Night Phase One - At Water's Edge
The trip through the Mohaine Desert was, for the most part, uneventful. Of course, that is not to say that it was easy. On the contrary, many members of the ka-tet felt as though it was the most difficult journey of their lives. For weeks, they wandered through vast, white nothingness. They might go days without seeing any vegetation at all. The only sign of life was the occasional tombstone, cracked and broken just like everything else in that cursed place. There was no sand underfoot, as many had suspected there would be upon hearing that they would have to cross a desert. Jorick had admitted shortly into their journey that this was far from the Sahara desert-esque visual he had originally thought up. Grey, Rilla and Kanga confessed that they too had imagined the same thing. Aragorn, not knowing what the Sahara desert was, had looked to Fay for further explanation. The woman had merely shrugged.
Their supply of food and water had dwindled to hardly anything by the time the ka-tet reached the Cyclopean Mountains. That was alright, however, as the mountains held clean, fresh water, lush vegetation and plenty of game. Immediately, a group composed of Scribz, Kanga, Fay, Knight and Sebas had set off on a hunting expedition. Those who stayed behind went about preparing camp. At some point in time, Aragorn and Werecat had slipped off together, and when they returned, a rejuvenated, child-like glow had adorned their cheeks. Those days spent in the mountain were the best the ka-tet had experienced. There was food, water, and soft grass to sleep upon. But Herzinth had quickly grown restless. After sharing his feelings with Squee and Fay, they too had agreed that it was time to move on. The Dark Tower was waiting, and they had a long journey ahead.
The real excitement lurked beneath the mountains, hidden away in the old, abandoned mines. Squee had suggested they use the tunnels to shorten their journey. The rest of the ka-tet had agreed. Admittedly, Alpha had taken quite a bit of coaxing, but with words of encouragement from both Cringer and Kanga, the large man had finally closed his eyes and allowed Sebas to lead him into the darkness. Though the others were not so vocal with their fears, they too were on edge through much of the journey. Scribz held tightly to Knight’s hand, and Aragorn was right on Werecat’s heels the entire time. No one strayed too far from the group. In silence, they had moved through the mountain.
Zed was the first to notice something was wrong. Holding up his hand, he motioned for the group to stop. They did so, but through the darkness, TP looked to him expectantly. “What is it?” Grey asked, but he was answered with a harsh shhh from Aragorn. He had heard it too. Confused, and unsure of what to expect, the members of the ka-tet pressed closer together. Many of them had not know each other before their journey began nearly a month ago, but they took comfort in pressing their bodies against the body of the person next to them. Just a little protection from the dark mine, and the horrors that lurked within it. His hands shaking, Cringer looped his arm through Alpha’s. Alpha closed his eyes tighter. Cordi, however, stared into the shadows. Her overactive imagination ran wild, conjuring up infinite numbers of demons and monsters that might leap out and swallow her whole. Finally, she shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, stepping closer to her companions.
“Guns,” came Fay’s voice through the darkness. It was eerily calm, considering the circumstances, and Kanga found himself shaking as he withdrew his weapon. The other four who drew their guns, however, did so with no hesitation.
“What is it?” Grey asked again. He was answered by a single gunshot. It seemed exceptionally loud in the mineshaft, and more than a few members of the ka-tet pressed their hands over their ears. Cordi squealed and pressed her face into Herzinth’s shoulder. TP had not been startled by the shot, but he was curious as to what the intended target had been. Squinting against the darkness, he made out the shape of a crumpled shape lying a few yards away. As he focused, he suddenly noticed a great number of human-like forms moving out of the shadows and toward the ka-tet. His eyes widened as he recognized them at once.
“Slow mutants!” He cried out.
Though Rilla did not know what a slow mutant was, the odd figures shuffling toward them seemed frightening enough. “Run!” He did not have to say it a second time.
