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Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

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    Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

    It was a brisk night in Fairmount Park as Daniel took a relaxing stroll. He was on his way home from Yoga class and decided to take a more scenic route as he sometimes would to help the quiet meditative feeling as opposed to taking the noisier city streets. It was definitely quiet, just the gentle crack of gravel beneath Daniel's sneakers and a soft whisper of cool wind wisping through his hair. The trail he took was dark but dimly lit by an occasional light, just enough to be able to see but not enough to white-wash the scenery.

    When Daniel entered the soft glowing light of the next trail lamp, he saw a woman far up ahead sitting on a bench. It might have been a bit strange to see someone sitting all alone but wasn't completely out of the ordinary. He'd decided to take the park stroll after all, and it was rare but not totally uncommon for him to come across other people on his way to the end of the trail. He hadn't been able to get a good look at her yet, but just as she was starting to come into focus, a few pieces of dust got in Daniel's eyes. It didn't take long to blink and rub away the pesky dust, but when he recovered he noticed the woman was gone... She couldn't have gone away that quickly could she? Just like that, Daniel was alone again, just with wispy cool breeze as his companion.

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    #2
    Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

    The red duffel filled with his workout gear hanging loosely over his shoulder, Danielle strolled leisurely through the darkened park along a scenic path that would take him a little bit longer to get him home than walking straight through the city streets might. He was in no real hurry, and the quiet in comparison to the faster route was a pleasant boon that he took full advantage of. His workout hadn't been particularly strenuous today, and he still had a decent amount of energy left, so the walk doubly served to see his reserves taken care of so that he'd be able to sleep soundly once he got home.

    Spotting the woman sitting on the bench up ahead, Daniel made little more than a minor mental note of her, intending simply to walk by and maybe give her a wave as he passed by. That motion turned into a reach for his face as something inexplicably got into his eyes, half blinding for a moment until he'd managed to rub whatever it was out. When he looked up again the girl that'd been sitting on the bench was simply gone, and Daniel frowned silently to himself without stopping. Had he imagined her? No... She'd been quite distinct, and he hadn't ever had hallucinations before, not even when he'd had far too much to drink. She couldn't have moved in the few seconds it had taken him to work whatever it was out of his eyes... Frowning a little harder, he decided that it didn't matter.

    Quickening his pace, Daniel opted to hurry towards the exit of the park, though his rate of movement didn't yet reach a speed beyond a quick walk.
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      #3
      Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

      All seemed quiet as Daniel quickened his pace with not a sound but for his footsteps and his breathing, the constant companion of any lone walking man in a silent wood. At least he seemed to be alone, but what about the woman he'd seen sitting on the bench? As Daniel continued, there was no sign of her at all. Even as he passed the bench where he was sure he'd seen the mysterious woman, nothing happened... that is until... crunch! - a sudden snapping sound! ...Oh wait that was just an ill-placed stick Daniel had stepped on. Rats.

      Just as Daniel realized it though, there was a low rustling sound from the woods to his right. There wasn't any visible threat if he looked, but Daniel could only see beyond a few bushes and trees. Everything else was dark, just as the forests in the stories he'd read would seem, holding mysterious wonders and dreadful monsters alike. Perhaps the woods in his own city were not much different than in the stories. Night time sure had a way of making it feel that way anyhow.

      The rustling stopped at first, almost as if whatever was making the sounds became aware of Daniel's presence just as he had of it's own. All was quiet for a few moments until slow plodding footsteps crunched their way through the wood, slowly getting closer to Daniel. At the same time that was happening, the silhouette of a black cat appeared further down the road. It stopped and looked back at Daniel as if curiously observing what he would do.

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        #4
        Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

        The sudden crunch of a branch beneath his foot caused Daniel to jump a good bit more than he'd likely have admitted in public, his heartbeat suddenly racing as adrenaline spiked. It took about a half-second for him to realize that he'd just stepped on a stick, and then he started mentally berating himself for being so jumpy... And thus didn't immediately notice that he'd stopped walking. Then the rustling in the woods off to the side startled him again, albeit not nearly as much, and he turned his head in that direction and listened as his hands clenched into fists.

