Escape From Darkness
January 14, 2013
Jack threw a chair through the window of his mother’s apartment. The exit was open, for all the good it would do him being on the eighth floor. The cold winter air attacked him at once and he saw that, unlike some Hollywood movie, nothing would help slow his fall onto the icy pavement below.
From outside of the apartment, fits of screaming mixed with incessant moaning as horrors he could only guess at, undulated toward him from both the stairway and the elevator shaft. In minutes they would be rushing into the apartment.
Turning back toward the window, he tried to review his limited options. There has to be some way out of here. The way down is blocked and I won’t be able to fight my way through with just a few daggers with my mother thrown over my shoulder. I might be able to become a snake and survive such a fall, but where would that leave my mother? She’d be worse off than before.
Despite the flapping and bubbling sounds of terror that drew ever nearer, his eyes scanned out the window while his brain tried to focus. Then he saw something. One of the buildings across the street was older and made from what appeared to be wood.
“This will be a long shot, but could be my only chance.” Then, calling on his most powerful spell of Yig, Jack began to Mold Nature. As first, nothing happened and he tried to focus past the caterwauling cries. A snap echoed through the cold night and then another. Soon boards broke apart. Nails flew as the building’s walls twisted and broke, only to entwine around each other making a splintered braid of tangled lumber.
Using every ounce of control he possessed, Jack formed a thick pillar of mangled wood and began to draw it up toward the window. Sweat poured off his brow and he dared not look to see how close the things from the basement were.
Below him, half the building tore away and continued to create the jagged mass that grew his way. It had already stretched over the street and reached toward his position, but remained easily forty feet short.
“Come on,” he whispered.
The Magickal construction drew closer, but so did the Xemmoni. With a crackling screech, the darkness poured into his mother’s apartment. He risked a look over his shoulder and wished that he hadn’t.
Dozens of foul beasts flooded into the apartment, like an exploding black spider. Specters mixed with decaying undead. Constructions made from corpses, and things more foul, wiggled and flapped. Ink black clouds filled with tortured, screaming faces flowed over the ceilings and floors. Jack wanted to scream, but didn’t have the time.
He lifted his mother’s limp body over his shoulder. He was going to rescue his mother’s friend when a ropey tendril, which may have been created out of various internal organs, wrapped around the woman’s waist. She awoke just in time to give a panicked cry as she was pulled back into the writhing black mass.
The women slowed the Xemmoni for a moment, but soon it reached for Jack and his mother. “Screw this,” he yelled and then after a few giant steps he flung himself out of the window. The pillar of lumber was still nearly twenty feet shy of the window, but he gave a mighty leap and, like a striking snake, the braid of lumber struck out toward him.
With a grunt, he slammed into the side of the makeshift structure and scrambled to not only get a hold, but keep a grip on his mother’s unconscious form. One hand held onto a warped two by six while the other clung to the back of his mother’s bathrobe. It started to tear.
“Damn it,” he cursed, but then pushed his mother into the pillar. Like loving children, the boards parted and then embraced her in a splintery hug. Jack willed the structure to take them to the ground, but before they had moved far, he heard a moaning from above.
Like a dripping black skull, the darkness followed them.
Still holding on with one hand, Jack filled his fingers with a throwing knife and tossed it at the horrid face of darkness. It burst like dispelled smoke, but then reformed. Jack had another throwing knife and this flew at the Xemmoni. Again it slowed the fiend, but the face reformed.
Jack had almost reached the ground. He growled and moved closer to his mother. He grabbing her shoulders and willed the pillar to release her. The pair plummeted the rest of the way to the ground. The impact jarred him, but the important thing was that his mother remained alight.
The face continued down toward them. “Screw with me, will you,” Jack yelled and then with a motion of his hand he sent the giant spike of lumber straight through the horror’s face. It screamed and large bags of black phlegm rained down on them.
Jack tossed his mother’s limp form over his shoulder and yelled after the retreating darkness. “I’ll be back for you, bastards.” Then, without a look back, he began to jog to the south.
To be continued next Monday…