4 | The march of the Undead

Chapter 4

A good exercise later, Kit arrived at her friend’s village. It was really close to the eastern edge of the forest. She loved coming here, as she could smell the aroma of the sea, salt, and seaweed that was washed up on the shore. This time, however, she felt really uneasy while walking into the streets. It felt … deserted. Or worse … abandoned. She followed the road to the center. She was certain to find someone at the market square. Fresh goods came in daily from the Plains and all villages had vibrant market areas, every single day of every single year. But not today.

Kit grabbed a dewy green apple from a stand and looked at it in silence. What’s going on? She knew the owner; he would never leave his goods without supervision. Looking around the square only left her head with more question marks. Where is everyone? The stands were just there, loaded with unsold goods. But there were no foxes to be seen. She briefly looked at her pocket mirror. Still no message from Matt. The worried fox looked back at the market one more time before continuing her walk toward her friend’s house. The more she walked east, the more humid the air around her became. Shall I do it? Fuck it, nobody is watching me anyway. Kit took the shortcut through the grass field, which was forbidden to walk on. But with her growing suspicion, it was worth the wet feet. She finally made it to Matt’s front door.

Knock – knock! “Matt, open the door!!” The knocking changed into bashing. “It’s not funny anymore. Open the door, NOW!” Maybe he’s in the shack already? Next to Matt’s house was a small barn, which they used as their Fox Cave, their place to relax. While walking to the shack she looked around, still searching for any sign of life. North, West, South, Eas … Where are the dunes? Kit was standing in the easternmost part of the village. That specific street was named after the sandy dunes you could see looking eastwards and if you would follow the road it would lead to a path crossing the dunes towards the beach and sea. But all she could see now was a huge white wall of – “FOG!”

Are my eyes deceiving me or is that fog approaching me? Kit has never witnessed such dense mist. She could feel the weight of it on her body. A cold wind with a foul smell passed her nose. What is that sound? She pricked up her ears towards the white fog. “Crisp – crasp – crisp – crasp.” There was rhythm in the feint noise, a rhythm of many feet walking on the crispy road. The noise became louder and louder. It’s like dozens of foxes are marching toward me. “Crisp – crasp – crisp – crasp.” Kit finally smiled. It must be the villagers! Her mouth opened, ready to shout to the crowd. “HELL” NO! She swallowed the last letters of the word. Her protective instinct kicked in just in time. She remembered the words of her first mentor, the previous Head Librarian of the Laurel Library. She relived the moment in her mind.

“Always trust your instinct, little Kitty. It just might mean the difference between life and death.” Kit looked at the Head Librarian with great eyes. Life and death? How would a boring aspirant-librarian like me face such a situation? She just nodded. This was before he introduced her to the SAF. The memory disappeared as fast as it came. The sound stopped?! Don’t panic, don’t panic! What would ‘he’ do? Kit snatched the halberd from her back. The shack!! She opened the door which was rarely locked and closed it behind her. She crawled to the wall that meets the street and was looking for a gap between wooden planks. There she sat on her knees, while the sight outside became less and less, and whiter and whiter. “Crisp – crasp – crisp – crasp.” The marching continued.

The fog became so dense, it was impossible to look outside anymore. To focus on her hearing, Kit closed her eyes. She could hear foxes marching by at a slow pace. No other sound than that. Then she froze. Unknown Fox A: “Are you sss-ure you heard a sss-ound coming from here?”

Is that a fox’s’ voice?

Unknown Fox B: “He must have salt in his ears. I am sure I compelled all villagers after our Lord turned them. They are silenced forever.”


Unknown Fox C: “I’m sure I heard something. Or … was it the princess calling for me?”

T-the princess?? But she died ages ago?

Unknown Fox D: “Commanders! Halt.”

The marching stopped once again. Single footsteps could be heard, walking towards just outside the shack.

Unknown Fox D: “I got word from our spy. Our strategy has changed. We will move quickly towards the Bridge. Don’t leave a single breathing fox behind.”

Unknown Fox A, B, C: “My Lord!”

Unknown Fox D: “March, Undead! March.”


Kit waited in silence for what felt like an eternity. The fog never completely cleared but she could see again outside. I must inform Leader right away. This is horrible. She grabbed her pocket mirror and looked … at herself. What’s happening? It worked before?

Think Kit, think! She remembered seeing her old mentor on the viewing mirror before. What would he do? I need to inform as many forest foxes as possible. They are in mortal danger. And I need to inform Leader about what I just heard. She walked outside the shack. Startled by a sound she looked down. Is that a piece of paper? She folded it open and read the message:

“You can do this Kit. You’re a member of the Secret Alliance of Foxes now. You must get this message to Magmahorn!”

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