        For a second he thought he'd imagined it, but then the clear sound of someone... Or as his imagination was keen to supply in that moment, something, lumbering through the bushes. 'Right. Creepy.' Daniel thought silently to himself, and as the footsteps drew closer he opted to start forward at an increased pace only to stop again as he spotted the silhouette of a cat sitting in the path ahead of him. 'Make that extra creepy with a side of fries.' Glancing at the woods from which the sounds of movement were probably drawing fairly close, he started forward again, his senses on high alert and his body ready to jump into a run. He was walking very quickly now, and intended to make for the nearest exit to the park regardless of its distance from his home.
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          #5
          Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

          Thud...thud...thud. Daniel's heart pounded in his chest as he sped up his walk away from the ever encroaching sounds coming from the wooded area behind him and to the right. It wasn't just footsteps and crunches now either but also a distinctive, guttural moan.... yes a guttural moan.

          The gurgling moans seemed to have creeped out the black cat as well, as it had pushed itself back on its haunches, glaring past Daniel and hissing like crazy. Just then, a horrifying creature bounded out of the woods and onto the path behind Daniel. It was like nothing he had ever seen, not even in the worst horror movies! The creature looked like it had once been a man, but its face was twisted and deformed beyond recognition. Blood and dirt coated its whole body. One of its arms was inhumanly long and shaped like a massive fleshy cudgel, forcing it to hunch over to the side. Even worse, fleshy tentacles protruded and wiggled all around its face.

          At first, the creature seemed confused and disoriented until its beady black eyes focused right on Daniel, bursting out with a blood curdling roar, its fleshy tentacled maw opening up and wiggling around frighteningly, stretching out right toward Daniel as the creature suddenly bounded right toward him! Try as he might, he couldn't escape the creature's tentacley grasp, slimy blood-soaked tentacles lashing out and grabbing him around the neck and pulling him back toward that toothy maw....

          Struggle and flail as he might, it looked like Daniel was going to be this freaky monster's dinner... when suddenly something happened. There was a loud thud behind him. The creature sputtered, its tentacles going limp and sliding off him. Turning around, Daniel saw the monster falling to the ground in a heap with a hatchet buried in the back of its head. In its place stood a pale woman with long black hair obscuring most of her face, except that the one eye he could see seemed to glow in the dark. She was wearing a long black skirt with combat boots, but most importantly, she'd just buried a hatchet in that thing's skull! She just looked at him blankly with her glowing eye for a moment before twisting her head around to stare at the woods, ripping the hatchet out of the monster's skull and whirling around in a combat stance. There were more gurgling moans coming from all around them now...

          If he hadn't run away yet, she'd toss him the hatchet, with a snort, simply saying. "You're gonna need this more than me, kid."

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            #6
            Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

            Daniel's head snapped to the side again as he heard the low guttural moan, his adrenaline spiking even higher than it had before, but that didn't even begin to prepare him for what came stumbling out of the bushes a few frightened heartbeats later. The.... Thing, that came stumbling out of the bushes was only humanoid enough to make the mutated sight of it all the more horrifying, and after a pause that could be measured in heartbeats he decided that the cat had had the right idea and started sprinting away.

            He wasn't fast enough. Bloody tendrils wrapped around his throat, stopping him in place and causing him to emit a choked gasp as he was yanked back towards the foul thing's toothy maw, the duffel bag containing most of his gym stuff dropping off of his shoulder. Struggling with all of his adrenaline fueled might, Daniel couldn't pull away from the freakishly strong abomination, and if he'd been able to breath he would have started screaming at any second, his mind reeling as he expected to feel teeth sinking into his flesh at any second....

