Five days left peoples....
Five days to gain about eighteen pounds. Who was I kidding? Thirty three pounds in sixty days? Anyone out there know a nutritionist? Because to me that still sounds like bullshit.
So I suppose I will have to post pone until I get up to the weight..Damn this sucks pretty bad.
Its all kind of funny too, right now I don't want anything more than to be in BMT. Hell I'd opt to go to Iraq, if I could just get in right now. Oh well.
Yeah...so i finished project Zicid today...err this morning....(pronounced sai sai deh)
i'll have it posted after the hair spray dries and i get my scanner hooked back up....hoping for a warm welcome...its the first time i've drawn this style in over a year and also...the first shading on a human face....critiq
Holier than thou!
She wasn't a witch, and we all knew this, but it didn't stop the town; they needed someone to out their aggression on and she was their scape goat. She was just different thats all, I write this now knowing that we have murdered an innocent woman. Though my guilt and lies drive me to madness now, I can not take back what I have done; or should I say what I didn't do. My daughter shall be raised not knowing her mother or father. I write my memories of what happened so that future generations may understand and learn from my experiences. To my daughter, whom should know that I love her, and to my wife whom I regret taking that treacherous act against. This is my account of Vivica Jenson, who shall live on forever in the few minds of those overzealous actors that took part in her tragic fate.
"Darian, after our daughter is born I will be leaving. Our marriage has been nothing short of a rude jest and what was once there isn't any longer and I can not stand being here anymore. I'm going back to England, where our daughter and I will live with my parents. She will go to a proper English school for girls and not have to know the life of a worthless artist!"
She raged with those words in days long past but I remember them as if it were only moments ago. Vivica was hardly pleased with they way I chose to earn a living. The life of an artist is not always profitable and my work was not earning nearly enough to live comfortably on.
"Dear, don't be so reckless. The paintings will sell! We just have to give them some time. These people just can't realize the idea of spending money on something that doesn't serve a household purpose. I am sure that things will pick up if we give them time."
I was trying to calm her down, to make her see some reason. Back then I was hopeful that I would be getting some sort of return on the time and money spent in painting supplies and learning a new style in art. Vivica however was not so confident.
"It has been two years since we married Darian! All you ever do with your time now is paint and socialize at the tavern! If I have to spend one more night worrying about where we are going to get money I shall go completely insane! No amount of praying or writing letters to mother and father is going to bring us prosperity! If your ever going to find work it will not be in paint and canvas! Devote yourself to something other than art for a change!"
She was furious now, and when she got this way there was only one thing that she wanted. A fight, and I was going to give her what she wanted. Looking back on it though, maybe I shouldn't have. She had always been rebellious for a woman. Even when I first met her, so this was not unexpected. It dawns on me now that she was pregnant, and it seemed as if she had reached a new height of anger.
"Well dear, if you think you know how to make us prosperous then why don't you tell me! What should I do? If god can't make us happy then tell me! Tell me exactly what to do!"
I remember getting up and walking towards her. I was much taller than she was and my height would seem intimidating to most people. She used to be filled with faith; at church bright and early every Sunday, but now it was almost as if she resented going. She had even purposely missed church on several occasions. I excused her to the church; because of the pregnancy, but she never really had trouble with our daughter. Morning sickness was assured but she had amazed many of the towns midwives at how easily it was for her to carry the child.
"Why don't you help the other men in town put up houses? Or you could help with the planting of next years crop! There are many things you could do to make a living, I just don't think you want a family! I am done asking god for help Darian! Don't you see that? I honestly think that he has abandoned us, maybe it has something to do with this new land!"
I knew all too well that she was only saying that to infuriate me, but back then I may have played into it too easily.
"God doesn't abandon his sheep Vivica! They abandon him!"
After saying that I decided to end the argument and put my overcoat on. I left, slamming the door behind me. My aim was for the church it is only a slight walk down the road but the tavern was closer. On my approach to Orwell's I noticed a young lady crying next to the entrance. I walked over to her to see what was the matter and thats when things began to get slightly strange,
"Excuse me m'lady, Is something bothering you this evening?"
She turned to face me and it was as though the tears drew back into her eyes.
