The world spins back and forth as opposed to a steady rotation in one direction. Obviously one can observe the fact that this is false. It is only in the inner workings of people that something so obscure can make any sense. Every memory that rewinds time for even a second does make a fantasy. The present keeps moving forward like a glacier across unsteady land. In uncertainty any tale can be made with the right amount of willpower. I gotta stand my ground or be swept away under miles of ice. The glacier is both time and anxiety bearing their weight down upon everyone. If I could run fast enough it’ll never catch up to me. If I could climb it I’d understand. And if I do nothing will it crush me like it did to all those who came before?
I trust this man for some reason. Maybe it is from the fact that he saved me from that man. How did Penelope love Odysseus after he massacred her suitors? Things happen that don’t often make much sense. I know I have never been here before and my name isn’t Rae. I am still stuck here. I hold tightly to his hand because I need something tangible. Time cascades forward as the last rays of sunlight cast across the land. We chase the shouts of guards straight into dusk.
His heavy breathing soothes my worrying heart. The blood that I have left to bleed doesn’t seem as bad as it did earlier. My throat is parched from holding back the truth. Should I tell him? I have to! He doesn’t deserve to not know what’s going on after risking so much to save me. I stop paying attention to him as I wrestle with my own thoughts. Suddenly I fall backwards when he stops running.
“What’s the big idea?”
“Please keep quiet.”
“Stop talking. . .”
I lift my head up to see but he pushes it down. An oddly shaped shadow stretches across the ground. The jagged angles are not natural. A stillness washes over everything like a lump in my throat restricting me from speaking. Nothing changes. Back and forth moves the shadow as if the creature is pondering what’s in front of it. I accidentally let out a gasp. It stops moving. My heart is beating so hard I swear it could leap out of my chest. The creature takes in a deep breath like wind entering a cave then everything returns to stillness.
I hear its teeth clatter. Sharp, needle like teeth tearing away at both flesh and soul. This is the end. It will lunge at us and devour us in the most savage way possible. I begin screaming in my head stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, STOP!!! The beast roars. Blades of grass instantly dry out, burst into dry dust, and blows away in the wind. Fog begins rolling in. What is going on? I’m so confused. I wonder if I can say something now.
My escort slowly runs his hand through my hair. A shiver runs up my spine as he comes in and holds me against his body. I softly blush at the gesture. We are unable to see more than a few inches in front of us. The creature dashes through the fog most likely searching for us. I feel I should cry but the warmth of this man keeps me from doing anything. Do I have feelings for him? Am I just thankful he is here? All of this is so confusing.
Footsteps sound more and more faint. The fog is starting to clear. We are sitting in a circle of dirt yet he clings to me like a child to his mother. I smile at him. He drops me and jumps up. Our moment completely ruined. He sees me on the ground then offers me a hand. I refuse. After dusting off the dirt from myself I slap him across the face.
“What was that for?”
“You dropped me!”
“Oh, my bad.”
“Your bad? Excuse me. What is wrong with you? Save my life twice but drops me.”
“I think you’re over-exaggerating.”
“Whoa but we’ve only met.”
“You’re not Rae.”
“How did you know?”
“Your slap was too weak.”
“Is that some sort of snide remark?”
“Yes. You hit like a girl.”
“I know some girls that would knock you the fuck out.”
“But not you.”
“And Rae could?”
“Let’s not talk about this.”
“The kettle calling the pot black much?”
“Bahahaha, are you serious?”
“Well I saved your life twice. Does that mean anything?”
“Thank you. Thank you. Fuck you.”
“Fine. I will.”
“Can we stop?!?!”
“Where is another monster when I need one?”
“What was that thing?”
“A Shariez, Sha-Reez. They aren’t indigenous to here.”
“Why was it here?”
“No clue. I’ve met only like five in all my travels. Rae killed one. I studied the corpse and discovered unknown details about them. They’re blind. Shariez are creatures born from some dark and twisted magic. Drowned humans to be exact. A witch, sorcerer, or warlock fishes out the corpses then does a ritual to reanimate the beings. Before they can be used the eyes must be removed so that they lose all their self-imposed will. A Shariez wouldn’t go so far away from their master unless a very strong magician summoned it. I don’t know anything else.”
“So you pissed off some powerful magician? Nice job.”
“Okay. I shouldn’t have saved you from that human trafficker. They fund research into unsavory magics. I killed a ring leader and his boss wanted me dead.”
“Will there be more?”
“Why are you so calm?!?!?”
“Just follow me. I know a place where we’ll be safe.”
He starts running deep into the forest. I run after him while looking out for more monsters. The last light of day begins to wane as I find the guy standing before a lone grave. I look around and see nothing around not a squirrel, not a bird, not a bug. My escort reaches in his pocket and pulls out a necklace with a locket. He lets out a deep sigh.
“Look in your pockets. Do you have a key?”
“Just do it.”
I reach my hands into my pockets. A cold metal feeling settles at the bottom. Each pocket had half of a key in them. I never put these here. The halves click together easily. I glance at the man with a very confused look. He grabs the key from hands. It fits into the lock perfectly. A picture of him and beautiful woman resides in the locket. With a gesture I come over and help him take the top of the coffin off of this un-buried grave. He places the opened locket in the coffin then closes it.
Minutes drag on ever so slowly. He kicks me randomly then points at the coffin. I glance at him with another confused face. Neither of us move. A quiet knocking echoes from the coffin. My escort starts pointing at the coffin again. I walk over there and look at it. Nothing is different from earlier. My curiosity piques and I start lifting up the lid of the coffin. Where the wood was before only darkness remained.
“What is this?”
“Stick the landing!” he shoves me down the hole then jumps after me.