The Incredibly Strange Misadventures of Norma
Norma clearly wanted to go on an adventure, like all of her friends could. The world was put in danger at least twice a week, only to be saved afterwords. Ancient conspiracies just begun to come into play, only to be thwarted by the adventurers who came to stop them. Empires around the world rose and fell when their emperor turned to be controlled by a force. Evil lords of darkness begun to take over the world, only to be stopped.
Norma was obviously bored, and very jealous. She lived in a small town that thankfully wasn't destroyed by marauders or pirates. Just farmers, merchants, healers, and an inn made up all the business. So far, nothing. While she certainly didn't wish for the usual marauders or demons to destroy her village, she certainly would have loved to go on an adventure like someone else did.
Her entire life then changed when she heard a voice. The first sign of an adventurer was a dismembered voice, guiding her. Describing her life. Adventure was imminent, and she knew it! Something had to happen sooner or later, something that would send her life out of control.
That thing came right to her when she walked through the Wood. The Wood that was rumoured to be home to monsters, and many other creatures. The Wood that children were warned to not enter without any form of equipment to protect themselves with, but nevertheless, she wandered through anyway. She had been into this wood several times, and nothing had happened to her. Seemed safe, wouldn't it?
Until today. Finally, she found someone slumped across a river. She could not identify this person, but she ran right on over. Someone must have actually run into a monster who attacked them, or a wandering brigand who tried to take all his money and then his life. She almost felt it, the actual call of adventure.
The young girl knelt right next to the slumped over figure. Their stomach inflated and deflated with each breath, not coming fast. Concern begun to well through her when she begun to see something red, and dark scarlet. So dark, it was almost black. Blood! It was dried blood!
Clearly, something bad had happened to this person. Despite the life fluid that was caked to his body, Norma could spot his eyes twitching. He was just nearly slipping, straddling the barriers of life and death. Oh no, there was nothing she could do to save this person; even if she could get to the Town Healer fast enough, she wasn't quite sure if this kind of stuff such as wounds to the chest. They must have been inflicted by a deadly weapon, a bladed one. A sword of terrible destruction, likely a-
"Okay we get it," Norma said, "He's injured and dying. You don't need to be that excessive."
Nobody responded to her. She shrugged and gently shook the dying man's shoulder.
"Sir, what happened to you?" She asked.
"Th-Th...." The man gasped, "Please....help..."
"I'm not sure what I can do to help," Norma apologized to him, "Who attacked you?"
"It was...the wight..."
"Yes....this package must be...delivered..." With fleeting strength, the man held up a bloodied hand and pointed to a small pile of leaves. Norma followed his hand and spotted that it wasn't quite a pile of leaves, but actually a pile of disturbed leaves.
"The package?" Norma asked, walking over to the leaves and picking up what looked to be a box, likely wood, and wrapped in Burlap, tied shut with the scratchy hemp rope. No blood caked this parcel at all, it was quite literally thrown aside as the man was attacked.
"Who must it be delivered to?" Norma asked, "I'll do it, so your spirit can rest in peace!"
The man mumbled something, before suddenly groaning and slumping to the side. Norma waited, but then she remembered...he had lost a serious amount of blood by now. There was nothing she could do, but bury him.
While it was very disturbing to have seen a man die right in front of you, Norma also felt another call. The call of adventure...voices begun to direct her. She knew she had to do it! She had to find who this was....and fast!
"No time to waste," She decided beginning to set off out of the wood, "Whatever this is, someone needs it."
With that, the girl begun to walk right on out of the woods, callously abandoning the dead man to the wildlife. If someone had attacked him, surely they might have come back for the package, even worse if it was wolves or other such scavengers. But that was outside of Norma's mind, all she could think of now, was adventure.
"Well when you put it that way," Norma said out loud as she turned around, "I should bury him. This courier deserves a proper grave."
Ignoring what time this would set her back on, she went back to find a makeshift shovel, to give this man a proper grave.
After being delayed for over an hour, and even more when she announced that she had been "Called" to adventure to somewhere. Even if it was a package, who knew how big it could be? She heard of somebody who saved the world after they received something as minor as a scar on their left side, a scar that held the key to defeating one of the many evil overlords in the world.
