I am sitting on the edge of the tree line, waiting for something. If I knew what, I might be better prepared, but I prefer not to argue with Him. Last time, it ended with bloodshed, and I had to clean off the bits and pieces of my partner.
I ponder how long I have waited; it seems like forever. I have not moved for a day and night, and I have not wandered off for food or drink. But my mind, instead, wanders – and I see my goal in sight. I see lights heading up the dirt road, piercing through the night’s curtain. And though the lights are far away, I know they will reach me soon.
Time passes. The lights have arrived, and I hear a car door slam shut. I wonder to myself why someone would come to an abandoned house at this time of night, but then again, the boy that had gotten out of the car believed he was about to save a friend.
The boy moves towards the house, his flashlight flickering in the darkness. I can sense he is frightened; it reminds me of how some people say “Dogs can tell if you’re afraid or not.” But I am no dog; I am a hound, yes, who follows his master’s words. But not a dog.
I seek out those who escaped. I am His hound, His tracker. Even He cannot be everywhere at once.
I can feel my senses coming back to me after all this time. I get up slowly so that I am not noticed by the boy. But my concern is misplaced, for his attention is all on the abandoned house. He walks towards it, shining his flashlight in the dusty windows. He believes his friend is here, but he is wrong. The boy was tricked.
I begin walking towards him; he does not hear me for he is shouting his friend’s name. I stop twenty paces away, watching as he enters the house. He does not know the danger here, nor does he know the things that are coming for him. I can feel Them coming, and it is strange; never before have I felt both so close. My mind becomes sidetracked for a moment before I feel pain; He commands me to pay attention. I understand.
I stand in front of the house, watching, waiting. I can hear the boy inside, looking for clues. But he will not find any, for this is his trap – he is meant to die here. Or is he? If the Other arrives, perhaps this will turn back the course. I will be left at square one, then.
The boy comes out of the house; I can see the scowl on his face. He knows there is nothing here. And then he stops, startled by my presence. He shines the light in my eyes, calling his friend’s name. But now, I see something behind the boy, something that is darker than the night itself.
The monster is tall and thin, Its arms open as if to embrace. It wears a suit that seems made out of the dark in the Abyss, for the darkness around it is reflected back. It is a burned hole in existence, something that shouldn’t be, but is. And my eyes look towards where Its face should be, and I feel fear. I think Farstrider understands why I am here, and it is angry.
Or is that anger? I do not know for certain. I feel angry myself, but it is not my emotion. Where does it come from? What is it? What is that thing?
The boy calls out his friend’s name again, and I look back at him. He is frightened.
My mission has failed. The Other was here, and now my master and He are at odds over their prey. They both desire the boy, and if I intervene I shall die. I take a step back, and then I begin to run. I run into the forest; I hear Arthur yelling at me to come back. But if I remain, I shall die.
I will live to serve another day.