Ghost Story - And the Story Ends - Part Two¶
He was just standing there, watching me. A shadow above me. His dark armour barely silhouetted against the other shadows surrounding us. Only the bright skin of his face stood in harsh contrast to the darkness around. Anger was in his eyes.
"Who are you, calling me and binding me to this place?" he demanded to know. "Yes, it is true. I once was one of them."
Desperately I tried to crawl away from him, but I had no chance. Right behind my back there was the tree that caused my fall, and it destroyed all hope for escape.
"That... that is not possible." I spluttered. "You ... you´ve been vanquished and driven away. What brings you back here?"
The stranger laughed.
"Vanquished and driven away." he repeated my words. "Yes, that´s the truth. The lucky ones among us, the survivors, were driven away and never returned. But we, the others, were left behind."
"What are you talking about?" I pressed myself against the tree so hard it was hurting now. I had known the answer before he told me, but something prevented me from believing it.
"Is it so hard to understand?" the stranger started his answer with a strong voice, but his anger seemed to have shifted towards a deep inner pain as he continued. "We are the ones who were left behind on the battlefield. We are the remains of the Homins who once fought and died here. We are the damned, bound to this place for eternity by the malediction which was put upon us."
Speaking these words he pointed to the wooden panel and stepped back from me. Relieved, I stood up and eyed him skeptically. He seemed so real, his armour seemed massive, his wounds, those that I had cared for, had seemed real, but nevertheless his words seemed true as well. His wounds were completely gone, although he had lain on the ground dying only a day ago, and his dissappearance from the cave was also explained by his words. But I still wanted to hear it from him.
"But why did I have to save your life?" I asked my next question with care. "If you really are a ghost, how could it be that I found you deadly wounded?"
Cold and wet, something hit my head and made me wince in fear. Without thinking I ducked, expecting the next blow, until I realised that it was just the rain beginning to fall. The stranger seemed unimpressed, although he was looking from one direction to another in distrust. Something seemed to make him nervous as well.
"Those wounds were struck by him, the one who is here to take us." he answered my question. "Read the panel and you'll understand what I am talking about. We shall vanish, become one with the void and our existance shall end. This is the curse and he is here to fulfill it."
Again the wind was getting stronger and blew unpleasant raindrops into my eyes.
"I managed to escape him, but if you hadn´t found me, I would nevertheless have vanished." he continued, no longer hiding the nervousness in his voice. "And because of that I am in your debt, but all I can do to thank you is give you this warning. His might ends where the domain of the living begins, but his memory spans eternity. Be sure, on the day that will come at the end of your life, he will remember that you stood in his way."
Thunder and lightning ripped the night apart.
"And now I have to leave. He´s coming!" Struck by panic I looked in all directions but could see nothing. Then the wind came.
Just like in the night when I first met the stranger the wind became a full grown storm from one moment to the other. I just noticed that the stranger disintegrated to fog in the instant the ground rose under him. I was thrown back to the tree and remained there, lying numb.
It seemed like a dream as I saw lightning striking the ground in front of me. Was that the place where the stranger had stood moments before?
I saw the branches of the trees, no longer striking the air without a target, but gripping the fog and I heard sounds of a fight.
A saw the dark silhouette of the stranger, bound by the thin twines which were growing from the ground, fighting against something else that I can't describe.
Again and again lightning struck into this chaos, and again and again I heared the screams of the stranger who was fighting for his life, no, for his soul.
Then it got quiet.