by mistake?”

Just to shut him up, I gave him back the hourglass and unsheathed my sword. Grabbing the reins with my left hand and holding my sword in my right, I thrusted my arm forward and whipped the reins down, forcing the horse to gallop forward towards the trees. “Ryan, those trees are too entangled to break through! Trust me, you won’t be galloping through them,” Aaron explained, and as much as I hated to admit it, he was right. We were stuck.

“You have any weapons Aaron?” I asked as the horse came to a sudden halt by the trees.

“Only a dagger, I lost the rest in my battle against Death,” Aaron replied quickly and in a worried tone.

“We’re going to have to make a run for it then. Sprint through the trees and keep close. And don’t you dare loose that hourglass or try to make a run for it, or else I will make sure I hire an assassin to hunt you down and rip your head off,” I said bitterly. Being in the face of death really did bring the worst side of me out at times, especially when it appeared that I was about to gnarled on by some zombie-like creatures.

The swampmen started to move at a faster pace now, as if they were ready to tuck into their meal. “What about the horse?” Aaron asked, drawing his dagger and jumping down back to the ground, ready to ascend back into darkness.

I also jumped down from the horse and put my back to the horse, gripping tightly to my sword. My bravery seemed to fade from my body; I was starting to shake again, like Aaron was. We were two cowards who’d just been thrown into the worst situation possible. “Erm… I’m afraid we’re going to have to leave it, it may slow them down slightly,” I whimpered, my speech starting to break as the brown, shrivelled creatures starting to run at us.

The one that was closest to me had a small craft axe in its hand. It swung for my neck, intending on decapitating me in one sweep, and by the sound of the wind screaming past my hair as I ducked down it’d been enough to take my head off in one. The swampman manoeuvred his axe down towards my head. I was venerable. I should have died then, I should have taken an axe to my scalp, however, instead the axe never reached my head. I twisted my neck so that I could face upwards; there the axe was being held up by the dagger wielded by Aaron. I pounded my elbow into the swampman’s chest, knocking him back slightly, and sliced him in half from the waist. The two halves of the swampman dropped to the ground with a large THUD! I stood up straight once more and stood by Aaron’s side, looking upon the many swampmen charging at us.

The two of us were frozen to our spots in fear for 2 seconds, the two of us shivering in fear, whimpering at the sight of the zombie-like swampmen who were about to devour us. It was Aaron who was the first to sharply turn on the spot and sprint back into the darkness of the winding forest, though it didn’t take long for me to follow him in his footsteps. The interlocking tree branches slowed me down, the roots and sharp branches tripped and poked me, they scratched and bite me, they hit and beat me, leaving scratches all of over my body, tears and rips in my thin clothes, but I didn’t stop, I didn’t dare. At all times I kept Aaron in sight, I couldn’t risk losing the hourglass once again. Not far behind the sound of my horses’ screams ripped through the air, followed by the sounds of the swampmen cutting and snapping through the trees in hot pursuit of us.

From up above us a creature jumped down, a black, hairy, menacing one. It landed on one of the branches next to me, instantly attacking me with one of its many legs. I tried to slash at it with my sword, but it wasn’t enough, the creature, with more eyes than I could count, moved back just in time, countering my strike by catapulting itself on top of me. I fell backwards onto one of the thick, interlocking branches, shocking me and forcing me to drop my sword. It was close enough for me to see its fangs even in this calignosity. They were as sharp as talons, and contained a murky, sticky green substance.

I started to quietly squirm, I was to terrified to call for help, and the sound of the swampmen pounding after us wasn’t too far off. The giant creature that had me pinned against the heavily think branch started to make an odd noise, it sounded like it was getting ready to suck the blood out of me, which didn’t surprise me at all. I close my eyes and accepted this was probably it, Aaron was probably nearly out of the forest by now, he did move fast after all. Before I knew it though, the weight of the creature was lifted from my body and a squirming noise ascended into the darkness.

“Ryan, you had a spider on you!” Aaron stated the obvious, picking up my sword and thrusting it into my grip. Instead of giving a sarcastic reply, I just patted him on the back and set off again. My back was throbbing with pain, but I knew I could not stop, the swampmen were not far behind now, their screams and cries of hunger could be heard over the sound of mine and Aaron’s shuffling. All I had to do was keep breathing.

In fear of more giant, hideous spiders jumping down at us, I kept peering upwards into the darkness, ready for a surprise attack. “Keep moving Aaron,” I panted. “I think we’re losing them.” And so we were, and the forest itself was becoming more and more lighter and visible as we ventured further outwards. It become easier to move through as the trees stopped interlocking and the roots returned underground to where they belonged. The sound of the swampmen’s moans and shrieks were dying out bit by bit and soon sunlight shone upon us. I could feel the air pound my face again and the bright purple skies were once again visible.

We were out.

Upon reaching the clean and clear plains once more, the pair of us collapsed to the ground and laughed, sweat and blood missing together and drenching our bodies. I was in so much pain but felt so good, we’d escaped and were, for the moment, safe. The feeling of the grass against my bare skin and wounds felt refreshing; nothing could get me down now. Well, there was one thing, and to by utter disbelief, it wasn’t far behind us. The shrieks and cries of the swampmen once again were close by, and were continuing to grow closer.

“Up Aaron, Up! We’ve got to keep moving!” I struggled to my feet and dragged him to his, the pair of us supporting each other as we quickly limped across the clear plains. After 2 minutes of limping, the pair of us looked back at the forest. On the border stood at least a hundred swampmen all swaying in the shadow of the forest, all screaming at us, waving their weapons around. Some were even turning around and slowly making their way back into the forest.