"Why would you say something so strange Darian?"
I didn't recognize her so my train of thought became skewed. Her skin seemed deathly pale and her eyes had the slightest tint of fire on them. I say this meaning that I thought that I saw fire in her eyes and not that she seemed passionate. I know that this may seem crazy and incredibly forward of me, but there was something other-worldly about her. Events became even more perplexing the deeper into the conversation I delved.
"I'm sorry miss, have we met before?"
That question was genuine and clearly needing an answer, what happened next has haunted me in my dreams, it has gotten so bad that I rarely sleep except when my Lilith is at rest.
She began talking but it was much too fast for my ears to decipher. Her lips were honestly moving in a blur. I could barely follow her movements and then she completely disappeared only to be standing behind me the next moment.
"Darian! Immolator of innocence, a true Christian! Ha, I laugh at what you will become. Just remember ignorant one, that life is shortest for those who refuse to support those in need!"
And then she was gone. I understand now what she meant, hindsight tells me that I should have supported Vivica. When the strange woman disappeared the pungent smell of rotten eggs and burnt wood was all that lingered. Shaking off this strange event I moved onward into the tavern and ordered myself a thick lager and told the barkeep, Mr. Orwell to put it on my already mounting tab. It was of good fortune that Mr. Orwell was a dear friend, or else I would have to pay for the drinks in which I seemingly inhaled in his fine establishment night after night.
"How goes it Darian? On this queerest eve of eves?"
Orwell spoke to me in a loud tone, to make conversation over the drunken singing of my fellow townsman.
"What do you mean by that, friend?"
I retorted in a jovial fashion, to shake off the previous events of tonight.
"I am struck by amazement that you have not been told, the church keep was in my tavern earlier. Saying that all who refused to show up for service tomorrow night would be banished to the hellish pit. He said something about how the moon tonight is on the eve of being full, and how the lune is going to be blood red. People are reacting strangely in its shadow, I am surprised that you had not yet noticed."
His tone then was joyous as if he himself had drank a few himself, but also held a tone of worry.
"Ah, don't worry my friend."
I said this after taking quite a large gulp of lager,
"The church keep probably got into the communal wine stores again, you and I both know how he is when he gets drinking."
Then was the first time in my life I mocked a man of the cloth,
"Oh no good sirs! The world is about to end! Say your hail Mary's and make sure you love the Saviour! For tomorrow you may wake up in a pit of a thousand flames, surrounded by the odor of sulfur and brimstone!"
I laughed and slapped my hand against the bar to shrug off my blasphemy and finished my drink. In looking up I found Orwell in a blank stare.
"What is the problem friend?"
"I do belive that is the first time that Mr. At-church-ever
He of course was saying this in a mocking tone himself. Of course it wasn't right to mock a priest, but then again when everything is hell and sin and never what good one can do; you have to find an outlet to your discomfort. I had always stood against mocking him in a public forum but then again the night was strange already.
"Oh hold your tongue Orwell! We all know that the church keep isn't quite right in his mind but that doesn't mean that we all should mock him behind his back!"
I laughed and motioned for a refill of my lager,
"Orwell what do you think that the church keep means when he says the odor of sulfur and brimstone? I've always just said amen at the end of each sermon, I never really went looking for a meaning to his words before."
"Well I suppose he means the smell of soured eggs and charred wood, me mother read the bible constantly and me father ran a library in good ol' England and that is the answer they always gave me."
His response seemed genuine so I shrugged off what he had said. Though I should have paid more attention, fore I had not known the value of his words. I had forgotten that exact same smell had been outside the Tavern when the strange woman vanished. However, the lager was good and the tavern was warm so I decided not to make a big deal out of it all.
The night continued on and after my fourth or fifth lager I decided to leave the tavern and head up to the church. I was slightly intoxicated but, the church keep would have to excuse that. He was there for the townspeople and I needed to talk to him. I began walking down the road and suddenly realized that although the moon was almost full, it was quite dark and increasingly hard to see the road ahead of me.
