“No, he was something much more insidious.”
I vividly remember the fear I felt as I closed my eyes and waited for the end. Those creatures were going to rip my body to shreds and there wasn’t anything I’d be able to do about it. But just as I lost all hope, something incredible happened.
I felt their bony claws reaching out to me—the tips just barely scraping across my skin. I dared not open my eyes to witness the horror upon me. Then I remembered, I was still wearing the blindfold. I was told not to take it off in this place or something dire would happen. But I figured since I was going to die anyway, I may as well take the damned thing off. But just as I started to pull on it, a familiar voice rang out above the hissing and spitting of the monsters.
“What are you doing, friend? We mustn’t mess around this place too long. Come with me.”
Something grabbed me by the arm and pulled hard. With the blindfold still on, I opened my eyes to see Seif standing before me—the horde of creatures kneeling behind him like he were a king. We walked through what must’ve been hundreds of the kneeling creatures. I was in utter shock at what had transpired.
“Who…what are you?” I asked him. He still had a hold of my arm and pulled me through the market at a near run. His fingers dug into the skin of my wrist—they were as cold as ice. A feature which disturbed me deeply because the atmosphere of that hellish realm was like that of a scorched desert.
Even though we were nearly running, his reply came out clear and unmuffled—like we were having a relaxed conversation over tea, “All will soon be clear.”
Seif’s increasingly cryptic way of speaking, cold skin, and the way his voice remained calm while moving so quickly left me unable to ask anymore questions. There was no way he was human. Nor was he one of those eyeless creatures. No, he was something much more insidious. This I was sure.
He halted mid stride—causing me to crash right into his shoulder. He didn’t move a muscle; it was like hitting a brick wall. “There. Your salvation resides beyond those hills.” He pointed to a closed tent off in the distance. A narrow trail made up of jagged black rocks cut between a set of empty merchant booths and stretched through the smoke and ash covered hills.
Clinging to the edge of the tallest hill was the tent Seif had pointed to. “I cannot go beyond the bazaar. You must make this journey on your own.” I tried to ask him what he was talking about, but just as I opened my mouth he was gone.
It wasn’t like he disappeared or ran off when I wasn’t looking. The only way I can describe it is that it was like he never existed. I know that doesn’t make sense to a sane person, but that’s what happened. The only thing to compare his departure to would be like a child talking with an imaginary friend, then a second later the child stops and goes off to do something else. Since the imaginary friend didn’t exist to begin with, the child was never actually talking to anyone. Therefore, the child couldn’t stop talking to anyone either. I understand this sounds like madness, but in that world, all that existed was madness. I apologize for not being able to explain it better, but I must move on while I still have time.