A Voice In The Dark
“Veron!” The voice permeates your brain, resounding within till it feels it will explode out.
”Veron!” Again and again it assaults your conscious. But are you conscious? Are your eyes open or still closed? Are they still held in death’s peaceful hold?
“VERON!” It screams at you now and brings more sounds. Yelling, screaming, metal clashing… sword against sword and shield, maces striking steel helms.
“Leave him! He’s already dead!” A different voice now. Who was dead? Who were they leaving? Who was the woman he could now hear crying?
“They’re going to break through! GET OUT NOW!” Who was breaking through? The sounds grew louder and louder and brought smells with them now. Smoke… the city was burning. What city? Other smells now too, the smell of blood mingling with the smoke and something else. The stench of rotting corpses.
Suddenly your eyes fly open, and you find yourself standing in plunging darkness. Nothing for your eyes to see and you are now aware that your legs are too weak to hold you and you’re falling, falling down till the cold, hard stone floor holds you once more. Your joints are stiff and breathing is hard. Your lungs are on fire as you struggle to get more air into them. Finally the darkness comes for you once more.
Dreams now fill your mind but they roll past your eyes like a reality you know somehow. You know how this ends and you dread it but you have to watch it. It plays and plays, each time revealing more of the puzzle. Each new piece tortures you and cuts into you erasing the last vestige of humanity.
You see the young man, the battle that rages around him. The chaos and confusion of battle. He is with others in a small building. At the door are unimaginable creatures trying to get to them. You watch as his heavy mace crashes into their heads, smashing them like pumpkins. But there’s no blood. They have no blood! They are the undead he fights, creatures with no mind or direction other than the single thought to feed on the living.
You see the wall ripped away by an unbelievably huge, powerful creature made of parts of other undead. Sewn together in some macabre tapestry of horror. The young man fights valiantly. They all do, even the woman they are all trying to protect. You watch as the man crashes his mace on another undead just as a bloody hook connected to a long chain impales him. In horror, now you want to turn away but you can’t, you mustn’t. You need to see this.
The abomination yanks the young man to him, his large brutish hand swinging a club wildly at his head, crushing the skull beneath it. The woman is screaming his name as another of his companions rushes towards the monstrosity, sword in hand and the lust of killing in his eyes. Before he reaches the beast the woman has placed two black arrows into its chest that have knocked it to the ground. As the arrows explode within the creature the other man’s sword neatly cleaves the horror’s head from its body.
“VERON!” screams the woman who rushed to his side. “Leave him, he’s dead” says the other.
Slowly the visions repeat and repeat until you realize that the young man is you. Veron is who you are, it’s your name. You start to remember the other men around you, who they were. And the woman. Remembering who she was became the final thrust that killed your heart. She was your sister, your family. You failed to protect your own family. Was she also killed? Has she found herself in the same darkness as you? Is she wondering what cruel twist of fate surrounds her now as you do? This is the final mockery! You have all the questions but none of the answers.
Now hatred grows within your heart, a small spark at first but growing and burning like your lungs still trying to gather air. The hatred fills your body, flowing into your joints and relieving the stiffness. Filling your arms and legs with a strength greater than you have ever felt even in life. All your senses are elevated from this burning hatred within you. Your eyes pierce the darkness and you can see the cell you are in. Your ears can hear the coughing and moaning from the cells all around you, you can smell their tenants. Your lips can fairly taste the dank air that envelopes you and your fingers feel the rough stone under you. Much steadier hands and legs lift you to an upright position again. The hatred has filled you completely and it has nowhere to go except the release you allow it in a soul-shattering scream that rips from your throat.
Your ears snap in the direction of the sounds you hear, the shuffling footsteps that hurry towards you. Two men… no, three. They have a net. They think they can contain you, control you. They are sadly mistaken. In the darkness you see the approaching glow of their lantern and you leap into the darkness that still occupies the corner adjacent to the door. You hear the keys jingle in the nervous hand that holds them. You can smell… fear! Their fear! They know what you have become and they fear you! And that will cost them their lives.
The door opens quickly and two of the men rush in to where you should be, surprised you aren’t there. One of them feels your icy grip on his wrist and hears the snap of his arm leaving the shoulder socket. He feels the flesh rip and the warm gush of blood that runs down his side before gushing in an arc across the room. You have a weapon now! The other turns to you, horror in his eyes and you swing the arm sending the heavy ball joint crashing into his forehead, splitting it wide and sending another cascade of blood to the cell floor.
You look up as the third man enters, ready to strike again and make your way to freedom. But this man is different. You see his armor, black as a raven and etched in runes that have an eerie smoking glow that illuminates the room ever so slightly. His hand catches the arm in mid-swing and rips it from your grip. His eyes glow with a frost-like mist, eerily blue yet red hot at the same time.
“Calm yourself hero.” he says in a raspy voice. “Take control of your rage. Take control and I will make everything clear to you.”
Strangely, the voice calms you, sets the blood-driven death lust you were in to a calm serenity. Your mouth opens and the first word you’ve said since that battle in Silvermoon City lifts from your parched throat…