The gun fired behind him suddenly. There was a violent pop, followed by a whistle. The ground shuttered, causing Erasmus to nearly trip. A shadow formed behind him, pushing the sunlight away and throwing a dark sheet over him. He turned around to find what could only be described as a golden fin slicing out of the ground. It was tall, about eight feet high, and curved like a scale. There were vertical lines rising up along it, with threads of green vines weaved throughout them. Erasmus noticed a few cracks along the material, like it was made of a soft, but flexible glass.
“No!” Elena screamed. More gunfire cut through the air. The amber shield vibrated and snapped under the bullets. Her weapon clicked empty after a few seconds. The shield seemed to grumble and turn towards her, tossing the earth aside like it was just water. Erasmus tried to focus on where the shape was jutting loose from the soil, but whatever it was attached to was obscured by the sediment.
It started to move towards Elena.
“No. No. Get away. Get away from me.” She screamed.
The gold fin continued to approach her. The ground surrounding where the thin object pierced the dirt was trembling and shifting, like the very earth itself was afraid of what powered it.
“I can’t let it mark me. I can’t. I can’t.” Elena howled, running back towards the trees Erasmus had stumbled through the night before. The fin followed noiselessly. Despite the bullets and the rage dripping out of Elena, Erasmus did not want anything to happen to her. She was small, a child. Something in his fractured identity made him uneasy about her being harmed. He reached a trembling hand out into the air behind the shape.
“Please, let, let her go,” Erasmus said.
There was a hiss somewhere. The wind settled. The trees, grass, and sky seemed to freeze. The black and white returned to his vision. Only the fin had any color, still glowing a nearly translucent yellow in the surrounding opaque scene. Then reality flashed back. The plate descended into the ground silently, dropping just below Elena’s trembling feet. Erasmus suddenly felt exhausted and staggered backwards. He sat down quickly to avoid fainting. The wet morning grass soaked his pants. A headache began throbbing above his eyes. He closed them and rested his forehead against his arms.
“Um, what did you just do?” Elena said. She wanted to run and hide. She had spent plenty of time around monsters, and she knew that one was always followed by others.
Erasmus shook his head.
“I don’t know. I just asked it to stop.” He said.
“I’ve heard plenty of people try to speak to the Unnamed. Usually they’re begging them for their lives. They’ve never listened. In fact that usually just makes them die faster, like the monsters take offense to it or something.” She said, walking towards him.
“I don’t know whether to run or say thank you.”
“Say whatever you want. I just don’t want to see anyone getting hurt or killed. Since I woke up in that pit all I’ve been surrounded by are monsters and madness.” Erasmus said. His head still throbbed. His was vision was blurry.
“I don’t want to get blamed for anything.”
“Ralph said you were one of them. The Unnamed or a Reanimated. He said you were dangerous. He told me and the others that too,” She said. “It wouldn’t have been the first time he was wrong though.”
Elena walked over and extended her small hand. It was still shaking from the bullets she’d fired.
“My name is Elena,” she said.
Erasmus extended his hand and the first time that he could remember or knew of, a tight smile spawned across his thin face.
“It is nice to meet you,” he said.
More coming every week. You can learn more about The Greenland Diaries book series and also read some of the days from it. To catch up on previous entries of Erasmus, hit here. Thank you for supporting my work.