Thats when I heard it, the cry of a wolf that pierced the night air. My attention quickly shifted behind me and three dark figures were there. All dressed in dark clothing and one with pure white hair. Although the one with hair of ivory seemed to be a man, his hair must have been down to his knees. He also appeared to be the leader of the group because the other two were behind him. The odd pack were about two minutes' pace behind me and were simply standing there. As if waiting for something. Once again things got strange. The leader bent down low and let out an earsplitting howl. It was such that I may have mistaken it for a wolf's cry. Then, as though they all erupted from the ends of muskets, they were running at full gait down the road in my direction.
Now I am not one to say that they were running towards me, but I was not one to tempt fate and linger around and find out. I started to run as fast as my unconditioned legs could carry me and slowly, but surely, the church came into sight. Looking behind me and hoping I was safe, I found that I was quite the opposite. They were right behind me and slowly gaining on me. The church was close now and I put all I had into running up the path to the church gate. As my luck would have it however, the gate was closed and having no time to stop and open it, I simply chose to try and vault it.
Realize now that the gate was not of great construction and only about four feet tall, as I went to vault it my foot caught on something and I simply fell into it. My good luck had apparently changed without my consent. My weak stomach collided with the gate and as I broke through it I rolled onto church grounds. While I rolled I looked up to catch sight of two wolves, as black as night and without any stars. Closely following in mid-air, I didn't realize it at the time but the wolves must have been two of those men that were running after me.
This is the part that becomes very strange. I was so full of dread at what was to become of me that I simply laid there. What seemed like a day's time passed by, and it gave me enough time to watch what was happening. The wolves hit the ground of the church and burst into a spout of flame for only an instant and then started cracking and shattering like the remnants of an empty drawing room pipe. The last thing to change were the two pairs of eyes, yellowed in color and piercing as if they could see through one's immortal soul. Suddenly however a deafening wind burst across the land and what seemed to be their bodies shattered away on the winds underneath the glowing moonlight. Out of three of my tormenters however, one was intelligent enough not to follow his fellows. The one with hair of ivory stood on the other side of what used to be the church gate for a short while and then decided to step forward so that I could see his face. He stood on the wood of the gate and felt I was worthy of a short discussion. His words seemed to come from all around me and his voice was raspy, sounding almost like strong wind through fall leaves.
"Look at me Darian, and heed this warning! In several week's time you will have to face a decision, let this night be your guide to the correct choice. The church keep that you put so much stock in is a liar and is keeping something very dear from you. Do not trust him or you will follow in his sin and be taken to hell yourself, and I shall enjoy chasing you until the end of existence! The child that you helped father needs to be taken care of. Make the correct choice Darian! Otherwise you know what shall happen!"
That night the creature's words seemed to be sharper than a hunter's knife, as if they could cut you down mid-stride. I was so scared that I almost lost control of myself and ran; however, I couldn't bring myself to stand. I waited until it turned to leave and right when I thought things would get back to normal it looked back at me and erupted into flame and vanished. Ludicrous as it may sound, it too left behind the scent of spoiled eggs and burnt wood.
I believe that I laid on the church grounds for a while before picking myself up and trying to stand. My mind was shaken to my core, it felt like I had a deep tear through my soul and no stich could pull it back together. Inside the church there were no torches lit but I decided to try and summon the church keep anyway. He came to the entrance hastily and greeted me with a long stare and a lit candle. It seemed that my presence had awakened the old man when I came to his temple; but that didn't matter, his job was to keep me in god's favor and it seemed most recently that I may have fallen from his grace.
I needed the good man's counsel to come to better terms with the situation that I had gotten myself into. We must have talked for a long while about everything that was bothering me because when I closed the door to the Lord's dwelling the sky was in the brighter stages of darkness. I went directly home and made no detour for anything. I was so scared that if I had stopped anywhere, then I would be in further trouble than I had gotten into the night before. When I made it back the previous nightmare of reality had caught up to me and my body began to fail. Upon stumbling into bed I noticed that Vivica was resting serenely; that was the last good thing of her that I shall ever remember. Fore the events to follow set off a long and revolting chain of events.
Introduction of the Epitaph, dearest Vivica.
