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

Others 3Sébastien stood on the steps of the Abbott’s keep, beside him was the spectre of a Templar. The man it had once been had died earlier this night and had been re-animated by the sword carrying so that his task could be completed.

Now that task was complete.

The nature spirit lay dead on the stairs at Sébastien’s feet. The creature’s form was already starting to decompose. The soft tissues inside were dissolving and a green-brown ichor seeped down the steps, through the stones and permeating the earth below.

The spectre held out a hand and Sébastien handed the sword to him.

Kneeling by the corpse he glanced over to where the squirrel-man he had blinded earlier had fallen. That creature too seemed to have deflated.

They are returning to the earth,” Sébastien said more to himself than to the spectre.

He stood and walked to where the squirrel-man’s corpse lay. A similar green-brown ichor had spilled from it and the earth around it was dark.

Sébastien touched the ground. He yelped in surprise, pulling his hand back. There had been no sign of steam rising, no outward sign of heat. Yet the creature’s physical remains had seared his flesh.

Standing he returned to the larger creature’s corpse and pushed it with his foot. The leather of his boot was unharmed, no heat passed through to his flesh inside. Kneeling he touched the corpse with the back of his hand, the same searing pain flashed through him.

Even in death the nature spirit was an anathema. Sébastien allowed himself a smile, to be more accurate he was the anathema himself; both to the nature spirits that dwelled here and to the good brothers sent here in the name of the Bishop of Rome.

The spectre would be enough to damn him if a true believer of the faith saw him in its company.

Men like the spectre had been, men like Sébastien, used the church for their own purpose. Men like Monsignor Tomas averted their gaze, choosing to ignore what Sébastien was and take advantage of what he could achieve.

The heat in his hand had not subsided, Sébastien realised that his flesh was blistering. The nature spirits’ corpses were all but gone, the outer casing of the larger creature now nothing more than rotting vegetation.

Looking down at his feet Sébastien realised his mistake. The ground was moving, the ichor had given it power and slowly it was moving towards him.

Ignoring the spectre he ran into the keep. Rivers of earth flowed up the stairs seemingly alive. Tendrils of green-brown earth snatched at his legs.

He ran in to the keep drawing all of his power about himself and propelled himself upwards, away from the ground that wished to destroy him.

He burst through the roof of the Abbott’s keep, surrounded by a ball of dark magic. Below him the spectre was bathed in an unnatural light and stared upwards, unthreatened by the power of the earth.

 Continued in Part 4

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