Book One: The Witchling of Alsira
From the Journals of the Dread Lord
II - Accusations
II - Accusations
Out of the blissful darkness that I had previously been at one with, a few distorted details soon began to assault my senses. The first was that of my sight, blazing to life from out of the dark and into a realm that sent me dizzy with overwhelming horror. The first things that transfixed my sight were the bodies of great carrion birds flying overhead. Similar as they were to ravens, yet truly massive in their size. Each of these birds of prey managed to blot out whole sections of the darkened and cloud-heavy sky above me. There were hundreds of them swarming through the tempestuous air and swooping low in search of meals.
The next sense that began to gnaw at me was that of my tactile bearings. The feeling of an oppressively warm sea of churning blood that I floated in. My body had a strange sort of buoyancy in this fetid and coagulating morass of still-warm gore. I was able to keep myself aloft on the gently moving and frothing waves, which churned the vast ocean of bodies around and below me.
The further details that assaulted me came when my sense of smell returned and overwhelmed me with the stench of it all. Rancid meat, clumped blood, festering wounds, and the recent disembowelments of corpses stretched all around me from one end of the horizon to the other. My nose and throat were filled with it, making me want to retch. Yet, at the same time, I was so physically and emotionally exhausted by this whole grotesque scene that I was no longer able to even gag or heave.
The final bits of my physical embodiment that came to me was that of my hearing. My ears were ringing with the strange sounds that moved through this world-turned-mad. The screeching of the carrion birds felt distant and had a strange reverberation to it, like hearing the screams from beneath the still surface of a lake. Beyond that incessant screeching was an eerie silence, a palpable thing that cloaked over the scene like the entire world had died.
To my left, I heard a distant warbling sound, seeming as nothing more than an echo at first, until my eyes moved to the source. I saw a man there, floating as I was floating, a look of fear and shock on his face as he tried, vainly, to get above the bloody waves. He struggled against the bodies around him each seeming to close in on him with every gust of gut-wrenching wind. He tried to get out, but he could not. Above him, the great carrion birds began to circle, taking cautious and taunting dives towards him.
My eyes had to pull away, there was activity in these fetid waters as the bodies around me began to wake up. Some floundered and others remained in a sort of stillness. Some floated on their backs while others surrendered completely with their faces drowned in the gore. The birds in the skies flew into a frenzy of activity while blotting out what dim glow the suns above provided through the storm-filled heavens.
I quickly returned my sight to the first man that I had spotted, off to my left, and saw him fighting against one of the birds. Another one had taken his eye from his socket and took wing with its prize. The man began to scream with every bit of his breath, longer and sharper than any scream I had ever heard.
I looked back to the other bodies around me, fighting as they did against the birds as well. Each of these people, alive, dead, or some sort of existence in-between, held me in looks of accusation and contempt. Their eyes burned into mine before their own collection of carrion birds ripped their eyes from their sockets. Once this occurred, their own screams ripped through the thick air to fill my ears.
These horrible sensations of brutal chaos seethed at me from all angles, tormenting me with their gruesome revelry. My body began to tense at the horror I took in. My own fear welled up of the inevitable ravaging that I would soon undergo once the birds turned their malicious attentions to me as their next meal.
My body was tensed, my arms were numb from being contorted under me and being restricted from movement by all of the writhing corpses pressing in on me. The muscles of my legs were exhausted from being stuck at sharp angles having to fight the flow of the spilling gore around me.
With sputtering gulps, I managed to draw in several shallow breaths. These filling my lungs slowly with each pitched effort until finally, I had enough air inside of me to let out my own terrified scream.