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Home Horror Stories A Vainglorious Venture

A Vainglorious Venture

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Day 1

 

My name is Sergeant Frankford. I have been ordered by my superiors to keep a log of our encounters down here in the sewers. I am not much for words but I will muster what I can. With me is Erik and Vogo, two trusted companions of mine. Erik is a bit fanciful for my taste but has a sharp aim with a powder pistol. Vogo is more to my liking, quiet and takes his business seriously. Damn good with an axe too. Our mission is rather straightforward, we were ordered to delve into the deeper part of the sewers and keep an account of our findings. Apparently there were some religious zealots making trouble and are said to have gone down into the sewers to escape persecution of the holy mother’s might. I pity them should we locate where they are hiding as the mother's justice will not be swift by my hand. I have little mercy for heathens.

First day thus far was uneventful, despite spotting some beggars who we questioned and later killed as we could not risk them tipping off the cultists. Erik seemed uncomfortable killing them but I assured him that they were too much of a liability. Dumping their bodies was easy enough. The smell is the worst part of this venture, what I wouldn’t give for a breath of fresh air. Set up watch for the night; I pulled the short straw and have the first watch. Will be hard to keep track of time here I think.


Day 2

So far this mission is proving a waste of time. Walking deeper into the sewers, the most we saw was a rat scurrying away from us. To make matters worse I slipped on a strange black liquid when I had taken point. The good news is I avoided falling into the putrid water but the bad news is there is a burning pain in my ankle. I have been able to put some weight on it but every step is matched with agony. Erik suggested turning back but I ordered us to press forward. Vogo said nothing about the situation but seems irritated that our speed has dipped due to my injury. Can’t say I blame him. The longer we take to find these men the longer we are stuck down here. Thankfully we have enough torches to carry us through the darkness. Drew first watch again, going to be a long night.

 

Day 3

 

My foot is now swollen quite badly despite my attempts to alleviate my pain. Erik claimed to have some experience with being a medic. ‘Some’ isn’t very reassuring but after he wrapped it and told me to keep it elevated the swelling did manage to go down. I’ll give him credit where it is due. He does seem to know something at least. Erik suggested I stay off of my feet for a bit.  Vogo was not pleased by this but I suggested that they could scout ahead while I rested. Erik agreed reluctantly but Vogo seemed to be on board. They then went on ahead for a few hours while I stayed back at camp. With my powder pistol in hand I kept my back to the wall and my eyes open for anything suspicious. In the darkness,I had heard what had sounded like a door with a rusty hinge being opened. I called out to it but did not get a reply, filling me with dread. I raised my pistol, keeping it pointed at the ever creeping darkness. It was then I heard another noise. This one different than the other. The noise sounded as if a blade was being dragged across stone with a clicking noise following it. I fired my pistol filling the room with the smell of gunpowder, the area had then lit up enough for me to make out a figure standing before me. It ceased to move despite me firing at it. It loomed ahead of me seemingly swaying back and forth. The clicking noise returned as I heard the scraping noise gently return as it moved ahead. I grabbed my powder horn and poured it down the barrel of my pistol as the figure started to move towards me. Inch by inch it began to move as I frantically tried my best to reload with shaking hands. The scraping noise began to grow louder followed by the clicking as it neared. My hands moved as fast as they could scrambling for a pellet when I heard footsteps in the distance. The scraping noise instantly grew to a halt as I screamed for help. I heard the footsteps approach fast towards me where the figure was standing. I held my breath waiting to see what fate awaited me. My companions soon stood before me armed and ready for a fight. A torch in each hand and weapon in the other, they gazed into the room looking for any unseen foe. I called out to them to look behind as the figure was standing right there but when they inspected the area they found nothing. What was once there seemed to vanish within thin air causing some questioning from both Erik and Vogo. I told them of what had transpired but I was met with confusion and skepticism. The nerve of the both of them questioning my authority made me want to strike Erik. I was leading men into battle while he was still soiling his small clothes and yet he dare question me? I insisted that we move camp but Erik and Vogo would not budge. I took first watch by my own free will this time. To hell with sleeping after that experience.


Day 4


The next morning I had awakened in much better spirits. I had questioned the events of last night and decided to put them into the back of my mind. Together the three of us pushed forward to the area they had scouted prior; however we came across an opening they had seemingly missed. Erik swore that it was not there before but it matters not. I suggested that we enter. Perhaps one of the cultists had carelessly left their secret passage open. After a bit of walking into the passage I had noticed a faint ringing in my ear. Subtle enough that I had almost missed it. I urged my companions to hush and listen. They did as told and remarked that they too heard the ringing. Peculiar, I thought. Until Erik had suggested that the ringing might have to do with our time at war. Cannon fire and rifles tend to dull one's hearing over prolonged time. I had accepted it as an answer for it made the most logical sense. The area inside the passage differed from the sewers we were in. It was still cold and damp but the walls were more narrow. Some kind of tunnel hastily dug by the cultists to hide their sins. Fools all of them, the holy mother sees all.