I can recount that my sleep was heavy and my dreams were terrible. Everything was in a blur; I remembered seeing the woman in front of the Tavern, and I re-lived the encounter with the man of ivory hair. I am still unsure of how long I was asleep but at the time it seemed no where near the amount that it was. I suppose that Vivica left me in bed, not willing to wake me to begin another fight. I had left what little money that remained on my bedside table, Vivica hated it when I hid our money from her. She always said that one day she might need money for something and if it was hidden then she would have to do without. Although our marriage was turbulent I did love her, and every chance I got I tried to treat her like the princess that she was to me. My memories that follow may move quickly, I honestly remember everything foggily and I am trying to recount things as accurately as possible.
"Darian! Open your eyes my fellow! You have been at rest for two and a half days! If you have no respect for your family at least have respect for god!"
It was the voice of none other than Mr. Orwell, I had to force myself to a sitting position and also to open my eyes.
"Two and a half days? Orwell you must have par taken in one too many lagers my friend! I have only been asleep since before daybreak, this morning is the sabbath and I make a good habit of never missing the lord's message!"
My tone was annoyed but when my sight finally cleared I noticed that he was in earnest, it was not pale morning but yet the dark of night! What he told me next is what actually brought me wake.
"No my friend, we were all quite scared for a while there. Vivica came into town to get some vegetables and some scraps of meat for dinner earlier this morning and collapsed in front of farmer Michaelson's wife. She is still in the middle of giving birth and I was sent by the church keep to fetch you! Soon enough my friend you shall be a father, and then you can pay off that bar tab of your's, eh?",
Upon hearing this I turned and jovially threw a pillow at Orwell.
"I jest Darian, I jest!"
He then broke the overdrawn silence by emitting a very hardy laugh and clapping hard on my sore back. Standing up he turned to leave as I put on some worn out shoes and continued getting dressed. I hastily followed Orwell to the town hall.
When we arrived things were almost completed, the head midwife and the church keep were in the room along with Vivica. I was the only other allowed in the room as the child had begun to crown. In the following time that my child was born Vivica had lost all lucidity and had almost entered a dreamlike state; finally in the last gasps of pain the child was brought to birth and the midwife severed the link between child and mother, and stole her away to wash my daughter of her fluid coverings. Vivica opened her eyes wide and spoke to me.
"Darian? Are you there Darian?"
"Yes my love, I am here."
"Darian make sure that our child is named Lilith, after her great grandmother. I have to have a private word with the church keep, so would you be so kind as to help the midwife in the cleansing of our daughter?"
It had seemed odd that she already knew that our newly born child was a lovely little girl, but at the time I suppose that no one had realized what she said. She was acting very out of character, it then seemed perfectly fine so I stepped out of the room as Vivica had requested and went to assist the midwife. Once again however, things went queer. I had noticed on the walk to the town hall that there was no moon out that night, it was there. It was under the mask of a grouping of dense clouds though.
Upon my entrance to the bathing room the midwife turned and began screaming that there was something wrong with the child. I rushed to see the problem and immediately discovered what had set her into a discomfort. I was set aback as my little daughter Lilith had eyes of the blackest night. Where I had expected the dull green of her father, or the bright azure hue of her mother; a white of the cleanest marble had taken its place. Her hair too was wrong. Vivica and I both have dull blonde hair but my child's was as red as blood.
After backing herself into a wall the midwife collapsed onto the floor. Her health was unimportant to me at that moment in time; I was more concerned with my daughter. I approached her carefully and though I knew that something wasn't right, I treated her no differently than if she had been normal. She was warm and dripping wet in the water that the midwife had fetched and I drew her into my arms, slowly and carefully as I dried her in the cloth that the midwife had set aside. She was the most beautiful sight that a father could see, and well tempered to no end. She hadn't cried once since she was born and she simply stared at me while I held her. Time seemed unimportant and before long I had come to my senses again. Vivica would want to see her beautiful little girl, so I hastened back to the room where I had left the church keep and my wife.
"......and let not those who forsake the lord nor those that worship others falsely guide you or you shall follow their path into hell! Let only the holy spirit and those filled with the grace of the almighty redeem those who have fallen from the path! Look upon the grace of the lord and feel his presence lest you delve into the land of evil and be driven by the false belief that the morning star himself shalt be your divine redeemer! I cast you out demon! Leave the body of this poor woman! I set you free to return the the hellish pit from whence you came!"
