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Short Story: Downcast Trails (Chapter One)
The thick blanket of snow was flawed with stumbling footprints and flecked with droplets of red. Richard followed the trail of blood cautiously, his heart racing, throwing itself at his chest in a bid to escape. He turned a corner and another one, noting the splatters of blood becoming larger and heavier, soaking into white and sparkling like rubies amongst diamonds in the morning sun. The trail led him to an old abandoned church, walls crumbling and not a single window left unshattered. Why here?
Richard tentatively rested his ear on the door to the church and listened. A slight creaking noise could be heard coming from the other side of the door but otherwise nothing. He turned the door handle and entered to a bloodbath. The walls and floor were streaked with red. Bodies hung upside down from overhead beams; some of them skeletons, others still decomposing, leaving a putrid stench to hit Richard’s nostrils. The trail he’d been following had helped form the wet red carpet on the floorboards, but Richard didn’t need it anymore. He spotted her, end of the front row, streams of blood making their way from the gaping slit in her throat, over her face, into her hair, onto the floor.
It was only partially due to the emotional shock and pain in his heart that Richard fell to his knees...but not completely. His eyes flickered down to the bloody hole in his shirt and a metallic taste started to tickle his taste buds. He gurgled a few times, causing blood to trickle down his chin, before shuddering out his final breath.
Above a figure dressed head to toe in dark green swooped down to land directly in front of the slumped body. A hood concealed its face though from the snarling that came from beneath it, it was apparent that it wasn’t completely human.
It lifted Richard’s lifeless body with ease and added him to the dozens of other hanging bodies hanging from the beams. It turned to leave but stopped, looking back at Richard. Pulling out its knife it took great care not to get blood on its clothes as a deep slit was made in the neck. Wiping the knife on Richard’s trousers the figure chuckled darkly and walked back out into the snow, leaving the hanging bodies to sway in the wind, the figure’s sinister laughter to dance in the air around them.