Of Running Away
Now as the wretched curtains are drawn back, black and sickly green mists close in behind young Ink Reaper. The sort of mists that flip the stomach sideways and plant that nasty lump like a sour billiard ball in one’s throat. The sort of fug that one might expect to see, smell and even taste shortly after the monster lurking at the bottom of the underworld has slunk into slumber and passed its foul air, only – I could imagine – slightly colder…
But these were just the low-hanging mists of the Dimmer - lingersome, and illuminated slightly under the sad green auroras that loitered and backed up against the sodden roof of a dark, decaying world, trying to get as far away as they could from whatever was left of the Hell below. Yet not even with the wispy, glowing, and slightly electric forms typical of most auroras could they find a crack in the roof or anything of the sorts to escape out of. There were no nooks, no crannies, nothing in the Dimmer that could ever lead to something pleasant.
Now Ink’s legs were growing tired, and they tingled with fatigue against the numbing, freezing winds. Black pine needles pathed his way through the quiet outskirts of a once great city, which were to the Reaper’s great relief, empty. The only thing worse than the dreadful sounds the last denizens of Heck made was their rather unsightly, turgid, truly morbid appearance. He ascended, his home far behind yet still haunting him, its resentful and cruel eyes forming a chill colder than even the sweeping drafts on the back of his neck. Maddened tears still lingered on his cheek, his soul scraping at its bony cage in a complex tangle of emotions - sadness, fear, guilt even, yet a dull twinkle of something fonder.
The path now started to ascend, and Ink felt he was almost there. He crawled with desperation through the damp, foul sludge that trickled possessively down from the dark, carved-out walls of his world, a final attempt to make him stay. Yet enough was enough. Digging in rigid fingers and kicking sewage-like slush back at all he resented, the Reaper climbed, and he climbed, and he clawed and he cursed, and eventually fell forward onto a bitter plateau. Breathing a gasp of damp, musty air, he stood upright. Ahead was the fortress that would set him free, one way or another. It loomed grinningly, an ice-cold angel. Ink, despite never personally meeting one, was never fond of angels.
Without giving himself a chance to think, he went onward, past dead-eyed gargoyles and into the cylindrical center of the gloomy fortress that seemingly glowed with a faint blue light, of which his vision was too blurred with adrenaline to take notice. Sodden, mossy bricks passed by as he sprinted awkwardly down the whispering corridor. He threw himself into the abyssal maw of the ruined castle - into the pitch black sinkhole in its center, as wide as a small town, and as deep as… Well, nobody really knows, in this universe or otherwise.