Day 22

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One man survived long enough to tell us what happened.

Wulf and I stood in a small tent, going over a rough map of the area he and his men had just escaped from. Mikkelsen was there, Marius, too. The wounded had been taken to the house Wulf had so successfully defended, and there they would receive treatment better than what we had provided.

I had picked up the trail of the wyrm once more, but it had vanished into a marsh area that I had no desire to go into alone. Nor any desire to bring men with me. A place such as that is ripe for an ambush.

I was proven right.

A trio of young men had sought to impress me by going out and finding where the wyrm’s lair might be.

I wish they had not.

Cries of horror and fear broke up our meeting and hastened our footsteps.

When we reached the front of the camp, we found the sentries gathered around a man who was little more than charred skin. A glance along the path showed bits and pieces of burnt flesh, a sure sign that he had struggled to us on his own.

One of the sentries reached for him, took hold, and then howled in terror as the burnt man’s flesh came away in his grasp.

I pushed the men aside and knelt near the dying man.

With a groan of agony, he turned his head to face me. His words, brittle and weak, pushed past his blackened teeth.

“We found the wyrm.”

“Old or young?” I asked.

“Looks like a boy.” His body tightened, pulling him into a fetal position as he shrieked. Panting, he continued. “Killed as boy. Tortured as wyrm.”

His eyes focused on my Colts, and I nodded, drawing one and cocking the hammer back.

“He wants you,” the man hissed.

“Aye. Ready?”

“Yes.”

I brought the Colt up and put a single bullet through the dying man’s brain.

“They wyrm wants you?” Wulf asked.

“Aye,” I nodded, reloading the revolver. “And he’ll get me.”

#Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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