A Dark Story – Part 1
(originally from October 2007)
This is a study in free flow writing. It may not make sense when it’s finished. Oh well.
Keena walked in the nigh. Slipping from one shadow to another, the darkness shielded her malintent. Lights flickered behind nearby windows, but she heeded them not. She moved with a purpose; a goal that only the night could embrace.
Her cloak billowed behind her as she moved silently, leaving the small village and pressing into the countryside beyond. Her feet made soft noises against the rutted dirt road. The sound was drown out by the whispering of the fragile leaves that still clung to autumns branches. The moon hung in the sky; low and bloated, shining a sickly orange-red – a blood moon. The kind of moon that would shine for her on a night like this. The stars wheeled overhead; tight, tiny clusters of light that shied away from the strange moon like insects from a greedy spider.
She drew her cloak tighter around herself to ward of the chill that whispered of winter’s impending arrival. Only a few more weeks would see snow falling from a heavy leaden sky. It would blanket the impure world in its virgin whiteness and hide the imperfections of the landscape from the observing eye. She wished there were something that could hide her imperfections and redeem her soul for the sin she had committed tonight, and for the one she was about to commit.
Her destination loomed ahead. The house was large and dark. A hulking black monster hidden in the deep shadows of murmuring trees. No light greeted her weary eyes and no smoke curled from the chimney to welcome her. The house stood cold and silent and dead.
She paused for only a moment, the span of a heartbeat, and made the sign of the cross out of habit. She shook herself and smiled at the ludicrousness of her action. Then, she moved forward quickly, feet scurrying up the flagstoned path until her hand was on the carved handle of the door.
The door swung inwards silently. She stepped over the threshold, knowing that there was turning back. Once she walked inside this house, once she headed towards the shadowy fate awaiting her, she could never go back to the way things had been before. But, this was her choice or, if not so much her choice, at the least her necessity.
The house was close and musty. She walked through seemingly silent rooms where only shadows dwelled until she reached the lazily spiraling stair. Taking a shuddering breath, she steadied her nerves as best she could and then began slowly to ascend.
The smell reached her nostrils before the flickering light registered to her eyes. The odor was thick, heavy and unpleasant, like something rotten. As the stairs threaded downwards both the smell and the light grew stronger until she found herself both gagging and squinting.
At last she stood upon a dirt floor strewn with hay. Her eyes danced around the rooms buried deep beneath the slumbering house. A figure stood, its back to her, its long hair hanging thick down a black cloaked back. She made no sound, yet it knew she was there, and, turning, it smiled expectantly.
To be continued….