"It will be better." He promised, reaching out his fleshless arm, exposing only his fingers. "Come now, take my hand. I promise you will see."
She hesitated, staring at the extended limb of this beautiful monstrosity. All of her thoughts escaping her mind.
As he moved, one inch closer, she closed her eyes and reached out her arm. His cold bone-fingertips gently moved across her palm and wrapped to her pale wrist.
"It will all be okay." He breathed. "I promise."
His fingertips felt cold, pressed against her skin. Her calused palm folded onto his wrist as she gently gripped into bone. She gasped as the cloth scratched her fingers through his arm.
Do not be afraid." He reassured her. "It becomes natural."
Her heavy breathing wasn't going well with the constant silence around her. His words were nothing but wind to her as she tried to grasp this unreal concept.
"It will be better." She repeated in her mind, and slowly exhaled. Her fingers gripped around the bone of his arm, decaying flesh adding to her already disturbing mental images. Her eyes were glues shut by denied fear as she walked with his pull.
"Do not worry so much. You can loosen your grip, I will not let go just yet."
And with that, black spots appeared and formed on her hand, spreading with red and grey colours. She felt it.
"It's starting..." She worredly informed him.
"Is that it?" She thought, expectantly waiting for another reply.
"Do not expect any response from me for everytime you speak. We will be there soon. Just calm yourself."
She stumbled on rocks, and holes in the dirt, Shadows raced across her vision the more she looked around. It was foggy once, between the trees; but now it's simply dark and clear.
The spots on her hand like acid, eating away at the flesh and muscle as they grew; but she hadn't even noticed.
More and more shadows came, some darker than most, others light and filled with blurry detail.
"What are they?" she asked, searching around like a curious toddler.
"Your new people." His tone like a warning.
She stayed silent after that, finally noticing a change in her hand... One she hadn't expected. Her pale skin was gone as only bone was left.
He felt the flesh of her hand slide off shortly before, and was simply waiting for her scream when she realized. But the only sounds she made were grunts from stumbling and the simple question of her new visions.
Her gentle bone against his sent a wave of dizziness. It had been a while since a target was so calm and cooperative, even willing. He almost enjoyed it, admiring the memory of her beauty, afraid to look at her face now.
This was the painful part. Watching the flawless skin of those, cursed with this horrid task, fall to never be seen again; all their beauty diminshed within hours to be nothing less than himself.
He lied to them, always. They knew a change was to come, increasing the farther they crossed the lands, but nothing as gruesome as this. His targets weren't just targets, they were tickets of guilt; but he couldn't turn around now... This had to be done, no matter the consequences.
Her hand. It was gone. At least everything she needed besides bone.
This wasn't the change she had expected. This was so much worse.
All the shadows were coming closer to her now. None dark, just light and filled with such intricate detail. They reminded her of sketches; moving, faded sketches. It seemed as if they were staring at her arms and neck and scurrying off in fear.
There was a loud hiss and branches breaking, nothing was still. The shadows raced and flew like wild around her and the creature she so depended on, the branches of towering trees shook and the roots rattled the earth.Run...
Echos of the word ran through her head. But frozen in fear of the creature's possible reactions, she stole a glance to see what to do.
Her lungs felt like metal, her throat burned as if she swallowed bleach, her eyes watered and were forced shut. Her hands immediately reached up to grab her face and scream, but something grabbed onto her wrists.
"Don't move." His gentle voice whispered in her ear.
His swiftness was impecible. Her wrists wrapped in his hands as the world around them span wildly around them. She had fallen to the ground when the change was complete, just like every other one had. But this time it was different. They were only half way to their destination and she was complete. She was different.
She was his replacement.
Her hair spun and slapped her neck, but she hardly noticed. Her vision was blurry and red and a few shadows had settled around her. Her vision was struggling to focus, but it was practically impossible; the only thing that was clear were the figures and the one trying to save her. She couldn't breathe, but the need for air was gone. Her throat stopped burning, her body had relaxed, and her clothes hung heavily and limply to her tiny body.
"What... What's happened to me?" She asked, looking up at the hooded face in front of her. The cloak covered everything about him except for his fingers. His bone fingers. Which were wrapped around her wrists. Her dry, thin, bone wrists.
"I never thought this would happen." His voice soft, almost hurt. He raised his head, and let go of her. The world had calmed.
"But... What has happened?" She tried to see through the dark shadow covering his face, but her eyes kept turning to her own mutations. She couldn't scream. She almost tried, but the feeling in her throat told her she couldn't.
He sighed heavily, almost feeling a tear fall and a smile appear on the ghost formation of his flesh.
"Here..." He extended his arm and unfolded his fingers. There, a thin, silver handle was placed. As her fingertips gracefully touched the surface, a silver blade appeared out.
She tried to let out a small gasp, but not even air was taken in. She looked at him confusedly and slowly reached to his hood.
He thought of nothing but her previous beauty, refusing to replace it with her appearance now.
"Good luck..." He whispered as she pulled the cloak back over his head, and fell limp in her hands. Nothing but dust was carried gently through the air, the thick, black robe falling through at the absense of a body inside. She understood.
As she slowly stood, blade in hand, she placed to cloak on herself. Her body thin, nothing but bone and pieces of decaying skin clinging to. She looked forward, seeing the shadows still and stare at her new form.
"Friends.... Show me my new target."
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