Listening to the Call from the omnipotent voice, Norma followed the road out of town west. The Call knew exactly where she lived, and it could instruct her to go anywhere in the world. Or at least, if it was that clear at all. For some reasons, she never received the full details of it. But she remembered something else, something that somebody had told her the second she had begun to experience the first signs of Adventure.
In this world, there were wise ones. Some were children who were wise beyond their years, wise old people who experienced much in their lives. People who had an uncanny knack for guessing what was right and what was wrong. People who could see beyond what was usually seen, people who could surpass Time. People who came from another time, and another place.
Norma quickly took a small detour to walk alongside the woods. She did not enter, for who she was seeking did not live deep in the woods. The one she looked for lived on just the end of the wood. Norma knew this particular wise one had to be nearby. The sixth sense all new adventurers had told her, the sixth sense of Adventure. It never lied.
After a little while, she finally spotted what she was looking for. A house, that appeared to be attached to four massive chicken legs, the house of none other than Baba Yaga.
"Yes," Norma thought, walking right to this house. Its back was turned to her, front turned to the Wood. She quickly put the box underneath her armpit and smiled. She had been told by someone who had heard from their cousin's friend that if you wished to get Baba Yaga's attention, to order her house to turn to face you. You also could not enter her house as long as it was facing the woods. This was done by stomping your foot on the floor, and ordering the house.
"House on chicken feet," Norma announced, "Turn to face me, Norma!"
Immediately, the legs sprang to life. Their positions shifted, twisting and turning, rapidly turning their body, the house, to face towards her. Norma smiled as she heard the sound of it all, the small cracking noise as each leg pattered on the ground, leaving marks from their claws on the ground, and the creaking of the wood as it moved in the air. It was so nice that rumours and urban legends were almost always true, it was harder to find one that wasn't.
The door opened after half a minute. Onto the small deck attached to the front stepped a woman. A very elderly woman, one who could easily pass for one person's great-grandparent, a crone. She seemed to be wearing a babushka, with her gray hair covered by a cloth. Norma knew from the description, this was it. The witch, Baba Yaga.
"Who are you?" The witch growled, straightening her archaic clothing, "What rights have you to disturb my house? Everything inside has gone clattering to the floor, my house is in total disarray! What right have you, girl?"
"I am Norma Teecal," Norma said, "I seek guidance from the great Baba Yaga, the witch of the wood. I have a package here that I must deliver, with his dying breath, he ordered me to deliver it, but I have no idea where, or who killed him."
Norma was immediately thankful that eyes could not shoot daggers. If they could, Baba Yaga would have immediately shot her dead right there. Eyes from beneath a brow heavily wrinkled with age glared right at her, unhappy. The stare could only be described as ice cold. Norma could even feel the hairs standing up on the back of her neck. It felt like the crone's gaze was somehow freezing the air surrounding her.
"You sent my house flying to ask where you could deliver a package?" Baba Yaga shouted, "Of all the things, you have some nerve doing this, Norma Teecal! You are quite lucky that I don't eat children anymore, and that teenagers don't taste very good, anyways. I would quickly have taken out my old mortar and run you down right here for that, you selfish brat."
"But wait!" Norma responded.
"Face away from Norma Teecal." Baba Yaga commanded her house, stamping on her wooden porch, "Face the woods."
The hag retreated right back into her house as the house begun to turn around, facing its back to Norma.
"Wait, I am not done," Norma protested, "Face away from the woods, face Norma Teecal."
The house then swiftly turned around once more. Baba Yaga popped right out of her door, feeling its attention being called.
"Are you deaf, young girl?" She screeched, "I said, this is not worthy of my attention! Face away from Norma Teecal, turn your face to the woods." She stomped her foot.
"Face me!" Norma shouted, stomping her foot.
"Face the woods!" Baba Yaga shouted, stomping her foot on the deck.
Immediately, the house shook back and forth, repeatedly trying to turn, not knowing whose directions to take. It continuously jiggled to the woods and where the edge of the plains, where Norma was standing. The two continued to fight over the house's direction.
"Face the woods!"
"Face the woods!"
This exchange continued for awhile, before Norma quickly got an idea, and she stomped her foot on the ground multiple times, giving a command after each stamp.
