Rage, pain, and betrayal all united by the fatigue that bores through me. I struggle to reach my hand up and making it just one foot further. Climb. Rage pumps through my veins from the bastards. Another handhold and pull through the pain dripping from my wounds, though I gave better than I got and I heal quickly.

Reach out again and pull. That siren bitch faking all this time. She will die for her betrayal. Grip another rock, pull.

I swear on all that I am, I will reach into her throat and root her tongue from the lying hole. I will split her back with retribution for the lies she professed.

Reach out another, get a foot hold and step up. Blood runs down my arms from my palms, fatigue grips every muscle of my being, but still I climb the plateau.

They ambushed us. They are smarter and there were so many of them this time, lying in wait beneath the beautiful green canvas of this land, his mind, my world. They came suddenly, clawing their attack from every direction. I swung and slashed with my shovel back and forth and again, but their numbers were overwhelming. They were expecting us and with no choice, but to retreat, we fled. My wound bled from a gaping hole, but he was a mess. My charge was not as skilled as I at death dealing and defense. For every decapitation and every crushing death strike I delivered, my charge received punishing blows that damaged him severely.

My anger is suffocating.

When he fell I grabbed him and began running. The only other choice would have been to surrender and that is not in my creed for I am the Shadow Dancer, protector of this one, doppelganger, my other self, brother, Rhomlus to my Remus, alpha to my omega. He is the reason for my existence in this world and I will not fail.

We climb the plateau higher still and I aid him as much as necessary. I sacrifice myself in the process for I will not advance without him. The demons come one by another, their only goal, to destroy my charge, for this is his world. They are, but a cancer on these lands.

This is all because of her, the devil she-bitch, sent by them and those from hell itself with no hearts or souls. Their anima consists of shit and filth with no purpose, but to infest, destroy, to rot and putrefy all that is pure.

My charge is pure. He is the essence of it. For years I resided in limbo awaiting my return. I found this one covered in the shit as I am now, holding a similar shovel and killing because pain of betrayal was the only life he had known for so long.

Climb, reach, almost there, I can see the summit of the plateau.

I hate running from things so disgusting and stupid, but there are just too many. My charge holds onto my back now for dear precious life as I reach and climb with the demons pursuing us.

They ambushed us on a clear open plain. My senses have dulled lately, for I could not smell or sense them when we were on top of them. In the past days I could tell them from miles away, but those times have past.

We came upon the bitch siren several weeks ago. She was fleeing a group of demons, with deep slashes down her arms and across her chest. She was bleeding profusely. A gash on her forehead had blood dripping into her eyes. She ran wild and blind flailing her arms and stumbling before us. She was exhausted.

I let fly with the shovel that buried itself into the first beast’s chest, throwing it back several feet. I stepped passed the fallen girl to complete the task as my twin went to her aid. The shovel came away from the chest with a slurping crack. I raised the shovel and buried the edge into its head with a second crack to an explosion of blood, and gore that covered me. The others were dispatched as quickly.

I returned to my charge as he tended the girl’s wounds. There was a great deal of blood, but the wounds seemed superficial. She had told us her name, but that is unimportant and of no concern now. She is one of them and deserving of the same shovel splitting, head ripping respect I give to all the fiends of this land. And I will repay that debt.

For weeks we traveled together. They grew closer as he learned more about her, while I protected him and them when necessary. She had become my charge through association. However, I knew myself and if ever there was a choice to be made, that choice was already done.

I am the Shadow Dancer, death bringer and demon slayer, protector of this, my land from the demons, the nemeses plague that infests with their reek. Yes, my choice was made for I was nothing without my charge. I was born from shadow and dismissed just as easily if he loses his mind or has no mind to defend.

For weeks there was nothing, no demons no monsters, no plague, only blue skies and warm nights for months. I must say that I grew slack with nothing to do. I had no reason, nothing to defend. I must also confess now that I too was becoming smitten with the female that seemed kindly and good. She certainly was no demon, for had she not pointed them out to me during the killing season? Her wilds took me in and I listened to them at night making love, him penetrating her over and over, her screams going out into the night followed by his scream as he reached orgasm inside if her. I felt I was no longer needed for he had become quite a capable hunter of late, as had she. They could protect themselves.

I am the Shadow Dancer, protector unneeded. Soon a family would be coming. It is time for my charge to walk himself. He will protect himself and his family from the demons that infest his world. I am become death, pain and destruction are my family for I am the death-bringer, from shadow my wrath comes as fire, swift and deliberate, my judgment is now and ever shall be final and unforgiving.

I close my eyes, ready and prepared to return to the world of shadows seeking another war and crimes against this humanity. I can feel the grime and muck weighing me down making my arms stiff and unusable as my body starts to fade. I can feel the dissipation begin and the shovel drops from my hand that has no substance. I wait for the nothingness to consume me. Evening turns to night faint and slow, I feel the wind. I am disturbed to find myself standing in full form as the dawn breaks, shovel at my feet beckoning me. I remain, standing and waiting. Why? For what reason am I cursed with an existence without purpose?

