Friday, 26 August 2016

Artel - Hole

Artel blinked as the harsh sunlight hit his face, cutting through his eye lids. For a moment he felt confused, unable to understand the bright forest world around him. He shook his head and pulled his stiff body into a sitting position, trying to remember the events from the night before. On the opposite side of the now smouldering fire Millon lay fast asleep, snoring lightly. Artel looked down at the sword he held in his right hand, it was his sword but he could not remember how it had gotten there. His eyes slipped from the sword in his hand to the dark scuff marks in the grass that surrounded the fire and a queasy sense of unease washed over him, settling in the pit of his stomach. Sheathing his sword Artel stalked around the fire and shook Millon roughly awake.
The smaller man murmured incoherently and rolled over as he opened his bleary eyes and looked up at Artel, a puzzled expression on his face.
"Wh-what?" He grunted as he pulled himself into a sitting position.
"Get up Millon, something happened here last night, I do not feel good about this place, we need to leave."
Millon looked around the campsite, something had definitely happened, and in the back of his mind he thought he could almost remember.
"Th-there was a... a darkness, a thing... it..." He trailed off as Artel shot him a dangerous look.
"Yes Millon, I can't be sure of it either, but what I can be sure of is that there is an evil in these woods and we must leave as soon as possible."
Millon nodded dumbly as he watched Artel walk back round to his sleep sack and begin to pack away. As quickly as he could he roused himself and followed suit.

It took the two men a remarkably small amount of time to pack away their small camp and before long they were heading through the trees again. They walked in silence, both of them pondering the strange half-remembered events of the night before and neither of them knowing quite what to say to the other.
The morning passed in the way that time often passes, neither fast or slow but somewhere in between, like an elderly man on a leisurely walk in the evening sunshine.
It was mid afternoon and the two men were fighting their way through an unwelcoming thicket of brambles when a loud clunking sound filled the air. Both men stopped to listen, poised in the middle of their actions. It sounded like the cogs of a great machine, clunking and bashing as they slowly turned. Millon shot Artel a concerned look, a look that was returned in equal measure. Neither man knew what they may end up having to deal with after their encounter last night. What they both knew but neither wished to say was that, whatever it was, they were most probably unprepared for it.
For a few long seconds they stood, frozen to the spot, listening intently to the sounds. Then, just as suddenly as it had started, the sound stopped, leaving a heavy silence in it's wake. The two men stayed still for a moment longer but the sound did not start up again and the forest stayed silent and still.
"D-do you think it's gone Sir?" Millon's voice wavered slightly, showing his nerves.
"I don't know, but I believe we should tread carefully from here. Whatever it was may still be close by."
"Y-yes Sir."
"And Millon? Keep your wits about you, it is not natural for any forest to be as still and silent as this."
Millon nodded as he looked around. Artel was right, the forest was eerily silent, no thing moved and no thing called or cried. The silence hung in the air, pregnant and oppressive. He looked at Artel again, waiting for the other man to make the first move. Artel nodded and took a step forwards. A loud clunk filled the air and Millon just caught sight of the shocked expression on Artel's face as the floor beneath the knight gave out and he plunged into the ground, leaving the terrified Millon alone in the forest.

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