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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Phantom


He stood sheltered in the doorway of the guild. Looking out from under his robes he watched the dust swirl and eddy in this oppressive heat. People hurried past, heads down. No one would meet his gaze, blue eyes that almost crackled with power. He was patient, he was stone. The Phantom had the city of Constantinople in a state of panic. Not one night had passed in the last seven without a fatality. The stars had been in perfect alignment for the cult of Turab. The summoning had led to their extinction. Years they had waited to release the god they worshipped. He had wiped the last of that evil order from the earth only hours earlier. 

The phantom would be the hardest, seven nights of death had strengthened it. Already it believed in its own divinity and that made it dangerous. The power of belief was not to be underestimated. Night was approaching but still he did not move. His face hiding deeper in the shadows of his cowl. Still and quiet he let night slip over him. No one was on the streets to be startled by the sudden movement as he stepped onto the street. He could feel the Phantom awaken. There was a rotten and fetid odour that would lead him straight to it. His stride was purposeful, confident and unerring. He came at last to a building under construction and stood looking up at the second story. 

He slid the hood back off his head. Running his fingers through his wavy hair he planned. The building was dark but he could sense the movement from within. He made a circuit whilst incanting. To his eyes alone a ribbon of power formed a circle around the structure. He was on the inside of that circle and until he broke it the Phantom was not able to leave. With a steady hand he opened the door and stepped into darkness. Still again he let his eyes become accustomed to the night. He took a deep breath, the fetid stench of death like a beacon drawing him onwards. He made his way to the ladder in the far corner which was the only way up to the next level. 

Climbing slowly he almost gagged on the smell that assaulted him. Pushing away the bloated arm that hung out over the opening he climbed finally to his feet. The Phantom knew now that someone was there. A wailing moan began it the next room. The wail spoke of pain and death. It intensified, designed to cause panic. Ignoring the sound and the bodies that littered the floor he stepped forward. His heart rate barely increased from the exertion of climbing the ladder. He soon entered the hallway guided now by the sound as well as the smell. 

Moving forward down the narrow space he sensed humour in the sound. The Phantom could not believe he was still coming. The Phantom could not see his eyes. He moved slowly but relentlessly on. There was only one doorway ahead and he would reach it all to soon. Stepping into the room he almost staggered back at the wall of hate. The Phantom was truly strong but he was not scared. He began to chant once more, a globe of azure light forming above his hands. The wailing stopped suddenly replaced with a mewling. It knew that something different was afoot. He let the light bathe the room around him and took his first glimpse or the creature. The form it had chosen was that of a man. A man that looked just a little too perfect. Stood across the room it stared with undisguised malevolence. 

A knife blurred as it wound its way through its knuckles. He stepped towards the creature, the light cast revealing confusion. Not used to being confronted this way the Phantom stepped backwards. Another step forward causing a thud as the Phantom hit the wall with its back. The knife picked up pace as confusion and anger warred across its features. The azure light was so bright now. Night had been cast from the room now and he took another step forward. The mewling creature suddenly lunged forward as it pushed off the wall. The knife glinting in the unnatural light as it flashed toward his throat. His hand caught the wrist holding the blade. The sudden flurry of movement ended now. 

He could feel his strength grow and he willed the light forwards. A scream of agony ripped forth from it throat at the first contact. The knife clattered to the floor as fingers spasm. The glow of the magic light fed off the hatred growing ever brighter. Losing its belief seemed to cause the creature to shrink in on itself. The Phantom had lost now and victory was assured. The azure light blinked out with a puff of apple blossom. He blinked as the sudden darkness collapsed around him. Closing his eyes he heard movement back from were the bodies lay. In that darkness he knew that his test was only just beginning. He would not waiver he would be resolute. Turning he made his way back down the corridor....

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