            And then suddenly he was rescued, as the creature stiffened and then collapsed, releasing its hold on him as it tumbled to the ground at his feet. Turning around with his mouth gaping, Daniel didn't even realize that he was panting as his eyes flitted between the hatchet buried in the back of the monster's head and the woman in black who'd seemingly buried it there. Dark hair, pale skin, an eye that seemed to glow in the dark, his eyes filled all of the details in naturally as he gazed in silence at his rescuer, his conscious mind still trying to catch up to it all. He caught the hatchet in numb hands that reached out reflexively as the weapon was flung in his direction, and that was enough to kickstart his brain back into the present.

            "Uhhh.... Thanks," he started lamely, though he didn't particularly think too much of it at the time. There were more gurgling sounds coming from all around them, and his adrenaline spiked again, only this time it was somewhat decidedly on the "fight" side of his instincts. "I know this is kind of a bad time, but... What in the hell are those things?" he said quietly as he surveyed the dark woods. He had no idea what he was doing, but he possessed enough situational awareness to know that trying to run would probably only get him killed. It was utterly and completely insane, but.... Well, he didn't exactly have much of a choice at the moment.

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            Last edited by Tassadar; 4th March 2013, 03:47.
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              #7
              Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

              The gurgling groans grew louder around them, getting closer and closer as if a net was being pulled taut around the pair. The woman in black didn't seem to mind though, in fact she seemed even to enjoy the situation!

              "I wouldn't thank me just yet," she said as an evil smirk curled at the corner of her lips. "No time for questions. Suffice to say, they want to eat you for dinner.... if you're lucky." She reached out and pinched Daniel's cheek with unearthly cold fingers, those glowing eyes gazing into his own. "If you're not, maybe they'd haul that baby face of your's back to their master."

              As more creatures shuffled out of the woods and onto the path, Daniel noticed that although each had the same tentacley maw and fleshy cudgel arm, each also had a distinctive appearance. It was as though each one was transformed from an individual human being!

              "Use it as incentive eh? Aim for the head or the neck." Was the woman's last piece of advice for Daniel before she took off like a bolt of lightning toward one of the stronger looking creatures. It roared and tried to swing its cudgel arm at her, but it was way too slow. She blocked it easily, jabbed her elbow into its midsection, and twirled around, wrenching that cudgel arm right off its body in a shower of blood, then proceeding to whip the cudgel around and hit it in the face with its own creepy arm cudgel!

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                #8
                Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

                'If I'm lucky?' he thought to himself, and then tried (and failed) to scowl fiercely when the woman reached over and pinched his cheek. The fuck? Was she crazy? And why was she so cold? Daniel didn't let his mind dwell on the numerous questions bubbling up in his mind, at least not while the gurgling noises were still drawing closer from every direction. "Right," he said in response to his mysterious savior, but she was already moving. He gaped in awe for the first few seconds as she surged forward, displaying strength to match her inhuman speed.

                He didn't have long to gawk though, as the monsters were closing in, and as much as he might want to run, Daniel knew that he wasn't fast enough to get away from all of them. Gripping the hatchet in his hand tightly, Daniel copied the strange woman's tactic and rushed the nearest of the creatures. He'd lived in cities for most of his life, so he hadn't ever done much wood chopping, but it wasn't exactly a complex weapon and his adrenaline was pumping enough that he could swing it hard and fast enough to connect... He hoped. Minding the woman's advice, Daniel swung in a straight line for the monster's face with all the strength he could muster, trying to replicate what she'd done from the front.
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                  #9
                  Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

                  Twack. Daniel sliced the hatchet right between the eyes of the nearest monster. Success! Daniel could hardly believe his eyes as the monster fell over backward. That was just too easy for a scary monster. But wait... the hatchet was stuck in the monster's skull. He'd hit it so hard that when he pulled back the handle pulled right off! Momentarily caught off guard by the unexpected turn of events, Daniel turned toward the nearest monster to fend off its attack. Even though there was no hatchet, he still had a stick...