Confusion runs through me. I pick up my shovel and join my charges, and we continue the journey for more weeks of monotony. Watching them grow closer still, closer, and I am now finding her company comforting and welcome. Listening to them every night fucking louder and longer, him calling her name and she his, while I stand guard. It is ironic and picturesque, a beautiful young innocent couple, in the shadow of a gargoyle, looming over their copulation, with the watchful eyes of death.

She was flighty and a lover of the world and the wind. So when we came to an open plain of low grass and she squealed with delight and began running, removing her clothes to be naked in the windblown fields of green waves. I thought nothing odd of it. I would say that in that moment, I found the situation joyous and amusing. Him picking up her clothes and chasing after her, watching them laugh and fondle each other. I approached slowly, only too certain that the frolicking foreplay would lead to the nightly fucking festivities.

From the corner I saw movement. No source could be found other than the rolling green waves. No alarms, no feeling as I walked in the fog of this siren before me, leading my charge to the ground for a preamble lay.

Movement flashed on my right. It was uncommon and strange, but once again, I looked to see rolling waves and something deep inside me spoke of lessons I had forgotten. I strolled towards the kids that were now in full swing inside each other and on top.

Movement in front of me, beyond them, large movement, and I cannot remember what it is, but the shovel remembers and it spins in my hands automatically and suddenly it is thrust behind me even before I knew it was there.

The green had risen up. A huge menacing gaping maw is almost on top of me. The shovel reaches in before even I knew, then suddenly I smell the stench if its filth. It surrounds me and the fog lifts. The fog planted by the siren herself as she lays with her legs splayed to my charge, and gripping his backside for his death. I remember…

I am the Shadow Dancer, protector of this land, the benefactor for my master, my charge, my twin, my brother, my friend. In a second, I am in full flight moving across the grassy plane to a second large mound that has opened its great maw.

Movement to the left, I leap. Movement to their right, I bring my shovel down splitting this strange beast in two. Movement all around, my charge now is also looking around, but she continues to hold him inside of her.

I reach down, pull him off and out of her, and I am suddenly assaulted by the stench of the dripping between her legs. In that second I realize what I should have known all along. His removal drew a rage from her that had never manifested before and she attacked, jumping and clawing at him.

My charge falls back in shock as I raise the shovel that will easily behead this unclean bitch, but I am attacked from behind and I stumble as three of the beasts are on me tearing and ripping. I struggle to get free and help my charge. They have no substance other than the shit and filth that they infect this land with. My shovel splits them one by one and I am on the attackers that have attacked my charge.

My hands rip through them one by one, clever things, getting smarter. A scream from him calls me to intensify my efforts, tearing at anything I can reach, striking gold with the grime and goop splattering me. Removing them, I dive towards the voice that I have known so well beneath this mound of beasts. Throwing him on my shoulder, I grasp my shovel and make for the only obstacle in sight, a high plateau a few hundred yards away. Shovel in hand I risk a glimpse back to see her standing with the beasts naked and still filled with rage. You will pay bitch.

The climb was arduous and reaching the top of the plateau, I stop, exhausted and leave my charge to stand at the ledge and wait. They are coming. I look down to see the field is no longer green, but has turned to a patch of the scab-like wasteland that was once this world so long ago. It remained hidden beneath a cluster of demons that lay waiting, camouflaged by the green.

A hand grips the ledge. I wait. A second hand followed by a grassy head with a shit brown maw that has no time to roar or snap as the shovel connects with a ‘shlop,’ decapitating the thing. The hands release and it takes two others with it as it falls to the bottom of the slope. In the distance, the sun begins to sink away. Darkness is unfortunate and it will be difficult to defend all angles. ‘Shlop,’ another head falls away, and then a second. I turn to my charge who is now lying unconscious over a large circle of bloody mud.

The plateau is large and I can see for miles. Some distance away, a forest stares back at me. I remember that the bitch siren never wanted to go into the forest and in turn led us to this circumstance.

One beast climbs up completely before I strike. Picking up the corpse, I step to the edge and heave it down before turning back to my unconscious other self. I scoop him up and move across the opposite end of the plateau and leap. I strike the ground at a run and make for the dark safe enclosure of the forest.

I find no sanctuary beneath the canopy of trees. The inhuman sounds of the beasts in pursuit push me through the overgrown brush at full speed still carrying my charge. I reach a river and dive, twisting in the air to put my injured host on my stomach. He chokes for a moment when we surface. I take hold of him in one arm clutching the shovel and swim the torrent as fast as possible.

In the forest behind me I see them step out only to balk at the shore wailing their frustration and disappointment. I climb out onto the shore and I see her step from the trees, naked and dripping the slime of her true self. She screams.

In my arms, tired and delirious, he reaches for her. His being is lost for the moment, consumed by her corruption.

Not today siren bitch, but one soon, you will pay. Yes, be sure and accept that you will pay. I scoop him up and move into the forest to find a refuge where we can rest and lick the wounds wrought from this hard learned betrayal.

 

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