Welcome to the beginning of Season 2 of The Wizard Killer.
Note that this is posted RAW, meaning it has not been edited nor revised.
Season 2 – Episode 2
Reaching the top of a dune, a smile cracks my lips making them bleed.
The sand ends about a hundred yards away, changing to a burnt, barren brown land with a road.
About a half-mile down away, I can see what looks like tents. The bigger kind, the type where people meet and have feasts. There doesn’t seem to be any flag flying.
“It’s not civilization, but I’ll take it.”
Touching my dry lips, I squint up at the sun. “Still yellow big guy? Mind not burning my skin to cinders?”
The sun’s a brutal friend and a worse enemy.
My throat’s so gummed up I’m not even sure any water’s going to make things better, but I know better than to let that kind of stupid thinking set in.
Rolling my shoulders and cracking my neck, I push on. My smile cracks a bit wider as my feet hit the hot road.
I shake my head at the different pain. “Sorry, you’ve got to do better than that if you’re going to want my attention,” I tell it.
I get closer to see that there are three tents, a small one that’s blue, a larger one that’s dark red, and the largest one that must be where they eat, is beige.
As the wind picks up, I notice there’s something wrong with the tents. There are pieces of their cloth flapping strangely…
I straighten up as I realize they’ve been ripped-through. There’s no way someone would leave a tent with those sizes of strips of they could manage it. They’d sew them up or tie something…
Taking a deep breath, I rub the stubble around my mouth and renew my grip on the mana-pistol.
Checking nothing’s behind me, I keep going.
Please tell me there are regular people here. Maybe they’re not using that bigger tent, maybe they’re all in the… the blue one.
Only about fifty yards from the blue tent, I see random dark stains. The red one has them too.
I take a really deep breath this time. Bowing my head and narrowing my eyes, I try to feel that energy inside me that feeds the pistol. I can’t feel anything, it’s like I’m numb… Instead, I notice a buzzing in my head, like a noise in the distance but I know it’s coming from inside.
Huh. It reminds me of when I see Randmon. I hope the little guy survived and had a good life. No telling how long I was dead for this time.
Creeping around the blue tent, I try to peek into the tent but the rips don’t go very high, and I’m not interested in getting on all fours just to have a ghoul or something try to bite my face off.
Studying the rips for a second, I can tell that they were made by something dull, probably with a sharp tip. The edges are frayed badly.
My brow furrows as I kick around ideas of what the yig could have done that. They don’t go higher than my waist. So whatever it is, it’s short. Oner children maybe? The idea sends a chill down my spine.
I spin around, certain I heard something. Scowling, I slowly sweep the landscape and listen. There are the hills about a half-mile away, the smoke still rising in the north-west, and not sight to see other than dead dirt and the beaten-down road. I wince as that clicking sound sifts through the sound of the wind and the tent flapping. It makes my teeth hurt.
Resting the pistol on my shoulder, I keep going. A fourth tent, another beige one, is on the other side, having been hidden from view.
Turning to the gaze upon the center of the camp, my blood runs cold.
The fire-pit’s stones are all over the place. In the middle’s the carcass of an ox or cow that’s been ripped in half, its ribs exposed and not yet sun-bleached. Around it are bits of leftover people; a skull here, part of a spine there.
Daring to draw in a breath, I smell nothing. Weird, there are no flies or anything but it doesn’t look like it just happened. A few days ago, maybe?
That bone-on-bone clicking sound triggers something inside me. A stream of sweat run down my back and I straighten up. The mana-pistol feels slippery in my hands. The air abandons my lungs in a panicked laugh and a fumble a few words: “Wind spiders.”
Squinting, my eyes dart from thing to thing: bodies, travel trunk, bedding, a pile of clothes, and… I know those serated blades. They’ve been burned black, but they’re definitely the Oner’s swords laying haphazardly on the ground in front of a travel trunk.
The buzzing in my head becomes a violent pounding and I fall to the ground, dropping my pistol, and my hand on the sides of my head pushing in like it’s going to stop my melon from splitting.
My teeth clenched tightly I try to force myself to pick up my pistol, but instead my head turns to face the blackened blades.
Suddenly the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I nervously look over my shoulder. Through the corner of my eye, I see a hint of the wind being forced aside. I can feel the eyes of the predator on me, there hiding in plain sight. My ears are filled with that bone on bone sound, the incessant clicking that’s driven many a man mad.
Then the sound stops. My panicky swallow gets stuck in my throat. Yig me.
I dive for my mana-pistol, roll on to my back and fire. A blue streak is danced about by the wind, and then reforms, the bone-clicking starting again. I yigging hate spiders. And these kinpaks are the things that give carn nightmares.
The pistol thrown aside, I crawl on my hands and knees to those Oner’s matte black blades. My eyes are the thinest of slits as that buzzing eats into my sanity.
Touching one of the swords, everything starts going black. Just as I start to pass out, I feel the hot steel in my hands and my legs getting me up. What’s going on?
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