Legs: “Holy crap. We gotta get out of here. Let us run, okay? Right freaking now!”
Heart: “Holy crap. We’re gonna die. But I’m up for a run if the legs are.”
Mind: “This makes no sense at all. How can a creature step out of mist? We should go have a closer look and figure this out.”
Legs and Heart: “Are you freaking cracked?”
Mind: “I fail to understand what the problem is…”
‘Male Orbs’: “I’m hiding. You guys just let me know when it’s over.”
In the end no one did anything. I stood there. I don’t think I could have moved if I’d wanted to. My feet, silent because they knew they had the ultimate say in whether we went anywhere, were rooted in one spot, like lead weights.
And the creature moved quickly. It’s feet didn’t touch the ground, although some form of legs still seemed to set it’s course. It moved quickly – but didn’t seem in a hurry. As it drew nearer, I saw that the black was not so much a body as black mist swirling around the creature.
I can’t describe it to you, other than to say it was “otherworldy.” There seemed to be an upside down “U” that kept folding in on itself – and the contents of this “U” and the area immediately outside of it were in a constant state of motion. There was something in there looking out – but I had never seen anything like it before.
My chest tensed and my lips moved soundlessly. Dimly I realized you were supposed to yell at moments like this – or show yourself to be bigger than the ghost…or vampire or…was that bears? No sound came out of me because there was no sound that would have been louder than the pulsing blood pounding in my ears.
Vaguely I was aware that the thing was holding me in place with as much effort as I would exert to keep a baby still. It had no need to hurry. It came up to me and stopped just a few inches from my face. I was aware of a breeze on my face and some dark dread dead smell.
Is this how I go out? I wondered. Is this how I would slide into the Big Sleep? Is this how I would be sucked right off the mortal coil?
The creature paused for a moment and I knew I was again being studied by something much more powerful than myself. Then it drifted past me and through the wall.
How did I know it was making for my stateroom? I just did.
I tried moving my feet experimentally. They cooperated. My mind was excited about this because it thought we were now going directly to the stateroom to have a closer look at the mystery creature. My legs and heart were incredulous that we were even considering something so colossally stupid. They thought with every protesting tensed sinew that we should be going the OTHER way.
But the instant I could walk – I made a bee line for my cabin. I’d already deserted my friends. I’d already run away from one fight. I could feel my loins girding anew (or maybe it was the male orbs peeking out to see if the coast was clear) and I made tracks for my room.
I tugged against the door – but it was held tightly closed, like it was fused to the frame. I considered throwing myself against it, but I knew I would get an owie on my shoulder for no good reason. The door wasn’t moving.
It sounded like there was a gorilla in there, tearing the place apart. Glass shattered, furniture crashed – the walls vibrated with the sounds of violence from within.
Then it stopped and there was the sound like the dying breath of old man and the door was no longer held fast. It opened so easily that I stumbled against the wall.
My cabin had been torn apart, the bed completely turned over and an empty cloth bag…a very old looking cloth bag…lay on the floor, ripped open. A fragment of paper was under the bag. I took it gingerly in hand and read what was written there.