Tales from the Crypt: Mist Walker
The world spun as Rayner slowly drifted back into consciousness, becoming aware of sharp rocks digging into his back and pulsating pain from his head and right leg. He opened his eyes and stared into the evening sky and he remembered what had just transpired. He had just wanted to blow off a bit of steam so he had decided to take a short ride on his horse. He had been on his way home, but his horse got spooked by a snake and bucked him off, throwing him off a ledge near the trail. A ledge that, as he glanced towards it, he could tell was easily 30 feet high.
He reached a hand around the back of his head to survey the damage and let out a hiss of pain as his fingertips brushed against a gash. Tenderly feeling around he could tell it wasn’t too deep, but even so his hand was stained a deep crimson when he pulled it away. Slowly he sat up, squeezing his eyes shut when his vision wavered and a wave of nausea overcame him. When he no longer felt he was going to vomit he looked at his leg and immediately knew it was broken. The lower part of his leg was snapped and unnaturally bent, and he could see small rivulets of blood where shards of bone had pierced through the flesh. Glancing up towards the sky once more he saw the sun was already beginning to dip below the horizon, and he felt a wave of urgency rush over him; he needed to get home fast, he wouldn’t last against the horrors that lurk in the night.
Looking around and taking in his surroundings, he rummaged around in the foliage and pulled out a few sticks that would suit his needs. Clenching one of them between his teeth, he reached down and, in one quick motion, set his broken leg to a much more natural position. The following wave of pain was near unbearable and spots danced in his vision threatening to plunge him back into darkness, and he was dimly aware of the stick shattering to nothing more than splinters in his mouth. After a minute or so the pain dulled to a throbbing, and he tore off a piece of fabric from his shirt and made a makeshift splint for his leg. Grabbing a sturdy looking branch, he hauled himself up and started hobbling his way back to his house.
After a few minutes of walking the sun was now fully under the horizon and the world around Rayner was cloaked in darkness, only the dim light from the stars and moon guided him. He struggled to see where he was going, one wrong step and he wasn’t sure he would be able to get back up. As he slowly made his way through the undergrowth he started to feel a creeping dread start to overtake him and felt as though he was being watched. He darted his eyes around and looked for anything abnormal, but he saw nothing. Even so, that feeling of dread just continued to grow as the moments ticked on, and he picked up his pace.
Now half speed walking and half stumbling through the forest, he could feel his heart pounding in chest and hear the blood rushing in his ears as the dread refused to abate. He tried to reassure himself that he was just overreacting and imagining things to no avail. Then, in seemingly an instant, it felt as though a veil of darkness was drawn away from Rayner’s eyes that he failed to notice before. As he took in the now moderately brighter night he could sense the presence of something coalescing behind him. He whipped around to come face to face with a slightly wispy, dark, gaunt creature with no eyes. Before he could even react the monster lashed out and ripped out his throat with its claws. Rayner gurgled and choked on his blood as he collapsed to the ground. As his consciousness began to wane, he could feel as it began to tear him apart and feast on him as the world faded away.