Cota: Page 46

For some reason that I’m still looking into, I’ve been unable to access my website for the past 24 hours or so. The site is still there, but my password doesn’t work, so I’m unable to upload new content. Awesome.

BUT, I can still make blog posts, so I’m putting the next page(s) of “Court of the Abominatrix” here.

Page 46

Steve had no idea what was going on behind him. He didn’t dare think about it, even for a moment.

He’d wandered in front of the gibbering horde of insanity purely by accident, and since then he’d been running with no thought or plan other than to run as far and as fast as he could. It was a random turn that brought him back to the others, and as he bolted past them the only thought in his mind was that if he could run faster…

…if he could run faster than at least SOME of them…

…then the horrors behind him would catch THEM first, and maybe spare him for a few seconds more.

He rounded the corner and chased Kyle down a side passage for what seemed like hours before the younger man… a kid, really… slowed and looked behind them.

“Where IS everybody!?”

“I don’t care!” Steve shouted. “GOGO!”

Kyle started running faster, but the fuel of panic was gone from his stride. He was still fast, but not terrified.

Steve didn’t bother to look. Even if the corridor were completely empty, the mere memory of those things was enough to drive him-

“-HUH!?” Steve skidded to a halt before a narrow gap in the wall to his left. “Hey… Hey KID!”

Kyle darted around a corner ahead and was gone. Steve considered going after him… but only for a moment. When that moment was over, Steve squeezed through the gap and entered a small octagonal area. Not courtyard… more like the size of a large closet. There were multiple entrances, each narrow and each leading to a different corridor. But one of the walls… the one directly across from the Steve… had something other than a narrow crack for an entrance.

It had a door.

A massive iron door.

“Hell yeah,” said Steve. This time he did risk a glance behind him, and through the other gaps in the walls as well, but nothing oozed or climbed or skittered after him. Kyle’s footfalls were long gone, and those of Frank and the others had yet to appear… if they ever did.

He was alone. Alone with the door…and the pages that told how to open it.

Almost.

There was the small matter of the key. He’d hoped to find it before he found a door. Or, failing that, find a door and discover that the key was irrelevant. But this door was solid, and when Steve twisted, pulled and pushed on the circular handle, neither it nor the door gave any sign of moving.

“Hell, there’s not even a keyhole…” Steve muttered. He shuffled through the pages he still held in his hand. They’d come quite a long way before Steve found them, and a few minutes of panicked flight hadn’t managed to damage them any further. But they still didn’t point toward a key. Only incomprehensible drawings and text that was clearly the work of a madman. At first Steve thought the drawings may have been the mysterious ‘map’ mentioned in the text, but-

-steve frowned at one of the pages, turning it upside down and then right side up. Then he faced the door and repeated the ritual, looking from parchment to door and back to parchment again.

The handle. The deep circular indentation traversed by a metal bar…

It was on the page. In the lower right-hand corner. Above it was a moderately elaborate symbol composed of lines and curves, and a hand with all the fingers but one folded down. The one extended finger-

-was drawing the symbol. On the door!

And above it all was the title in clear Latin text: ‘Sign of the Traveler’.

Could it be that simple?

Could he be that naive to actually THINK it was that simple?

“One way to find out,” Steve said as he placed his fingertip on the iron and began tracing the symbol from the page.

EDIT: Here’s the link for this page in the Library.


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