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Fantasy Mystery Sad

"Thanks a lot, Ridix. You have brought us where we need to be," says a dark armored rider atop a wet and glorious dark stead of the night.

The horse tramples forward shattering mud in its wake. The rolling thunder echoes through the misty clouds. Lighting cracks and roars illuminate the sky against the dark and dank hallows of the baron forest. Skinny trees and dead thickets fill the muddy space. Bones and charms strung up like chimes to keep the evil spirits away hang from the limp rotted limbs and from the worn-down old shack that a certain witch calls home. Among the chirps of creaking violin crickets and the lightning whips, this crusty old and tired woman grinds to the bone in her bowl. Scratch, scratch the sound of her pestle making churning against the inside of her bowl.

"He's coming, he's coming," she laughs. The green and yellowish shade of her teeth decay shine in the smoky sky's faint illumination.

She stops cackling abruptly and bends her head toward the ground, and stops churning.

The whinny of a horse trots through the forest in the distance.

"He is coming," she says. She grabs a skull from beside her worn feet wrappings and comes face to face with it.

"He comes, but I will not contrive or break the seal you martyred for. Oh, my love, how my damned soul will soon be joined with yours," she says passionately as she gives the skull a gentle kiss before setting it on the old scrawny worn table beside her.

She stands and faces the storm as it calms. She holds out her hands to embrace the winds of danger as a gratifying but crazed smile besmirches her face. The sound of the wind all but dies. The chirping of instrumental insects ceases as if never existed before this moment, seamlessly frozen in time. Her arm still extended, she scans ahead of her squinting her senses through the mist and darkness as best as age would allow. Lightening temporarily shines the truth around her as everything seems to be safe.

A false assumption as the elements curse her with their streaks of lightning across the smoky sky. Shadows fill in the blanks revealing an intimidating and well-armored assailant as he steps from through the veil of light and dark within the storm. A second flash crackles across the sky, unveiling the assailant's lightfoot as he approaches his next victim under the guise of lightning, matching its speed with his. The old hag's eyes grow wide in disbelief as she stumbles for her bowl, tripping on the beads that hang from her torn skirt.

She falls to the rhythm of decomposing old wood. The soggy boards of her now wet porch leave her senses rocked like a valley after a tornado as she hits her head. Share stares up, shaking, at the underbelly of the roof of her hut and watches as a single solitary drop of water beads down to the floor by her head.

The droplet breaks into several smaller drops of dew before puddling, not once making a sound. She slowly moves her gaze at the mysterious assailant as another flash of lightning brings to life the calm but purple and red eyes of her executioner. Dark shadows add depth to the bone-carved mask of her stalker, who now patiently stands over her injured body.

She hisses at him, "I didn't make you this way. I'm harmless a cur, a recluse of the wood destined to die in the rags that hide my shame from the world. I've hurt no one, no one!"

The shadowy figure cautiously waves aside the overlay of his vested garments and pulls out a wicked dagger jagged-edged and made of pure ebony. He picks up the bowl and lifts up his mask to reveal only the soft lips that hide behind the image of death he displays over his head.

He whispers, "Ee'rt Reh-a-evo'l-oom."

The paste in the bowl glows a bright blue after sprinkling its effects on her mixture. The assailant leans down and helps her lips find the rim of the wooden bowl. She consumes the paste slowly. Her eyes follow his teeming with compassion and frail fury; her gaze fixates solely on his mask. Her stare, full of fear and resentment. Moments after consuming the paste, surrender and angst wash away as she focuses on the sky, the timeless and soundless streaks of nature's brush strokes. 

The assailant slowly tucks away his identity behind his ebony-bone mask, tilts his head to the sky, and with the flash of a lightning bolt, the old witch's life force faints into the darkness. The shadowy rider stands and pauses in sentiment over what remains of her physical form as he wipes her essence off the ebony knife against his wicked leather bracers—the small plates of custom crude-studded steel scratch against the edge of the blade. The assailant sheaths his weapon of choice.

The thunder rolls onward into the distance leaving the forest around him with the bitter sounds of droplets smashing against different surfaces. He adjusts the overhang of his long trench and flaps it over the dying red glow of dagger hilt. The rickety creak of old wood flooring squeaks beneath his feet as he stops and sniffs the air. With the wave of his hand, he looks down at the ragged ancient skull. He leans over and picks it up. He lifts the vacant skull up to his face.

"Dispell-llesps-deexistio," says the assailant.

The air rises to life as a pastel green fluorescent light swirls around the skull. The light creates a small self-contained funnel of wind that lifts the skull up and meets the assailant's purple-colored eyes.

"I'll smite your kind from this world soul dweller. The shame of my existence will bring the artificers to rust and ruin. On this, I swear is my purpose," says the mysterious assailant.

A collective voice echoes in force from the witch's tongue, "Your gift is given by the truths of this conclave, and that which is done can not be undone. Remember this Blackmane," the echoes trailing off into the void of the wet forest around them.

The assailant winces his eyes at level with the skull. A few moments of silence pass as the slow hiss of malice rumbles from the skull muffles into a low rumbling laugh. The eyeholes come to life, flickering in unison with its somber chuckle. The assailant narrows his eyes at the skull's reaction and begins to squeeze his hand, constricting the funnel. An invisible force marks the pressure of the lit funnel as the assailant squeezes the voices to ruin. The voice struggles to squeeze out its last words as if feeling agony from the assailant's grip.

"We are waiting... Dispeller," says the skull as the voice deepens then trails off.

"A gift then until my purpose equals eight, P-A-I-N," says the Dispeller, his last word of a lighter and more direct tone.

The voices cry out in writhing as the funneling force clashes with the final squeeze, igniting, spraying the magic from the skull as it crumbles in pieces. They all turn to ash and trail off into the wind, each piece dying with a tail of green light before cindering out.

"Ridix, come," says the assailant as he looks down at the pale and dehydrated corpse of the witch. With a haze of black smoke, the assailant blinks out of sight and appears mounted on the back of his horse, clad in wicked armor.

The assailant whips the reins hard and rides off into the stormy night.

November 22, 2021 05:33

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