I had walked in on an event that shook me to my soul. Vivica, my dear wife and the mother of my newborn child was staring down the church keep as if locked in a battle of wit. Her hatred could be felt across the room from where I was standing. Ever so slowly I began noticing things about the room that had been perverted by the touch of evil.
Every candle in the room that had once been a holy white had been discolored to the darkest of pen inks and the flame that they carried was a sickly green. The smell of spoiled eggs and burnt wood began to fill the room. The only thing unchanged was in the hand of the priest, a single holy candle and its pure flame filled the room with light. The priest was doing his best to exorcize what demon had taken hold of Vivica but it was to no avail. Mr. Orwell burst in directly behind me shouting that the moon was shining as brilliantly as fire in the night sky when he took sight on the room.
"Darian are you just going to stand there like you've fallen asleep? The church keep needs our help my friend!"
With that said, Orwell strode over to the bedside of Vivica and lifting a water dish from the small table he broke it on the back of her head putting her into a forced sleep. She fell back onto her pillow and blood began to soak the sheets.
"What just happened?"
My voice pierced the dread in the room and caught the attention of Orwell and the church keep.
"This would explain why she hasn't shown up for my sermons, Darian."
The church keep took a breath and then continued,
"I belive your wife to be a witch! A defiler of the lord Darian! Shortly after you left she began to speak in a tongue that I couldn't recognize and hurled a candle holder towards me. Whether or not she is a witch, she has been tainted by evil and there is only one way to keep her from plaguing the town with her lunacy! She will be taken up to the church grounds and burned to ash, you will lose her but it might be the only thing to save her soul. Is the child tainted Darian? It can only mean misfortune for our community if she has been, speak the truth man! God shall know the truth!"
My eyes then filled with tears as I came to my damnable decision. I then had the choice to save my self and my daughter; or I could try and save Vivica and risk the lives of us all. Do not belive for an instant that I am trying to justify my actions. At the time I was more worried about the well being of my newborn daughter than the impact of my decision at a later time.
"My child has not been tainted by that abomination that was once my wife! She is pure and shall not follow her mother to the grave, church keep!"
When I spoke those words I knew that I had damned my dear Vivica but I believed it to be the only way to save my child. Lilith was the only one I could save now, Vivica had already damned herself to a death in the name of god.
"You speak as one who shant lie in the face of god, your child shall be safe but give her to one of the women here and help me remove the garments of this demon. No longer shall she hide in the wool of sheep."
He turned to face Orwell with a face of rage and religious devotion.
"Orwell! Run through the town and get everyone together, my flock shall learn what happens when you abandon the holy spirit!"
The church keep spoke as if it were just another sermon to him, my mind is plagued now and forever by that night every time I close my eyes. If I could ever go back and change it there would be no second thought. Following the church keeps instruction we stripped the witch of her clothes and woke her with a pitcher of water to the face. Her head had stopped bleeding, and she seemed as if she had no recollection of what had happened not a few moments ago.
Let me speak the truth when I say that I wanted no part in the murder of my wife, however I was not even the mud on an honest man's shoes when I followed that church keep. Had I not done what I am writing about at this moment Lilith and I both would have been tied to that stake screaming into the night. Later I would find out that the reason that Vivica had stopped going to church was that the church keep used the holy rite of confession as a way to make her act out of wedlock. Her shame and hatred led up to her abandonment of the church and eventually she wrote to an old acquaintance of hers in England for a tome of the wicked ways.
The nights that I would leave her for the tavern she would practice the forbidden ceremonies, all the forsaken power she had gained however had been passed onto Lilith during the last few weeks of her pregnancy which is why she was born looking so different. Had she not passed that power on she would have been able to kill the church keep and to escape from this godless settlement with myself, and Lilith. I love my wife to this very day, and Lilith dear, if you happen to be reading this, know that your mother gave her life for you and that if she were here today you would never have to ask what happened to the life you could have had; know that this isn't your fault dear, and that I love you very much. You are one of the few things I have done right in my life and I am joyous with the thought that you shall not remember what a horrible man your father was.
