Introduction to the Chronicles

This is a piece of fantasy/sword and sorcery/tech fiction. Don't just hop in anywhere. Go to the first post and read from there to enjoy the progression.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Part VII: The Vleks

It overtook him like delirium. The path to the grove of Rhy was a short one. One that he had walked a million times. Nothing unique. Nothing outstanding. Yet this time...what was the skittering he kept hearing just out of earshot? The streets were fairly clear. It was mid morning and most people were at their jobs. The crisp autumn air perched itself squarely on his shoulders. He needed to see his dasha. He needed to hear her.

The weight on his shadow...something was following him. Yet everytime he turned around there was no one there except a panhandler here, a waterbearer there, a mother and child, the constable. Gazing right...gazing left...he saw nothing yet Jhlem heard the skittering grow stronger. A growing nausea blossomed in his stomach. Then he saw it out of the corner of his eye scuttling across a nearby wall. Some feral insect like creature keeping pace with him. When looking directly at the thing it disappeared. It hovered only in his peripheral sight. And to his other side on the other wall across the street there was another one. He didn't know how many were just outside of his sight line.

Or how many were really close to him.

As he picked up speed they did also. He felt small pricks upon his skin wondering if he was really covered in them. Each one the size of a small cat with their carapace glistening slimy red, grey and black. Sweat dripped from his hair onto his forehead and stung his eyes. He was loosing his way on paths that he knew intimately. Stumbling he was afraid that he would be stopped by the constable, being mistaken for someone who had ingested too much plum wine.

No one else seemed to see them. Ravenous they appeared to only converge on him, so he ran faster. The sweat, the fever, the nausea worked his body until the point that his legs couldn't keep rhythm with his stride. Collapsing Jhlen curled into a ball to protect himself from the anticipated onslaught. He grew even more afraid when he realized he was half whimpering. At that point her timbrel broke the air.

"Jhlem, what you doing on the ground like that?"

Oh Zahra.

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