"Face me, face the woods, face me, face the woods, face me, face the woods."
The result could only be described as turning the House on chicken legs into a centrifuge. Like it was caught in a tempest, the house quickly jiggled around as it attempted to follow all of the conflicting directions given to it. Baba Yaga had grabbed onto the door and was clinging for dear life. The sight was rather amusing, Norma had to admit.
"Stop! Stop! Stop now!" Baba Yaga screeched, slamming her foot down onto the deck as the house drove to a stop, "Slowly, face Norma!"
The house then gradually turned to face Norma, who was now laughing so hard, she had to grab onto her knees to keep from keeling over. It was easily the most humorous thing she had ever seen in her fifteen years of life.
"You win, Norma Teecal, you win!" Baba Yaga shouted down, "If I guide you just once, will you please leave me alone?"
Norma finally stopped laughing and looked up, still stifling a few giggles at the hag who was still clinging to the door, and visually shaking. Somehow, she had managed to win this battle of wills.
"Yes, yes I will, wise one." Norma said, "And I promise not to throw your house into anymore disarray."
"Good," Baba Yaga said, "Get that package off the ground, and get up here. Kneel down, house."
With one stamp of Baba Yaga's foot, all four of the chicken legs folded up. Very very slowly, the house gradually "sat" on the ground. It looked very much like any other house without windows at this point.
"Thank you!" Norma said, walking into the house.
Never once in her life would Norma admit she had ever been within the house of one such as Baba Yaga. She had been so old, and so well recognized...it was like she had picked up all sorts of artifacts.
However, Norma had to admit it was a lot messier than she imagined. Wooden stumps were on their sides like wheels, pictures had fallen off the walls, cauldrons laid on their sides. Even when she entered, she unintentionally kicked a piece of silverware that had been on the floor.
"I'm sorry for the state of my house," The witch said, closing the door behind her as she followed Norma in, "My house turned so fast, everything just clattered to the floor."
With that, she glared at Norma, obviously holding her responsible for the ruination inside her house.
"I promise not to do it again," Norma said, looking at the makeshift table that had slid right into a wall during their centrifugal exchange.
"Now what do you want?" Baba Yaga asked as she picked up a wooden stump and sat on it.
"I seek guidance," Norma said, "As I said, I did not know anything about where I should have sent this."
Norma held out the box towards the witch. It was still wrapped up in burlap and tied shut, ropes forming an "X", depending on how you looked at it.
"You will have to be quiet," Baba Yaga said, "As I attempt to see into the past."
"Can't you just see into the future?" Norma asked.
"No," She snapped, "Now be quiet!"
Norma held it out regardless. The witch begun to stare intently at the package, a ritual that Norma could only imagine was an attempt to see into the past.
After several minutes, Baba Yaga finally blinked, and looked up at the girl.
"Norma," She said, "You have been chosen to take this package. I can not see who, specifically, but I can see one possible destination, and only one name that may or may not be the person."
"What is this destination?" Norma asked, "Where is it I may go, that I may find more clues to-"
"Quiet," Baba Yaga said, holding up her wrinkled hand, "don't sound pretentious. An intended destination I saw, was somebody in in Theningrad, somebody named Gamin Cuff."
"Theningrad?" Norma gasped, "But that is....so far away. I mean, it is the capital of the empire, isn't it?"
"You can get there in a day and a half," Baba Yaga said, "The courier was heading there. Maybe you can find another clue there, maybe Gamin Cuff is the intended target."
"But what if the person I am to seek is only in Theningrad for a little while?" Norma asked, "Is there a shortcut, one that I can take?"
"No," the witch said, eager to get this girl out of her hair as fast as possible, "You should know, you'll be guided there by your...sense," She said, laying the finger on Norma's head, "Let that guide you. All I can tell you is to fill in the blanks left by your sense."
"Is this all you have to tell me?" Norma asked, looking at the finger, cross-eyed."
"Well," Baba Yaga took her finger away, "Somebody wants to keep that package from being delivered, probably just an antagonist or something, that someone had run into the original courier, you narrowly evaded them. You want to watch your steps."
"That is all?" Norma said, "Then I will head out there, I thank you again, oh great wise one."
