#15 – The Gale of Winter

Bello woke up sweaty. He had had a bad dream, he knew it wasn’t really much of a dream, more of a warning it was. In his dream, Fahhr stood in front of him, in both his hands were two heads, both had their eyes closed, and a wry smile on their faces. They were killed in their sleep, Bello realized. He tried to imagine how the last moments of Syra and Kazh might have been. That was the point he woke up. He was late. They had to be on their way, along with the others, to cross the mountain, before the Things could reach them. Then came the gale.

The wind blew so hard more than half the people got buried in the ice. The Mountain was close. They could see the peak, and they knew they had to reach it somehow. Amidst the noise of the gale and the rain and thunders, Bello felt he heard a screech. He kept quiet, because he didn’t want his fears to creep into the others. The Things couldn’t be so near, he heard himself say. They kept walking. The screeches and the hisses kept getting louder. Were they actually around? No, it couldn’t be. His dream indeed came true. Moments later, Fahhr came and stood before him, in both his hands were two heads, both had their eyes closed, and a wry smile on their faces. Syra and Kazh. “The oak fell on them,” he said. “Many more have died.” Bello kept silent. He couldn’t undo it, and there was nothing he could do about it either. He pretended to be a stoic, and kept walking. He had to be strong.

They walked another mile, then another. Bello saw a huge man walking through the mist. He had the face of Brad, he felt, but said nothing. They looked at each other, and in the next moment, Brad’s nails thrust deep into Bello’s throat. Bello spit up blood, and looked up at him. “I am of this world a Thing, and will remain so forever,” Brad whispered. Bello closed his eyes, one last time.

Suddenly, the sky turned black, as if night crept on morning. Fahhr looked up into the sky, and for a moment his mouth remained wide open. He saw them, thousands of them, flying in the sky, ready to swoop down upon them. “Run!” he shouted. But running wouldn’t do. They swooped down all of a sudden, the screeches louder than ever, louder than the shouts of the people around. And then there was fire. Fahhr rushed to the Headmaster. “What do we do now?” he asked. The Headmaster laughed, ever so loudly. “There is nothing you can do but to surrender to us, you fools!” he cried, and slowly he grew until he was of the shape of a Tasmanian tiger. He breathed out fire, until Fahhr was charred black, and then he flew, screeching, “Fly! Now! Fly! Now!”

It was the dawn of a new world, a new era where everything would be ruled by a sect who were once people, normal humans, but had turned to become only Things. Such was the tragedy of life, that they had to submit to the more powerful, and allow them to rule over them. Such was the tragedy of life.

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