They were assembling. I could hear them, smell their foul, polluted scents and feel the malice that wafted from every pore of their cursed bodies. The sound of their cries made me grind my teeth and snarl. I hated those creatures with every fibre of my being. They were pathetic, spineless, driven only by a selfish desire for blood. They were close too; I could feel them right beneath my very feet, and I knew they could sense my presence too. The sound of their jabbering, snarling and shrieking grew ever louder as more and more of them seemed to appear out of nowhere, slinking in from all the dark corners of the world, slavering and thirsting in sickening excitement. An army of nightmares, threatening to burst through the dreamscape and drag the world into an endless vortex of terror.
This was the Horde.
I paced the floor of my prison, snarling and digging my claws into the floor as hard as I could, grimacing as I felt the stone crack under the pressure. Deep score marks ran down the length of the walls at my eye level - the results of hours spent in agonised tedium, gouged out by fits of rage, self-loathing and, sometimes, pure spite for the place. However, try as I might, I had yet to find a way out of the room. The Horde seemed to be able to sense my agitation, and it only seemed to further heighten their frenzy. I snarled and jammed my heel into the floor, smiling in satisfaction as the resistance gave way. I did not just acknowledge my strength, I revelled in it. I relished every step I took, filled with the satisfaction that every move I made was potentially deadly, that no pitiful mortal creature could ever stand against me without falling victim to my satanic arsenal. But it frustrated me that I could do nothing with it.
I growled and ground another fist into the wall. I felt cold, angry, and thwarted, as I had done for ... how long had it been? Hours? Days? Years? I wouldn't have known the difference. I hated it, these endless ages of tedium and anger, but even this was better than the times when I had awoken from sleep, flat on my back with tears in my eyes, feeling my humanity slipping away from me. There was no respite, not even in sleep, for I had no dreams, no hope, nothing to cling to that was not locked away behind doors guarded by the demons of my new mentality. I couldn't remember the last time I had ever taken joy in something, or felt any human emotion at all. Now the closest I ever came to that was the burning desire to break the neck of the sneering little goblin that brought me food at irregular intervals- raw carcasses, half-skinned and with the entrails hanging out of semi-slitted bellies. I hadn't even managed to dream of the song, or the fire, or my final meeting with Morgan, though I knew it couldn't have been long since the dream had taken place.
Morgan. I had clung hard to her memory in the first hours after the dream; filling myself with the emotion and anguished love behind it, purging myself in the hot river of self-loathing and chasing away the murderous killer-thoughts to the darkest recesses of my mind. Despite the pain I felt when I remembered our final meeting, her memory had been a comfort to me, a shield, a refuge from the dark world I had entered, and from which I could not escape. But now that shield had begun to bend, and the memories that had been my saviour were slipping between my fingers like smoke. I had tried to hard to cling to it, but I hadn't been strong enough. Now, whenever I thought of Morgan, or anyone else for that matter, all I felt was a dull twinge from my heart.
That was, if I still had a heart.