30


A sharp pain pierced between my temples and settled in the back of my neck, a throbbing pain reminiscent of the demons’ grip about my neck. Despite what the man had claimed about time passing in a different manner here, night had fallen, and I was again standing beneath a downpour. I couldn’t remember ever before seeing such heavy rainfall. The ground had been completely saturated and the waters flooded up over my feet. I made out the twelve tree stumps jutting up out of the shallow floodwaters, but there was no longer anything or anyone else to be seen remaining in the circular clearing- no tables, objects, or any evidence whatsoever of all the people who had just recently been so foolishly busied about here. 

I walked out across to the furthest stump and remained, contemplating which direction to set off into the thicket of trees. The water was surprisingly icey enough that my lower legs were already tingling and going a bit numb. I could see my breath on the air for at least a couple seconds at a time when I exhaled in minor exasperation. I got up on the nearest tree stump, wondering how the temperature had so quickly dropped from a pleasant warmth to seemingly just above freezing.                                                   I stared off past the tree line, looking for any marker on the blurry horizon of which way to go. I heard the old man’s voice call out from behind me, slightly garbled amidst the torrents.

“Holy hell,” he whistled. “Hasn’t been a storm like this in well over a decade!” he stepped through the waters and stood up on the tree across the way from me, As at the twelve o clock. “Either this is a good sign, or you’ve got some seriously shitty luck.” 
His continually chipper tone indicated that he paid no mind to my suddenly storming out. I suppose I no longer surprised myself either. 

“Yep, everyone is gone again,” he continued,” and they will be until the third day from now. Even the insane need a few days break from the mundane monotony of societal obligations. Then the moon will be at its highest- Perhaps something interesting will happen.” 

I turned around to shoot an incredulous glance back at him, then up at the moon shining brilliantly through the strangely cloudless sky. Where then was the rain coming from? There was a faint aura resonating outwards from its glowing face, lit of a very faint color spectrum. 

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