Engravings upon a wooden arch were set ablaze as the surface bound by the shape became replaced with a sheet of shadow. Emerging from the doorway, a satiated man, a term applied loosely, picking his crooked, yellowed teeth of stuck food with the end of a knife, a gesture meriting the same effect as taking a bucket's fill from the ocean. Once the traveler was wholly through, the darkness dissipated, returning the original material. Pulling the goggles from his face, Greenborne let them drop to his neck as he allowed his naked eyes to take in the next room. Contrarily, it was no such thing. Mighty timbers of a smooth bark stretched from the floor to the ceiling four meters above, spanning out in all directions as far as sight with no walls evident. In fact, the portal just crossed was embedded upon the side of one such oaken pillar set amongst a sea of others just like it. Both top and bottom were entwined with a gnarled mesh of roots and branches. Through the gaps below, a fine, yellowed moss covered any spot not claimed by the network of trees. Above, the thick canopy of twigs supported a layer that mimicked the ground, bearing the same moss. The area was illuminated by sporadically located columns that had their twisted composition uncurled. Locked within their wooden spirals, a sphere of mysterious, white light cast out the glow. The sources could not be more clearly identified as their cages masked much about their nature. Despite being in the center of a forest, there were not sounds of animals or birds, nor was there the slightest hint of green to be seen anywhere save the fabric that made Frederick's jacket.
Threats could come at him from any direction, and the Disaster was well aware of this danger. With knife drawn, he wandered through the endless expanse of repeating trees. There were no distinctions to any direction traveled. The one given upon his entrance was the one deemed best, although it was difficult to tell if he was still moving that way. Pausing in a break to orient his bearings, vertigo consumed him instead. With his head swimming in doubt and fears of becoming hopelessly lost, the dagger in hand was taken to a nearby tree side. A great crux was etched into its back, visible from some distance. It would serve as a road sign for him later on so that he knew his way. Walking away from his mark, the lunatic found himself thrown to the ground. Something had snagged onto his foot, a highly raised loop of root. It did not seem to the maniac as though it were stick up earlier. He removed himself from the floor, with suspicious eyeing of the trunk that sprouted it, and continued on, marching onward with high steps that would not get caught on anything. A while down, he gazed back at his scratching to make sure he was on course and created another posting. As the edge chipped away the bark, a faint moan was thought heard to whisper through the woodlands. The source could have been anything, the wind, settling, or an echo of the scraping, if it was even real. Once the carving was made large enough, the stomping movements were carried forth. When his high risen foot came down, the root it landed on dropped, throwing him off his balance and to the ground. Irritated, he gave the tree a stern, hard look, or tried to, at least. With a vegetation, he was not too certain where the stare was to be delivered. Regardless of the technicality, he knew his point was gotten across. Another beeline was forged through the woods for a length, stopping at the same interval as before. Taking the blade, he pressed it against the side of the tree and hesitated. He considered deeply what would be the wise thing to do. After profound consideration, he did what he wanted to do anywise. Dragging the steel down the bark, digging a deep scar, the fiend viciously duplicated the process several fold. After the assault, left standing in heavy breathing, an expecting glace was had in either direction, awaiting a retaliation that never came. Eased by the notion that the matter was purely in his corrupted mind, he laughed aloud at himself and the whole situation and went on normally. It was then he was attacked.
Biting, clawing, punching, and raising hell, a small, unseen critter rampaged over the maniac's ankles. Shaking off the little beast, the entwined floor parted ways, bending to the creature's approach, before its identity could be known. Enough had been learned by the brief encounter. That thing was the one perpetrating the maladies, not the trees. The parts were being bent by its will, and it was punishing his acts against nature.
