We dragged the body to the entrance to our chamber of rock and I gave the “all clear” with my heat signature scope. I hurriedly pointed forward towards the aperture of the entire chasm. As quietly as we could, we hauled the Goblin’s corpse into the open. My breath shuddered and I shivered as I tried to hold in the utter fear I felt. Knowing that if you make even the slightest, wrong move, you would be dead in an instant, was very hard to handle. My face had turned pale and my stomach lurched like a brick bouncing on a trampoline, yet Leo’s expression had not altered since the moment he slew the Goblin. He stared straight forward into the barren mountains of the Voidlands, the sun beginning to perk above the towering alps. The once dark, blue sky had now been stained with the blood red paint of morning, streaking the sky like a paintbrush across its canvas. The wind had stopped and the snowfall had ceased, and the now the Voidlands almost pleasant. I would’ve thoroughly enjoyed the view if it weren’t for the fact that behind me lurked hundreds of skeleton-like creatures that if awake, would tear my eyes out their sockets and eat the tough flesh that surrounded my slowly, ever so slowly, decaying bones.
“Ready?” Leo asked me seriously in a deep, hollow voice that was so unlike Leo. He had changed.
“Sure.” I said, still thinking about what had changed Leo.
“Alright, on three okay?”
We stood one step outside the cave with the Goblin being carried by Leo and I. Our fate would be sealed once we performed this one simple task.
I stood firm, but still looking back and forth towards the mountains and towards the Goblins that slumbered in the depths of the cave.
“One…” Leo began.
I shifted my footing.
I got a better grip on the Goblin’s legs so we could swing it out the door.
We heaved the Goblin outside the cave and the entire cave was filled with the echos of screeches and screams the second the Goblin’s corpse hit the snowy ground with a thud.
Leo and I sprinted and dove as fast as we could to our ditch to dodge out of the monsters’ path. The Goblins crawled like spiders on a web to feast on their trapped prey, juicy and plump. The screams continued and nothing could compare to the utter horror of the sounds that were emitted from their gaping maws of destruction and devourment. I peeked outside of our ditch’s entrance to see the carnage. Blood was everywhere.
Limbs, organs, and bones were sprawled everywhere across the ground. The Goblins’ had transformed into ferocious, predatory beasts that showed no mercy to anything that crossed its path of feasting. Goblins fought and tackled one another, pulling out each other’s teeth, putting enormous gashes in their stomachs letting even more blood drip to the ground, and eating each other alive.
I gagged at the malicious horrors that I had seen. My eyes were unable to see anything else except the carnage that lay before me.
Leo dashed out from under cover and I jumped in surprise. He flashed towards the entrance with the bottle of alcohol in one hand and the match in the other. Leo quickly opened the flask to empty out the putrid liquid. He swiftly made long strokes with the open bottle across the group of demons to spread the alcohol across the entire mass of them. Leo ran to the wall of the cave and gave a quick, hard uppercut on it with the match to light it. Its flame burned bright and lit up most of the cave.
However, just as he was about to cast the match into the enormous heap of Goblins, he inched his toe one step further and he was out of the cave, and one Goblin on the top of the pile cocked its head at him and roared a heinous growl that pierced the stars. It lept at him and tackled him down onto the cave floor, its mouth gnashing at him with its teeth bared like a shark’s, and bit down hard every time, but missed at every attempt. It pulled out both of its hands to reveal its razor-like claws and went for Leo’s throat, but he was strong enough to hold back its bony hands. So, it tried a different approach, and pushed all of its body weight towards Leo’s throat, as Leo weakened, the Goblin’s hands drew closer to his throat to choke him to death. If I went to aid Leo, that would trigger the rest of the Goblins, and if I lit the alcohol-covered Goblin on fire, then Leo would too! But then, I realized, Leo wasn’t holding the match anymore.
I looked down towards the snowy ground to see the red tip of the match still sticking out of the ground, its flame still present, but then it vanished as it reached the end of the stick, and our hopes were lost.
“Orion!” Leo shouted, squeezing the words from his lungs as he still held off the Goblin, its mouth wide, ready to bite Leo’s face as it approached closer and closer. “Use your gun!”
I looked over to the side of the wall to see my rifle planted in the corner. I ran over to grab it and I sprinted to Leo, but then I hesitated. I would kill Leo if I did this. As the sparks of the firing gun would land on the Goblin, the fire would travel to Leo, and he would be roasted alive by my doing.
“Just do it!” Leo struggled to say, the Goblin’s hands now clasped around his throat, his face turning purple. “Do it for the Defiance!”
I looked down at the rifle, then back at Leo.
I ran right up close to the Goblin and put the chamber right up close to its filthy body and I pulled the trigger. I let the bullet fly high into the distance, but the sparks found their mark as they spread across the entire length of the alcohol-covered Goblin and he was set ablaze. I kicked the beast off of Leo before the flames could reach his skin. It sprinted blindly into the entire pile of Goblins, and the roar of the fire was louder than the screams. The foul smell of rotting flesh polluted the air and Leo and I had to go back into our chamber to wait until the fire went down.
It was at least twenty feet high as it licked the skin off of every single Goblin until nothing was left but the basic structure of them. By the time the fire had gone down, the sun had fully risen with not a cloud in sight, shining brightly as it should. However, nothing could counter the stench that still lurked as the hundreds of corpses of the Goblins were still spewed across the entire cave entrance.
“Thanks,” said Leo.
“Why?” I curiously asked.
“For not messing up.”
I lightly punched him in the arm and we both chuckled even after the carnage we had just witnessed. My partner had changed again, but I didn’t really care. I had new things to worry about now that we were out of the desolate cave. Leo breathed in long, deep breath of air.
“Mmmmm,” he began sarcastically. “You smell that?”
“What?” I asked, following along. “The smell of grilled Goblin?”
“No.” he said bluntly. “Tis the smell of victory!”
I laughed, and it was a real laugh. During these times, a laugh was like finding a diamond at the bottom of the ocean.
“Sooo,” I said. “Now what?”
“Honestly,” Leo said. “I didn’t think we’d make it this far. I was positive that we were gonna be devoured by a hundred bloodthirsty beasts that crawled out from the gates of hell. But…” he paused. “I guess we should just start walking, unless you want to live on rotting Goblin flesh for the next few days.”
And with that, we set off above the mountains to get a clearer view of any signs of life, food, water, or Outlast-112. I slung my rifle around my waist, stored the last few morsels of food in my bag, and we searched for any remaining sign of a new Dawning.