The Cost IV

Jonas blinked his eyes, faster and faster – forcing them to adjust to the violently green illumination.

A pile of corpses was stacked in the center of the room, a reeking bonfire. The green light poured out of dead mouth after dead mouth, twisting and coalescing into a blaze in the center of the room.

The squire heard the knife-laughter again, and a man stepped into view. He was dressed in simple black garments, and was flipping through a book idly.

The man seemed to flicker between the gaps of flame.  Jonas saw glimpses of something tall and gaunt, skin stretched across bones.

Jonas gasped and pulled his sword up.

The man smiled, and the squire’s blood turned to water. Jonas felt sweat pour down his face – a fever burned. The smiling man was wearing iron shoes, and Jonas remembered the blind priest’s words.

“Why, hello young man.” the thing who was not a man said. ” I’ve been waiting for you. ”

“My name is Fairchild.” the smile said.


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