"Great, a hippie monster." A purple gloved hand slid down his face. "That's just fantastic," sarcastically shouted Fred. The cracking of wood sounded as the floor shifted beneath him. It did not move to inflict him harm, but something had climbed into his open pant leg. "Oh, hells no," he informed the creature while raising his blade before realizing the undesired, possible results. He could not risk damaging his pants. Shaking and kicking out his leg, trying to keep the unknown fur ball off balance, he drove it into the sides of trees to keep it busy. Taking out his chain, a loosened tourniquet was wrapped around his upper thigh and lowered gradually, forcing the beast to exit the way it came in. To help coax it out, it was punted in the rear a good measure of times. When the lump neared the belled cuff, Greenborne readied his other foot to stomp flat whatever it was. The heel mashed to the ground, not even waiting to see what emerged, falling several times and grinding side to side. Moving aside his boot, there was no bloody stain, only scuffed bark from his relentless stamping. Disappointed, things grew worse as a mass struck the small of his back. The snarling whirlwind was run into a towering column, crying a thin whine with each compression while refusing to relinquish its grip. The metal links were whipped off from about his thigh and flailed across his back. The end did swing around and sting him some, but the bulk of the blows were taken by the nuisance. Once it stopped yelping from the beatings, Rick scraped his back along a twisted pillar and knocked it off. He saw it for the first time.
Small, furry, and pink, the minute abomination was a horrible mutant. Large, triangular ears sprouted from the top of its head, barely poking out from the tangle of long, quill-like hairs. The rest of its body had shafts of a different kind and shade, being shorter, less rigid, and lighter. The eyes were massive, both residing on the front of the face entirely. They were not round, either, but a stretched oval shape. These structures were of such size that the pointed nose and curled mouth were next to nonexistent. An enlarged head sat upon a shrunken body, scrawny and frail, lacking any musculature. In spite of its feline features, a bushy tail of a fox sprouted from its rear. Further examination would have followed, but Rick more deeply wanted to study its insides. Dropping to a knee with the knife aimed downward, the steel clattered against wood as the target had vanished again. The act was becoming tiresome. Steadying the dagger, he waited patiently, listening for the slightest noise that could betray its proximity. The biding, too, grew dull, so the second plan was activated. With the blade pointing down from the bottom of his fist, the freak bolted through the forestry, the edge slicing great gashes across all of the trees passed in his lengthy strides. A terrible, shrill rumble rose from behind, swiftly gaining. Trees arched and bent as the floor sank in his wake.
"Yep, I think that pissed it off," chuckled the maniac with a sly grin. Approaching one of the torch holders, a bubbled bar of the light cage was grasped on his passing, swinging him around the structure as the furious forest fighter charged on by blindly. Lowering the looped chain, it caught the fuzzy ball under the chin. The noose swayed and rocked as it struggled in vain and lashed out at the nothing within its short reach. Still smiling, Frederick whirled around the entrapment, bashing the prisoner against tree flanks all around. "Ya stupid, li'l runt," addressed the man while reversing directions, "with yer big eyes, an' big hair. Ya think ya're anythin' special? Ya're a wad of crap is what ya are. A bloody wad o' crap! An' I don't know how blind the Prometheus who slapped ya together was, but no cat has a tail like that. Anywhere." As the beating continued, one of the whacks struck the radiant cage, crumbling one of the bars. "Well, well, well, what have we here? Wanna find out what's in the chewy center?" During his bewilderment, the critter had wormed free of its ensnarement and quickly scurried up the chain to his hand where it tried to give him even fewer fingers. Recoiling his arm, the beast was left tumbling in the air where his other arm met it as it was thrust out, hitting it square in the eye. Given the area covered by the organs, not hitting them would have proven a more trying task. As its body was laid flat against a gnarled column, a risen sole pinned it there.
"As I was sayin'," harshly stated the lunatic, brandishing the knife, "wanna see?" The tip plunged into its remaining good eye, piecing only the gigantic pupil, spilling out thick fluids. The convulsing creature was lifted out of the tight hold, its body jittering as it hung in the air, and was stuck through the shattered opening into the intense light source. While not looking at it directly, the Disaster still made certain to keep his hand out of the bright sphere. Screams and sizzling poured from the enclosure, much to the fiend's delight. As they died down, the light did as well, until both faded away entirely. Retrieving his hand, the blade was found to have been melted down to nothing more than a handle, and there was no trace of the fur ball anywhere.
"Well, that was fun," declared the four fingered, tossing the destroyed utensil away. "Now, how do I get out o' here? ..." Pacing around, he saw the woods had stayed just as repetitive as they were a long ways before, all with exception to the wide field of destruction created by the fuzzy thing. Peering at the wreckage closer, it seemed an entire other layer existed beneath the floor. "Eh. Can't be worse than up here," guessed the freak as he hopped down below for a spontaneous change of scenery.