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The Final Testament of a Slayer

By Ransom BackusPublished 6 years ago 4 min read
"Cold...so cold..."

Wolfen claws or Dracula fangs didn't scare me. Things that went bump in the night, I ignored. The nether-beasts howling their agony from below didn't phase me. The wolfen were an urban legend, meant to scare youngsters. The vampires feared my name. The animated dead; those rotted corpses that hell didn't want, avoided me. At my name, they shrieked in terror, begging to be free of what I might do to them.

I turned the collar of my black, woolen coat to the fog. The soft glow of the streetlight cast an eerie aura as it struggled to shine through the thick moisture which veiled the city in a cold, damp blanket for the night. I was one of the few who dared to venture out after twilight, when the fading sun and dying warmth of the season gave way to fall, and that time between times which opened gateways to other worlds.

I was armed. The silver bullets in the chamber of my pistol, the crossbow whose bolts were forged by an angel in the fires of the sun itself, and the stench of hell upon me were enough to keep any fiend away that night. Yet I couldn't shake that nagging doubt, that underlying unease, that nameless sense of fear which crept upon my consciousness. In all of my years of hunting the foul demons of hell itself, I had never felt this sort of dread before.

I couldn't name the chill which crept up my spine and across my neck, sending each individual hair the way of the porcupine's quill when it senses danger. That bothered me. Everything I had encountered in my twenty year career as a Slayer was accounted for, categorized, and labeled. I knew where they were, they knew where I was, and they preferred to stay away.

Yet this one stubbornly refused to jump onto my specimen board and allow itself to be labeled, as the butterfly or grasshopper might in a child's insect collection. One detail disturbed me. I saw the fog drift out of my way, clearing a path for my vision as I moved forward along the cobblestone street. It wasn't opened by the occasional draft as one might expect, for there was no draft at that moment.

Then I felt The Cold. No, I don't speak of the winds which bring the lower temperatures as is the usual fare of the autumn months. It was icier. It was darker. It was that which pierces the soul. My coat was no use in warding it off. It was a cold that saw its way past wool and furs.

Gazing through the void which parted the fog, I saw The Cold's shadow. It moved about as a black vapor upon the night wind, yet, it followed no path. It seemed to dance from one current to the next and perhaps, at times, glide on none at all.

I clutched the worn, leathered handle of my crossbow, albeit however futile of an endeavor, but I knew nothing else. I shuddered as the shadow wraith seemed to draw closer and closer. The gateway through the fog grew wider and wider.

Then it was that I realized my eyes sought to deceive me. That was no shadow wraith, but a small girl, who could have been no older than ten! A single, threadbare gown clung to her undernourished body, and her skin was a ghostly pale color.

My heart released its fear and was overcome with compassion. I released my hold on my weapon and immediately removed my coat. I rushed to her side and draped it over her shoulders.

"Cold. So cold," was all I could hear, barely whispered through her thin lips.

"Shall I fetch you a hot cider from the pub?" I asked.

Cold...so cold..."

I pulled the poor girl to my side and helped her walk. We slowly moved to the pub at the far end of the street from whence I had come. I could hear her gasping and panting. I could hear wheezing and she coughed a couple of times.

"Oh dear, I must call the doctor." I muttered.

"Cold...so cold..."

I glanced down at her. She looked up at me. Her skin was almost an icy blue in color. Fear gripped me once again as the whites of her eyes became as black as hell itself. Her jaw dropped far lower than any human jaw should have and fangs emerged from her mouth.

As quick as lightning she lunged towards me, and her fangs pierced my chest, being partly exposed as I wasn't wearing my coat. They felt like ice picks as they penetrated flesh and bone. I couldn't scream. I couldn't say a word. All I could do was fall to the ground in agony as her fangs drew the warm fountain directly from my heart.

When the pain had subsided, and all had gone quiet. I looked around and saw no one. I saw not another human soul. I didn't see her, or the shadow wraith. I felt The Cold, though, growing in my chest, spreading as an icy pool, expanding in a flood.

So I write these words while I still have what's left of my mind. Even now, the icy shadows within me grow. I know that soon, they will possess me. Let this final note serve as a warning to the traveler and wayfarer in the dark. Do not believe your eyes or your senses, no matter how much they fill you with empathy and sorrow for the weaker creature. The demons do live in The Cold. They do set the trap. They do lie in wait to feed upon warm blood.

I am cold...so cold...so cold...so cold...


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