Erasmus didn’t want to look scared of what stood ahead of him. Whatever they were, they still sat obscured by a cluster of silent trees. He tried to hide his physical reaction to seeing them. His small frame shook from his narrow shoulders down to his thin legs. His shirt, shorts, and parts of his shoes had already been torn and slashed by his various escapes and dashes through the never ending woodlands. His skin, which was tan, but had hints of green beneath its layers, would be sweating wildly if he was biologically capable of it. His short black hair felt heavy. His small face was unsure of which expression to form.
“Are you sure it’s safe?” He said, following Elena’s small, wiry frame into the jade-layered foliage.
“For you, yeah, but probably not for me. Just don’t do anything stupid to wake them up or anything.” She said, not breaking her stride through the layers of ferns, sticks, and leafy twigs. A crow cackled somewhere. Erasmus thought he heard voices behind it.
“I just want you to see where you came from,” Elena said.
“So you know why I acted the way I did. So you know why I tried to kill you. I feel bad about it.”
Elena stopped and stepped aside cautiously.
“They’re right up ahead. I’m going to stay back.” She said. Her gun was shaking with nervousness. She refused to look at him as he walked by. She nodded tightly, almost solemnly, and melted back into the forest.
Ahead, the tree trunks thinned out into a small clearing. The canopy broke apart as well, letting loose another slab of sunlight, which was tickled by more bits of dust and cobwebs where it struck the forest. Standing ahead of Erasmus were two large, nearly 10-foot shapes, hunched over the ground like they were almost praying or staring into the green floor reading something.
The more Erasmus looked at them, the more time seemed to pause. His muscles tightened up. His back grew sore. He felt like he was being watched by something, but he couldn’t figure out where, or how, or even, when. The more he stared at the Unnamed, the more vague details he could make out about their thoroughly menacing bodies. They were wrapped in some sort of moving, fluctuating cloak, which was beyond dark and shadowy. It was the deepest obsidian you could ever carve out from the earth. Despite their abyssal shape, Erasmus could still spy small details peering back at him from their forms. There were bits of greenery webbed throughout their body. Vines, flowers, and rib-like branches were poking out in random points, like nature was living inside of them and its growth would not be denied, not even by their nightmarish properties. There was no face, just a hood, which had gold horns protruding upwards and sideways from its head. Other than the basic outline of a human being, with shoulders and a back, there were not many other details from Erasmus’s vantage point.
Except for the hands, if you could even call them that.
Dangling at their sides were a pair of obscene golden claws, which were a cross between icicles and curved blades. They were nearly the size of Erasmus, and were encrusted with red veins, which were scribbled in patterns and breaks, like a language almost. The points of these killing extensions were jammed into the ground, as if the creatures were feeling the earth like a doctor checking a patient’s abdomen. Along their shadowy backs were more of these golden horns and points, which spiked out in random bursts. Crows were sitting atop them peacefully. They casually turned their heads to look at Erasmus then flew away. They scattered upwards in caws and inky flaps.
Then, the Unnamed moved.
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.