“You’re kidding,” he replied, still walking as his jaw hung slack.
“Nope,” the figure replied, “I’m also not kidding when I tell you that opening your mouth like that will catch worse than flies on this old path. This place has been around long enough that there’re all kinds of things that love to just float around on the errant breezes.”
“That makes no sense though,” he muttered.
“Well they’re not exactly bound to anything and they don’t-oh, oh you mean the transition.”
He frowned, watching the trees go by as the path continued forward. Shouldn’t they have reached a destination by now, or at least a cliff side, or an opening in the trail?
“You don’t want an opening yet,” the figure said from behind him, “Trust me on this one, if something opens up right now you’re not going to like where you’re going. The tallies aren’t all in yet apparently.”
“But, but how many transition?”
“Very few as you can guess,” the figure replied with a mild chuckle, the sound of their shoes scuffing lightly upon the ground sounding to his ears like the rasping of something entirely unpleasant, “Kali and Hela are only in their 203rd transition, while I believe I’m at least the 1,342nd transition through the last eon. I’d say my replacement might be due in another century or two, or at least I hoped it would be.”
“Needing a break so soon?”
The unexpected voice caused him to jump, though it’s vaguely Irish lilt was somehow pleasing. A light-skinned woman with dark hair and darker clothing lounged upon a large, flat rock to the side of the trail as they approached, winding around the heavy boulder as she eyed him almost hungrily.
“Don’t tell me you don’t want to move on Morri,” the figure said behind him, the obvious smile in the words unnerving him more than he could say.
The woman inclined her head to the right as she smiled, which didn’t make her more beautiful somehow, but did in fact make her appear rather demented, “I happen t’ like my place here,” she clucked her tongue at him, “It reminds me o’ how fragile things once were.”
A hearty laugh was the only response as they kept walking, and once again he couldn’t help but feel the need to scream.
(to be continued)