"You don't need to act like some perfect hero from a fairy tale. I helped you, be glad I don't age another year for helping people like you - now get out of my house," The witch scowled, "I have much work to do in fixing everything in here."
Norma then politely bowed and walked out of the house. Baba Yaga felt a wave of relief wash over her when the door opened and closed. That was easily one of the worst adventurers she had to ever guide. It was people like this that made her wish she could eat children again, she would do the world a favour by ridding the world of such wretched creatures.
But alas, they did not taste good. Nor were they filling, or good for her body at all. She did not last that long by eating terrible-tasting teenagers, before she begun to feel sick, and too tired to take out her mortar and fly. Her thoughts were then interrupted, when she had a small realization come to her.
"Are you done with this?" She asked, seemingly to nobody, "Shouldn't you be out following her?"
Face the woods, face the plains, face the woods, face the plains, face the woods, face the plains, face the woods.
Immediately, the house stood right up and twisted, facing the woods, and then the plains, then repeating its cycle. Various items around the house flung back and forth, left and right, up and down, bouncing off each other. Baba Yaga herself was caught in this sudden tempest.
"Damn you Narrators!" Baba Yaga screamed, dodging flying and rolling tempest of furniture.
Later that day, Norma walked right into Theningrad. She had never dreamed that she could walk into this city in her life! People walked left and right, most paying no attention to her. People who lived in a capital city like Theningrad had more things on their mind rather than random girls entering the marketplace carrying boxes.
Norma continued to walk in deeper and deeper into the marketplace. It was times like this she didn't even mind that she had an Adventure to go on. Norma walked through the rivers of people, listening to all of the cries of the merchants shouting to be heard.
"Fresh fruit! Fresh fruit here!"
"Freshly caught fish - caught just this morning!"
"Carpets, handwoven rugs imported right from the deserts here!"
"Old lamps for new!"
It was just so much, Norma almost felt her legs shaking. The smells of everything, livestock, spices, and even the nearby sewer. It was so new to her, she just couldn't place them. The buildings were unlike what she had ever seen, especially the roofs of some buildings in the distance, roofs like onions, too.
Norma finally found herself wandering off of the road and leaning against a wooden building that seemed to be abandoned. She had heard of cities like Theningrad had plenty of abandoned buildings, and dangerous alleyways full of surprises. Just for a few minutes, she let her worries wander away, leaning against the wooden storehouse, package still in hand. People of all sizes and shapes walked past her. A capital marketplace...she never imagined it'd be this busy!
But then suddenly, it was all interrupted. Norma blinked, something was wrong. It seemed to be so perfect, overwhelming to a girl from the farmland such as herself, but...what was up?
"Wait a second," She said out loud, "how on earth did I get out here so fast? I only left Baba Yaga's this morning.Theningrad was supposed to have been at least a day away from me."
Suddenly, there was a loud rumbling noise. Everyone fell dead silent for a moment, before the din of the rumbling was interrupted by panicked screams and shouts. The air was filled with the sound of things falling to the floor, hooves of panicked animals running through.
"Plot hole!" someone screamed.
Her eyes widened in fear upon hearing those words. Norma quickly jumped up and looked for a door. A plot hole? Oh no! The girl quickly found a door and banged on it, trying to push it in. A plot hole. That was one of the worst things that could have ever happened. If you fell into a plot hole, it was said that it was a fate worse than death. She had to get away from this plot hole somehow.
Amidst her panicked banging, she fell right in through the door as its hinges squeaked open and gave way. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She had to get herself back together. She may have been safe now, but what about her Adventure? Did she drop the box? It might have been trampled outside - or worse, sucked into the plot hole, and she's never be able to complete her task.
"Hey there!" A masculine voice said, "You dropped your box."
She looked around. Right there, was a boy about her age, holding her package, with dark hair and pale pinkish skin.
"Thank you," She said, sitting up as the boy entered the storehouse.
"Take it," He commanded, "I'm trying to close the door."
Norma quickly stood up and accepted the package, while the boy closed the door, leaving them in near darkness. Although not in silence, they could hear the panic outside, as well as the rumbling of the nearby plot hole.
