“Carl turned and was met with horror.”
Carl walked down the lonely dirt road on weary legs. A man with no face followed close behind. The sun began to set, and with each passing tree the road grew more desolate—more removed from civilization. The heat of the day that broke down Carl’s body so relentlessly over the hours was now trading places with a bitter chill. With the dirt road coming to an end just ahead, and a dense forest stretched out long and far beyond, Carl wondered how much longer he could continue forward.
His legs threatened to give out from beneath him at any time. His gut wretched periodically from dehydration. An acrid desert resided in his mouth and throat while his vision blurred and ears pounded with each aggressive beat of his heart. Soon he would have to surrender to the man with no face. Soon his nightmare would reach its conclusion.
Carl staggered to the end of the dirt road where it kissed the forest entrance with a solid line. He stopped walking and stared ahead. There was no way he could make his way through the impassable trees and underbrush. The heavy stomps of uneven feet were closing in from behind. There was no rhythm to the footsteps. This frightened Carl more than the faceless man himself.
“I guess it’s time,” Carl said in a dry voice.
The only response was the sound of a sharp metal blade sliding out from its sheath. The man was almost upon him now.
“Why me?” Carl asked, knowing he wouldn’t get an answer.
The footsteps—one hard and two soft—finally stopped right behind him. The smell of decay assaulted Carl’s nostrils. His final moment was at hand.
Carl turned and was met with horror. Where a man’s face should be, there was only a mass of grotesque flesh; scarred, twisted, and mangled unlike anything known to the living world. Carl felt his remaining strength leave him as the faceless abomination raised a razor-sharp dagger overhead.
This was the moment Carl had long envisioned. His death was imminent…