Mrrda stomped through the jungle, crushing roots and leaves beneath his bony feet. Sticks snapped, twigs tumbled, small rodents fled for their burrows. Anger dripped from evry inch of the Undead King's ivory frame. It was in the way his femurs trembled with each fearsome stomp, it was in the loud clrk of his grinding teeth, it was in the twisted, unnatural scowl smeared upon his skull. Wrongness had been thrust on him, and for it would the perpetrator pay.
A low growl eased its way between his teeth. The tracks he had been following, ones which could have only been left by his foe, came to an abrupt stop at the trunk of an ancient and mighty tree. The king's sockets scaled the plant, but no impressions had been made in the slimy moss. The trail had been lost.
"You won't escape me simply by climbing." The words rumbled up through Mrrda's bone throat, seeming to shake off his jaws more than leave his mouth. They sounded less than human, and to the small mice who scurried away, more like a lion.
Heat churned his marrow. The vertebrae below his skull rattled violently. At once he snapped back forming a boomerang arch in his back, throwing his jaw open like a snake. A fearsome roar bellowed up into the canopy, and the usually chatty animals of the jungle fell silent. It was a roar which carried round for a number of miles, and within them no creature stirred. After a while it was over, and Mrrda's jaw locked back in place with a pop and a snap. He drew the saber from between his ribs and cast an "X" across the tree's trunk.
The anger cleansed of his heaving being, Mrrda tromped off. His prey would not allude him for long.
Night fell over the Secret Lands. Though the raging reaper had carved his way through miles of foliage, there was no sign of the man who wronged him. Despite requiring no rest to ease his body, Mrrda was considering finding a retreat for the night. Under the watch of the moon appeared creatures which even the undead had cause to fear. One such creature stirred beneath the king's feet, in a flash binding the skeletal sire within its poisoned coils.
"Release me, serpent," shook the king's bones, "or you will soon regret it."
"Peassse, mighty Mrrda," hissed the snake, whose specific patterns could not be seen in such darkness but whose eyes rippled with a sensational spectrum of color. "I only wished to ssstop you so that we may ssspeak."
"Then speak," Mrrda growled.
"The one you seek," the snake began. It loosened its hold on the king and slithered into a branch, allowing its body to drape loosely on and between the smooth bones. "He residesss not far from where your temple resssts. A sssmall dwelling of snapped branchesss and leavesss. It's high up in a tree. Easy to misssss from the ground."
Mrrda grabbed the snake's tail, clenched it tight in his fist. "Take me there. I can't see it from the ground, but you clearly know the way."
The snake's dancing eyes narrowed. They shook with yellow, then orange, all colors spinning off from the center into a pool of growing and shrinking dyes. "I can't go there."
"He will kill me, as he did my brother and sssistersss."
"I see... so that's why you're helping me." Mrrda released the snake's tail and felt it slip out beneath his thumb and into the branches to join the rest of the creature. He began on his way, sockets turned toward the trees, before a thought occurred to him. "Serpent, tell me something else."
"The man I seek. Does he have a name?"
"He doesss. They call him 'Brrda'."
"Brrda...," the king let the name hover on his teeth. The growl of his bones began a new, and with madness scorching through his bones he started off to put an end to he who deserved it.
© Copyright 2017 Nathan DiYorio. All rights reserved.
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