The Legend of Archibal: The Phantom

Mr. Arnold began to run as fast as his stubby legs could carry him. Walter staid to see what Mr. Adair was pointing at but it was too dark too see and in that moment, a black mass overtook Mr. Adair. He yelled a horrible yell. Walter has never heard a man yell in such a way and it made him shiver to his bones. He had to find Mr. Arnold to warn him even if he couldn’t hear him. He had to try. He ran in the direction Mr. Arnold went. He didn’t have to go far. Mr. Arnold ran as slow as he walked.

“Mr. Adair,” Mr. Arnold quietly called out. He had stopped when he heard Mr. Adair cry in agony.

“You need to go!” Walter shouted but Mr. Arnold couldn’t hear him. “Run!”

Mr. Arnold must have been afraid because he stood where he was. In minutes, whatever had beset Mr. Adair overpowered Mr. Arnold. Walter’s eye grew large in fright. A fear he never imagined to feel. All he could make out was a black mass. It wasn’t even happening to him but it unnerved him terribly. It all transpired as quickly as it started. Once the mass away it unveiled the lifeless body of Mr. Arnold. Now Walter knew the fate of Mr. Clough’s friend.

Without a notice, his surroundings began to whirl rapidly, changing from one scene to another. He wasn’t in the woods anymore but in the cemetery. It had the same dark grey eerie tone as the last one, so Walter knew he was still in the past. Was it Alden’s Uncle’s past he was looking at? Walter waited to see. Nothing happened at first until he heard the argy bargy behind a mausoleum. Walter walked around the mausoleum to see who was arguing. There stood two men in deep discussion. Walter recognized the elderly Mr. Clough and guessed the other man was his son, Alden’s Uncle. Walter could see the resemblance between Alden and his Uncle. They were uncanny alike. The Uncle was the calmer of the too it was Mr. Bagley who was in a conniption of anger but the Uncle looked more sad than upset.

“How could you let this happen!” barked Mr. Clough.

“I’m sorry father.”

“This is all your fault! Why would you let him go?”

“I didn’t know. Honestly, I didn’t.”

“Of course you didn’t! You never think you just do!” Mr. Clough had both hands in a fist. He was obviously cross about something. But why were they conversing in the cemetery?

“I didn’t mean to. I just–”

“I can’t trust you for a second, Edward!”

“Father, please,” Edward pleaded.

“You’re no son of mine!” Mr. Clough storms off in a huff, leaving his son more upset than he had been. Walter was stupefied at the last words he said to his son. What had Edward done to cause Mr. Clough go into a ballyhoo? Was it that unforgivable? How could he have said that to him? What a terrible thing to say. Walter felt sorry for Edward who stood ashamed. Instead of leaving the cemetery, Edward roamed through it. He was obviously thinking of what he had done because he kept his hands in his overcoat pockets with his head hung low.

The moon was not upon the cemetery it was hidden behind the mountain, leaving the cemetery in a darker shade. Walter didn’t have to wait to see Edward’s fate. A black mass came upon Edward, wrapping him in its deathly matter and left. There laid Edward on the ground, cold and still. Walter watched in horror as the black mass stopped and turned to look in Walter’s direction. He identified the shadow. It was the phantom with the outline of his top hat, crooked nose, curved back, claw like fingers and sharp teeth. It looked like any shadow, only ghastly. He remembers what Odin had told him and felt more terror-stricken being so close to it. What was it looking at? It can’t be me, Walter thought. He didn’t even exist in the past. Could he smell his fear?  The shadow turned back and slinked into the woods.

Walter was left alone in the cemetery. When he looked back, Edward’s body was concealed in a clear film of fog. This explains what happened to Alden’s Uncle. Walter waited to be transported back to his room but nothing happened. It had transported him to the past without Walter asking it to, he assumed it would return him to his room. He took out the ring and before he could wish himself back to his room someone approached. Walter looked up to see a man advance with precaution.

The man held up a bow and arrow, ready to shoot at anything that moved. Walter couldn’t see the man’s face because it was covered by a dark brown slouch hat. As the man got nearer Walter could see he was tall, wore a dark brown leather inverness coat, leather gloves and preacher boots. Walter wondered if he was a hunter and if so what was he doing in the cemetery? The man saw Edward’s body and lowered his bow. He knelt beside the body and checked for signs of life. When he found none he stood up and looked around. Walter noticed his elegant quiver, equipped with unusual arrows. Walter wasn’t a hunter or even an expert on weapons but he knew about arrows and bows. He would hear the hunters vaunt about the best weapons they possessed for hunting. Bows and arrow were the most popular ones because they were silent and swift. Walter also noticed the leather game bag the man carried, strapped across his chest. In gold letters it had the initials J. W. G. Before Walter could realize it he was transferred back into his room.

That was an odd experience, thought Walter. He was able to see everything he needed to understand the present but he also had questions. Why was Mr. Clough irate with Edwards? Why were they in the cemetery? He thought about how the phantom. It almost looked human. How was he going to tell Mr. Clough that his friend and son had perished? He didn’t know when or how he was going to tell him but he knew he had to sometime. He started rubbing his belly. All this thinking and shifting around has made him hungry. He was ready to get some grub from the kitchen when he realized that the Erudite Orb was gone from his nightstand. Where was it? Walter searched for it under the bed, inside the wardrobe, even under and on top of the wardrobe but he couldn’t find it. He was about to give up when he spotted it floating in the corner of his room. What was it doing there, wondered Walter? How was he going to get it down? What if Bonaficious got it down for him?

“Bonaficious, may you please bring down my orb,” Walter said politely. With that said the Erudite Orb was brought down and placed on his hands. He had forgotten how light it was and bounced it lightly. On the last bounce it floated by itself in front of Walter. “I wonder what you do.” Walter thought out loud.

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