(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**
“Lord of all, hear our call. Dark Lord of night, heed our plight.”
Her Aunt chanted, the words foreign and unfamiliar. The harsh sounds filled the room and brought a chill to Keena’s heart as she listened to them. Each twisting syllable echoed in her ears and whispered hints of something evil and unnatural.
When she’d finished her recitation, she dropped the dead babe into the small fire, but the soft body didn’t suffocate the flames as it should, instead it seemed to feed them. Tongues of fire wrapped around the body and black smoke curled towards the ceiling, heavy with the smell of burning flesh.
keena winced as the thick smoke filled her nostrils. She couldn’t watch, and turned her attention to the stone wall before her, tracing every crack and fissure with imaginary fingers of thought. That was safer. That was saner. But her aunt’s cackling laughter brought her back.
She blinked and squinted at the withered woman through a sudden onslaught of darkness. The fire in the center of the circle had doubled in size but, instead of lighting the room, it seemed to be throwing it deeper into shadows. The unnatural darkness clung like cobwebs and she fought against it as it seemed to seep behind her eyes and into her mind, clouding her thoughts and her vision.
She felt herself falling; her ears full of strange words, harsh and cold like the blade of a knife slicing into her consciousness.
When she opened her eyes the first thing she was aware of was the blackness pressing on her; a tangible object that could suffocate her. She jerked into a sitting position and frantically turned her head left to right, eyes scraping the stone room for a sign of her Aunt.
The fire in the center of the room was dead, so there was only darkness. She stood painfully and moved forward slowly, her hand stretched before her, reaching through the yawning emptiness. At last her fingers touched the rough hewn surface of the door. By feel she found the latch and swung the door open. The adjoining room was equally dark, and she moved through it, hand before her, searching for the stone stairs that would lead to the rooms above.
She found them at last and shuffled weakly up the steps. Her limbs felt heavy and her heart raced from the small exertion of mounting the staircase. As she neared the top she saw the glimmer of light and hastened her pace, eager to be away from the subterranean rooms and the clawing memories of the ceremony.
The rooms above were as silent as they’d been when last she’d passed through them, but now in place of black shadows sunlight streamed through the windows and dust motes danced in the golden rays. She moved towards the opened drapes, reaching out her hands, her fingers seeking the warmth of sunlight – and then she screamed.
To be Continued… (I think I know where it’s going now, probably a good thing, huh?)