December 2, 2817
"Now that the shadows have found you, show me what you'll do"
Upon hearing the voice I wake up to a dark room, feeling wide awake and alert. That voice always gives me the creeps, but what it said really bugs me. I feel a terrible sense of foreboding that just won't go away.
Wondering what time it is, I look over at the grandfather clock to see it is 1:24 A.M. Suddenly, I hear a familiar growl.
Looking over to the side of my room, I see one of the shadow raptors from the cave, baring its teeth and staring at me with its large purple eyes.
I quickly reach for my sword on the bedside table and jump out of bed, facing the monster without any clothes on save for a pair of green boxers. It charges, but I move out of the way, causing it to crash into my bedside table. The table splits in two on impact. With its side now exposed, I swing my blade through the side of its neck, lobbing off its head and causing it to turn into a black mist before disappearing into nothingness.
Hastily I put on my pair of gray jeans and my black t-shirt that I have been wearing for probably two weeks now; I need to get some new clothes, but I never was able to find a shop that sells clothing. Knowing I may need them, I decide to also put on the pieces of armor that Williams had provided during the expedition.
Suddenly, I hear a screaming outside
I run out of my room and then turn left in the hallway dark hallway, heading into the main room of the inn. The candles that normally light this place up have been extinguished, making the building really dark. Once reaching the main room I look around to it is empty. Looking out the window, however, I see a terrifying sight.
The shadow raptors are running around town, chasing people down the streets and eating those they manage to catch. Everyone is running away in terror, but the monsters are too fast for them. Guards are doing a pretty good job of killing the monsters off, but the creatures just keep coming and quite a few people are already lying on the ground, covered in blood.
How did they get in? The gate should be closed.
Suddenly I hear a growl. Looking over, I see another one of the shadow raptors standing in front of the entrance to the inn. It reveals its sharp, jagged teeth and then runs towards me, trying to bite my face.
I quickly dodge to the left and it runs past me, crashing into the wall that was behind me. I suddenly notice a pattern, causing me to realize something important: these creatures only run in a straight line.
It faces me again and charges. I easily dodge it once again, but this time I swerve around it and cut through the middle of its body with my sword, making it evaporate into black mist.
"What's going on here…?" I hear Amanda's voice from the hallway behind me.
"Go back to Ken's room, quickly," I say, feeling panicked to see she's awake. Amanda doesn't have a weapon and even if she did, I don't want her anywhere near these things.
Another monster appears at the doorway to the inn. Where are all these things coming from?
"What is that thing?!" I hear Amanda scream from behind me.
"Amanda, get back into the room now," I say again, keeping my eyes on the monster before me. I start running towards it, but just as I cleave through its body I hear that gruesome ripping sound and the most heart wrenching, bloodcurdling scream I have ever heard from behind me.
I feel all the blood drain from my face as I turn around, to see another of the monsters standing over Amanda's trembling, blood covered body.
I become filled with rage and, unable to think clearly, I run right up to the monster just as it lifts up its claws, ready to swing. It manages to tear through my left shoulder with its razor sharp claws, but I feel so upset that I don't even notice the pain. I feel an odd power building up in my body, which then runs through my arms and into my sword. As I swing my sword into the creatures' body, I see my sword glow with a blue light as it effortlessly passes through its body, freezing the monster's body solid. Its body then falls apart.
Not caring about how I did that right now, I drop to my knees next to Amanda. Her face is white and covered in sweat, with a look of anguish on her face. Looking over her body, I see that her stomach has been completely torn open and many of her vital organs are mangled beyond recognition. At this point, not even a doctor can save her.
"Sam…" she weakly says.
"I'm here, Amanda. Please just stay with me a while longer," I say, feeling my eyes grow hot as tears form in my eyes.
"Sam… I'm glad I get to see you one last time before I pass on," she starts speaking, seeming to exhaust her strength just from trying. Tears are now running down my face, dripping onto the floor next to her head.
"You've always been a good friend… it makes me happy seeing you one last time…" she speaks these words, before her trembling ceases and her blank, brown eyes now stare lifelessly up at the ceiling.
Knowing she is gone, I break down and sob next to her lifeless body.
My grieving is cut short, however, as another monster appears, this time materializing right before my eyes in the dark hallway.
Thinking back on all the things the voice in my dreams has said, I realize that these monsters are coming here for me. I wanted to believe the voice was simply my imagination, but the things it has said are too accurate to be a mere coincidence.
