Forty – 06

[This post is from Matt’s point of view.]

The sound of drums became a throb, growing louder in a vain effort to drown out the screams of the dead and dying. His head pulsed with the beat of those drums and he breathed heavily, leaning forward as he let go of the torrent, letting the trailing edge grow ragged like a flag in a gale. Through watering eyes, he watched some of the dirae spiral down into the mists, losing sight of them as they fell.

Do I have another one of those in me if I need it?

A shiver shot through him as Matt realized that he actually did.

That’s terrifying.

A horn blasted and the sound left his head ringing. He swayed. Phelan’s hand shot out to steady him.

“You okay?”

“No,” Matt mumbled, leaning heavily against the wall. “No, not really.”

“You got any left?”

“Yeah,” Matt said, swallowing the bile that had crept slowly upward into his throat, slicked the back of his tongue. “That’s part of why I’m not okay.”

The sound of the drums changed.

Not drums. No. Weapons on shields. Shit. What kind of army do they have out there? He sucked in a breath and looked toward the mist just as a bolt of lightning arced downward, illuminating the field and leaving him momentarily blind. More screams, these more of fear than pain, echoed across the field.

“Why haven’t they tucked and run?” Matt asked, the question slipping out before he’d really thought about what the answers could be. “Stubborn bastards. They’re wasting lives.”

Phelan shook his head. “I don’t know. This is all uncharted now. Nothing makes sense anymore.”

The words were a lie, Matt could feel it, but he didn’t care. If Phelan had insights that were important right now, he’d have given voice to them.

“Welcome to my nameless fear,” Phelan breathed.

Matt didn’t bother to suppress his shiver.

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