Thanks for the compliments to you fine and dandy Readers out there. If you missed Part One, read it here. I appreciate any feedback that comes my way.
The storyteller found Weseley sitting on the front steps, gnawing on the leg of something large and well used. “Hello Weseley,” the storyteller announced. The boy startled, jumping up to his feet and dropping the haunch.
“S-sir,” the boy stammered. “Wh-what’re you doing out here? I-i-is the d-d-deed f-finished up t-t-t-top?”
The storyteller nodded curtly, making an altogether unpleasant face. “Yes, Weseley, the deed is finished, but I’m afraid we’re in a bit of a rush. I trust you’ve had enough to eat for the time being?” The storyteller motioned toward the gristly bone.
Weseley looked to to the ground and back to the storyteller, his face flushing. “Yessir. Y-yessir, p-plenty sir. More than e-na-nanough. Full as, full as, full as... full as Boxing Day boxes, sir.”
“Excellent,” the storyteller exclaimed, dropping a hand on the boy’s scrawny shoulder. “Bring the coach around at once. Your brother will be out in three minutes.” The boy leapt to his feet and sped off, disappearing into the heavy fog. The storyteller watched him until he vanished, and only when the lad was gone did he allow himself to sigh. He stared up at the ceiling of grey and wondered, not for the first time, if his plan would work. Many had tried before him, men and women much smarter than he, and all had failed miserably. Their bloody deaths were testament to that. So what made him any different? Could he do the impossible? Cross Beyond and return? It seemed like he’d spent a lifetime of planning and thieving and bribing... or at least five very long years. To be so near the end had was both thrilling and terrifying.
Something jarred him from his reverie, sending a chill through the marrow of his bones. Two red eyes, two unmistakable red eyes, stared unblinkingly at him from the far side of the porch. Even the thickness of the fog could not hide their glow. The storyteller ran his hand over the stolen necklace in his pocket, silently praying for courage. The stories of the Gyarmr echoed in his mind, superstitions and folk tales proven true too many times for him to count. The Gyarmr is as tall as three horses and as heavy as four, with teeth like stones, made for ripping and tearing. Its eyes are two embers, lit by God Almighty, and eternal. The Beast shows no mercy. The Beast feels no pain. If anyone sees the Black Dog, he will die within the week, a gruesome and bloody death.
“Go on!” The eyes remained motionless. “It’s not time for this yet. Now go.” A streak of red split open beneath the eyes, jagged and cruel. The storyteller felt as if he were falling into a bottomless cave, all stalagmites and stalactites, silhouetted against an inescapable inferno. He could hear the Gyarmr panting, a wheezing breath, like a victim of consumption. The creature growled then, cavernous and guttural. The storyteller stood firm, squeezing the necklace until his fingers ached.
“I still have time remaining,” the storyteller choked, “now leave me be. I’ve not forgotten the terms of the contract.”
A pair of pale, yellow lights broke through the fog, and the coach pulled up to the steps. The storyteller looked back at the porch, but the eyes were gone.
“Well that’s that,” said Wenton, appearing at the storyteller’s side. The boy’s hands and face were crimson and crusted with gore.
“Hmm.” Weseley opened the rear door and the storyteller climbed in, staring out the back glass as they drove away, watching the fog collapse in on Count Hombrek’s estate, searching for the eyes that would welcome him to hell.
Word Count: 609
-----The Gyarmr, again, is based upon the folklore of hellhounds. See wiki article here if interested.
Part Three will come next Friday. Looks like it'll be around six or seven parts. Perhaps I should have done this as a Writing Wednesday post instead of a Flash Fiction post, as the whole piece is definitely not flash fic. Oh well. It is what it is.
And truly, thank you all very much for reading. It's thrilling, humbling, and intimidating, but it's fun.