Horror on the Orient Express
Eleventh entry - in the caves
The cavern they had reached was as hellish as his memories from the Great War. There was carnage everywhere; bodies bludgeoned and battered to death were strewn across the floor. What was different and decidedly weird was the fifteen foot tall pyramid of skulls in various stages of decomposition. For a wonder his brother wasn`t getting excited over it, but instead seemed to be concentrating on what could be words carved into the rock. Far less gruesome than what Spencer and Everett were doing.
James and some of the major’s guards had gone onto over watch as Angus had moved around the scene with the major, trying to make sense of what had happened. There were a lot of dead, but the amount of spilled blood was far less than he would have expected to see. The markings on the body were strange – they had been clawed and bitten but no matter how the Major tried to find a mundane animal that could be blamed, they both knew that no normal animal matched what they were seeing. That many of the bodies seemed to be decaying in strange ways struck Angus as odd initially, but then passages from his brother’s infernal journals rose to mind.
These sections, decaying faster than the rest of the bodies, were the pieces that had been harvested from others and magically spliced together. Now the new host was dead the magical energy holding them together and animating the harvested parts was dissipating and the accelerated decay was the evidence.
Tosh and nonsense! That sort of thinking was for quacks like Quentin or the unhinged like Travis, not a lieutenant in His Majesty’s Forces.
Looking for something to distract his thoughts from that line, he saw a line of blood leading to the back of the cave. A most welcome diversion seeing how the American had coerced the smaller man to scale the skulls! Understandably Spencer wasn`t enamoured with this duty, but really? Having a tantrum at the top? Angus called for Travis to deal with his ranting pet, and followed the blood line.
At the end was a body, literally pulled apart, ripped limb from limb. Beneath it was a gap, a small tunnel leading under the back wall. With the Major’s assurance, Angus had reached down and groped around. 2 fresh bulbs of garlic came out – what were they doing down there? – but there was something else still, something larger. Forcing himself as tight against the rock face as he could, reaching for those extra few centimetres, he ended up gashing his cheek. Annoyance briefly flared up, but the need to finish the job and get out of here was more important. His brother could deal with the wound easily enough when they were in the light.
Slowly he managed to roll the object closer and then, hooking a hand around it was able to lift it out. It was strange, and looked like a head piece from a statue, but there was no time to look at it, they were under attack.
Figures with long clawed hands charged them. Gun fire echoes around the cavern. The major warned of one coming at Angus, who spun and fanned his gun into the things chest. Three solid strikes. It fell.
Looking about he tried to see where his brother was and what was happening. That was when he noticed the thing he had just shot start to get up.
What the ….
This was literally the nightmare that Travis had written off. And it seemed to be real.