In this following entry I shall detail how my dearest love dies and how the town became stirred into a religious frenzy and took away the only good thing we ever have in life, freedom. If you don't wish to disturb your mind then look away from this page, but if you want the account of her last moments read on and learn from my mistake.
"Darian? Darian what is happening? Where is my child? Where are my clothes?"
She was screaming and nearing tears, I never answered her but shortly after she became completely aware Orwell strode in with two lengths of rope and we three held her down and tied her arms together at the wrists and her legs together at the ankles and with what was left over we gagged her mouth with so that no spells could be cast to save her.
Orwell threw her over his shoulder and carried her kicking and struggling outside where a horse and cart awaited. The entire town square was lit by torches and angered townspeople. Each one leering at the witches shame, one of them helped Orwell tie her to the back of a cart so she could be dragged through the cold dirt and beaten by the members of the town on the way to the church grounds.
The church keep climbed atop the back of the cart and began speaking to the people of how my wife had turned to witchcraft, in our loving Christian community. That she wasn't really a human anymore and that she deserved our fit punishment because she had blasphemed against god. At the closing of his speech he bent down and took hold of the whip used by the cart drivers and began whipping her in front of the mass. I belive he was trying to set the example that she really was evil, fore the mob took the hint and began to throw rotten food at her.
Eventually after the cart driver had begun to make the slow trek up to the church grounds, a few of the churches more devout followers began to throw small rocks at her bare flesh. They kicked her in the back when she tried to shield herself and in the ribs when she began to cry. My silence was never broken for fear that the mob might turn on me for halting the witch hunt.
When we had made it half way up the trail the church keep stopped the cart driver to send Vivica into a new realm of shame and punishment. He picked her limp body up and bent her over the back of the cart and whispered something in her ear before he pulled the whip once again from the driver and began to beat her with the handle of it. Every time someone new would take the whip and try their turn at it. I couldn't take it anymore and I turned my face away from the sadistic show of group fear and hatred.
After everyone except myself had whipped her they once again started the slow march up towards the church grounds. All the while the mob was beating and spitting on her. I was almost relieved when we reached the church because I thought that it was all over that they would kill her mercifully and then it would be the end of it all. I however was once again mistaken and everything that led up to the church was just the mob warming up.
A few of the men ran ahead and began making the burning pit and gathered tools to assist them. When the rest of us reached the church Vivica had almost completely passed out from everything that was being done to her. To keep her awake however the priest filled a bucket of water from the churches well and tossed it on her, and then being joined by a few of the men they began to pull out knives and cut into her skin, not deep enough to kill her but deep enough to make her scream through the gag. When they ran out of room on her body to cut, they began to take the small hand axe and sever her fingers and toes from her body one by one. Tears were streaming down her face as if her eyes were waterfalls and all I did was hold the torch and watch as they prepared for the final cut. I grimaced and began to feel ill when they removed her thumbs and end toes.
To add to the humiliation even more; one of the men that was really getting into the destruction of my wife cut the gag from her face and asked her to speak her last words, that if she asked gods mercy maybe he would forgive her and save her soul from the depths of the pit of a thousand flames. She spit the blood from her mouth in his face and tried to bite off his nose but the other men held her back and pried open her mouth while the man that had cut off the gag proceeded to pull her tongue out of her mouth and cut it with a dull knife. Yelling to her that she would no longer blaspheme against the Lord with her witches tongue again.
Shortly after that they finished setting up the witches post and tied her to it, they let her hang there for a few moments while they started the fires beneath her. The church keep said a prayer both damning her and attempting to save her.
It took a short while but eventually they had the fires built up and she laid against the pole tied vertically looking on all her former peers before the flames crept up the pole and she screamed into the night. I would hope that she passed out from the heat and didn't feel her death but it is up to god to decide her fate, not mortal men.
