the Darkness to Find the Light
His eyes flickered open.
There was a moment of panic before he realized were he was. The camp smelled
of food. This reminded his stomach that it was hungry. It must have been several hours since he had last eaten.
“How long have I
been out?” William asked.
“Three days. Three whole days straight of doing nothing but sitting here waiting. So if you are ready to get up off your lazy little…Sorry. I
have become a little agitable, here have some food.”
A little agitable? O well, at least I can eat now, and he reached over and began to eat as quickly
as he could move his hand from the plate to his mouth. Oslick sat staring at
him in silence with a slit grin. Then he got up and began to take down the camp. By the time that William had finished his food the camp was down and Oslick stood
waiting. When William tried to stand up, he immediately fell back down again.
“All that time on
the ground and you have lost some of your strength. Here, let him help you up,”
and he offered William his hand.
As he pulled himself up
he asked, “What were you doing when I went unconscious? It looked like
you were laughing and then put some sort of curse on me.”
“Laughing? Yes. A curse? No. Kind of no. It was not a curse, you can
be sure of that. It took a lot of strength to keep you alive. It took me a while to rest as well. That was a healing spell
that I put on you.”
“I thought you said
that there was only four types of magic spells.”
“I said there were
four basic types. There are other smaller types, most of which are somehow related
to one of the four main types. The healing spell I used was partially water,
and partially light.”
“But there is such
thing as a curse, right?”
“If by curse you
mean a dark power, then yes. But your magicians and witch doctors that you had
in your area are not able to cast them. Only those who have given themselves
completely to evil can truly cast them. There are no humans that can cast a curse
because no one was willing to sell themselves for the power?”
“No, there were plenty
willing to do that. There were those that would destroy all life on the planet
to gain power. No, most who were willing were never able. There is only one place in all the world where you can lose your self and gain power. That place in near unreachable. Even the few who have reached
it are no longer humans. There are part human, and part evil. The more of themselves they give away, the more room they have for power.
The only problem is, that most are incapable of stopping the darkness from consuming them completely.”
When he said this William
realized that they had been consumed by the darkness of the forest. When he looked
back he could no longer see the light from where they entered the forest and began their conversation.
“Congratulations. You are now in the Dark Forest. The hardest part has just been passed. Now,
if you would not mind to terribly, would you please tell me what you saw in your vision when you were out. Yes, I know that you had a vision. Your eyes darted round
and when you awoke for the first time you muttered something.”
William proceeded to tell
Oslick what he remembered from his vision. He told him of the city and of the
strange old man. Suddenly halfway through a sentence, he stopped. Oslick stopped too and looked over at him. He was staring
at a tree. It had large branches and was very tall. “It is true,” he stated and looked over to Oslick.
“The tails of the city in the trees. They are all true.”
Oslick resumed walking
and did not look back. “Yes. And
the old man. His name is Kern,” he said without even slowing down as he
charged on into the forest.
Deep in the forest there
is no way to tell when it is day, and when it is night. It is always dark, and
there is always something watching you. You are never safe from fear. They stopped when they were tired and slept in turn with a bright fire that dispelled the near by shadows. Even with the warmth of the fire and the glow it produced, it never felt safe. There was no way to escape. The line
between nightmare and reality was thin. Sometimes, too thin.
“Draw your sword.” But there was no needed for William to be told.
He already had his sword drawn and at the ready. When they first entered
the forest he was clumsy and ill prepared to wield such a weapon. Whenever they
would rest, though, Oslick would teach him something new. At first it was how
to draw and hold it. The next time it was how to defend. Then how to counter. Last time he had taught him a few attack
tricks. His skills were growing.
There was no shortage of
practice in the forest. It was more like a jungle this deep in. There were vines and trees which were always ready to be hacked at.
One time William pushed aside a vein, only to find that it was the tail of a massive snake. This he discovered when the head dropped down in front of him and, had he not been so scared that he fell,
would have been bitten by the snake. He was able to draw his sword and dodge
its lunges at him. It was clearly becoming tired of the fight and made its quickest,
strongest strike. Seeing this coming William jumped to the side and decapitated
the serpent. The whole time Oslick stood of to the side just watching.
Ever since that fight,
William was much more careful as to his surroundings. In fact, it was he who
first noticed them. They had been about to stop when he saw something scamper
away. He alerted Oslick and after a few minutes they both saw it. It was a giant spider. They guessed that it was about three
feet tall. Now they did not need to guess at all.
