Well, previously I mentioned that I was working on new stories to post and this is one of them. It is not the story I hoped I would finish which involves the character of Mordain who was created on The White Counsil by Chadden, I still have a lot of work to do on that one. But I had finished this some time ago and was planning to post it when I finished the third 'scene'. This story, while very short, marks my first attempt at using 1st Person perspective rather than 3rd Person omniscient. It was actually quite a challenge to not write things which Nathaniel did not or could not know or feel. Anyway, enough rambling by me, here is the story and I'll post Scene 2 - Fury in a day or two.
1 - Horror
I smell blood. It is faint but there is a lot of it somewhere. After years of fighting in battles, cutting my way through skirmishes, I can recognise blood. It is something I cannot forget, the smell grows until there is no denying it. The fact that I recognise blood so readily fills me with a feeling of vague disillusionment, like I am tainted by having such experience. I wonder at times why it is always me. Why do I always have to find the bodies? Why do I always have to stop whatever is behind the slaughter? Obviously I do not really feel obliged to stop doing what I do; the questions are more to take my mind off what is happening. I suppose it is like if I complain about it I will not have to deal with the idea that I am not afraid of dying, that I do not really care enough about myself to worry about when my enemies get in that lucky shot.
I turn the corner into another empty corridor, the dank stone of the basement surrounding me. My name is Nathaniel Drakkon, I am a mage of Weissland, a weapon against my people’s enemies, and I smell blood. It gets stronger as I get closer, this is the right way. Or the wrong way depending on your perspective I imagine. Up ahead I can see light coming from a doorway at the end of the hall. One deep breath and I start walking towards the source.
The basement of the manse, it is more expansive than I thought, and now I feel foolish for not looking at the floor plans closer. The battle is winding down outside or I would not be down here. A leader not leading his troops is not my idea of doing a good job. They begged us to help them, they pleaded with us so we would defend them. Foolish bastards, meddling with things they did not understand and I have had to put the lives of my men on the line to save them. You do not stir up evil and expect it not to come calling. And even worse than that they had conveniently forgot about the tunnels that led into the basement of the manse. I saw it immediately when I found out. Nathaniel Drakkon, too smart for my own good. I seized on the idea and ran with it. Patrol the tunnels I said, make sure the enemy has not found them. A more cautious and careful man would have sealed the way up from the basement, headstrong as ever I sent men down into this. I sent them down into this warren of tunnels? Idiot or madman, I cannot decide what I am. There is that saying, fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Now I am down here. One of the patrols did not return. Thankfully things died down, the enemy were scattered and troops went after them. That is where I want to be, leading from the front. Instead, I am cleaning up my mess. I told McKay to barricade the stairs down to the basement behind me. If things go wrong I know nothing is getting into the house, I leave by the tunnels or not at all. McKay and his men are good at their jobs, well-trained. They know what they are doing unlike me. “Oh that’s right Nathaniel, just keep pitying yourself, I’m sure that will solve everything.” I say sarcastically to myself. It is only after I speak that I think silence would be a better choice.
The smell of blood is strong as I walk to the doorway. Other smells make me gag, but I fight the urge and avoid making any more noise. I can hear sounds now. No hesitation, I move into the room beyond. The room is large with tunnels branching off of it. Here it is that I find the patrol... or what is left of them. Blood is smeared across the floor and walls, and I see bloody handprints where desperate men scrabbled for escape. There are body parts, dimly recognisable for what they are, strewn around like a child might discard its toys. And sitting amongst this charnel scene, corpulent mounds of flesh stained with grease and blood, is the ghoul. With beady black eyes of obsidian it regards me as its’ next meal, while gnawing at a femur. Lank and matted hair hangs from the foul monster’s scalp haphazardly, and the thing is covered head to toe in substances I would rather not imagine let alone see with my own eyes. I hear it utter mangled words “More food... for me is it? Sooo... hungggrry!”
As if I cannot stop myself I growl “You won’t like the taste of me!” It sounded more intimidating in my head.
The fat creature scoffs “Hur-hur, all food is good taste for meeee! Chewy meat, succulent blood and juices I squeeze from the bodies... and the brittle bones I do love to gnaw!”
I snarl, the movement of my body adding to the anger I convey, the hood of my robes flapping down to reveal my contorted face. With a shout I declare “This is your last meal monster, prepare to die!” This is it, blood, death, and justice. It is do or die. I die or my enemy does, nothing else exists. I do not care, with absolute certainty and clarity, I know that is true. I draw my sword in a movement so fast but I feel like I am agonisingly slow. And then I lunge forward to strike. There is nothing else, just the moment, just the scene.