The two of us chuckled as we once again slumped back down to the ground. “I think we’re safe Aaron. Now, may I please have the hourglass?” My hand was held out, my palm open. Aaron, like in the bog, was tightly gripping the hourglass, not wanting to part with it. He looked at me in spite before reluctantly slamming it into my hand. “Thank you.” I took my backpack (now torn and ripped due to the forest) from my back and withdrew a woolly jumper from it. Aaron continued to look at me in spite as I wrapped the woolly jumper around the hourglass and placed it gently back into the battered bag. I turned to Aaron, who continued to stare at me in spite. “What?”

“Nothing,” Aaron muttered before breaking his gaze.

As the two of us lay and rested on the grass in silence (which was no longer damp), the two suns sunk lower and lower into the horizon. Upon meeting the horizon, the violet sky was flooded with a bright red colour from the suns, the clouds started to appear, though this time they were wispy and clear, instead of heavy and grey. We laid there for three hours before we even thought about moving, and the only reason we considered it was because nightfall was creeping upon us, and once night came on the plains of the underworld, a whole manner or creatures were unleashed and ready to feast.

“Aaron, how close is the nearest town?” I asked as I began to stand up, my body feeling rather refreshed and pleased that it was still in good condition.

“About a 10 mile march south if I can remember correctly. The only problem with that theory is that I have no idea what side of the forest we’re on, I just remember us having to go south. I can set up a compass bearing if need be?” Aaron offered, his hand already moving towards the little pouch he bore on his waist.

“Go ahead, but hurry, whilst we still have a little light,” I replied, edging closer to him. He produced a small metallic compass from his pouch and laid it flat on his palm, spinning around in circles for about 30 seconds. “What are you doing?” I raised an eyebrow as he came to a halt and faced me.

“Finding a compass bearing of course,” Aaron’s demonic way of doing things will always freak me out, and this was the first time he showed me that he was a total nut-job. There was no question about it. The one thing that I’ve learnt about Aaron over the many adventures I’ve had with him is that he has his own ‘special’ way of doing things, and this was one of them. Now, I don’t know how they usually took compass bearings in the underworld, but I was pretty sure this wasn’t the way, though I never really had asked him. Anyway, back to the story.

Aaron set off spinning in circles for another 30 seconds, progressively rotating faster and faster before coming to a sudden halt and pointing across the plains in the direction the suns were setting. “That way is south!” He projected his voice down the plain.

It was at this point that I noticed that there had been an easier way to tell which way was south all along: just go in the direction of the setting suns. Though I must admit, I did get a good chuckle out of watching Aaron spin in circles and stumble to the floor after a minute of doing so. Whether he knew that he could have just looked at the two setting suns for the direction or not was beyond me, but if he didn’t, then his rather odd method of finding the direction in which we were supposed to go had proven to work rather well, despite that fact there was an easier way of doing it.

The two of us once again hoisted our equipment up onto our bodies and set off down the darkening plains. The sky was now transforming from the blood red colour that it was when the suns were setting to the pitch black colour it became at night.

We’d travelled five miles before it was completely dark, and at that point we stopped. “Shall we set up camp here?” Aaron asked. “I dunno what would be more dangerous, camping out here and keeping quiet, or making our way to whichever town is the nearest in this darkness with all sorts of things out there waiting to pounce out at us and make us it’s fodder.”

“If we set up camp then we’ll have to risk attracting the creatures of the night towards us with all the noise we make. I vote we carry on. And I’m not letting you out of my sight either, not after last night, or this morning, or whenever you stole my hourglass. Now come on before something swoops down and attacks us.” Nothing did swoop down of course, lucky for us, but I did feel that on our journey to the nearest town, I owed Aaron a thank you, despite the fact he made me travel into a ghastly forest that was as black as the current night sky and was so stuffy and dense I had trouble inhaling air. So really, I didn’t really need to thank Aaron, but I knew if I bonded and came close to him, it’d heighten my chances of him not thieving from me again.

I decided to do this quick, and without looking at him, I said: “Aaron, I never thanked you before for saving my life in that forest back there. You saved me twice when you could have just simply ran away and left me for live bait, like we did with the horse, though I do feel bad about the horse. So yeah, thanks.” I expected Aaron to take full blame for the fact he had to save my life and the fact we spent a good lot of our morning running around a forest and being chased by swampmen. But instead, he just naturally replied with:

“No problem Ryan, just make sure I don’t have to save you again.”

He really was the most self-absorbed person ever, and could and would never blame himself for the troubles he gets himself and others into. I sighed at his reply and decided not to comment on it by just continuing forward and hoping to reach the town before I stabbed him for his arrogance.

Luckily for the pair of us, we weren’t attacked on the way to the town. In fact, we didn’t really hear anything at all besides our own footsteps, not even a hawk squawking as it looked for some vermin to feed on. This of course was a good thing, and our hearts were filled with relief and joy when we finally climbed over what must have been the steepest hill in the underworld and peered down upon a couple of bright lights banded together. In front of us lay the nearest town which happened to be 10 miles south of our location back when we were outside the forest. To me it’d always be known as ‘The nearest town to that forest that we were nearly devoured alive in by swampmen’, but to the locals and inhabitants, it was known as: Grekapolius.


Last edited by Romeo on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:20 am

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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:20 am

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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:20 am

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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:42 am

Chapter 2 has been posted!!!

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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:48 am

Chapter 3 is now out!

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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

Post by Romeo on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:29 am

Chapter 4 has been released. Readers enjoy =)

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Re: Running from Death (chapter 4)

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