I could smell them first.
The moist musk crept towards me effortlessly over the melting glacier.
Thick and pungent, they smelled of rot and decay. Ancient things barely preserved; awoken by the tiniest of trickles, deep in the heart of the ice.
They had tracked me for days; ran me ragged; used me up just to keep away from that horrid smell. Yet over the unending white expanse I saw them, shambling figures in the distance. I was encircled; cut off; closed in.
Kneeling in despair, I wretched, the primal sound the only grace my frosted ears had caught for days. I was high on adrenaline; shaking, terrified, alone; everything was sharp; hard and true, and every dreaded step towards me was marked by a wave of noxious breath. They were the tide, come to bury me away; to silence me, to make me them.
The smell grew stronger, my nostrils flared and began to sting, water welled in my eyes, my heart desperately throbbing on, straining against coming death, torrents of terrified tears making little marks upon the snow. Sobbing and wailing, kneeling on the ground. Pathetic.
I could smell them coming, smell their aching limbs that carried eager fingers; clumsy oafish talons that had an only want.
Now I shook quietly. Their figures seemed no larger, though they were closer; my straining ears heard their slow shamble, a rhythmic symphony that brought them closer. A last hope lay heavy in my jacket; an escape, a last chance. I reached for my flare gun.
The unbearable weight pressed down on me; the fear shook my hands to uselessness; the cold twisted and warped them; I scratched desperately at the pocket, screaming, sobbing, pleading for the gun to fall out.
They were close now, though I dare not look up; I scrabbled with frozen hands, pushing through the suffocating odour that poured like steam over the tundra, engulfing me.
I couldn’t pick it up. I smashed my hands angrily into the ground, wretching again, crying.
There would be no escape.
Shadows on the ground; a thick, heavy weight upon my head; the tiny tremors of which pressed me further into waking nightmare.
Gearing up for Halloween already? Preposterous. Inspired by the upcoming event hosted by TinyOwl Workshop & Southside Tearoom!
If you’re in Brisbane; write it in! Will be a cracker of a night.