 

Day 5


Last night I let Erik take first shift. A mistake to be sure as he neglected to wake any of us. It is now morning and Erik is gone. Where, I haven’t a clue. Vogo and I searched the area and found most of his things still intact meaning he did not turn coward and leave us. If he did it would have been bright of him to take food and some torches but none of our supplies were missing. Vogo came to the conclusion that he went to go relieve himself but got lost. My thoughts immediately  went to the figure from just a few days ago. I suggested this to Vogo and was met with an eyeroll followed by a look of disbelief. Had he not been wearing a helmet I would have struck him in the face. We then packed up our things including Erik’s. I had Vogo carry Erik’s things as the added weight would bring only more pain to my injury. Or at least that's what I told him. Let us see how he likes playing pack mule... insubordinate bastard. The rest of the day was met with nothing but disaster. Every step had to be taken with consideration as the tunnel had become a downward slope. Perhaps Erik slipped and fell down deeper into the tunnel? Would have been easy to without a torch. Once we reached the bottom, the area had grown more odd as we ventured further. It started off as nothing more than a few writings on the wall in a language I did not speak. I had inspected the writing to see if it was Erik’s handiwork, but could not tell. The letters seemed to be etched by a tool no doubt. The etchings only increased as we furthered inside, no doubt etched by some madman. The further we went the ringing in my ear had only strengthened. Eventually Vogo and I settled down and camped for the night. Being the clever man, I tied a rope to Vogo’s leg and then to my own. No chance of him disappearing now.

 

 

 

 

Day 6

 

My mind is reeling, my body is aching. We found Eric, but I could have went a lifetime without ever seeing what Vogo and I had witnessed. We ventured further into the tunnel but what we unearthed was unlike anything I had ever seen. Even now my mind is scattered trying to recollect myself. It didn’t take us long find it. It was not exactly hidden as the path we took was rather straightforward. It seemed rather odd when we came across a door blocking our path this deep into the tunnel. I pressed my ear to it trying to listen for what was on the other side and was met with an eerie silence. I reached for the handle twisting it slowly to open, but found that it was locked. I looked back and with no other direction to go I knew the only way forward was through it. I gave myself a number of reasons to turn back but my mind would not listen. I took my hand and gave the door a knock with my free hand fixed upon my blade. I stepped back ready for anything. The door creaked open slowly as Vogo drew his blade and held his torch in front of him to make out what was behind it. I had been prepared for a numerous amount of results but not this one. When the door finally opened all the way… nothing. Vogo stepped forward using his torch to brighten the room and looked around. I followed behind him watching his back. The first thing I noticed was the smell; blood. Any man who has been in battle never forgets it, but at the same time never grows accustomed to it. I looked around to find the source spotting an altar in the center of the room. I guided Vogo to follow as I looked upon the oddity; A stone pillar stretching to the roof of the room with two black piercing eyes carved into it. Upon closer inspection I could see where the pupils would be were instead a pair of dark holes. I stood in front of the pillar realizing that one could align their face just right to gaze into them. I leaned forward reluctantly trying to look into them but once I had got too close I felt something grab ahold of me. The force pulled me back as i grunted reaching for my blade only to realise it was Vogo. Only seconds later did I hear a click watching as two sharpened rods pierce out of the holes covered in dried blood. After a few moments they went back inside as Vogo urged me to look behind. There Erik sat against the wall, his head hung low. I inched over to him calling out his name. Erik did not answer. I called out to him this time reaching out to him only for his head to move up slowly. His face was haunting to look upon, causing me to look away almost instinctively. His eyes were plucked out, no doubt from the altar. The most alarming thing was the black bile dripping down from his chin. I stepped back nearly knocking over Vogo who was just as shocked as I was. Erik stood up smiling. The grin stretched nearly ear to ear as I stared into the pits of what had once been his eyes. I heard him speak but the voice did not belong to him. I did not listen, instead opting to run. Vogo was wise enough to follow as we both sprinted back the way we came. I turned back only for a moment to see Erik standing in the doorway waving us goodbye. I sprinted as fast as my legs would allow, ignoring the pain in my leg as Vogo followed behind me. However the path ahead was blocked off by rubble. Whether it was deliberate or not I did not have time to answer as my hands clawed desperately at the rubble, trying break through. It was for nought however and I soon found my hands covered in blood and my fingernails a broken mess. With no way out Vogo and I pressed our backs to the wall not saying a word to one another. I held my pistol in hand aimed at the void where we sat all night. Occasionally one of us would break down and cry or ramble. Who did what is lost to me as the rest of the night I stood staring at the void. The only thing that had came to mind was if it was staring back at me. I do not remember how long we sat but I dared not sleep. I know not if it is morning, time has been lost to me. I sit here staring. Staring. Staring. Staring. Staring. Staring. Staring. I hear a noise. Vogo is missing. When did he move? I look for him forgetting that I should be staring. I look back. I stare longer. I do not remember when I had last blinked. I am losing it. My only escape is this journal. The ringing in my ears is almost deafening. So much that I did not hear him try to creep up on me. Yet I saw him. I never took my eyes off the darkness, you see. I fired my pistol hitting him in the shoulder. He dropped to the ground pleading for me to help him. He won’t trick me, he's not Vogo. I reload and shoot him again. He’s dead now but the ringing won’t stop. It screams in my ear like a wailing mother. I see Erik again. He standing ahead in front of me. He’s smiling. He want’s me to come with him. He whispers to me sweetly and for a moment the ringing stops. Vogo is with him too. He’s telling me that our mission isn’t over and that I better come with them or else I am getting first shift again. Vogo is smiling too. He never smiles. It’s sweet in a way. I have no choice. I must go with them. I want to go with them. I want it to end. I am too weak to fight it any longer. I feel myself drifting off to sleep. They will come for me now. Maybe when I wake up this will all be a dream.

End

I am a young aspiring writer with a passion for horror. My main setting is usually Medieval Fantasy to a sort or Renaissance Era. I am currently working on a collection of short horror stories in the same world which I have built from the ground up.

 

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