Infinity Chronicles – Outlander Saga – Pt12 – Chance Encounters

**The story below is a draft **

The long road had brought him to this place. There were no Hero’s

here; this was a town of the damned, a grey brown rusty cursed thing

that limped along on its metaphorical hind legs from one day to the

next, growling at those who approached it and always watchful that

they took no advantage of it in its bedraggled state. It starved every

moment. It thirsted constantly. An ache dwelled in its depths born of

the memory of plentifulness; a pain that it was faced with day in day

out and that it knew would not go away for maybe a hundred years or

more. But, in misery, it survived.

When he’d approached the battered gates he’d been greeted by the

two sentries covered in makeshift armour and ragged clothing, they’d

stood silently looking down from their posts on high like vultures

watching for a good carcass. Nearby 3 bodies had hung from the

rusty ramparts with “Fieth”, “Murderer” & “Fected” scrawled on

fashioned plaques and hung from their necks, a clear warning to

those who would enter.

He’d held his hands high on approach showing them he wasn’t a

threat coming to a halt a short distance from the entrance, the guards

with their crafted spears and dilapidated rifles had eyed him wearily.

He motioned to his back, telegraphing his next move, as across his

shoulders he’d carried the fresh carcass of some woodland animal

that he knew he’d need as payment for entrance. He lifted it aloft then

took it, one slow pace at a time, to the side door of the tall gates, then

returned to his original position with arms held once more high.

After a few moments and one of the guards disappearing from view

the door had opened and the carcass was gingerly collected, the door

slamming shut once it was safely inside and hastily taken away for

preparation. A decent meal for a select few was all it had taken to gain

entrance to this place as the tall gates swiftly opened once his offering

had been made and the remaining guard motioned for him to enter.

He found himself now walking down the remains of what was once a

main town road, the skeletons of hollow shops and houses on either

side standing like statues dedicated to the memory of a forgotten time,

in the distance he could make out some lights from a few buildings at

what was undoubtedly the centre of town. Some people milled around

by the wayside and some peered at him from behind the safety of

dirty broken windows, hurrying away as he returned their gaze.

A glint of yellow. Out of the corner of his eye, for a second, a flash of

something untouched by the grime of this place. He’d span his head

and stared but saw nothing, just another apparition he thought to

himself, some flicker of a past memory from the fringes of his senses.

They had become more common the past months, being on the road

for so many years had begun to take its toll, when there is danger

around most corners the mind can begin to see it around every

corner. He’d sworn down not a week ago that he’d seen a shambler

disappear behind a tree and searched for it for over an hour until he

relented that it must have been nothing but a damned figment.

Yellow again. Not a flash but a fleeting this time, his head whipping

like a pistol to where his eyes had sworn to him they’d seen it just

synaptic seconds before but as his brain caught up in processing the

scene yet again nothing he saw but the dull greys and greens of this

worn out place. He shook it off once more but swore if it happened

again he might be more selective of the mushrooms he’d been

coming across recently, just in case, and it was in the middle of this

important thought and as he began to walk again along the path to the

town’s centre that he stopped mid action and stared dumbfounded

straight ahead.

A few metres before him stood a hooded figure, a figure that had

managed to seemingly appear from nowhere in his moment of

distraction, something that made the hairs on his neck stand up, his

reflexes were razor sharp and this person had waltzed passed them

as if they were only a gentle breeze. They stood silent before him

now, from top to bottom a desert coloured body cloak hang about their

frame making visible the most part of their right leg which, he thought

to himself, seemed strangely metallic and he assumed they must be

finely armoured under the garment. They were covered further until a

hand, sleek and feminine, could be seen to be holding the cloak

closed to, it remaining exposed to the elements in this vital role for the

good and protection of the many other parts beneath. Finally, beneath

a hooded shoal he could make out the suggestion of a pale face,

close to its centre two blazing blue eyes were framed on either side by

fiercely golden locks of hair as fine as silk.

“I’ve been waiting for you traveller for a long time. Come. Time,

always, is of the essence”

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