Finding the Citizens

Part 4

As the Wardens travelled north to the Shenandoah province they would have passed through the city of Stonebridge. Named for the bridge used to cross the impressive river separating the two provinces, Stonebridge was a natural waypoint for traders, travelers, and anyone who might have useful insight regarding the attacks to the north.

Shortly after entering the city the small party of Wardens encountered what they could only assume to be the corpse of a man in the street but there was something horribly wrong with it. Thick violet veins pulsed just below his strained alabaster skin and above exposed pale muscles where his dermis had been stretched beyond its clearly limited flexibility.

One Warden approached the body cautiously, musket in hand as the other two kept vigil.
As approached the putrid smell of it nearly overwhelmed him but he could see that whatever it was, it was slightly alive. He could see the ribcage rising and falling and as he got closer, hear a shallow, ragged, and irregular breathing.

Just a few feet from the thing the Warden readied the lock on his firearm with an audible "click"

Faster than any person could've reacted, the creature was up and lunging towards the Warden's neck.

The creature's eyes were a deep black that seemed to consume the light around them with dark purple clouds swirling behind what would have been the cornea. They were the last thing the Warden saw before his jugular was torn out by the creature's wicked teeth.

The remaining Wardens quickly found themselves surrounded by the gruesome creatures and the irony of their unpreparedness was not lost on them.

- by Charles VanMeter -


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