They were surrounded by
six of them. The two travelers stood back-to-back against the encroaching circle. Their fangs gleamed with poison. There
legs stretched out around their hair bodies.
they both jumped forward and hacked through the first of the spiders. Still there
were four more that were not ready to give up their meal. The first jumped William
from behind and tackled him to the ground. He dropped his sword and it skidded
away from him, where it landed on the other side of the clearing near where Oslick stood fighting. He made a diagonal slash that cut half way through the head of the spider, leaving it wounded and bleeding. He quickly turned and picked up William’s sword.
In that time William had got on top on the spider, punched it hard on the head, and ran to retrieve his sword form
When the two fighters were
reunited they were able to take a quick count of how many remained. Three of
them were dead and one was unconscious. That should leave just two remaining. But they counted three. Suddenly one
of the spiders grew impatient and jumped straight for Oslick. This triggered
the other two to charge into the fight as well. The one who had jumped met a
quick death on Oslick’s out held blade, which pierced its body. Another
that had charged William lost two legs when he rolled out of the way while simultaneously cutting at it. The final one went for Oslick who jumped just before being bitten.
Kicking the dead corps off of his sword, he wielded on the spider who had just cried out in pain from losing its limbs. Its pain was soon ended. The final spider
received a kick in the face from William, which sent it sprawling to Oslick who soon ended it.
As they stood catching their breath William suddenly threw his sword right by Oslick. THUNK! The sword landed hard in a tree. Oslick was about to begin yelling at him for his actions when he saw the expression on his face. He turned to see where the sword had landed. In between the
hilt and the tree was another spider who had almost landed on Oslick’s neck.
“Nice through. Where did you learn that?”
“Learn what? That? Just now.” This received a shocked and slightly horrified look from Oslick who realized that he had just survived
an encounter with death twice in a row.
“Wipe your blade
and let us continue on. We need to…RUN!” Although William had no idea what had caused the sudden change in Oslick’s tone and behavior he did
not want to take the time to find out. In an instant he had sheathed his sword
and was running after Oslick deep into the woods and far off the trail.
He had been running for
what seemed like hours when he final turned around to see what was chasing him. The
sight was not only terrifying, but is was also very motivating to keep running.
His pursuer was a fifteen-foot
tall giant spider. Its massive legs crashed down behind him. Its fangs were at least three feet and poison was dripping off of them.
Its eyes were as big as his hand when spread apart. He looked ahead even
deeper. There was no way that he was going to be able to keep up at this pace
for much longer.
Then the trees and brush
flashed by and were gone. The gigantic clearing he had just entered was full
of buildings that were over grown with vines and weeds. He saw Oslick dart quickly
into one of the buildings just ahead. He too soon reached it and jumped inside. Oslick wasted to time before giving instructions.
“When it brakes through
the roof we will run out the door and hack at two different legs on our way out. Then
we make a run for the center of the city.” The spider could now be heard
just outside of the building. “When we get there try to hide it the large
stone building and we can…”
The spider crashed through
the roof just as Oslick had predicted, and the two ran out the door and sliced through two of its thick legs. It shrieked out and turned a complete circle to where they would come out.
But instead of coming out at the end, in the direction that they were running, they instead ran of to the side. They continued to run until they were near the center.
The spider was soon on their heels again and it did not take any time for them to lose their newfound confidence after
attacking the spider.
They were only one hundred
yard away from safety when the ground under them seemed to fall away. In fact,
it did. A pit that was fifty feet wide opened up under the newly added weight. They fell deep into the darkness and hit moist ground.
Tragically, they were not the only ones to fall into the ancient’s trap.
Within several seconds
the spider too was in the pit. The two looked at each other and drew their swords. There was very little they could do but to stand and try to fight.
“On my mark roll
forward under it,” commanded Oslick. Before he had time to question or
even give a response, he shouted, “GO!”
William rolled under the
great head that crashed down where he was standing seconds before. Oslick, on
the other hand, jumped into the air and landed on the back of the spider. He
lunged his sword into the eyes repeatedly. Meanwhile, William was busy hacking
away at the underside of the spider. Before long blood has filled the bottom
of the pit and the spider began to sway. Without eyes it could not see its prey,
and being attacked on both top and bottom made it difficult to chose a target. William
ran out from under the beast just as it crashed to the ground and turned to see Oslick standing on top of the spider with
his sword driven into its flesh.
“You now we still
need to find a way out of here,” William said.
“Well, I am very
sorry to ruin all your fun, but I am doing anything to stop you from getting us out of here.
You are welcome to try. The walls are muddy and cannot be climbed and
they are too high for us to reach, even if we stood on top of each other’s shoulders.
So, while you try to waste all of your energy, I am going to rest a while and appreciate my life which I just worked
so hard to defend.”