1067 words (4 minute read)

Inside of the graveyard...

          Rina, of course, had an explanation, “When you guys had the block, you could only see the parts of the mortal world that regular humans are able to see. Now that it’s gone you’ll notice that a lot isn’t as it once seemed. This world is a lot bigger with magic in it.”

            I guess that made sense. Now I was mentally kicking myself for not taking a better look at the layout when I was up in the oak tree. As we walk the desolate path winding in and out between the graves and statues darkness falls upon us further. The stars hidden behind a sea of black clouds, and no light except for the small glow from our daggers hanging at our hips. I can feel goose bumps rising on the flesh of my arm, and I cannot recall the last time I was this creeped out. There are no noises that I would normally associate with the night. Not any crickets, or birds. Not even the sound of traffic… The quietness and stillness is both very calming and alarming. I’m not sure if I should relax or…

            “I really don’t like this,” Nathan states what I believe we are all feeling, “Something isn’t quite right. It’s too quiet here.”

            Rina nods in agreement, “I don’t see this well-” She’s cut off by the sound of twisting metal. The sound is so out of place after the silence that it feels like nails on a chalkboard, every hair on my body rising to the tune.

            Immediately we are all on guard, trying to pinpoint the exact location that it’s coming from.

When we realize it’s coming from the direction we had just traveled we bolt to the nearest and largest tombstone, about seven feet tall stands a guardian angel with its wings folded in. We take cover behind it and wait.

            The sound stops just as quickly as it started and we are once again deaf to everything except for each other. “What was that?” I ask. Both of my friends shake their heads, but I know we’re all thinking the same thing.

            Rina looks through the gap between one of the angel’s wings and leg. She stays like that for a few seconds before turning around and quietly sitting on the ground to rest her back against the base of the tombstone. “It has got to be the golem. It must have tracked us somehow.”

            I can see the whites of Nate’s eyes when they widen with absolute terror in the darkness, “What should we do? How do we defeat it?”

            Rina then bites her lip as she considers it, “Golems are created by someone, or are resurrected and controlled by a master… I can’t remember which.  Regardless, usually they have a scroll in their mouth that keeps them going. Destroy the scroll, stop the monster.”

            I shake my head at the thought of one of us walking casually up to it and shoving our hand down its throat, “It’s so big and fast though. How would we get close enough to even look for a scroll?” I ask.

            Rina’s shoulders slump, she knows I have a point. We have only gotten through about a quarter of the cemetery in search of the well, if that. With a clay giant on our heels that is hell bent on killing us… it would be almost impossible for us to locate it, let alone figure out what were supposed to do once we get there.

            The golem is most definitely coming from the way we had already traveled, if it is indeed tracking us. That means eventually it will catch up to us no matter what. “We need to come up with something fast,” I stress.

            Nate chimes in, “We outsmarted it before, why not again?” We both look to Rina and she shrugs her shoulders, “I don’t know,” she says “we can try to all go separate directions, but that will only make us tired in the long run. That thing won’t run out of breath or give up. Or we can try to replicate the protection spell. ”

Before we can agree on a plan we hear a noise, so all of us stop talking, but it stops as soon as we do. Nathan leans over to see where the noise had come from and everything happens very quickly…

The angel above us bursts into pieces, and rubble rains down on us. Our fight or flight instincts kick in and suddenly Rina and I are running one way while Nathan flees in the opposite direction. The golem looks over at us for the briefest of seconds and then begins to chase Nate. I pivot and almost slip from the condensation on the grass and begin to run towards the beast. Rina tries to stop me but I pull away from her, I can’t leave Nathan to be run down by that thing!

I run as fast as I can, the fastest I’ve ever ran in my entire life, but the golem is faster. Nathan is fast, but not fast enough. When the golem is almost on top of him, Nate turns with incredible speed in an attempt to evade it. He knows that because of the speed and size that it won’t be able to stop as fast as him. It was an absolutely brilliant idea, like a bullfighter, but he was the cape. As soon as he does it I think it’s going to work, but something goes horribly wrong.

As Nathan turns to run another direction, unanticipated, the golem opens its long arms, just barely clipping Nate. The speed of the impact is like watching him getting hit by a bus, he flies about ten feet through the air and into a gravestone where he collapses on the cold earth.

I can’t breathe. I watch as the golem slows down to a stop and turns to where Nathan’s body lies motionless. I can tell what it’s going to do. That it ultimately wants to finish what it started. If Nathan isn’t dead already, he will be by the time I reach him.