The dream had been so vivid, it had almost felt like it was real. He could almost feel the cold from the snow on his feet.
He blinked again, and looked around. He was standing, somehow, and breathing heavily. He was holding something, and when he looked down it was – the sword from the dream!
Kyle shook his head. What the hell? It was wet, and dripping onto the floor.
He looked around, and behind him on the floor was the body of the man from the woods. He was laying on his back in a pool of liquid, completely still, and oh my god that’s blood.
He had not seen it right away, because the dim light made it hard for him to distinguish the dark red from black. The man had been eviscerated, guts spilling out onto the floor. The stench hit him then, the foul smell of feces and the iron taste of blood, and his stomach rebelled.
He turned away, and threw up. He shuddered, and heaved.
After a few minutes, he recovered enough to move. He stood, breathing shallowly and carefully facing away from the body. He had dropped the sword when he threw up, but he grabbed it again. There were still two of those men out there trying to kill him, and at least he would have something to defend himself with. There was still blood on it, but thankfully it was not dripping anymore.
He edged around the body, looked around. The room was large, circular, and filled with debris. The stone ceiling had fallen in several places, although light was only coming through in the one. Around the edges of the room were arranged a half-circle of stone…tombs? They were huge stone blocks, around four feet high by four feet wide, and almost eight feet long. On the top of each one was a carved stone statue of a knight, in full armor, laying on its back as if asleep. Each one held a carved stone sword, hands clasped around the hilt at their chests and blades facing downward.
All except one. The statue closet to Kyle had no sword.
Kyle looked at the metal sword in his hand, and shuddered. Frighteningly, this was not the weirdest thing that had happened today.
Suddenly the light got dimmer, and Kyle looked up at the hole in the roof.
There was a silhouette of a head over the hole, but it was two small for one of the men from the woods.
“Hey, you alive down there?” It was the girl. Pocahontas.
“Yes! Yes! I’m right here!” Kyle ran to the debris pile and waved. He still had no idea who this girl was, but at least she was not trying to kill him, and maybe she could get him out of this hole.
“Huh, you made it. I thought I saw one of the Orcs crawl down there after you.”
“Um, yeah.” Kyle’s stomach heaved again at the thought of what had happened to the other man, but he managed to control it.
“Wow. You’re tougher than you look. Hang on, I have a rope.” She disappeared, and a moment later the end of a rope dropped down through the hole. Her head appeared again. “I tied it off to a rock, but I’m gonna hold it too. Your gonna have to climb.” She disappeared again.
Kyle grabbed the rope and looked at it. It was thin, and almost felt like silk, but there were knots tied in it every foot or so. He had never been much good at rope climbing, but he knew the concept, and was certainly motivated.
He carefully tucked the sword through his belt, like he had seen on movies, trying to angle it so it would not stab him. And he climbed.
It was surprisingly easy. Maybe he was in better shape then he thought. He pulled himself up through the hole, and rolled onto his back in the heather, breathing heavily.
“Merciful Kala, you are slow.” She was rolling up the rope and shoving it into a brown leather backpack. He grunted, and stood up.
“Thanks for getting me out of there, but who are you? Where are we?”
She glared at him while she slung the backpack over he shoulder. “No time for that now. There’s a lot more of them out there, and we weren’t exactly quiet.”
There was a noise in the forest, and Kyle stiffened.
“I hope you can run,” she said, “because I’m not gonna die ’cause I was waitin’ for you.” She started running, away from the noise and towards the forest on the other side of the hill.
“Shit,” Kyle muttered, and he ran after her.