Rathen and Bulo camp out after their first day of travel. The nightmares continue of the foul creature haunting his mind. I tried to create it as eerie as possible. In the end, I thought there was a better way to introduce this into the story. I cut it out but still like this scene.
Rathen awoke to the sound of movement. He remained motionless and slowly reached for his sword. Grasping the handle and getting a firm grip, he carefully opened his eyes so as not to give away the fact that he was awake. The firelight was dim and the flames danced wildly about casting shadows that appeared almost as ghosts in the night. The air was cold against his exposed skin, very cold.
The sound came again close to his feet in the direction of the fire. In the corner of his eye, a shape came into view. A head, a large head. His first thought was that they were being robbed by orcs or even an ogre. The light flicked across the face enough to illuminate the outline and the hairline. It was Bulo! Why was he crawling so close to the ground?
“Bulo, what is it?” Rathen asked in a whispered voice. “Are we under attack?”
There was no answer as Bulo inched closer to Rathen. He thought Bulo was working on getting as close to him as possible in order to be able to fight back to back, possibly meaning that Bulo thought there were greater numbers.
Rathen fought away the feelings of panic and tried to look around the camp with his head as still as possible. Nothing. Apparently the attackers were still concealed.
Bulo inched closer but without movement from his arms or legs as if he was slithering along the ground. What the hell?
“Bulo!” Rathen said in a slightly raised voice.
There came no answer from Bulo as he inched forward towards Rathen’s face. The camp fire sparked up with a hiss as it became brighter. Bulo’s face was clear now, his eyes were empty. No, they were dead! An overwhelming panic surged through Rathen as he realized that his attacker was not out of sight hiding in the shadows, but was now almost face to face with him. He had let his defenses down and now he was in trouble. It was strike now, or not at all!
Rathen slide the sword from the sheath, twisting his body with the swing he generated torque strong enough that landed directly on Bulo’s large shoulder cutting deep at an angle. The blade stopped at the base of Bulo’s neck but there was no reaction. There was no blood.
The fire suddenly engulfed itself in a giant blaze sending up flames high in the night. Rathen could see well Bulo’s face where he had cut him to the neck. Rathen tried to wrestle the sword from Bulo’s body but it did not move. It was stuck in the horrendous wound. Rathen tried to stand up but was unable to move as if there was someone holding down his body from above. He could only look straight into the ghostly eyes of his good friend he had just cut his sword into.
“Raathennn….” a hissing voice came out of the mouth of Bulo.
The wraith, Rathen realized. No! Had it consumed Bulo’s body?
The campfire popped loudly and went brighter as if someone threw a bucket of oil onto it. From the fire, another hiss. The hiss grew louder “ssssss Raathennn”.
The voice sounded as if it were coming from the fire but the lips on Bulo’s pale face moved to them.
Feeling sorrow for his dead friend and fear for himself, he looked upon Bulo’s face as he laid there motionless.
“There iss more to fear than me”, the voice hissed.
As words were spoken from Bulo’s dead lips, his face started to shift, his skin started to boil. The skin started to drip from his face, his lips, still hissing, slid down his chin and onto the ground. His eyes bubbled into liquid and ran down his face that was now mostly bone. With nothing but a skull and what was left of his hair on top of his head, Bulo’s mouth began to hiss louder as his eye sockets sparked two fine points of red lights within.
What the hell was he looking at, Rathen’s mind raced as he continued to struggle to free his sword. The campfire become brighter and brighter as the skull hissed louder and louder. The light become too much to bear, shutting his eyes, he tried to twist his body and kick his feet.
Suddenly the noise stopped and his body moved again. Rathen opened his eyes to the bright sunlight above. Sitting up as quickly as he could, he saw Bulo holding a pan of sizzling meat over the campfire. Was it all a dream?