Nearly blind with terror, you take a few halting steps backwards away from the horror in front of you then, unceremoniously, you turn your back and run with all your might.
Within a few seconds you’re almost off the bridge when you hear a terrible shattering sound behind you and you’re flung into the water near the shore as the bridge collapses underneath you. Still terrified, you begin to thrash about in the water, attempting to propel yourself forward towards the shore with one arm, while attempting to keep the book tucked in the crook of the other. Unfortunately for you, you never were much of a swimmer — and you don’t make it far.
The last thing you’re aware of before the darkness comes is the feeling of someone or something grabbing you by the shoulder. After that, you remember nothing.
You awaken on the shore of the beach much later. The moon has, by now, hidden itself behind a copse of trees on the far side of the lake. There is a small fire burning nearby which keeps the chill of the lake from seeping into your bones any more than it already has. Your clothes, while not dry, are certainly not as wet as if you had just been pulled from the river. You’ve clearly been lying here for some time.
You’re also startled to realize that the book is still, albeit somewhat soggily, clutched in the crook of your arm.
You cast about with your eyes, but don’t see anyone nearby. Pulling yourself a bit closer to the fire, you spend a few minutes warming up. Checking the book quickly, you’re relieved to find that no major damage has been done that you can tell. The inside of the book is relatively unharmed by the water, and the pages (while wet) are still legible.
“Ah, you’re awake.” A voice behind you startles you onto your feet. You crouch nearby in a fighting position — ready to strike, if necessary.
“Whoa, it’s okay Vlad.” The man moves into the firelight and you can see his face. It’s Harold. Since the last time you saw him, he’s managed to get a long nasty-looking gash down his face. It looks fresh.
“I managed to pull you out of the pond, there, just in time.” Harold offers, taking a set on a nearby log. “Benziah’s little pet almost had you there.”
Harold face takes on a much more serious expression. “I’m glad I caught up with you, Vlad. We need to talk. Something has gone terribly wrong, and I’m not sure we can fix it. We certainly won’t be able to if you don’t know what’s going on.”
He spreads his hands wide, as if inviting you to speak. “I’ll tell you a bit about what’s going on here, but first I want to answer your questions. I’m sure at this point you’ve got a thousand, but we need to be quick. There’s not much time left.”
At this point, rather than having a poll, I’d like you to post a question for Harold in the comments. Only one question per person will be answered, so make sure you pick exactly what you want to know. Harold will answer the questions, if he knows the answers, in Monday’s episode.
Updates are on Monday and Thursday afternoons. You must be registered to vote in the polls.
If you’re getting into this late, here’s an explanation of the concept behind Ward32.