XXII – The Plains Of WHAT?!

Fear.

A single word that says so much.

There are many kinds of fear. Fear of failure. Fear for a loved one. Fear for the fate of a missing pet. Fear of the gallows or crucifixion. Fear of imminent death. Well, you get the idea. Lots of fear and no way to get around it, so you fight through it. I’ve always been of the opinion that any man who says he doesn’t know fear is either lying or needs a serious head readjustment.

Why all the philosophy on the subject? I’m getting to it.

Back, back ,back. The Nephilim and Elohim had slammed into us with such force that, even partially scattered, they were driving us backward toward the mouth of a large cavern. Our retreat was bloody and no holds barred; both sides loosing soldiers as battle formations became desperate fights of two to one just to stay alive. As I’ve said before, any two of my Titans could take on one Nephilim with a good chance of coming out on top.

Things were even better for us as we outnumbered our foes over two to one. What we hadn’t expected, and I should’ve planned for, was the arrival of the Elohim. Shorter than their Nephilim brethren they were also smarter and faster as well as having the benefit of barbed spears and the brains to use them.

Simply to say, we were getting hurt. That was my fear. Had I led my men to grisly slaughter in an unknown somewhere with no chance of salvation? It was beginning to look that way.

So it was that, pushed ever backward, we finally crossed the threshold of the cavern mouth. As we did so, I felt a tingling sensation all over my body which quickly vanished.

Remarkably, so did our adversaries. Yup. Gone without leaving a trace as to their passing.

The sudden lack of resistance made us stagger, with several of the men falling down from the effort. Nobody laughed though. All of us looked toward our line of retreat, expecting a fresh wave of enemies. What we saw froze us stock still with disbelief and confusion. The tunnel was gone. Simple to say, I suppose, but woefully inadequate to describe.

At that tunnel mouth was a scene straight out of hell. I don’t think anyone of us could have imagined a worse sight than the one which greeted our disbelieving eyes.

Scarlet plains stretched off in the distance till they touched the feet of mountains, which reared their peaks upward into a black and red patchwork sky, sizzling with lightening flashes. Nothing moved in that grotesque place even as we felt an ice cold wind buffet us from those scarcely visible peaks. What had we found, rather, what had found us?

A touch to my left hand brought me out of my daze. Looking over and downward I saw Tummi and those big blue eyes staring pleadingly upward with sharp intensity.

“Stay here. No go there. Wait!”

I looked at the ragtag band of what was left of my men standing or sitting on nearby rocks, their faces showing both pain and exhaustion, then back at Tummi. I tried to answer him but nothing came out as I grimly stared at that cavern mouth. Tummi was even more insistant.

“Read your mind. Don’t do! Find others later. All will be well.”

I can imagine what expression I wore as Tummi looked scared to death. He had let go of my hand and backed off a short distance. I tried to calm him.

“Not going anywhere little guy.”

I pointed to the bizarre scene in frount of me. The lightening flashes had grown more violent, and I could now see distant flames.

“Care to tell me what in Hades that is?”

Tummi tentatively smiled since he could see that I wasn’t going to do anything rash.

“One of many places. Eye able to send you anywhere you want to go.”

Eye? What in Jupiter’s name was he talking about? Tummi sensed my confusion.

“Eye is gate to anywhere or neverwhere. You think and, if you strong enough, Eye send you there. You not strong enough. Yet.”

I looked at the shattered remnant of my fighting force and I had to agree with the little Furry. One thing was clear. I would find Acteus and the rest of my men, or die in the attempt.

Chapter XXIII

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Published in: on August 15, 2010 at 8:11 PM  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Chapter XXII […]


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