The Heart of Tarkon
Read or Write a
Courage and Daring!
Treachery and loss!
Snapping awake, Hanor thought he heard something move, but what he could not tell. Waiting in the dark, a sudden flapping noise outside was followed by scratching sounds like knives scoring a window. Creaks groaned as if something substantial had perched on the roof of the Out-house.
Through the pitch of night, fears ignited, further misplaced noises etching into his imagination. Unable to discern anything specific, the only other sounds were of his sleeping companions. A deeper rumbling from the floor at the end of his bed was of the giant newcomer Hallen. Ominous tingles quivered through him, additional sounds outside alarming him to what darkness could hide within its shadows. What was out there?
Situated at the end of the Inn, their room was above the Out-house, the Enclosure running away from their location. Out of reach from the clawing limbs of the two trees on opposing sides of the Inn, there was ample space for whatever it was to walk on the roof. Heart racing through the long silence, it was too big to be a Fliryn. Presuming it was resting and would leave soon, to think it was just on the other side of the wall was disturbing. Eerie, the silence drew his attention out towards the enigma, inviting him to imagine what might be lurking there.
Pulling his blanket up, a sudden lurching scratched at the roof outside, making him jump. Heart faltering when huge wings started beating, climbing higher until barely audible, a deathly stillness followed as if something terrible was about to happen. Balanced on the edge of expectancy, surely one of the others must have heard it?
Before an answer came, a heart-stopping explosion erupted, shaking the floor of their room. As if a falling boulder had crashed through the roof of the enclosure, others leapt to their feet.
“What was that?” Bane cried through the darkness.
Others responded, but Hanor’s attention was diverted to the horrific screams now howling from somewhere below. Terrifying wails cried out for help as the noise of despairing kyboes filled the room. Mixed with an unworldly sound, something was attacking the animals, their stricken cries permeating the walls. Too close for comfort, if it was capable of going through the roof then these thin walls were useless.
“Follow me,” Kifter cried, opening the door.
By now, the whole Inn was alive with frantic calls, bodies clambering into the pitch corridor. A lantern lit ahead helped guide them along the narrow passage to the stairs. Keeping hold of Hanor’s arm, Kifter led them on, the young man gaining a measure of calm from his protectorate. Hallen was at the rear, trying to steady both Nole and Bane. Assurances were drowned out by fleeing bodies or the sickening noises coming from the enclosure. Kyboes were kicking at bolted doors, desperate for freedom. The horrors showed no signs of ending.
Frantic, they filed down the stairs. Not entering the Out-house but following other visitors into the Leisure Room and out through the front door, screams continued wailing throughout the building. No intruder deserved to get away with this, sharp curses burning young ears. Weapons were drawn, knives, swords or anything solid enough to use. Many were eager to put an end to it until they stepped outside where the sounds of death echoed, everyone stalling at the terrible noise.
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