The Cold Caress

Isaac had settled into an old, dead tree at the bottom of a canyon. He was hungry, deathly thirsty and a little sore to say the least. He fought with his mind and his fire, the last time he had exerted himself so much, he couldn't remember.

He was looking at the fading light. It wouldn't be long until the very short day would be at an end. There was something, a bridge he presumed, going from one end to the other.

He jumped off the tree, careful to avoid the sticky black liquid that lay in the center of the narrow passage between the rocks. He wasn't sure what it was, but only moments ago some sort of black insect had crawled out of the sand, ventured to near the liquid, and got itself stuck in it. It looked like a scorpion with wings, but even with all it's leg power and lift from the wings, it remained exactly where it was.

Everything is either black or gray here. I feel like I'm in an old tv show. he had thought as he watch the insect struggle. He would have continued watching it as well if a cloud of rotting wood chips hadn't fallen on top of him. He gazed up at the bridge but couldn't see anyone. Though he knew he was too far away, and most likely wouldn't have seen someone anyway.

But... he thought, heart racing. They could see me!

He jumped out of the tree and lit it alight. It went up a flash of orange light and a massive amount of smoke, then he called toward the bride. "Help! Help! Someone!"

His voice cracked, but he just kept yelling. He knew he was cornered if that strange burning man came back. He could run all he wanted, but he couldn't outrun him. Not forever. He had to get away.

He aimed his hands to the sky, though far from the bridge, and let loose a volley of fireballs. Most died before they ever reached the height of the bridge, but at least five made it past.

Suddenly he stopped. There was a sound behind him. He spun around, nearly losing his balance and falling into the black river.

Walking in the shadows, a black figure approached him. It looked distinctly different than the one that had previously chased him. It was not on fire, one big difference. But it also appeared to be more like a girl in shape.

The familiar force pulled at him, though it was somehow different. How he couldn't say how, but it was beyond any doubt that this was a different creature.

Then, in less than a blink of the eye, it was on him. He yelled, but it didn't even flinch. It worked it's ice cold hands over his face, his hands, and anywhere it could easily reach. Like being caressed by ice, it's fingertips wave into his hair, traced his nose. It stood with no warning and simply walked away. Calm and with perfect posture, as if it nothing at all had happened.

Isaac simply starred after it. What else could he do? It stopped in front of him, lifted it's head to the sky, crouched down... and jumped. And what a jump it was.

Isaac only wished he could have watched it fly toward the sky, but a plume of dust better than any smokescreen obscured his vision and irritated his eyes. He sneezed three times before he stood up. He looked for a human shaped plot on the black sky, but he could see nothing.

 He went to take a step toward the rock wall, but he couldn't. He looked down at his foot. It was ankle deep in the black viscous liquid. Once he had broken the surface a smell like rotting eggs and death hit him smack in the face. He felt lightheaded for a moment, thought he'd be sick, but stayed calm.

If he panicked now, he could die. He looked to the still burning tree, and one last desperate time called to the heavens. "Help!"

The End

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