The church keep said that if god chose to save her he would have, he then said a small prayer praising the townspeople for their just acts later on in the week as part of his sermon. Everyone after church that day said that they felt my loss. That I did right by not attempting to save her. I knew that it was all lies; they knew nothing of what I went through that night. Although they can freely wash the blood from their hands with forgiveness from that damned church keep. I shall carry my sins to my grave, and I shall never ask forgiveness from god. If there is a god then he has a sick sense of humor, I lost my wife because he was too cowardly to step forward and stop his children.
Lilith my dear, if you have read this far then you know the truth about your heartless and cowardly father. Please do not hate me dear, your mother is in a better place than I will be. In my last words dearest Lilith, I love you, learn from my mistakes and try to make someone very happy when you grow into a young lady. You have family in England, and if anything should happen to me I have willed a message to them. Hopefully one day you can forgive me for not taking action when I had the chance. Live for today Lilith, for one day that may be all you have.
- Darian Jenson, January 30
Eyes shut tightly
I awoke screaming on the hard and rocky ground. The last thing that I remembered was,
"My god, what was the last thing I remembered?"
Heat, fire, something burning! Was it me? Was I burning? Yes it was I that was burning. Who am I?
"Hello? Is anyone out there? Hello!"
Those words echoed for as far at the ear could hear. Over steep rolling hills made of a strange black and charred rock. There are no trees or any other living thing that I can see. I wonder if I am alone in this place. Did I die? If I am alive then where am I? Maybe I should start walking, there might be people or a place to stay over one of those hills. Where do I go though? Which direction is correct?
An unearthly howl breaks across the plains and sends a shiver down the spine of this woman out of place. A figure in the distance appears and stands on the top of a hill. She can't see enough to make out its features but it may be best that she doesn't. The creature is grotesque and morbidly disfigured. If she were within five feet of it she would notice all the little details, then again there are very few who come within five feet of a Bykesh and survive to tell the tale.
A Bykesh is a soul that is damned for eternity to hunt the souls of those who never shared in their mortal sin. Bykesh are created when a mortal being murders in the name of a higher power; in life they attempt to do god's work, in death they do nothing but defile it. They rarely hunt alone as some things in life are as they are in death, they gather as mortals to persecute those of un-like mind. They gather as Bykesh to feed on those of un-like mind.
Bykesh are normally figured as they are in life except their eyes have been ripped out leaving only bloody sockets which never heal. Their skin is colored of a sickly green and continually bruised with deep welts. Their lower jaw has been torn away so that they may never speak to those of a stronger will in life. They walk and hunt on all fours but sometimes stand on two legs when curious or scouting their next meal. Sexless and mindless the only way to tell a female from a male Bykesh is which one is getting raped at every possible chance. When I say raped I mean without sexual organs, anything avaliable is readily used to show dominance in Bykesh clutches. Wounds on a Bykesh never heal, if an arm is torn or cut off it simply continues to bleed a dark blue blood. The only thing that is certain about Bykesh is that if you can out run them, do out run them.
Victims of Bykesh don't die again however they do feel everything that happens. They dead are immortal but most cannot heal wounds; so if by chance a Bykesh does get ahold of you get away from it before it rips off a leg, or foot, or arm. Generally Bykesh stray away from larger groups so stick to the lands of the dead if possible.
She had no idea what was going on but she did know that she didn't like the way that things were looking. The figure on the hill was standing there alone for a little while, and then it disappeared. When it came back to the top of the hill, there were four other figures with it. They all tilted their heads back and began to smell the air looking for a preys scent. When she realized what was going on she turned to run.
The four figures caught the scent of fear on their prey and began their chase. It seemed that the faster she tried to run the faster they caught up with her. The ground beneath her feet was hard and unforgiving making her feet stab in pain every time she took another stride. Another long un-earthly howl echoed across the rocky planes and she felt as if her heart were about to burst from everything she was putting it through.
They were gaining on her but keeping their distance at the same time. It almost seemed like a game to them. As she was running over the next hill she saw something that almost made her breathe a sigh of relief; a small village came into sight,maybe she could find some help there. Everything she had was put into escaping these foul beasts. The town was no less than sixty feet from her current position and she was closing the gap every stride she made.
