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Hidon (FF6 Fanfiction)

Posted: 25th January 2017 04:18

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Dragoon
Posts: 1,706

Joined: 7/4/2003

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I wrote this literally just now in all of 45 minutes on a whim, and gave it only a 15-minute once-through for editing, so I expect some rough patches. I've been reading Lovecraft lately, so it should show.

Quote

Hidon
by KL Sanchez

This dark cave, thick with the rotting fetor of mold and decay, winds forever away from me, deeply and endlessly twisting in circles about my torch. In fact, with each corner I turn it seems this accursed, labyrinthine grotto sneers at me in sardonic turns, with the crags and pits of the rock faces twisting up into cackling smirks and jagged grins. I spin about another corner, and again the cavern winds away, the light of my torch seeming to shy away from the darkness into a tiny circle of illumination barely wider than my own person. How long have I even been here? An hour? A day? Even the seconds seem eternally long, and the monotonous, pealing din of the storm outside drowns my senses in the deafening roar of torrential rain and the mighty cracks of thunder splitting the sky.
As I palm my satchel—a simple, tiny bag holding barely more than a snack's weight in food—I fear that I may have ventured too deeply into this grotto, so deeply that I may have become inescapably lost. I remove the compass, but still the device fails me—its needle spinning erratically to and fro—and a creeping dread works its way up into my throat. What will become of me, then? A rotting corpse, lost in this maddeningly twisting, seemingly forever-changing maze? Will I succumb to a mania borne of hunger and desperation? In my days, I have seen lesser men go mad from simpler things than this. How I wish I'd brought paper and pen with me for drawing even the crudest of maps.
I pause to think with a heavy sigh, slumping back against the wall behind me, when in my short break I notice something; a clue, a single feature of the wall before me which triggers a memory: I've seen that wall before. I step forward to study it, and my inspection confirms the recollection as I recognize the particular and subtle curve and shape of the rock. Following it further, I make my way down the passage, and another detail becomes familiar. Finally, progress!
In a moment I emerge into a recognizable chamber, intending to make my way back to the entrance and away from this accursed cave, when I become aware of a side passage I had missed in my earlier wanderings. Making a quick note of this familiar location, I move cautiously towards it, unsure what I will find and yet keenly aware in the back of my mind that a grave danger must await me beyond this passage; and yet, I am unable to turn away. Perhaps the phrase should be worded, "Curiosity killed the man."
The passage winds once more, finally opening to a larger chamber, when I step into its entrance, and freeze up in terror. Across from me stands a hideous abomination of a beast; or, perhaps best said, a thing. Not a creature, not a being, it towers within the low-ceilinged chamber, an unliving entity of bone and skulls intertwined of sinew and sickly, rotten flesh. The fetid odor of the cave intensifies in its presence, and only too late do I realize that it is the stench of death, of decay and rot, and as I gaze upon the beast in horrified terror the maw of its greatest skull begins to glow with an inner light; green and forbidding, and of a power foreign to this world. It is the power, I think, of the undying, reflected in the devilish red glow of the eyes of its many skulls.
In my moment of inaction, it has taken the initiative, and several smaller, equally repulsive and hideous things fall out of its body and scurry towards me with frightening speed. At long last I turn and run in fright, shrieking for help and mercy, but my legs are woefully inadequate for the task. In an instant they are upon me, ripping, tearing, and biting at my flesh, and the searing pain of dozens of tiny, slashing bites rips at my senses until only desperation and terror remain. Tripping and stumbling over myself and the walls of the cave, they chase me away, and just when I think I will collapse from fear and pain they abruptly leap off and scurry back into the darkness behind us.
I am amazed for but a moment, when I realize that I have—somehow—reached the mouth of the wretched cave. I scramble into the rain of the storm, my torch extinguishing in the water, and with shouts of horror and fear on my lips I run forward; anywhere, I beg my legs to carry me, but here. Across the muddied fields I run, towards where I think Thamasa should be, and over the thin land bridge that had emerged from the waters but hours before, until my lungs and calves burn from overexertion and the flesh of my chest and back grow numb from the pain of bleeding wounds; wounds that doubtless will not stop bleeding in this storm.
At length I feel I am about to fall from exhaustion, when finally I look up with a start to see the faint lights of civilization, and with elation clamber forwards until I stumble into the town square, where I at last fall to rest. My lungs sear with each breath, and my heart pounds so powerfully I feel it will burst, but I must speak; I will not allow this thing, this terrifying beast to fall upon the town I so love, and slaughter all that I hold dear! I hear words, and soon become aware of a crowd about me.
I look up, and a friendly, familiar face greets me. "Ebot! Ebot, old boy, what happened to you?!"
"Gungho..." I rasp, my voice barely more than a ragged scratch, and my throat dry from thirst and dehydration. "I saw it... in... the cave... hide 'n... hide..."
"Hidin'...? What in tarnation are you-"
I grab his friend—our mutual friend, Strago—pulling him low by the collar with a quivering, terrified hand. "It's there! It will... it will kill... hidin'..."
I mean to say more, but the words will not come; my voice is weak, and my eyes even weaker. I feel the world slipping away from me, but I am still in the present just enough to hear them speak.
"Ebot! Ebot, stay with me!" Gungho begs, shaking my shoulders. "Get the healer! Quickly!"
"Gungho... you hear what he said? In the cave... he must mean that cave that came out of the sea yesterday!"
"He called it..."
"Hidon."
My eyes will not stay open; my chest will not draw breath. My life is leaving me, but I am here long enough to hear Strago's scratchy, endearingly crotchety voice. "Don't worry, Ebot... we'll find this Hidon, come Hell or high water!"
My time is up; the world is black now. It is time I go. Hidon... I guess that is a fitting name. Hiding... in that wretched cave. They will succeed; they are blue mages. They will subdue the beast so that others will not suffer my fate. I am tired now, and cold. Will I sleep? Will I dream? I... I will know soon.


--------------------
~Status Report~

* Completed... Dragon's Head
* Completed... Soldiers of the Empire: Disciples (release pending)
* In Progress/Undecided... Of Love and Betrayal
* Planning/Assembly... Where it all Began
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