Garma continued to shout at the thing, not caring if the noise attracted more potential enemies. It didn’t matter, all that mattered now was drowning out the wraiths damning hiss with his own voice.
The creature began to move, slowly at first. A twisting body of malevolence hovering inexorably towards Garma. He did not step back; he couldn’t show an ounce of doubt. It was well known that wraith preyed on any weakness, physical or not. It was also well known that the chances of defeating a wraith in combat were slim to none.
Suddenly the creature dissipated into mist again. The hiss had faded into barely audible background noise. There was no sound but there was a certain loudness to the situation that Garma recognised. Perhaps it was his own heartbeat, or the echoes of his shouts. He stood utterly still, fighting his body’s desperate intentions to flee.
The low hiss whirled into a frenzied screech from behind Garma. He whirled round, raising his blade across his face instinctively. The wraiths weapon collided with his blade and the incorporeal thing faded into nothing again.
Fighting to calm himself Garma tried to get a clear view of his surroundings. With every intent look he thought he made out the shape of a wraith in the corner of his eye, then it disappeared when he looked. His eyes were tricking him and knew it. They were affected by the same mind numbing fear and desperation as he was. A wave of cold rushed through his body and the thing appeared again, this time just in front of him. The wraith swung its weapon repeatedly at Garma, who could only parry the speedy blows.
The things body twisted in impossible ways as it readied blow after blow. Garma was tiring. Each blow was landing harder than the last, tiring his already fatigued frame. Finally he accepted his fate; if he was going to die then he had one hope of taking this creature with him.
Garma dived straight forward at the creature, lowering his guard as he did. The wraith ran its blade through his chest but in his rage he barely noticed. He pulled the wraith to the ground and in an animalistic fury he stabbed at what passed for its head. The creature didn’t struggle. Garma didn’t notice it fade as he hatefully stabbed at its beaten frame until eventually it disappeared and he was stabbing the sand it lay upon.
Finally he tired and the rage passed. He lay flat across his back, barely daring to believe he was still alive. His breathing was heavy and his muscles felt like slabs of stone. In the corner of his eye he noticed something, the pendant that hung around the creature’s neck. With every ounce of his strength he reached for it and clasped it in his hand. He held it where it lay, he lacked the strength to bring his arm back in, he needed to rest.
Suddenly there was another hiss, then another. Garma winced as his mind was filled with a cacophony of insane whispers. He looked frightfully around. Surely the thing hadn’t survived. He rolled over and looked around the room when to his horror he saw more forms. Not one but what could have been hundreds, forming all around him. He tried to cry out but his throat was dry and coarse. He slammed his eyes shut and waited for the inevitable jolt of a blade piercing his skin. It did not come.