Part One
Part Two
Part Three

“Each of those four heinous statues were something straight out of a nightmare, yet somehow they seemed completely fitting for that awful realm.”

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The air in the strange world was heavy and musky. The atmosphere glowed with an incessant red pulsing. And even more strange—more unnerving—there was no sky. One could look up into infinity yet feel claustrophobic, like being trapped inside a vast cavern. It made no sense and left me we a sickening vertigo.

“It’s not so bad, no?”

I heard Seif, but I couldn’t respond. I was far too rattled by the unnatural, unfamiliar landscape around me. And if the landscape rattled me so, it’s safe to say the bazaar itself downright attacked my senses viciously. The people, if one could call them as such, lunged and hissed like serpents. They didn’t speak in any language I’ve ever come across in my countless travels. Nor did they exhibit any human social characteristics.

“I tell you, it’s okay here. They are harmless. Strange looking, yes. But they are but humble merchants of an ancient nature,” Seif said with a soft, friendly tone.

The bazaar was crowded beyond anything I’ve ever seen before. There were so many of these creatures coming and going that I couldn’t help sensing how much of an outsider I was. When you travel to a different country where the population is mostly of a different race than you—such as a white American visiting a mass metropolis like Tokyo Japan—it’s only natural to feel like an outsider. Like you don’t belong and everyone stares at you with suspicion in their eyes.

That’s how I felt in the strange world. Only, the feeling was exacerbated tenfold. And the suspicious eyes glaring at me from all angles felt greatly intensified. Yet, I knew that couldn’t be, for the creatures couldn’t cast an eye of mistrust towards me; they didn’t have eyes!

As Seif kept his steady and determined march through the middle of the bazaar, I found myself caught up in the overwhelming crowd. And while I tried my best to keep up with his hurried pace, I quickly became entranced by the aberrant wares and peculiar foods on display. But I couldn’t make out one familiar object at any of the countless booths littered throughout the market. It was almost too much to focus on any one thing as my eyes couldn’t help but dart every which way.

There was one booth in particular which managed to grab my undivided attention, though; it had on display statues made of a metal unknown to the human world. Each piece was highly polished and offset the red hue of the bazaar with an anomalous blue luster. The metal was of such striking and irregular quality that I hardly noticed what the statues were depicting at first. It was only after the awe of seeing the foreign metal wore off that I was able to take a step back and study the horrid figures before me.

Each statue was about seven foot in height and no wider than a standard size refrigerator. Erected before me were five of the odd things, with each one portraying a different kind of “animal.” I say animal loosely, as none of them looked remotely human or humanoid, but neither looked like any known animal ever discovered on Earth. No, these things were freakish and sent a cold chill through my body.

The largest and most menacing of these statues was pushed back beneath the merchant’s canopy. While the other four monstrous statues were front and center, it was the one hidden in the shadows of the canopy which piqued my curiosity so. Not because it was somewhat out of sight, but rather because it was the only statue which appeared at all familiar to me.

The other four represented grotesque creatures: a tentacled faced being with the body of a four-legged mammal, a beast with a huge gaping maw full of razor-sharp teeth on top a blob-like, legless body, an inconspicuous, faceless critter who stood upon two legs and had long, sprawling wings, and finally, a brutish looking monster with four eyes and six massive arms and four stumpy legs. Each of those four heinous statues were something straight out of a nightmare, yet somehow they seemed completely fitting for that awful realm. Like you would expect to see any one of those things walking through the ash and smoke covered plains. A fact which still haunts my waking moments.

But it was the statue half shrouded in the shadows which really tormented my soul. For the thing it represented was the one monstrosity of that world which I recognized from my travels on Earth. It was Yelzamouth; the Deity of Death from the Order of the Rising Fog. The ORF, as it’s referred to by its members, is a new age cult based out of Newfoundland.

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