"Great," Norma said, "A plot hole. I hoped that wouldn't happen."
"I guess the only thing we can do is just wait it out until it gets filled," The boy said.
"Alright," Norma said, "Hey, Narrator? How'd I get here so fast?"
Norma couldn't see it, but the boy's eyes widened in the direction of her voice. He heard it too - the Narrator! When one was within range of an Adventurer, they too could hear the Narrator.
"You are the adventurer?" he gasped.
"Yeah," Norma responded, "You heard the narrator - I left a place this morning and somehow made a day of travel within the matter of hours."
Yeah, so? Describing a day's worth of walking is boring.
"Wow, quite the unreliable narrator," the boy mumbled.
"Well, fix it." Norma demanded, "You'll destroy the entire city if you don't explain how I got here so fast!"
Ah come on, I'll have to waste so much of our time describing that. Can't we just let the plot hole have its fill and be done with it?
"NO," Both Norma and the boy demanded, "Fill it. Now."
Nope, not interested.
Norma then suddenly got an idea. Such an annoying narrator. Maybe there should be a good way to get them in line. An idea then made its way into her head.
"Oh no," She said suggestively, "I can't believe there's such a disaster going on outside, and here I am inside this room with a manly beast."
Wait, what the- that's out of character! Norma, what are you doing?
Suddenly, the boy seemed to catch on and smiled.
"Ah, not just any manly beast, for I am a vampire! Being a strigoi, I could freely walk outside, and I don't need to sustain myself on blood all of the time."
Wait, what the heck are you doing?! I didn't sign up for that, of all the things.
"Sure there is a plot hole going on outside, but we still have each other, right?"
"Oh yes," The boy said, "Just me and you, what is your name?"
"Call me Miss Norma, the Viking!"
Oh god! Viking romance?! Of all the things, what on-
"What a coincidence," The 'strigoi' said, "I happen to be a gothic vampire, too. I have never engaged in a relationship with a viking, this shall be interesting."
Oh no! What are you two going to-
"You guessed it!" Norma said, "We're going to derail this story into a romance story if you don't fill in that plot hole you opened up."
"Oh ignore the narrator. Not even they can get in the way of us and our true love for each other. I know of a nice rocky waterfall for which we shall venture and embrace, even if you do not know my name, but I can assure you regardless."
But-I don't narrate these kinds of stuff. Rocky waterfall? Embrace? What the-Please don't make me describe that...oh no, what on earth are you-
"Fix it," Norma said through clenched teeth, "Or this guy's going to sparkle."
Okay okay fine, fine. I'll just add a ret-con blanket statement. Norma managed to hitch a ride on several merchant wagons that managed to get her all the way to the city, hence explaining why she managed to get her way to the city so fast. Now will you two please stop trying to turn this into a harlequin?
Immediately, the rumbling outside stopped as the plot hole sucked in everything it could, and ceased to exist.
"Thank you," The boy and Norma both said, as they walked outside to the still abandoned marketplace. Several people poked their heads out, wondering why the rumbling noise had stopped.
"You're not really a strigoi, are you?" Norma asked the boy.
"No," he said, "I just know that it's very easy to pose as one - Especially to fend off unruly narrators when I find myself intervening with your Story."
"Good, I'm not really a viking, either," Norma said, face turning red with embarrassment, "I was just making that up. I don't even know what a Viking is. I just made it up."
"Well good, perhaps you should try joining an acting troupe, we even make our own stories without Narrators."
"Nah," Norma said, "I'm on a quest, I have to find the person who this package is to be sent to!" She held up the package she was carrying.
"Oh, well good luck," He said, "ring us up if you're ever in Theningrad."
"I will!" Norma said, as she walked off to the palace. Unless the narrator was still sore about attempting to derail the story as well as her character, she could probably walk right on up to her next destination as Baba Yaga told her she could. What could go wrong?
Almost everything. For starters, Norma had absolutely no reference on who to look for, other than Gamin Cuff, - She should have asked Baba Yaga for any form of physical description of this person. Heck, it would have helped even if the Narrator had done that for her, but she was reminded suddenly that it wasn't the Narrator's duty to remember what her adventure was - Narrators could only do so much, after all.
"Especially unreliable ones," Norma murmured.
