The Razor Peaks

by The Teeth

 

The mountains are treacherous, a terror to pass even for the most hardened of travelers. They shoot skyward like blades, with unforgiving slopes and jagged cliffs designed to ward off most sane people. The wind here never sleeps—you hear it howling, as it rushes between the sharp peaks. The erosion causes deep lesions in the rock; terrible scars that form disturbing faces in the moonlight. Rumors tell of dwellers in the mountains, living in caves and tunnels, taking prisoners of those foolish enough to seek shelter.

It’s true, that the best way to get through the mountains is all at once. No use in setting up a camp for the night or taking a break by the fire. The trick is to keep moving. The trip can be made in less than a day, and if things go well, you can make it out with almost everybody that you went in with. Somebody always manages to go missing, though. They stop for a rest or to gaze into one of those vile holes in the rock face—and then they’re gone. No sound or sign of struggle. No use looking for them either—you’d be apt to get the whole party killed that way—you just keep moving.

Sometimes, after nightfall, when your vision is a little dull, you start to see the shapes in the mountains. The shapes don’t really look like anything, but they have enough form to be noticed. They seem to emerge from the faces in the rock, and are maybe ten or fifteen feet tall. They move effortlessly between the stone peaks, sometimes disappearing and reappearing in a new location with a wisp of smoke. They stalk groups of travelers, sometimes for miles at a time. If you turn to look at them, they move, but only back to the periphery of your vision. They never follow behind. They need to be seen.

Superstition calls them ghosts; the tortured souls of travelers lost in the mountains. Rational thinkers pass them off as illusions of the mind, nothing more than the play between light and shadow. Having seen them myself, I can say this much. They are definitely akin to shadows, but not so simply. When I say the shapes stalk travelers, I mean they have intention. I never saw the point in debating what they are past that. I wouldn’t dare stop to find out.

 

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