[personal profile] plug_in_baby57
So this is for a thing I might have mentioned somewhere about a desert of ghosts. Which doesn't do it any real justice. Basically I have this idea for a world, but no real plot beyond a general motivation. I haven't actually named the main character yet. In fact the only name I'm sure about is Cordelia. Anyway, mostly doing world building and still a long way to an actual story yet.

Seeing as not much is concrete yet, if this intrigues you and you have questions about this world, ask away. It may help the ideas flow. On with the writing:

It didn't take long in the desert wasteland to get used to things being out of the ordinary. There had been deaths in the tens of millions, all life had turned to sand and the only things that remained were burnt shells of the old city dotted around. Death on that scale had an effect though. The unsettlingly vague feeling of being watched was constant. Involuntary shivers were common despite the sweltering heat. And things lived in the ruins. Just what those things were, was the hot topic amongst the group and they couldn't agree on answer.

However, the puzzled looks they exchanged suggested they that had agreed that what they were seeing was real. Or at least, they were all having the same hallucination if not. In a nearby doorway in the ruins, was a woman. She looked ancient, haggard and stooped over, seemingly ready to collapse. She almost looked as if she could have been there during the war that annihilated the city two hundred years ago.

Not for the first time, our hero, the former soldier searching for his dear sister Cordelia, was stumped. Having once been an officer, the group readily expected him to take charge but this time he was drawing a blank. What was a woman of her age doing this deep in the desert, and alone at that? He, a fit young man in his prime, had barely made it, so how did she? The thought struck him that maybe she was one of the things. The thought came too late.

James, the foolish boy who always wore his heart on his sleeve, had approached her. James had come to the desert on a dare, the other four of the group all searching for something lost. He was a naive young boy whose approach with words "Are you okay?" unwittingly signed his own death warrant.

As he neared the woman, her demeanour suddenly changed. She went from the verge of collapse to appearing like an animal stalking it's prey. Her head snapped around to look at James, and without warning she let out a screeching wail, before throwing her arms back to reveal what had once appeared to be tattered rags she wore, as being more like the leathery wings of a bat. Our hero fell to the ground, hands over ears, the screech seemingly tearing his ears apart. He could see the rest of the group desperately trying to block the screeching wail as he was. He could faintly hear their screaming that suggested they were failing as much as he was, but the wail and the pain it caused in his head dominated all.

There was a sudden flurry of sand in the air and the wail was over and the woman gone. Our hero slowly pulled himself from the floor, noticing a smear of claret on his left hand. Returning it to his ear, he felt the blood dripping from it. He looked around, seeing the rest of the group recovering similarly.

"Everyone okay" he called. There was a chorus of affirmations from everyone except James, who seemed to be poking and jiggling a finger in his ear. Our hero staggered over to him and asked him again.

James' reply was a rather loud and confused "What?".

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