An excerpt from a story I’ve been writing.

Stumbling through the forest, he soon came upon a clearing. He had lost sight of the entrance to the forest about fifteen minutes ago and had lost all sense of direction about twelve minutes ago, due to his panicked scurrying, and finding this clear area was a blessing. He knew settling here for the night was his best option, so with only very limited visual abilities he selected what he thought was a suitable tree and began to climb.

He began to climb.

He did not finish climbing as the sight of an emaciated face and upper arm loomed out of the gloom. This kind of event would probably stop anyone in their tracks, much like the wave of energy from not long ago, the only difference this time was that there was less curiosity and a lot more fear. Not that he had any time to process any of that as he immediately leapt over to the opposite side of the clearing.

Whilst doing this the skeleton’s head snapped towards his direction and it raised a bow level with its head holding its other arm as if holding an arrow. Then, out of nothing, an arrow appeared in a flurry of pink sparks as if being drawn from within the almost fleshless wrist of the… creature, pink sparkling blood pouring out with it. He looked on, one third intrigued, two thirds terrified, as he watched the creature’s fingers release.

As the bow string snapped forward and the arrow sped towards his chest he dropped backwards into a roll and felt the rush of air past his torso as the arrow embedded itself into the tree behind him moments before it disintegrated into pink light.

He stood up as another arrow hit a tree mere centimetres away from his head. He looked at it and grabbed it without thinking, before it disappeared. The moment he wrapped his fingers round the wooden shaft he felt a rush of tingling energy rush up his arm to the back of his neck, the same energy that he had felt earlier but this time it did not leave and left him feeling energised and awake. He looked over towards the beast and noticed that it could no longer summon its arrow so had decided to rush him instead.

It was fast.

He was surprised at how fast it moved and had no time to dodge it as it pinned him up against a tree, all he had time to do was hold it back in such a way that its groping hands could not grab hold of his throat. A similar sensation to the one he had had when grabbing the arrow (which he had dropped when the creature rushed him) occurred when he touched the skeleton and he found it hard to hold back the strong beast. He also had a chance to study its face, although he realised this was possibly not the best time to do so.

However, he was draw to the creature’s eyes and could not help but stare into them. These deep, fleshless crevices exuded a now familiar pink energy which flickered and danced like flames. These flames held a lifeless energy and he realised that this was not a creature of the living dead, merely an corpse animated by some higher being.

But he would have to work out what was going on later, right now he was trying to stop this thing from ripping his throat out. He had one palm on each of the skeleton’s gnarled shoulders so with an almighty push, he shoved it stumbling backwards across the clearing, grabbing its bow and violently pulling it out of the monster’s hand.

As he grabbed the bow he felt the same surge he had had from the arrow and the skeleton except ten times stronger and it was accompanied with the feeling of something becoming complete. Without thinking he raised the bow pulling the wire taunt whilst pulling an arrow out of the air, in a similar fashion to how the being that this arrow was aimed at had done so several moments earlier, the only difference being in the colour of the sparks, which were an energising yellow as opposed to pink.

He let the arrow fly directly in between the creature’s eyes, which he liked to believe would have been filled with surprise had it still had eyes, pinning it to a nearby tree for an instant before it exploded into the all too familiar pink energy which was absorbed into the earth like water into hungry soil.

***

His heart pounded in the sudden silence as he wondered how he had done that.

Was that magic?

He had no idea how he had done any of it but it had come naturally so he just had to hope that if he got into any other such situations he could do it again. He looked down at the bow in his hand and noticed the hand of its previous owner accompanying his own. For some reason it had not disintegrated with the rest of its body.

He shivered as he tried to pull it of but it seemed determined to stay and held on as if it was still alive. After a couple of strange minutes as he tried to disengage this limb from his new weapon, using various different stones he found lying around the clearing, he managed it and as he threw it away from him it exploded, in mid air, its pink energy raining down and being sucked away into the tulgy earth.

The bow must have been keeping it alive…Strange.

It was then that he realised that this bizarre distraction could have cost him his life, he could hear and see obscured figures moving in between the trees surrounding the clearing, circling him like predators.

And he was the prey.

He raised his bow, drawing his arrow from the air, and rotated on the spot ready for any attack…

Except for the attack in the form of a small bottle which exploded into a bright blue gas.

As the world around him spun and grew ever darker he had time for one last thought…

Well that could have gone better…