I'm lurching towards an unintended destiny. My form a sickening protrusion jutting out from against the crusted ground that cracked and shattered beneath each damning step. The lack of a face hidden beneath the thick, yellowed bandages that cover every festering inch of skin. Cliché straw hat hanging precariously atop my exposed head, neck stooped low, allowing my hunched shoulders to stand higher than my chin.
The trees around me shuffled with an melancholy glee, leaves shuffling uncomfortably within the dead breeze that followed my echoing footsteps into the deeper reaches of this haunted place. Rare did my blind gaze avert itself from the matter at hand, I pressed forward, through a dense foliage and refused to let the complicated path ahead become lost to me.
The thick tangle of trees before me seemed to almost back away in fear of my close proximity. The occasional brush of a branch or trunk that had been a tad too slow to escape my touch revealed crude carvings etched into it's hide. Most prominently that accursed inert circle...
Eventually the ground beneath my feet gave way to a thick sheet of fallen leaves. I could feel the same exact leaves I tread upon begin to swim and squirm excitedly inside of me. It felt almost of the butterflies many small children so foolishly believed were the cause of there nervousness. It sparked a twinge of nostalgia in my nerve endings and I merited a soft chuckle at the stupidity that used to become me.
I kept my pace along the path, the leaves beneath my toes swimming around me like a sea of ashen fish. I found myself quickly approaching the end of the trail, the power that seemed to start like static in the air growing closer and I immediately knew I had found who it was that I was looking for.
The trees around me crawled away anxiously as I strode into the clearing that housed a massive ebony colored tree, it's million towering branches stooping low beneath the weight of an innumerable amount of soft black leaves. I kept treading towards the center, passed the low hanging branches and pulsing leaves and into the inner sanctum held safely within the caress of the possessed leaves.
A trunk as thick as the largest redwood stood proudly before me, it's strong, powerful roots stabbing deep into the fertile dirt like a thousand fingered hand grasping for a hold upon sanity. I straighten my stance, hearing my twisted bones snap in protest inside me, and I slow my stride to a halt a few feet before the tree.
After a few quiet moments rest, a feeling equivalent to that of a trickle of liquid metal running down my spine alerts me to my adversary's arrival. His tall, slender limbs barely making a noise as He takes His place beside me. I could feel that empty gaze staring down upon me with an almost boiling rage.
I take my time to pop a few more bones before returning a faceless stare of my own. Our hatred of each other burning the very realities between us... Little would have stopped us from tearing the other apart had we been forced to stand alone in each other's company for much longer, unfortunately, it was then that... she... arrived.