Saturday, June 6, 2015

Shadows Fall - A Tag Blog - Part 01


The cemetery lay out in the usual fashion. Graves scattered throughout in the manner of way based on the expense of the owners of the plots. Most of the gravestones were of an ordinary if not less than extraordinary fashion. There were those here and there that had long since suffered from some sort of vandalism or weather, and a good majority of them had lichen all about them, demonstrating that they were from many generations past. There of course was the large monument almost dead center of the cemetery displaying some sort of opulence for the person who laid rest beneath it.

In the end everyone will end up as such, and assuming that the world will not completely end in an unreasonably short time in the future, most cemeteries will look like this one, during the daytime at least. During the nighttime you will probably be hard pressed to find many cemeteries that will resemble this one, but you never know, I haven’t seen them all. Of course I have seen an awful lot of them in my years, and quite a few of them have unfortunately resembled this one at night, and this is where my part in the story takes its form. I never asked to be cursed with this obligation.

The sun still rests halfway upon itself just over the trees that surround this secluded place. I didn’t say this cemetery was really all that close to anything, and if I hadn’t been alerted to it, I wouldn’t even know it existed. Of course you wouldn’t even know it existed if I wasn’t here now to tell you about it. The sun does feel good as it still crests itself down upon my chin, just under the shadow that my hat creates over my eyes, and down the bridge of my nose. It’s this twilight time when the sun is trying to hide from the darkness that it is the most difficult to see the things I need to keep my attention on, and that barrier of shade will keep me in the know.

I carefully take my feet from the rock wall that I had had them up on for the last half hour as I waited for the time to hit that my ability to be alert would be the most important thing. The crossbow that I have had laid across my knees is now propped over my right shoulder as I lean in to get a closer look, making ever certain that the trails in to this dreary cemetery in the middle of nowhere that I have scouted all afternoon, are within my sightline. The sun has fallen beneath the trees completely by this time and those paths leading to this point in the world have become even more dark, and perhaps to most, a little frightening.

Waiting it out to dark you hear the world go from one set of noises to a wholly different set of noises. I had been listening to the various birds that frequent the area, and even noted that some of those noises didn’t come from the birds they should have. There appears to be a good supply of mocking birds that sit in the trees and pretend to be all the other birds that they have come across, for whatever reason they do that. Now the noises are churning over to the things that squeak, and chirp. Whether it is crickets, chipmunks or frogs have no bearing on me. I have heard them all and I have been able to silence them out when I am tracking. It’s the other noises that I am paying attention towards. The noises that don’t belong, the noises that don’t happen in normal society or even the abnormally dreary woodlands with a cemetery in the middle of it are what I await.

The first crack comes from the woods. It is just a simple crack that could have been any sort of animal, wandering about. Nocturnal animals will start to meander out of their holes or trees or wherever they found shelter during the day. It’s those nasty fishers that come out of the rotten stumps that rival what I am actually out here waiting for, so I have gotten pretty good at recognizing that low hum they give off before they start screeching. Usually when they start screeching they are after far easier food than an old hunter like myself in a leather jacket, gloves and the other armor of my certain brand of hunting. I said they rival what I am after; I didn’t say they were actually a match. The secret is to be steady, and don’t make any sudden movements myself because nothing alerts those that you are after, like alerting them, if you know what I am trying to say.

Now I hear that snap, an actual snap which means that a branch still attached to tree was broken, and now we need weed out all of those little nocturnal creatures that are really only threatening to grubs, and perhaps the even smaller animals. This animal, if you want to call it that is big enough to affect the branches of a tree, rather than try to maneuver under them. It’s far darker now then it was when I first started noting the sun falling below the tree line. It hasn’t quite fallen below the leaf line yet, which will be my last great shot at seeing what may or may not be coming for anyone crazy enough to be out here just before the sun goes down completely.

The slow trickle of a droplet of sweat now starts itching its way down the side of my face. Wiping it way would be the perfect time to let my guard down and itching is the least of any human beings trouble, trust me. The top of a shadow comes out of the path to the right of the center path I had assured myself I would see the formation from. The most damage had been in that path, and my eyes were now scouring all the paths to make sure this one is all alone, and not coming about from a pack. The last pack I had encountered nearly ended my career as a hunter. To my greatest fear, another shadow forms out of the path I had thought I would see a shadow from. The first shadow was growing larger.

I had little time to worry about how many shadows I was about to have to deal with, because the first shadow now had an ending, and it was now at the tree line. It was probably the biggest shadow I had seen and it appeared to be picking up the pace. Without thinking too hard about it I stood up from my crouch and aimed the crossbow just above the shadow that was leaving the woods at a faster pace, the sun was shining through the crevasses of the trees at its brightest it will be, and all fear aside I pulled the bolt. The steel bolt flew through the air across the cemetery and stopped with a thud. I could hear the thump where the shadow stopped and now created an outline of the creature that was enveloped in it. The other shadow fell back into the woods, and all I could do was react quickly, as I flung myself over the wall, dropping my crossbow, and pulling the steel dagger from my belt.

I went running, every bit as mindlessly as that shadow fell, towards the other shadow, before I couldn’t see it anymore. The outline of the shadow trailed back towards me, as I flung myself into the trail after the creature that gives off the shadow. I have no time for the fear of catching it, because I will have no time for anything if the shadow goes away and it comes after me. To be continued

Part TWO is now LIVE as it was taken from here by the talented Richard G Stevens over at HIS BLOG! Please follow this link to continue on with this tale!