                  But then... Klunk! Feeling a forceful club behind his head, Daniel stagged forward onto his knees and went face first into the dirt. Stars swirled about his head rapidly. The world was a swirl of strange colors and even stranger moans and groans. Even though he was laying on the ground, it seemed like the dirt was rushing up to him and against him, enveloping him in darkness... and then... black.

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  Quite a bit later - it was hard to say how long, Daniel's eyes fluttered open. He felt groggy with a pesky sharp pain in the back of his head where he'd been slugged. He also had the strange sensation as if he was upside down, or rather, slung over someone's shoulder as the world slowly moved about him. Although it was hard to make out what was what, he could tell that the woman in black had slung him over her shoulder as if he was a sack of potatoes. She didn't seem to have any trouble carrying him either.

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                    #10
                    Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

                    Success! The hatchet smacked with a satisfying clunk into the monster's face, imbedding deep into its skull, and it fell backwards... Taking the head of the god damn piece of shit axe with it. It was something that he'd likely think of as silly later, but the very first thought that ran through his mind as he stared at the stick that he now held was that he'd broken that woman's hatchet, and that he'd have to apologize to her later. The sheer absurdity of that thought and the rest of his own situation caught up to him immediately, and he let out the first notes of what was chugging steadily towards hysterical laughter just before something smashed into the back of his head.

                    'How the shit... Came from... Behind...' were his last thoughts as he dropped to the ground with blackness closing in, falling face first onto the creature that he'd just killed.

                    ~~~~~~~~~

                    Daniel came to with a surprisingly not horrendous headache to find himself still alive, and not even about to be torn apart by monsters. Always a plus! When he'd finished being positive, he let out a soft groan and forced his eyes to flit open. He was still groggy, but after a moment he realized that he was being carried.... No, that he was slung over someone's shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Forcing his eyes open, he let out a hiss of relief as he realized that it was the chick that had come to his rescue rather than one of the horrific monsters that had preceded her appearance, and he relaxed for a moment before giving a light squirm and saying; "Alright, I think everything's still working... And I'm awake. What'd I miss?"
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                      #11
                      Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

                      The woman in black adjusted Daniel over her shoulder when he moved. It had grown considerably darker, and they were moving through the thick of the woods.

                      "Ah, it awakens from its long torpor. You missed pretty much the entirety of the battle. A fiend tried to eat your brains, but Narcissa distracted it until I could send it back to the hellish place from whence it came."

                      Meow... came a sound from just beneath Daniel. Sure enough, the black cat from before was eagerly following the pair, looking right up in Daniel's eyes as she plodded along after the woman. "Wouldn't recommend getting on that one's bad side."

                      The woman kept going for a little while longer until she entered a cave, guarded on each side by a pair of bears, yes, bears. One was slovenly holding a bowl of purple juices up to his face with its paws while the other one suspiciously watched Daniel as the woman walked past. Once past the guard bears, she pulled down a large lever. With a snap and a hiss, the great big cavern lit up. Wires were strung along the top of the cavern almost like a bunch of white Christmas lights. There was an armory of axes, swords, hatchets, and mace along one wall, but on the opposite side was a bunch of electronics including a large plasma television. There was also a bed with tables and other furniture about the cave, most of which was carved from logs but seemed comfy enough. The woman dumped Daniel down on the bed, while Narcissa climbed up and sniffed at his arm curiously.

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                        #12
                        Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

                        "Oh! Well, be sure to thank..." Daniel trailed off as he spotted the black cat, the creature that the lady in black seemed to indicate, before more quietly finishing; "...Narcissa for me." He was carried through the woods to a cave.... A cave that was guarded by bears. Two of them. That tiny little tidbit set alarm bells off in his still-aching head, but after one of them glared at him and the woman carrying him entered the cave and activated a set of track lighting within the surprisingly well furnished cave, Daniel simply opted to go with the flow. His sanity threatened to exit stage left every time he tried to think rationally about his situation, so he might as well just relax and not try to think too much.