Oh shut up.
Norma sighed and laid back in the chair. She was so idealistic for the adventure, and within the first day, she was already lost - and the Narrator probably caused who-knows-how-much money in damage with that plot hole they opened up. What if they blamed her for the damages and made her pay?
Some time in between leaving the warehouse, she had walked into a tavern. Taverns often served as hubs for adventurers who had no clues on where to go. Nobody appeared to have spotted her, or even asked what was in the box. So many people were just preoccupied on their own lives or adventures that they didn't even bother to look at her.
"So give me a sign," Norma said to the Narrator, "You have a great degree of control over the world, why don't you say something?"
No voice responded to her. Even the men and women working the tavern did not find anything weird about this - a lot of the customers were adventurers, the voices of them and narrators were nothing new. It was almost an every day occurrence to hear narrators describing things.
The staff liked it, too. They almost felt like adventurers themselves, hearing those narrators describe everything. Even if it was the same mundane stuff. Ayslene washed the leftover dishes from the night. Fine imported porcelain, too, from the mysterious far-eastern cultures. Esteban continued to pour beer, managing all the customers money. A regular patron stood by, watching it all, feeling like he too was an adventure-
"Send her out." A voice said, interrupting the narrator's massive describing spree before he described everything.
This caught everybody's attention. Things went to a dead stop in the tavern. Conversations were halted, card games were stopped, people held mugs of beer half-way up to their mouths. Every head had been turned towards the door, which suddenly had a bang. It wasn't anything like a bang that could have come from a normal hand...it sounded almost metallic.
"Send the girl and the package out. Now," the voice demanded. Those closest to the door shuddered - even if they were concealed by a nice door, just about all of the patrons imagined that the voice was coming from somebody of incredible stature. Maybe some kind of wicked knight - there were all sorts of those wandering around.
Norma looked cross-eyed at the package placed on a table, and quickly snatched it, depositing it in her lap as she slid her chair closer. The edge of the table squished right into her stomach. Even if the figure couldn't see her, maybe she could hide herself from everyone else.
"She's got a package right in her lap - she's the girl pulled up against the table."
Suddenly, all eyes turned onto Norma, whose eyes widened, before falling right to the carved table.
"Stupid stupid...stupid stupid narrator!" Norma complained, repeatedly tapping her forehead against the table. Of course, she didn't seem to know it wasn't my fault that whoever outside somehow could see inside - maybe he had some kind of sight-related powers.
"Or maybe," He demanded, after rapping on the door again, "I overheard you describing someone with a package."
Okay. Genre savvy villain.
"Not me!" Norma said, looking up, nervously. Sweat flowed from her brow, heart pounding. She wished she could just fade into the floor and vanish until this was all gone. Slip through the cracks and hide underneath the tavern, until everything was safe for her to go along with her adventure. But something told her, like an omnipresent narrator, that she was going to have to face this sooner or later.
But given what else was happening, it was going to lean towards the "sooner" side. Already, in order to keep someone in heavy metal armour from barging right on into the tavern, patrons swiveled their heads to face her, a few even standing up to get a better look. She was then identified her as the person the voice outside wanted not just by her nervous reaction to it all, but also the betraying narrator. Even if the narrator didn't actually intend to do such a thing. Why on earth did we pick a tavern full of such genre-savvy people anyways?
"Shut up," A patron said to the Narrator, "You're not helping at all."
"Well," Norma said to herself, "These people may be looking at me, but I doubt they're rude enough to throw me out."
Norma immediately fell right onto the hard pavement, package landing right next to her. Right as she scrambled to her arms and knees, the wooden door slammed shut right behind her, as it was barricaded from the inside.
"What jerks!" Norma said, angrily.
A large metallic clack interrupted her. She looked over to the pavement, and nearly gasped. While she couldn't see it fully, only in the faint light of the moon and the torches that were placed on street showed the figure. It looked quite honestly like the visage of a knight. A knight who did not wear chain mail, but also plates. How he moved was anyone's guess.
But the smell...oh no, the smell. It had to have been like rotting flesh. How on earth nobody smelled it from inside the tavern was again, anyone's guess. Right now, who could honestly think of such a thing? The knight had an aura of intimidation around him - it was even worse when she stood in front of him, rather than when there was a safe wall in between them.
