Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Short fiction: kershov and ilam - a tale from baba yaga's hut

Kershov and Ilam - A Tale from Baba Yaga's Hut

The rifles cracked as thunder across the Carpathians.
Their men were dead. The women of this muddy village of hovels screamed and retreated from the violence of this trespass as though their clay and straw huts would protect them from devils.
A groan came from one body of a man.
“Not dead?” Kershov signaled to his companion. Ilam approached the body.
“This one doesn’t want to die!”
“So?” Ilam lifted his rifle.
“No.” In a few simple blows, an axe split the narrow shape of a small tree, felling the leaves and branches, and then shaping the trunk to a point.
“Now?” asked Ilam.
“Now!” replied his companion. Ilam hoisted the living corpse in the air and dropped it down on the stump. The corpse choked and died.
Suddenly they became aware of something. No longer were there sounds coming from the ruin of this dirty hole of a village. They investigated the huts for potential victims. They were gone. The fear of their violence was gone from it. It hadn’t been that long. They had killed the groaning man in a breath of seconds.
Kershov and Ilam struggled about the grey clay mud with their rifles at the ready.
Movement caught Ilam in the corner of his eye.
“There!” An old woman had pushed quickly across the gravel and descended into the darkness of a hut at the very edge of the village.
“Not getting away!” Kershov made for the opening and descended into the darkness. Ilam almost fell in behind him.
What struck them instantly was the scale of it on the inside. They had entered the simple hut through a small doorway. The hut interior was deeply dark. Underfoot the floor scraped as metallic. Kershov struck up a light and applied it to his tallow-lamp.
"What is this?" The room of the hut was deeply circular. The floor, the wall, and ceiling were iron. The Ceiling most of all was low and dark. They would have to bend to avoid bumping their heads. The doorway behind them snapped shut.
"No!" Ilam and Kershov threw themselves against the sealed entrance. It was solid iron.
There had to be a release somewhere on it. Both companions struggled for the indiscernible catch that would release them from this wolf’s trap.
A grind of Metal came from the room behind them.
The Ceiling was a large clock face, the iron hands moving. Each tick echoed through the walls, ceiling, and floor. A minute on the clock passed. A Door on the far wall was grinding open.
What entered was a distortion of everything they thought of as human. The deformity moved slowly across the chamber until it stood at the centre.
"Interview you, Baba Yaga will." It examined them both with its diseased eyes. It couldn't possible see them. The deformity retreated to its doorway and the iron door sealed behind it.
Overhead the clock continued.
Kershov was whispering something to himself. Ilam stared at his companion. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Praying", answered Kershov.
Ilam realized he had never seen his companion pray in the six months they had been murdering and pillaging their way through these mountain villages.
"Why?" Ilam looked at the movement of the clock.
"Because when she is done cooking our corpses, she is going to torture our souls." Ilam stared at his companion.
"You are insane!" Segments in the wall opened and steam sprayed into the room.
The two murderers began to scream.

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