A Dark Story – Part 3

(Originally from October 2007)

 

This is a study in free flow writing. It may not make sense when it’s finished. Oh well.

**Mature content warning**

********************

Keena nodded and followed the old woman towards a back room draped in shadows. She could still see the scene she’d left behind in the village, etched in her mind as though captured by an artist’s brush in  hues of red and blue too fantastic to be real. Her sister lay on the floor screaming and clutching, so much blood everywhere, while she sobbed for the baby… the baby who would never wake.

“Tonight we will right the wrong,” Eseldra said, never turning but walking steadily towards the low arched doorway. “You and I will fix what has been broken.”

Keena nodded.  She didn’t know what to say. She barely knew what they were going to do, let alone what the outcome of the ritual would be. She had been promised it would change the world, but what that change would be, she did not know.

The back room was small and damp. The smell of straw and mildew clung to the crumbling walls. Eseldra moved quickly to light thick white candles. Their shivering flames snapped the shadows into sharp relief, brilliant black against the earthy tones of stone and dirt.  Still bearing the gory bundle, she arranged the candles symmetrically upon the floor, cleaned of any straw or hay and decorated with a white painting made of intricate symbols.

Her niece stood back and surveyed the work. Her cool eyes took in the scene and saved it for posterity with so many other memories. There was one that rose to the surface, battling with the scene at hand; the smell of ale and sweat and the sound of laughter ringing in her ears. But tonight that would be set right as well, so her Aunt had promised her. And she hoped it was true because she suspected she had already traded her immortal soul for this.

When her aunt was finished, Keena moved to the center of the designs and picked up a parcel wrapped in rags. Carefully she unwound the binding and began to lay out the contents the way she’d done many times before: the thick scented grass and the small withered objects that she knew had once been living creatures, or parts there of. She ran her thumb over a small bone before depositing it next to what had been the heart of a chicken, all arranged precisely.

When she’d finished she stood back and, at a nod from her aunt, she picked up the dead torch and lit it with a candle. The flames sprang to life, and using it she lit the sweet grass on fire. The fragrant odor wrapped its tendriled fingers around the two women as they began to chant.

“Lord of all, hear our call. Dark Lord of night, heed our plight.”

Keena moved forward first, removing one last item from her person; a chunk of hair tucked neatly in her belt. Holding her prize aloft the chant continued as she stood before the center of the circle.

“Lord of all, hear our call. Dark Lord of night, heed our plight.”

Drawing in a deep voice she spoke over her Aunt’s still chanting voice, “Lord of darkness hear my prayers, I give to you a taste of he who in malice dwells. Savor this morsel of his human form then consume his might, leave naught but empty shell by end of night.”

The hair dropped on the crackling grass, and she stepped back quickly, trying not to choke at the momentary stench.  The flames crackled and soon the hair had been consumed, as had at least half of the other shriveled offerings she’d so carefully arranged moments before.

Taking up the chant she watched as her aunt stepped forward, bearing the dead, unwrapped babe. Raising it, Eseldra stepped before the inner circle, a smile spreading slowly across her cracked lips.

To be Continued…

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About Joleene Naylor

An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

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