A teaser for a novel in development. One must lead where doom is certain and hope is lost.
Death, mortality’s ultimate plight, inescapable and inevitable in its infinite forms. A great beyond, shrouded in darkness, awaits where every soul is destined to journey after passing through life’s turbulent coil. Departed souls are replenished with the birth of new experiences, each unique from the time they’re born, until their bitter demise.
By decree of the divine, humanity has unknowingly bestowed the responsibility to preserve balance in their Worlds, given morality as a gift to self-govern, although always gazed upon by an all-seeing eye.
In consequence of one man’s unquenchable greed, the Kingdom of Azura had entangled its destiny with the wrath of God and would trigger the act of purification, called Judgement Day, also referred to as “the beginning of the end.”
King Hendrick, a ruler hell-bent on conquest, led a crusade against the holy land to obtain valuable resources to fund his ambitions for global domination. Hendrick convinced his subjects through a campaign to disparage the religious significance of what was merely a small desert island, claiming its protection served only as a benefit to their enemies.
Worshippers that chose to live in peaceful solitude were massacred without warning, immediately after Hendrick’s fleet landed on the shores in the dead of night, a swift and fierce onslaught that granted no mercy. Legions marched to each settlement, leaving copious trails of blood that dripped from their boots, soaking into the sand beneath them.
Not all were convinced to follow Hendrick’s direction, for one of his royal knights used their cunning to stay garrisoned at the castle, to serve as the King’s protector, one who could command the reserve army in the event of war on home soil. This decision marked the knight a coward in the minds of his peers, tarnishing a decorated service record to King and country, a sacrifice that his soul felt content to make.
The final murder of this blasphemous will, a young girl found huddled in the corner of a barn, unable to retreat any further, exhausted both physically and mentally. The screeching for a mother’s aid did not hinder the force of the halberd that struck her down.
As Hendrick’s final victim fell, the ground shook violently underneath his addled crusaders, forcing them to their knees. When the tremors paused, the soldier’s eyes widened in horror, as the corpses arose from the dead frozen in fright watching as skeletal limbs clawed up from the sands to emerge.
Mindless vessels pursued the men methodically, slow in approach, as they dragged damaged limbs, and scathed flesh.
Glancing at one another in disbelief, the soldiers were struck breathless to see their fellow kinsmen were crippled with age, paralyzed on their knees, unable to carry the armor strapped onto their bodies. One by one, the dead ripped them apart, leaving no survivors, just as they had done, and left barely a recognizable trace to distinguish human remains.
The horde lumbered its way into the sea, corpses continuing to rise, as the dead marched on in hordes. In all directions the undead walked into the water in droves, gravitating towards civilizations, in hunger of flesh; the cleansing of humanity had only just begun.