He climbed on the shore, leaving the thundering surf behind him. The rocky terrain was dotted with small stretches of pale brown weeds and lifeless husks of trees between vast stretches of dark crystalline rocks and boulders. A solitary dirt path became apparent, leading toward a city in the distance. However, patches of swirling mist obscured the boy's path forward and rendered the distant shapes menacing. Strange gurgling and clicking sounds came from behind the larger boulders and behind the veils of mist, intermingled with distant sounds of shouting and laughing. Tommy thought it was the sounds of children playing, masked by bloodcurdling cries of anguish and pain coming from all around him.
Tommy reluctantly followed the narrow dirt path, leading away from the water and toward the city. He stopped periodically, peering through the mist at a large dead tree, whose branches were swaying in the breeze. The branches curled and stretched unnaturally, something more reminiscent of a large sea anemone than a tree. He gasped in horror when dozens of eyes lining the trunk of the tree opened and fixated intently on his slender, trembling form. He hurried down the path, staying clear of anything remotely resembling a tree, but his sense of dread increased the further he traveled.
Along the trail, he encountered a black obelisk that stood about eight feet tall with blood red symbols that ran the length of the structure. Tommy ran his fingers across the faintly glowing symbols, recognizing them from the parchment that Kevin found underneath his bedroom floor. He understood this was some sort of language, that there was meaning locked within the threating shapes that burned themselves into his mind. There was something oddly familiar about the texture of the obelisk. It reminded him of flesh though the structure was quite solid. He realized the material was identical to the substance that had appeared in the corner of Kevin's room.
The inescapably omnipresent voice sang Tommy's name again, beckoning him forward into the unknown. Tommy caught a glimpse of the buildings in the distance, but their shapes twisted and undulated much like the chaotic sky above him. The angles of buildings converged and diverged with a minimal sense of parallelism. Spires were twisted into jagged edges, disappearing into a convoluted mass of crumbling architecture that was still mostly obscured by thick gobs of mist that clung to his muddy and bruised body. He feared pressing forward, knowing something terrible was awaiting him, and yet he longed so badly to see the journey through. He shouted out at the dark skies for deliverance.
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