Night Whisper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
In a far off land on a long past time, the night still whispers of fear and terror.

Submitted: April 27, 2016

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Submitted: April 27, 2016

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Emit shivered and checked over his shoulder.

He could not shake the feeling that he was being watched. The cold night wind kissed his skin sending shiver down his back. He pulled his cloak tighter and hugged his knees.

A large bearded man tossed another log in the small fire, giving the younger man a quick glance.

“It’s just the dark, the witches are  are long gone,” He said, his voice was gravely and deep. Emit always found his master’s voice comforting, it reminded him of his grand fathers.

Emit poked at the fire idly with a twig. “It’s not the witches I fear, Sir Graven, it’s the straggele. They say they stay around even after the witches have left.”

The bearded man laughed and slapped Emit on the back. “Ah, my young squire! How much you have yet to learn!”

He rose and began to make his way to the bushes. Emit got to his feet, fear grabbing at his heart. “Where are you going?” He asked, trying to keep his voice from rising.

“I’m taking a piss!” Sir Graven’s voice called back from the darkness.

Emit slumped back down to the ground, suddenly very aware of his surroundings. The wilderness that engulfed him was hilly and mostly bare of trees, giving Emit a feeling of vulnerability. To his right was the ruins of an great watch tower that had long toppled over. In the harsh land of Wendigon things didn’t last long, especially since its former inhabitants could no longer take care of it.

 

Emit recalled the stories he had heard about the cruel Witches that once terrorized the land. Foul people who prayed on the weak, and conversed with the Dark gods. But it wasn’t magical hags that gave him shivers, it was their servants, the straggele. Large beast men with claws, horns, and sharp teeth. It was said that they could rip a grown man in half with ease, and that their claws could shred chainmail. Emit shivered at the thought of actually running into on of the monsters. He gripped his dagger, and tried to think of something else. “Don’t want to scare myself,” He thought. “This is just silly, that was years ago, surely nothing would stay at this ruin for that long.”

“May I join you?” A voice from the dark said.

Emit jumped to his feet, his heart racing. A man draped in a long  billowy black cloak stepped into the fire light, his face shrouded by shadow from his hood. “I’m sorry if I gave you a fright, but I couldn’t help and notice your fire, it looks so inviting,” Said the man. “And you looked like you need company, it’s rather cold and lonely out here tonight. It’s alright, I’m unarmed.” He lifted his cloak to give Emit a better look. “I’m not alone! My master, he’s a knight, will be back in a moment.” Emit tried to hide the nervousness in his voice, but was unsuccessful.

The cloaked man chuckled. “Well I hope you would afford a lone pauper the benefit of the doubt and not stab me?” He gestured to Emit, who hadn’t realized it but had drawn his dagger. Emit wasn’t sure what to do, if he sheathed his weapon it meant he wasn’t afraid. But he was afraid, and he wanted to defend himself. He elected to lower his weapon, but keep it unsheathed just in case.

 

The cloaked man nodded and sat himself near the fire. He leaned in and started rubbing his hands. “Tell me, young squire,” Said the man. “What is a brave young man and a knight like you doing out here in the wastes of Wendigon?”  Emit stayed standing. “Diplomatic mission,” He answered. “ Lord Dorrim wanted to enlist the help of the clan Macginnis. We’re going as representatives, (though if you ask me Anglica can fight the Boerers on its own).”

The stranger idly poked the fire with a stick, acting uninterested with the information Emit was giving.

“Well that’s rude!” thought Emit. “You don’t just ask a question and then don’t pay attention! And why is Sir Graven taking so long?”

The hooded man took the stick out of the fire and inspected its glowing end. Emit was now annoyed, he slumped down on the ground and drew his cloak around himself. The wind bit his exposed skin and howled like a dying wolf. Emit shivered again, and cursed under his breath. And the stranger kept poking the fire. “So, um, good sir,” Emit said. “Where do you hail from?”

But the a the hooded man continued to poke the fire. “Perhaps he didn’t hear,”he thought. Emit tried to make conversation again, this time waddling a little closer. “So my good sir, what kingdom do you call home? Or perhaps you belong to a clan? Are you Redbear? MacCansil?” The man did not acknowledge the question, but instead chuckled.

“This was a curious place to choose to camp,” said the man. Emit couldn’t help agree with that. “Indeed!”agreed Emit. “I asked my master if we could move on past here, but he wouldn’t! The Tower of Witches! They may not be here anymore, but this place still haunts my very soul!”

The stranger nodded. “Yes! My young squire, this place, a place of murder, cannibalism, and demons! What an odd place to rest…” His voice tailed off, he stared into the shadows as though lost in thought. Finally, someone who is sane!” Thought Emit. He took a out a stale piece of bread and tore it in half, offering it to the hooded man. But the man disregarded it. “Do you know why there are no more witches here, young squire?” He asked. Emit tried to answer but the man cut him off. “You were taught to believe that brave heroes chased them out, that knights with shining swords slew them and their monsters. But I tell you, young squire, that this is liesss..” The lingering ‘s’  caught Emit off guard. He began to nibble his bread nervously, and wondered where Sir Graven was.

“Yesss, lies, young squire,” he continued, “You have been told liesss. But, maybe that is a good thing. Let the children of the day believe they are heroes, then they can sleep at night. But my dear, dear squire, do you want to know the truth?” Emit swallowed, his figure gripping the hilt of his dagger. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to know, in fact the only thing he wanted right then was Sir Graven to show up. The hooded man got to his feet, and stared into the blackness of night. “The witches did not leave because of heroes, but because they worshiped the wrong god. And they forgot the darkness that was greater than them.” The hooded man’s voice began to rise with elated insanity. He raised his hands to the black sky, as though he would tear it down like a sheet. “This darkness that knows no end to its thirst, no end to its hunger! It only knows that all who are in its way are an end to a means! Be it man, woman, or child! Saint or witch, priest or monster!”

Emit got to his feet and pointed his dagger at the man, every bone in his body was shaking. “That's enough of that, s-sir. Now be off with you, before my master gives you what for!”

The stranger slowly turned around, his hood still covering his face. “Oh, my young Emit,” he laughed, “Sir Graven will not be returning!” and with a quick swipe he flipped back his hood, revealing the horrific head underneath. The head had no hair, it’s skin was so tight it showing every detail of its skull and pulled its cheeks back affixing its mouth in a cruel smile. Its eyes were burning red lamps of hatred. Emit fell back in fear, his heart pounding hard in his chest. The man moved like lightning and towered over him. But Emit summoned all his courage and thrust his dagger all the way to the hilt into the man. The stranger cackled. “Oh little squire, you can not slay the dead…”

 


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