Friday, July 26, 2013

The Treasure of the Iron Range-04

The young hero sat before the fire, deep into a drug-induced trance. The elder danced about both man and fire, beseeching the spirits to aid the young man in overcoming the curse. Soon the wind turned harsh and cold, and with that biting chill came an oppressive presence. The elder splashed water into the young man’s face, breaking the trance.

“It is here.” The elder thrust the young man’s spear into his hands. “Go forth.”

The young man, spear in hand, took to his feat. The fire no longer warmed him, as the flames flickered from the chilling, cutting wind coming from the oppressive presence before them both. His eyes showed, faintly outlined, a great and monstrous giant-sized man-like figure.

“You are a shade!” The young man shook his spear at the foul spirit. “A shadow of a dead monster, unwanted and unneeded amongst the people- be gone!”

The great shade of Wendigo roared at them, blasting the warmth from their flesh with the force of a gust of cold winter wind. Unable to speak, and still mad with hunger, Wendigo’s shade leaped over the fire and bowled the young man over. Both men saw that the shade, for all intents and purposes, was no different than if it were still wreathed in flesh and thus lost their fear of it.

The elder drew a long ember from the fire and jabbed the shade in the flank, searing it and causing it to howl in pain and roll off the young man. The young man followed that example and thrust his spear into the fire, skewering an ember upon the point. When he turned to face the shade, it again stood ready to pounce, but hesitated.

“Now!” the elder said, throwing a ragged leather pouch at the shade, which it rent asunder with its clawed hands. The sands, powders and fetish cords fell upon the shade’s form as if it were flour upon an invisible form, making itself apparent even to the most dim of eyes. It flailed about, screaming as if it were burned by it, and then other unseen forces grappled its limbs and held it in place.

“Strike now!” the elder said, and the young man attacked. His spear pierced the revealed shade, driving the ember into its spectral form. The man then took another ember and did it again. Wendigo’s shade fell to the ground, as if dragged down by the forces holding it fast. The young man impaled one ember after another into it, and soon the shade’s form caught fire. The fire soon consumed it utterly, as each burning ember flared and burnt the shade’s form from within. The young man’s final strike was to its heart, but through its mouth, force-feeding his now-charred spear shaft as well as the ember on its tip down its throat and impaling it to the earth.

As the burning subsided, a rain storm began that washed clean the man, the elder and the ground. The curse lifted.

No comments:

Post a Comment