                        Plopped down on the bed, Daniel immediately reached for the still-stinging back of his head, touching the spot where he'd presumably been hit gingerly and trying to feel the wound. "So. Question! ....Did someone spike my water or something? Or am I just having a really fucked up dream? Cuz, uhh..... The monsters in the park was one thing, and the superhuman goth chick was another, but.... Guard bears for the batcave kinda drops off the edge of sane for me." He glanced at the cat as it jumped up and started sniffing at his arm, and reflexively reached out to pet the creature before pausing and glancing back at his mysterious rescuer, "Can I pet, uhhh... Narcissa?"

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                          #13
                          Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

                          Feeling the wound on his head, it stung Daniel a little. There was definitely a lump there. One of those bumps that hurt when you touch it but didn't feel too bad when left alone. It would likely be okay in a day or two though, assuming Daniel lived that long!

                          The lady in black snorted. "I couldn't tell you about the water. This is Philadelphia after all. Your story does sound a bit odd though doesn't it? If you a dreaming then, why not just wake up? Surely you could if you wanted to."

                          Narcissa rubbed her head against Daniel's hand, purring quietly and looking up at him with her deep red eyes, the same color as the one's the lady in black had as she turned on the plasma television hanging on the opposite wall of the cave.

                          On the television, there was a news reporter, a blonde woman with a red blouse and skirt talking somberly into a microphone.

                          "Tonight, we have learned of an attack in Fairmount Park. According to eye witness accounts, a young man in a windbreaker was mugged by a pair of men wearing hoodies and carrying baseball bats. The victim, Daniel Siegbert, is missing and presumed dead. According to police officials, any information would be helpful but they aren't counting on anything. In fact, according to the local police chief, and I quote, 'We may as well just get ready for the annual police softball league at this point.' And back to Jumpin' Joe for the sports news you've been waiting for..."

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                            #14
                            Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

                            "Good point!" Daniel replied to the black-clad woman while idly petting the apparently affectionate cat that had hopped up onto the bed with him. His smile vanished as he watched the news report that his rescuer turned on. Listening to the annunciation of his own apparent death wasn't exactly a mood softener. "Well.... That's probably going to be a nightmare to clean up," he muttered darkly, and then turned to the woman in black and said aloud; "So... Where exactly are we? It's not that I'm not grateful, but I've got work tomorrow and need to get home at some point tonight. On the off chance that this isn't some sort of dream or hallucination, I should probably at least try to get back there tonight."

                            He paused and then inwardly slapped himself, and added; "I'm Daniel, the poor sap on the news, by the way. I don't think I've got a name for you just yet, have I?" He paused briefly and eyed the strange woman, and then said; "It's not that I'm not grateful for the, uhhh, rescue.... But this has been a pretty big one on the weird-o-meter, and I'm not even sure if I want to ask any of the obvious questions at this point."
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                              #15
                              Re: Fear of the Dark: Daniel Siegbert

                              The woman in black frowned and clicked off the TV after hearing the report. "Never trust someone to do something that you can do better yourself... hmmm Narcissa." The black cat meowed in reply and looked up. "Go take care of that reporter will you?" Narcissa, orders in paw, immediately hopped off the bed and scampered out of the cavern.

                              After watching Narcissa go, the woman in black moved over to Daniel, pushing him onto his back and getting on top of him, holding him down if he resists. Her dark hair hung over her face and brushed against him. In the lit cavern, the woman's eyes no longer glowed, but oddly enough, they appeared to be distinctly feline with yellow irises and a narrow pupil.

                              "So many questions. My name is Miranda. Don't worry about your silly human job though. You won't be going back there, nor to your home. Didn't you listen to the news? You're dead, nobody cares, and you're mine now." Miranda grinned, leaning closer and looking into Daniel's eyes. "Awww does that bother you Daniel Siegbert? This is just an awful dream remember? Try extra hard, and I'm sure you'll just wake up in the safety of your bed."

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