The tight band of individuals broke apart almost immediately, every person running as fast as they could toward the other end of the tunnel. In the dark, the escape from the mine was not an easy one. At one point, Jorick tripped over the remnants of a cart track and fell to his knees with a sickening thud. He let out a moan of pain, but quickly felt a pair of strong arms wrap around his torso. With a grunt of exertion, Rilla hauled Jorick to his feet, took his hand in his own, and dragged him toward the small dot of light far off in the distance. That light grew increasingly larger, until finally the gray, cracked walls of the mine gave way to a beautiful sandy beach.
Squee burst into the sunlight with a whoop of success. Even if they were being chased by monsters, it still felt wonderful to be free of that awful place. Others who exited slowed down as well, but glanced over their shoulders as if to check for those strange creatures. Fay, however, knew that they were away from danger for the time being. At least, the danger of the slow mutants. She tilted her head back, closed her eyes, and briefly enjoyed the sensation of the late-afternoon sunlight on her face.
Alpha, on the other hand, was doubled over. His breaths were shallow and raspy, as if he could not completely catch his breath. It had been a long time since he had run like that. Zed peeled his sweatshirt off tied it tightly about his waist. At the same time, Rilla turned to Jorick and asked, “would you like me to take a look at your knees? I am a doctor.”
“Later,” Squee interjected.
“Right.” Cringer moved up alongside Squee. His blonde hair was plastered to his sweaty face, and his breathing was a bit irregular. Nonetheless, he wore a broad smile. “Now, we should set up camp, and be thankful that we all made it out alive.” The ka-tet, except for Fay, nodded. Fay had already made her way down the beach and toward the ocean.
Despite the darkness that had fallen as the sun sank below the horizon, Cordi found the beach to be quite beautiful. The ka-tet was seated around a crackling fire, feasting on their left-over deer meat and swapping stories about the “whens” from which they came from. It was a lovely scene, one that she might like to write about when the journey was over. In fact, she might just write about their whole trip. It would be a certain best-seller, despite many people assuming it was a work of fiction. The young woman smiled to herself. She would have to present her idea to Herzinth when she got him alone.
Eventually, they all broke off into smaller groups. Alpha was the first to stand, announcing that he would be back in a moment. Despite the man’s fear of the darkness, he very urgently needed to relieve himself, an action that he would not do anywhere within range of the ka-tet. There were some things that a man just did not need his companions to see. He moved down the beach until he could no longer hear voices, and could just barely see the people huddled around the fire. Unzipping his pants, he did his business quickly, and then made a move to return to the ka-tet. But something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. A little further down the beach, next to a small pile of rocks, a tiny fire blazed. The man could have sworn it had not been there a moment ago, but it was a welcome sight in the darkness. Alpha shuffled toward it, and as he reached down to feel its warmth, it was suddenly extinguished. His heart leapt to his throat, and he turned back the direction from which he had come. But even the fire of his ka-tet was no where in sight. Horrified, he realized that even the reflection of the moon on the water was gone. There was nothing but darkness. Alpha began clawing at his eyes. What was wrong with them? Had he gone blind?
“Oh,” came a deep voice in his ear. He spun around, extending his arms out, but his hands closed around only air. Then, the voice came again. It was closer this time. He could feel the breath upon his ear. “I think someone is afraid of the dark.” Alpha let out a strangled moan. “You know,” the voice continued. “A journey like this is no place for a frightened little child like you. In fact, you will merely slow us down.” The voice, once light and mocking, was now ice cold. “We will all be better off with you dead.” Alpha’s unseeing eyes widened, but not before the sharp blade of a knife was shoved deep into his gut. He reached out a hand to push the attacker away, but again, he felt nothing. Still, the blade came again, and again, the pain ripping through him like nothing he had ever felt before. It seemed to pulse through him, racing up and down his arms and legs like an electric current. But after a few seconds, he hardly felt the pain. He only barely felt the sand as he fell forward, his large body striking the ground with nothing more than a soft crunch. And then, Alpha felt nothing at all.
“Where has everyone gone to?” Squee asked.
