"Kings and Dragons" series coming this winter
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The Long Road into Night #31 – Halloween
It has been 31 days since you first stepped onto the dark road. Even at your journey’s end, it still seems like the beginning. Once again you exit the woods, and stand beside the road. You look both ways, and it seems to stretch on forever in each direction.
“You do realize, that on the stupid scale, this ranks pretty high,” Ellie commented, as she stepped up beside you.
“Yeah, I guess it kind of does,” you muttered.
You had been only half listening to her complaints over the last hour. The points she made were good but not what you wanted to hear. You did give some consideration, to her argument, on not dying. That was at least one thing you didn’t plan on doing this night. Again you glanced down the road in each direction again. Frustratingly, they had looked the same.
Ellie saw what you were doing.
“Do you even know which way you are going?” she asked in an exasperated tone.
“Nope,” you flatly replied. “Do you?”
“Meek don’t usually travel the road,” Ellie stated. “It’s a good way to get you killed, and trust me… Here it usually sticks.”
“Then I would be open to a suggestion,” you turned to her. “Which way looks better to you?”
“My suggestion is the same as it was before. Go home,” she snapped. Then with a sigh, Ellie added, “There’s no such thing as a better way here. If you stay, you’re only going to die. It’s that simple.”
You give her a wry crooked smile that seems to annoy her.
“I don’t believe that’s going to happen,” you said with some confidence.
“Then which way, are we going to go?” she asked. A bit of sarcasm was entering her tone. “I don’t have any coins for you to flip.”
“I thought we might ask him,” you nod toward the other side of the road.
Ellie gasped at what she saw.
Right across the road from them a hooded, dark robed figure stood. It was the ‘One’.
“Did you think I was finished with you?” The ‘One’ asked, in that echoing deep voice of his, or then again it could be a ‘hers’. It was sort of hard to see beneath that hood, and so far you only got a glimpse of it bony, fleshless hand. “Our business this night is not done.”
You stare into the shadowy hood for a moment.
“A matter of settling accounts, I recall you saying,” you replied cautiously. Memories of your last meeting with him were not pleasant. It was then that you decided the ‘One’ was definitely a ‘him’. A woman with that voice would just be downright scary.
“That is correct,” the ‘One’ answered. “No debt to me ever goes unpaid.”
“See now…” you winced slightly. “There’s the problem… My debt was not to you.”
There was a rustling in the woods behind you. Then from the trees’ shadows walked a large black wolf. The Hunter of the long night stepped to the edge of the road. Ellie nearly jumped out of her skin, but you wave for her to be calm.
“I don’t remember you being so jumpy,” You whispered jokingly to her.
“Well, I used to be alive back then too, and taller,” She retorted. “Things change, especially in this place.”
You turned back to face the ‘One’.
“The debt you spoke of… was owed to him,” you explained. A smile of satisfaction curled your lips. “I learned a few things in the last few days. For one… this is not your world Dark One. It is his.” You nod to the wolf.
A low growl echoed on the wind, and it did not come from the wolf.
“I know it’s a touchy subject. If my master was a dog,” you paused and looked to the wolf. It had growled this time. It was also looking at you hungrily.
“Sorry about the dog remark,” you quickly apologized.
The Hunter nodded and pointed its snout toward the ‘One’.
“Well, as I was saying,” you continued. “I’d probably not want that sort of thing spread around either. Still, we have a problem,” you point a thumb toward the wolf. “As you can tell, he really wasn’t happy that you tried to replace him, with me.”
The shadowed hood of the ‘One’ swung from you to the wolf and back again.
“So long story short,” you pause for a quick breath. “He doesn’t like me being here anymore than you do. He also seems to like me a little more than you right now.”
“What is it you want?” the ‘One’ grudgingly asked.
“Oh… I think you already know that answer,” you shot back. “I just need to know which way.”
You point left and then you point right. Then you waited for an answer.
Another low growl came from beneath the hood.
The ‘One’ pointed right.
You looked to the wolf and it nodded. You waved Ellie to follow, and you walked over to the ‘One’.
“I just have another question,” you paused.
“Ask it,” the grating deep voice replied.
“Did the Russian end up here?”
“Okay… then I have another,” you shifted uneasily and your voice went cold. “Did he suffer?”
“Good,” you smiled. “By the way… she’s coming with me.” You motion to Ellie. “If there is a problem, then take it up with the wolf.”
The ‘One’ only growled.
“I must say, it’s been a pleasure,” you gave a saluting nod to the ‘One’. Then you and Ellie turned and walked away.
Ellie glanced back a few times as you both go. The wolf and the ‘One’ seemed to be having a bit of a discussion.
“Is that it?” Ellie asked.
“Maybe,” you simply said, “Maybe not.”
For awhile you both walked in silence, as the road stretched on.
31 days on the long road into night, and you are still alive.
One last warning – In the coming months, beware the old man in the red suit. He knows things.Also check out my Author Page at: www.facebook.com/turnerbookpage
"Kings and Dragons" series coming this winter