There Are Others Out There – Part One – by Neil McClements and Steve Hargett

totc06_zps92926e2eSébastien paced the chapel silently, as he breathed out slowly his breath misted in the early evening air. The Templar was late, what could have delayed him?

It was getting dark and though Sébastien was used to his own company the sounds of the nearby forest were unusual to his ears. Raised in Paris, trained in Rome he now resided in Nottingham. He was used to the noises and smells of a city and its streets, not the wilderness of Britain on a cold autumn evening. 

The monks that had been living here up to a month ago had reported odd sounds in the night. One, then another, had claimed to see bright lights at the window to their cell. No torch would shine through such a window, it being ten foot off the ground.

Gregor, one of the lay brothers, was found gibbering about ‘The Green Man’ one morning a few months ago. Soon after the deaths started. One death each night that the moon was new and another on the full moon. Each monk, dead by strangulation, found in a locked cell.

Monsignor Tomas had charged him personally with this task. This was his calling, though some questioned his practices. To consort with demons was not something most God fearing people would do. They needed him and his like; those that could see what others could not. 

He had examined the cells and he was certain something had reached down from the high window and throttled the sleeping monks. Something that did not want the holy order here.

Sébastien stepped out into the open air, the full moon bathed the road in a blue hue and it was lighter out here than within. The Templar was bringing the sword that was required. Sébastien had the tallow and bell prepared. Whatever foul entity was here he would exorcise it in the name of the Lord.

The road however was still empty.

Unlike Gregor, Sébastien knew what manner of foul beasts there were out there in the forest. The sight of the entity he was here to slay would not leave him a mindless wreck. Out there were older things, older than his masters in Rome. Older than Rome itself.

Out in the wild woods there were beings that defied all logic.  Sébastien had slain a number in a number of lands. He could see some now, small ones with little or no power. They were more scared of him than he needed to fear them.

In the distance he heard wolves howl. Wolves of many types were in this forest, man and beast.

He realised that the Templar was not coming. He sensed it, the Templar had been slain by something out there, death was fresh on the air. There was another scent too, unnatural. It was close.

He concentrated on the near treeline and fingered the dagger he always carried.

Behind him were the sanctified halls that the foul beast intended to encroach. Behind him… behind him… behind…

Continued in Part Two

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