Part 19

“We should set a watch,” said Jax unfurling his bed roll to the side of the fire. “I’m happy taking first.”

“Scared of things that go bump in the night?” mocked Tumbor. “Why don’t we lock the door and keep the bad guys on the outside? Won’t stop nightmares though.”

“Are there keys?” asked Yulien. “I would feel safer with the door locked.”

Tumbor held up a large circular metal ring with several keys hanging from it. “I found these hanging by the front door.”

“There are mores keys than doors,” noted Rohlen looking around. “I wonder what the others open.”

“My guess would be the other buildings,” replied Jax. “We can investigate in the morning.”

Tumbor jangled the keys and made for the door. “No time like the present.” Jax removed a log from the fire as a torch and followed the dwarf. Yulien looked at Rohlen, who in turn sighed as they too both followed.

The closet was much in keeping with the others within Wiver, being built of wood with a modest thatched roof. A solitary door and window to the front gave no clue as to what await them inside, despite Jax holding the torch up to the window. Tumbor tried the various keys until finding the right one.

The irony of Tumbor removing his axe before entering, having previously mocked Jax for ‘bumps in the night’, was not lost on the other three.

The door was set fast in its frame, warped from years of being battered by the elements and never having been opened or closed. Simple force wasn’t going to open it, and so Tumbor stepped back and bust it open with a well placed shoulder. A decision he instantly regretted as the stench of neglect and decay filled his nose.

“And I thought a troll’s breath smelled bad!”

Jax covered his nose with his free arm whilst holding the torch aloft. The flickering light caused shadows to dance in the corners, but illuminated brightly the cause of the horrendous stench. Pinned to the back wall, suspended off the floor, a man and woman had begun decomposing providing food for the vines that pinned them there.

“Why have they not withered with the old woman’s demise?” questioned Yulien wishing to take a closer look.

Holding her back, Rohlen offered a suggestion none wanted to hear,

“Maybe she wasn’t the only one!”

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


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