A Warmth In The Darkness (Short Story for critique)

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    Today’s Must Write Thursday Article is a visit to the universe I first introduced in my story Perils. It may be beneficial to read that one if you have not read it or do not recall it.

    I wait impatiently for the creature to move into position. Funny how we find ourselves in these different rolls. Yesterday I was an apprentice making horseshoes; today I am a warrior about to leap onto a horror and stab it’s horrible eye. I can only hope that what I have learned from adventurers traveling through town is enough.

    The unthinkable had happened as seems the case with all things. The veil born attacked. Veil born have never attacked in all the history in the archives; the veil just ’was’. Whatever changed inside the veil was about to change us all forever. It would be nice to ponder this thought over some tea in a library where it was safe. Today will not be the day I become a scholar though.

    I peep out the window and spot my target lumbering along the street reaching its wretched tentacles into windows. From the windows they toss the unprepared into the street to be stomped on by their bladed feet. Those evil black tentacle creatures where the stuff of evil. The people they kill make new creatures for them to possess. Only by killing the tentacle creature do they crumble; for that you must get past the blades and bodies of the fallen.

    A rumble told me it was close but I must catch it unaware. Each moment passes like an eternity as I await the slime covered fingers to enter my bedroom. As it slithers in I carefully dodge it’s searching and probing silently, preparing my ambush. The ground rumbles again as the tentacle retreats and the time for action finally arrives. I run at the open window and leap with all my might through the opening weapons first.

    My body tackles the creature and knocks the putrid thing from it’s post atop the atrocity while it’s tentacles instantly move the wrap around me. Without hesitation my dagger rises and plunges I to its singular eye slaying it instantly while we fall helpless to the ground.

    I roll and put the squishy mass in my hands between me and the ground and feel is hit the ground hard. I feel myself slide a few paces before coming to a halt, now painfully aware of the damage done.

    I push myself painfully from the ground aware of the other nearby creatures that would be finding their way towards me. When my feet are under me I look around to find my next chance to take one out. As I realize I have a moment to think with no sign of them moving towards me I suddenly hear the rapid shuffling of armour.

    I turn to greet the guard rushing towards me when a large metallic figure crashes into me and I feel a slash across my face. The metal figure rolls over top of me and lands with a scratching sound. I have no time to assess my now injured face and scramble to get up to deal with the new threat.

    Before I can manage to get up the metal creature is upon me, this time pinning me down with it’s mass. Only one eye will open and with the one good eye I find myself staring down the maw of a creature bearing the metal armour of a city guard. The jaw trying to gnaw on my head is made of the head of the guard with his helmet still on. The flesh is bonded to the steel and the teeth are laced with steel and form razor sharp points. Inside the jaw and down the throat cavity I can see the writhing mass of a tentacle creature. Now I know how to strike it down if I can protect myself from it’s ferocity.

    I lift my feet up under it and kick with all my sapping strength and manage to heft the creature off me. I leap to my feet and grasp my weapon ready for the next assault. The cat like creature paces in an arc looking for an opening. The terrifying feeling of my strength departing me. If I can’t get it to pounce soon I may not have the strength to bring it down.

    A moment of clarity dawns on me, give it what it’s looking for. I feign a misstep and I watch the creature lower itself and pounce at me. I point my sword and drive it straight into it’s maw as it’s mass tumbles I to me and we both fall heavily to the ground. My energy bleeds from my body and blackness takes over. If my fate is this than at least I took two with me is all I can think about. As my last conscious thought begins to fade the darkness seems too warm slightly. A strange sensation almost like hope.

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