WADING THROUGH THE MIST

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THE FOREST WAS DENSE, NOT GIVING A HINT OF THE PRESENCE OF THE CREATURES THAT MAY BE PROWLING AMIDST IT’S THICK ARBOREAL STRUCTURE.THE THIN MIST ADDING TO THE EERINESS OF THE ALREADY UNFAMILIAR TERRAIN, RAIZO FOUND IT CHALLENGING TO EVEN MAKE UP HIS MIND OF NOT RUNNING BACK TO THE BANKS OF THE LAKE, HIS PUNY FLAME LANTERN NOT HELPING MUCH.

     HE FOLLOWED THE ONLY PATH THAT WAS VISIBLE TO HIM IN THOSE DARK AND UNFAMILIAR CONDITIONS, THE SAME 2 METRE WIDE PATH THAT LAPONTUS HAD TOLD HIM TO FOLLOW, UNTIL HE REACHED A FORK, AND THEN TAKE THE LEFT.

    EASIER SAID THAN DONE THOUGH.

    THREE THINGS:FIRSTLY, THE PATH WASN’T CLEAR DUE TO THE HUGE ROOTS OF THE HUMONGOUS TREES TAKING CONTROL OF THE FOREST FLOOR AND THE MIST AMBLING AROUND LAZILY, SECONDLY, IT WAS LIKE THE ENTIRE FRIGGIN WORLD HAD GONE ON MUTE, THERE WAS NO SOUND THAT FELL ON HIS EARS EXCEPT THE RUSTLING OF LEAVES AND AN OCCASIONAL TWIG CRACKING UNDER HIS FOOT,AND LASTLY, HE WAS IN AN UNKNOWN WORLD, ALONE IN A THICK FOREST AT NIGHT, WITH ONLY A SINGLE LANTERN AND A SWORD, SEARCHING FOR SOME LADY AND HOPING THAT SHE MIGHT LEAD HIM BACK TO HIS HOME.....WOW...THAT SAILOR HAD MADE THE WAY TO HER HOUSE  SEEM LIKE A CAKEWALK.

  HE REACHED THE FORK AFTER A WHILE, EVERY SECOND SEEMING LIKE AN HOUR TO HIM, AND THEN PROCEEDED TO CONTINUE ONTO HIS LEFT, HIS ONE HAND ON THE SWORDHILT PERMANENTLY. AS SOON AS HE TOOK A STEP TOWARDS THE LEFT, AN OWL HOOTED FROM SOMEWHERE ABOVE HIM, MAKING HIM DRAW HIS SWORD HALFWAY AND ALMOST PISS HIS PANTS AT THE SAME TIME.

   “F*** YOU.....” HE BREATHED, TRYING TO SPOT THE NOCTURNAL CREATURE, BUT IN VAIN.

   THE MIST STARTED THINNING, AFTER HAVING DELVED DEEPER INTO THE FOREST FOR ABOUT HALF AN HOUR MORE, AND THEN THE LANTERN PROVED TO BE OF MORE USE THAN JUST LIGHTING UP HIS FACE. IN THE DISTANCE, HE COULD SEE A COUPLE OF FLAMES DANCING MID-AIR.

   LAMPS,  HE THOUGHT, THAT MUST BE HER HOUSE.

    SOON, HE WAS STANDING ON THE PORCH OF THE OLD WOODEN COTTAGE, WONDERING IF THE DENSE OVERGROWTH OVER IT ALONE HELD IT TOGETHER. THE FLAMES THAT HE SAW FROM A DISTANCE ACTUALLY CAME FROM TWO WALL MOUNT TORCHES ON EITHER SIDE OF THE DOOR, CRACKLING SILENTLY IN FRONT OF HIM, HOWEVER, THE FLAMES IN BOTH OF THEM HAD A SPOOKY GREENISH TINGE INSTEAD OF THE NORMAL BLUE OR RED AT IT’S BASE.

  AN  OLD, CLOUDY AND GRIMY WINDOW ON HIS LEFT LET OUT SOME LIGHT, GIVING AWAY THE FACT THAT SOMEONE STILL DID RESIDE INSIDE, SOMEONE, CONCLUDING FROM THEIR WISHES OF STAYING SO DEEP WITHIN A FOREST,PROBABLY NOT MUCH HUMAN. OR MAYBE IT WAS NORMAL IN THIS WORLD. HE SHRUGGED.

   HE WAS ABOUT TO USE THE ‘LION-FACED’ KNOCKER ON THE DOOR WHEN IT OPENED UP A CRACK.......IT WAS OPEN, AND SO HE PUSHED IT IN.

   THE HOUSE WAS DIMLY LIT BY TWO LANTERNS, ONE ON A LOW WOODEN CENTRE TABLE AND THE OTHER ON A CORNER TABLE, A FIREPLACE ON THE FAR END, (WITH A VESSEL LOOKING LIKE A TEA POT HOVERING OVER IT MID- AIR, TWO OLD COUCHES WERE ARRANGED IN FRONT OF IT,) AND MANY CANDLES PLACED AT VARIOUS PLACES, EACH IN DIFFERENT STAGES OF MELTING. THERE WAS A SMALL OLD CHANDELIER EXACTLY ABOVE THE LOW TABLE, ALIGHT WITH SIMILAR CANDLES. THERE WAS A STAIRCASE ON HIS IMMEDIATE RIGHT, LEADING UPSTAIRS TO A DARK UNLIGHTED FLOOR, AND A ROW OF WALL MOUNTED SHELVES ON THE LEFT WALL, CONTAINING ROWS OF DARK AND DIRTY GLASS BOWLS AND VESSELS CONTAINING,WHAT RAIZO THOUGHT,  AN ASSORTMENT OF THE WORST SPECIMENS AND CREATURES FROM THE BIOLOGY LABS AROUND THE WORLD, SOME HE DIN’T EVEN KNOW EXISTED ON EARTH. AFTER  ALL, HE WASN’T EVEN SURE IF THIS WAS EARTH.

     THERE WAS A SHELF IN THE OTHER CORNER ABOVE THE CORNER TABLE THAT HAD ARCHAIC LOOKING SCROLLS AND BOOKS STASHED IN IT UNTIDILY, WITH AN OLD FLOWER POT ATOP IT, A BUNCH OF DEAD AND BLACKENED ROSES IN IT. A RAGGED CARPET COVERED THE FLOOR FROM CORNER TO CORNER. EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF FURNITURE IN THE ROOM SEEMED LIKE IT HAD BEEN PASSED DOWN FROM FOREFATHERS AND THEIR FOREFATHERS TO THE CURRENT GENERATION, EVEN THE FRIGGIN WEIRD CANDLES.

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