Sebas looked around. There were only six seated around the fire. Everyone else had wandered off. She shrugged. "I suppose they are off doing their own thing. Nothing I need to know about, if you know what I mean.” Squee nodded. She did know what the woman meant. Even if Squee worried about the other members of her ka-tet, she recognized that they were, for the most part, all adults. They were free to wander off and do as they pleased.
“‘I’m a doctor,’” Jorick said in a high-pitched, mocking tone. “‘Oh please let me look at your knees.’”
Rilla shoved the young man, but could not hide his own grin. “Stop it. I was really trying to help you.”
“More like an excuse to get my pants off.”
“As if I needed an excuse to get your pants off,” Rilla replied, giving Jorick a knowing look.
Jorick snorted. “You think you could get my pants off right now?”
“No, I know so. In fact, I know that you will take all of your clothes off.”
Jorick cocked an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Yup,” Rilla stripped off his shirt as he spoke. “We are going swimming.”
“Aw no, it is way too cold for that,” came the response. Rilla merely rolled his eyes, and began taking off his pants. “Rilla, come on. Not here.”
“I want to go swimming,” Rilla said firmly. Once he was completely undressed, he began jogging toward the water. He called over his shoulder, “don’t keep me waiting!”
Jorick stood there with his hands on his hips, watching Rilla splash into the ocean. He shook his head and laughed softly to himself. “That man,” he whispered. That man could get him to do just about anything. Still chuckling, he began to pull his shirt over his head. But before he could do so, he felt a hand clasp over his mouth. Uttering a muffled groan of surprise, his own hands flew to his face, trying to pry the intruder’s hand off of his mouth. The hand, he noticed briefly, was quite small. Still, it was incredibly strong. Jorick was unable to free himself before the blade of the stranger’s knife was shoved into his back. Why are you doing this? He tried to mutter, but the hand placed over his mouth held firm. He was answered by another stab of the blade. Everything around him began to grow hazy, and he desperately swung his attention toward the sea. He prayed that the last thing he saw was Rilla, but he was unable to focus enough to make that possible. Slowly, Jorick was overcome by darkness.
Rilla splashed deeper into the water. Jorick had been right, the water was indeed cold. But he would not show weakness. That would only cause the man to laugh at him some more.
Soft voices from somewhere nearby caused Rilla to freeze. Who was saying those words, and what did they mean?
“Hello?” He called out. Nervously, he began to make his way back toward the beach. As he did so, he caught his first glance at the lobstrosities. They were strange creatures, almost a mix between a lobster and a scorpion. He did not recognize them, but he did have enough sense to see that they were large, and most likely dangerous. They seemed to have incredibly large, incredibly sharp pinches, and the man wanted nothing to do with them. Suddenly losing the urge to go for a dip, Rilla took off at a sprint toward where he had left Jorick.
“You know what, let’s just forget about swimming, alright? You win. We can find something else to do while-” his voice trailed as he saw Jorick’s bloody body crumpled on the sand. “No,” he muttered softly, falling to his knees. The doctor immediately felt for his companion’s pulse. Upon finding none, he let out a strangled cry of agony. The man sat beside his dead friend, his eyes closed, trying to come to terms with his loss. And trying to decide what he could do next. He could, of course, return to the fire and continue on with the journey to the Dark Tower. But what good would some stupid tower do him? All he wanted was Jorick, and Jorick was gone. He had nothing left to keep him going forward.
Rilla stood slowly, and as if in a trance, returned to the water’s edge.
”Ded-a-chek? Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum?”
He lay down, his naked body touched just barely by each wave as it rolled in. Here, the lobstrosities would certainly find him and tear him apart. They would come. He knew that they would come.
Let them come.
Night Phase One Has Ended
has been killed. His role was John Coffey (The Green Mile).
has been killed. His role was Edgar Freemantle (Duma Key).
has been killed. His role was Louis Creed (Pet Sematary)
Day Phase One Begins
All players may cast one lynch vote. Players may determine who the killer is using clues in the storypost, as well as in each player’s response(s) to this thread. The player with the most lynch votes cast against them will be killed. Please send all lynch votes to Nat.
Please send all day phase role actions to Nat.