I stand up and run towards the monster. It lifts its claws up in an attempt to slash at my face, but I move out of the way and swing my sword, lobbing off its arm. I then swing again, this time cutting through its head, causing it to disappear into a black mist.
I hate to admit it, but as long as I stay here I'll be putting everyone in danger. I don't want to die, but if I must I want to be the only one to die. Knowing what I must do now, I pick up a piece of paper and a quill from the main desk of the inn. Sitting down at a nearby table, I start writing a note.
I'm sorry to leave on such short notice, but I have to leave Castleton. The monsters from the cave are attacking the city and I know it is me they are looking for. Amanda was killed, but if I had left sooner her death may have been avoided.
As long as I'm here everyone around me will be in danger, so I must leave. I don't know why they want to kill me, but I do know it has something to do with the orb that entered my chest. I need to find a way to defeat these monsters… and I must do this on my own. So do not follow me.
I won't die easily, so don't worry about me.
Once I have finished writing the note, I walk over to Ken's room and slide it under his door. The last part is a lie, because I honestly don't think I have a chance against these things. But I'm not going to tell them that.
Before leaving I walk into my room and grab the backpack Williams had given me. It contains water and a little bit of food, which should be useful on my trip. I then walk out of the inn into the cool, night air. Looking up at the night sky, I can see a full moon illuminating the area.
I look around to see the dark, stone road is spattered with blood and dead bodies are strewn throughout the area. I see guards fighting the monsters, but I don't stop to help them. If I don't leave things will only become worse.
As I pass a guard that has just slain one of the monsters, I say, "The creatures can only run in a straight line. Use this to your advantage."
As if to test what I just said, he jumps away from one of the shadow creatures, waiting for it to charge. Once he has dodged it and cut through its body, he shouts, "Hey everyone, the creatures can only run in a straight line!"
I walk off, leaving the guards to fend for themselves.
Walking down the blood spattered road, I see another monster off to the distance.
I remember what I did earlier and wonder if I can do it again. I start focusing the power in my chest just like I did when I was filled with rage, but when I try to extend it out to my arms it doesn't work.
"Come on, work…" I say to myself. If I could use that power again it would make killing these things a lot easier.
I try again, but once again I can't seem to channel the energy through my arms. Charging up the energy in my chest feels as though it is second nature, but actually channeling the energy through my body is a different story.
The monster begins running towards me. I wanted to use the power, but it seems I've run out of time.
Once it has gotten close enough, I jump out of the way and let it pass, this time purposely positioning myself in front of a wall. The creature charges again, but this time when I dodge it, it isn't able to stop in time and crashes into the wall. I take my sword and chop off its head, causing it to disappear just like all the others.
I continue working my way towards the city gate. Once I reach it, I see that the large, steel gate has been left unguarded. Sure enough the gate is closed, but having seen one of the monsters materialize before my very eyes this news doesn't surprise me.
I walk over to the nearby tower and grab onto the ladder, hoisting myself up. After climbing for a while, I eventually reach the top.
Once at the top of the tower, I look around the stone floor until I finally see a large, steel crank. I figure this must be how the gate is opened, so I approach the object and turn it until the gate has been raised.
I step through the gate, looking out into the wasteland. In the distance I can see the sun starting to rise up into the clear, blue sky. I also see four more monsters out in the large dirt field, looking right at me. They start running towards me.
I dodge to the left and cut off ones neck, turning it into a dissipating black mist. However, I'm starting to get too tired to swing my sword with enough force to kill them, and there are three left. I manage to cleave through the second one and it disappears, but there are two left and I don't have enough energy to fight.
I suddenly feel a sharp throb in my shoulder. Looking down at it, I see it is covered in blood. I had completely forgotten that I'm injured, but this realization just makes things seem even more hopeless.
Suddenly, the sun comes up from behind the far off hills and I see the monsters disappear.
I sigh in relief. It seems the monsters disappear in the sunlight, so it seems I lucked out.
I look back at Castleton, wishing I could stay. Knowing these things won't appear in the sunlight I'm half tempted to go back to the inn and talk to Ken and Liz one last time, but I know if I do leaving them will just be all that much more difficult. And if Amanda's body is still there, I don't think I can bear to look at it again.
Thinking of Amanda again fills me with sorrow, but I turn away from the city and walk out into the wasteland.