"Good, how rude can humans be," The knight said, with a very deep voice. How he managed to speak through the mask that obscured his true face was again unknown - maybe he did not even have a mouth, and spoke through magic.
"They threw you out...and even had the courtesy to get the package, too."
The package! Norma immediately dove for the package. Maybe he could be slowed down by how heavy metal was. Unfortunately, the knight begun to, somehow, reach for the package. Thankfully, Norma was faster than he was, and grabbed it.
"This what you looking for?" She said, "Catch me!"
Adrenaline fueled her as she sprinted right through the streets, away from the knight. Heavy metallic clanking was heard behind her.
"You cannot escape me, courier!" The knight shouted, his voice growing fainter and fainter, "You can't fight it forever!"
Norma did not even feel tempted to respond to him, as she begun to search for something else. Where could she hide? A church? Maybe if this knight was undead, he could not enter.
It took several minutes of running, not even listening for metallic clanks behind her, but she saw something large. A spire- no, a steeple. It had to have been a church for the religion present in every part of Fiction. Salvation, in more ways than one. Norma immediately ran over to the church, ignoring the few gargoyles peering down at her - they were inanimate. Why bother?
Immediately, she balled her free hand into a fist and begun to bang on the large door. She had to yell something...what was it?
"Uhm, salvation! Sanctuary. Open sesame. Changelings. Church. Saviour. Shepherd."
Nothing seemed to respond from the inside. Even if she had lost that strange knight, somehow, she didn't feel safe.
"Witch powers!" Norma shouted, banging again, spouting whatever random words or phrases came into her head.
Immediately, she could hear some creaking as the door begun to open. That seemed to be it - maybe it was the word 'aragon', something she thought she made up.
"We heard you at 'salvation'," A voice said. She looked over towards this man, someone who looked like he could have passed for a priest - albeit a younger one, not a grandfatherly figure like most priests were. Accompanying him were several women, whose hair were covered up. Apparently, her frenzied poundings had attracted somebody's attention - at least, several people.
"Ah!" Norma said, "Thanks. I have to get in, quick. There's some kind of like, flesh-eating zombie knight after me, and my package!"
Suddenly, one of the women walked in front of her and looked at her, holding her hand up to Norma's forehead.
"You don't seem fevered," The woman said, "How could there be a, 'flesh-eating-zombie-knight' in this city, in the first place?" She seemed to be under the impression that Norma might have been in some kind of fevered delusion, possibly a drunken stupor or underneath some kind of mind altering drug.
"But I saw him!" Norma said, "He was right outside the tavern I was hanging out at, and they callously threw me right on out because they were afraid."
"She sounds insane," Another one of the women said, this one seemed to have been younger than the one who had placed her hand on Norma's forehead, "The city is secured by the military - how could a monstrosity such as that have entered."
The priest then held up his hand, silencing the women.
"I believe," he said, "She is telling the truth, here. I can hear it - She is not insane, she must be an Adventurer. We have several of them visit here all the time. Do you remember, how insane they seem, asking for directions, searching for lost technology?"
"And running away from flesh-eating-zombie-knights!" Norma added.
"I also can hear the Narrator. Do you happen to have track of what your Story is about, young girl?"
"Well yes," Norma responded, "I have to deliver a package, but now there's a knight after me - I think it might be a wight, not a knight, the original courier told me to avoid them."
"This still does not quite explain," The elderly woman interrupted, "How a knight could have entered the city in the first place - at night, to keep monsters and the Lost out, the gates are sealed, there is no way he could have gotten in, even those absurdly-large sewers are secured."
Suddenly, there was another distant rumbling noise. It was familiar - Not unlike the noise of an earthquake, but of something that had happened earlier. Even if the priest and the nuns were not nearby, they overheard the rumours of what happened earlier today, in the marketplace.
While the adults looked on with terror and concern, Norma was almost overwhelmed with a severe temptation to find the nearest wall and repeatedly bang her head on it until she forgot what was going on.
"Quick," the younger nun said, grabbing Norma, "Get in - it sounds like your knight may have entered through a plot hole."
To be continued.