Saturday, June 11, 2011
THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN
An excerpt from "JP and the Nightgaunt" -
Two days had come and gone since the nightgaunt had left with JM’s head and spinal column.
JP lay on the floor. He babbled and drooled in the corner. In the Dark. Where the nightgaunt had paced.
He shit himself. Didn’t matter.
Pissed himself. Didn’t matter.
Stared at the ceiling and cackled madly. Slapped open palms on the floor and howled, like he was privy to some enormous joke.
Maybe he was.
From time to time he drifted off to sleep. Fitful sleep. Filled with nightmares of Pnath. The ghouls. The bones piles. The shadows. The mad piping music. And that insect-like thing with JM’s head and face. Somehow he knew that it was more than a nightmare. It was real.
JP walked the vale, strolled amidst the piles of bleached bones.
Ghouls sat atop the bone piles, gnawing on bones. Bones picked clean. Bones fresh with dripping flesh. Some ghouls hissed or growled as JP passed by.
As if to say, these are MY bones. A warning.
Shadows danced. JP heard the mad music echoing through the vale.
There came a gurgling hiss. Something scurried across his path.
JP looked. Again saw his lady-friend, JM.
But not JM.
The thing that JM had become. An insect with JM’s head, spider-like legs along the vertebral column where ribs had once been. Torn tissues dragging on the ground. As it crawled it left a long red glistening smear.
The same image that had awakened JP a few days before.
The thing suddenly stopped, turned its head. A faint recognition in its multifaceted eyes.
Then a ghoul reached down and gathered it up. Began to chew on its face.
The thing that had been JM hissed and howled pain and desperation while JP fled in the dark.
A cackling distorted laugh stopped him. He turned, saw...
The mad nightgaunt loomed out of the shadows. Rose up before JP. Leered down at him.
With no face.
It was coming for JP. To take him away.
Soon. Very soon.