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Submitted on
January 22, 2013
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120 (who?)
The Haunted Man by Zaeta-K The Haunted Man by Zaeta-K
She had left the relative safety of her shelter with what he had left her: A jacket, pattered with odd, small squares in an overlapping pattern, and upon the sleeves were various patches with symbols she could not recognize. At least, she imagined it was his jacket. His, referring to the man in the photograph she carried with her at all times.

This day was like any other. She carefully navigated through the masses of still figures, laying sprawled or bent into strange shapes, noting the ones she could still see the faces of. When she first had encountered them (and present still), she wasn't sure why they wouldn't respond to her sounds or touch. She saw they were all about the same size as her - some even wearing the same style of coat she had. The first time she pulled one of their masks off and yelled into the unresponsive face, she felt a strange twinge of guilt. She felt even more guilty when kicking the figure, watching how it showed no reaction, only dully and heavily moving with the force from the action.

The guilt she had felt was enough to stop, but a massive hand on her shoulder affirmed her cease-fire against the motionless bodies. The thing hummed quietly, as it always did. It had startled her, scared her at first. She recalled waking up in the bunker, and seeing the single blinding dot bearing down at her. It was long ago, but not too far to remember perfectly. She had since come to understand the massive being as something of a friend. Its skin was much harder than hers, and when she tried to bandage its wounds like it often did to her, it did nothing but watch silently with its single eye. She knew her friend was stronger than her; not only was it larger, but it didn't seem to leak as much as she did when it was injured.

Looking at it now, as it scanned the horizon, she thought back to when her friend was all the same color, without so many bandages and stains adoring its strange skin. In the days they had spent together, there were times when it abruptly and seemingly deserted her, only to come limping back with more marks in its skin, or even missing parts. The first time her friend had come back without an arm, she had cried, and tried to bandage that too, but it shrugged her off. The next morning, she saw it had a new arm, nearly identical but a different color.

On a constant vigil, the sentinel watched her as she carefully took the photograph from her coat pocket and held it next to one of the motionless figures - the photograph she had taken carefully off one of the giant's front plates. She scanned the features in the picture, then the twisted face frozen in a shocked expression. Letting loose a sigh of relief, she walked back over to her friend; the faces did not match.

"Low battery," her guardian said quietly, a strange sound, lined with static. The warning, however, fell on deaf ears. She could not understand the strange noises her friend sometimes made at her, just as she could not comprehend the words scratched onto its skin, or the patches on her jacket. Sometimes she imitated the sounds back at her friend, but it always seemed to make its eye sink lower to the ground, as if upset.

She laughed, and tossed one of her bags at her sentry. As always, it caught it, and held onto it for as long as she wanted it to. Her friend never seemed to get tired, but she did notice that it had become more and more sluggish in their time together. She thought she even saw it stumble once.

At night she dreamed of the day she would meet the man in the photograph. Was he also a friend to her giant? Was the giant his? Did the man save her from whatever made all the others so motionless? Sometimes, she felt like she was chasing a ghost. Or perhaps, maybe she was the ghost, haunting the man.

"Please," the sentinel began. She sighed - it was late, she was trying to sleep. These series of noises made her feel strange. They were different, not the usual pitch of her friend's sounds.

"You make sure nothing touches her. You got that?"

The sound was weak, she could hear meek coughing. "Promise me you'll never let anything get her. You never let her out of your sight, you hear?" There were more sounds of wheezing. "Protect her. You play this message for her, you tell her I-"

Her friend suddenly stopped its unpleasant, hurt sounds, and let out another quiet "low battery." Its eye seemed more dim than usual. She crawled over to it, unable to ask if it was okay. Instead, she gently touched her friend's side, who, seemingly understanding, placed a broken hand upon hers.
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EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Awesome work!:headbang:
Zaeta-K Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:] Thanks!
egg67750 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
one word...AWESOME.
Zaeta-K Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, haha :D
DirtyBertie808 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Zaeta-K Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
y u sad tho
Morghat Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice ! Arręt ... french ?
Zaeta-K Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yup :)
AaronsDesk Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooohhh what a story! Great atmosphere going here

Reminds me of Coheed And Cambria's stuff (great band, all of their songs and albums feed into a central storyline)
Zaeta-K Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks man! :D

I'll have to check them out :)
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