My latest short story, hope you enjoy.

I stared blankly out through the fogged window into the sombre, cloudy night. The chill winter winds stirred the barren branches of the willows, casting dreary soundscapes among the woods. The moon had not shown itself for the past three nights and the animals knew it, for they had not shown their physiognomies as of yet. That night seemed ominous to me, but just as I faced everything, I was apathetic to the fact of the coming peril. A widow in my thirties, I needed not to care for such trivial matters of superstition, for a woman of my stature has endured much more than this night could have offered. However, as I look back to this night of danger, of doom, I question my logic, this logic that helped answer my reason towards God and his counterpart, the fallen Lucifer.

My attention returned back to the present as I heard a rapping at the door. I stared at the oak entry, dreaming about my visitor arising to answer it. As I slowly walked towards the doorway, I felt anxious about opening it. My company seemed to bring a melancholy presence, which of course was not new to my dwelling, however it set my heart ablaze and my spine shuddering. But I am human and my curiosity could not be withheld. With a deep breath, I grabbed hold of the golden handle and turned it.

I hated myself, as I opened the door. Why does mankind do things that they know will lead to their downfall? Is it the thrill of the experience? Or is it just human nature to succumb themselves to foolishness?

To my surprise, a withered elderly man stood profusely in the doorway. He had a slight slouch and his face was dotted with gray scruff. However, his most interesting detail was his odor, an odor that stood the test of time. A trivial scent of ash surrounded his essence and it danced the night air with the smell of lavender. He looked at me and smiled.

“Would you be so kind to let a weary traveler stay the night? I sense a storm brewing and I wish not to be cast under its fury. I can pay fifteen shillings.”

“I do not have much to offer but I can accommodate”

My curiosity said that. I wanted to know more about the man; he seemed to have some history behind him. The traveler’s eyes lit up as I let him into the house. A small animal, I had not noticed before, followed behind him. It seemed to be a small terrier, gray in color.

“Of course Loki will be staying with me, if it is of no harm.”

“I do not mind, I haven’t seen a dog in many years.”

As I took the traveler’s cloak and staff, he rested upon a chair next to the fireplace. I withdrew to the kitchen to make some tea and kept one morsel of sight upon him at all times. He took is time, slowly gazing around the room, taking note of every detail of my home. His gaze eventually reached me. As I quickly turned away, he smiled.

“A beautiful house you have, my dear.”

I walked back to the living area with two cups of tea. The stranger gracefully took it as I offered it.

“So what shall I call you?” I asked him.

“Oh, pardon my manners. My name is Edda Prose, I was traveling to the nearby town of Bree to visit some close relatives for I suspect the end of my line soon.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, but what makes to say that?”

“You have not told me your name my dear.”

I looked at his deep brown eyes with interest. “My name is Hildr.”

“Just Hildr?”

“Hildr Valhalla. Why is your life fading, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“My heart has been growing heavier. Life has put some pounds on it.” He chuckled. “However, with every sundown comes a new night. I do not resent dying, for a second journey awaits me. I am one who is pleased by the burning sanitariums, I do not fear them, and I do not wish to be part of them. However, my line shall lead me there without folly.” He spoke with terse sentences and exasperated breathes; sweat began to trickle down his forehead. “I’m sorry; I do not wish to darken your soul with my bantering. Thank you again for your hospitality but I’m afraid I should be leaving.”

To this day I remembered being scared within his presence, yet I spoke the following words: “I would like for you to stay the night.” And those are the words that I spoke, and the only words I spoke for the rest of the night.

The next morning was one of discord. Loki sat by my bedside and I noticed something peculiar. The fur across his body was singed and his gray coat was etched in black. Or maybe I just didn’t notice when I first laid eyes on the godforsaken creature. I rolled out of bed, as my head ached in pulses of pain. Mr. Prose was no where to be found, this of course caused great anxiety within me. I made my way to the living area and found his staff and cloak still where I had left them, I could not even smell him any longer for his scent had also vanished. As I gazed out the window, the sky was still overcast, but the storm that Edda spoke of had still not hit. I sat down to ponder his disappearance and soon Loki walked up to my feet and looked into my eyes. I noticed crimson bleached upon his pupils, this cannot be a dog I thought to myself. And an abomination it quite was.

Suddenly the dog gave a bark as if beckoning and ran outside. I quickly ran after, stopped at the door and shut it tight. I locked up the hinges and pulled the curtains over every window. I felt safe; of course that was only my imagination. In fact, the reality was that I followed the dog outside with all possible haste. We ran down the shallow stream nearby my house for about 500 paces. The chill night air was exhilarating and it made me feel at ease. However, I gazed downward as I began to fall. Apparently I tripped on something, and it was the body of Mr. Prose. More for the sight of the corpse rather than my pain of hitting the ground fairly hard, I screamed a scream so loud, that the blackbirds in a 100 yard radius were sent fluttering into the sky from the trees.

I heard a scream, a loud and desperate scream. It sent chills through my spine. I opened my wings and jumped off my perch on the tree branch and my ebony feather gleamed in the sunlight as I flew over a body of an old man with a dog leaning next to him. The dog looked at me and I ignored it. I continued my flight through Osyrhia.


~ by Dreamflights on November 30, 2009.

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