The Last Mercy of a True Friend

The corrupt vessel emerged from the over-sized cauldron, its defiled form a grotesque mockery of a human being. It stood taller now, bones had been relocated, some stretched outright. Puffy flesh, reminiscent of maggots, clung here and there, acting as a spongy carapace. Faces were an unnecessary vanity here and only the vaguest hints remained.

One halting step after another, it began to adjust to its new form. In a few hours it would be nearly unstoppable.

If I hadn’t watched it all, I never would have guessed that that was once my friend.

When the Corpse Rider stopped in our village to collect upon ancient debts, Philippe had not hid well enough and the village had had no choice but to turn him over to the Rider as partial payment.

I followed his screams to this unholy place, carrying only a simple hatchet for we owned no weapons.

The first blow caught him offguard. He whirled to face me and upon recognizing me, his face softened.

“Thank you.” He croaked.

I set my jaw and finished the job.

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