The village was getting closer and closer as her anticipation was building. Would there be someone there to help her? The village looked old and abandoned, what if she made it to safety and those things kept up their pursuit? Where was she? Why did everything look so unfamiliar? What exactly are those things chasing her? She had reached the road that left from the village, it was old and terribly un-kept. Howls from all four creatures seemed like they were standing behind her, she wanted desperately to look back. To see where they were but she had to have hope that there was help to be found in the village. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion, it was more and more difficult to put her foot to the ground every step of the way.
She had made it close enough to see that the wood on the outer wall of the village was decaying and long since abandoned. She was only a few paces from the entrance now, she could make it right? Surely no one leaves a village unless they must. Maybe the villagers were old and could not keep the village sustained. Another howl, this time just over her shoulder. She could feel the heat of some things breath on her, and the smell of something putrid was creeping into her nose.
She made it through the village's outer wall only to find the reason why no one had kept the village in decent condition. There were bodies everywhere, the corpses of husbands, wives, and their children. The rotten flesh of the elderly, and the decaying remnants of dog's and cats and all sorts of other animals. She made it to the town square before she realized what had happened to these people. They were as she was soon to be, victims of creatures with human like jaws and a frenzied appetite. Ripped viscera, torn flesh littered the ground and dried blood caked the bodies of the fallen.
She turned to look upon her attackers before she too fell like those around her, but there was nothing there. They had not followed her inside, she was surrounded by deaths pungent aroma and yet there was nothing for her to surrender her own life to. She was so overwhelmed with everything in the last hour that she began to feel weak, she fell to the ground and began to weep. Anger, and frustration welled up inside her and she threw her head back and screamed into the grey sky.
"Where am I! Who am I! Why don't I remember anything? Is there no-one out there to help me?"
She picked herself up off the ground and walked into the closest house, indifferent of the fact that one of the deceased once owned that house. She made her way to the closest bed and collapsed into it. She drifted off into sleep easily, but her nightmares made it all but impossible to get rest from it. She dreamt that she had been betrayed by someone close to her, that she was beaten for her beliefs, that she had lost her only child to the man she loved. The thing she most clearly remembered however, was the heat of the flames that licked her body as she died.
A woman grown
"I am little more than four weeks away from the new land, and I grow more and more anxious as I draw near. If anyone reads this then you are most likely a member of the family. I shall attempt to record the time when I was too young to write. I was six years old when I awoke to find my father hanging from the rafters of our house. I assume that he left me some sort of message before he died. The church keep took the book of my fathers experiences when he came to prepare the body. I left from the village after the funeral, my father had contacted members of my mothers family back in England in the weeks before and only a few days after we mourned him a courier was sent to fetch me. I came to know my grandparents home as a temporary one as they seemed to care for me only out of pity. I attended Lady Hammil's school for girls until I was eighteen and returned to my grandparents to find them long dead and a fortune awaiting me. I put most of the money into a bank to gain interest and used the remaining to market and sell the estate and buy a single way fare aboard the vessel Malkav on route to the colonies and here I am. A lone passenger on an upper class vessel. The few people that I have come to know here on our trip are rude and unmannered. Hopefully however, I shall meet a nice boy in the village to which I was born and marry him. I shall write more later, it is approaching time for the third meal and I am very much famished."
"Three weeks have passed since my last entree and the Malkav is ahead of schedule, we should be pulling into port any day now. Something odd has been happening lately. There has been some talk among the men that the thick fog that has surrounded us for days now is of bad omen, we are moving quickly but some of the other passengers belive that we may have gotten off course and our rations are quickly depleting. I will try to make another entree sooner than before, something about this fog is just draining me. I seem to get tired very quickly whenever I walk above deck. I think I shall try to get some rest."
"A mad panic raced through the men today, every one is on edge and that I understand but, killing a man? Something about the story just doesn't make sense either, the guilty man said that he had nothing to do with it. That a strange devil crept on board and eviscerated him, he continued on with this strange tale by saying something about a large white dog. That the dog suddenly became a man dressed in a tight black material, almost like leather but with no reflection, that as soon as the deed was done he changed back into a white dog and jumped over board. I guess it just shows you that whiskey really is the devils water. If men took half the time they do making up stories and drinking and put it to work, then maybe it would be a better life to live. I shall write more later, that fog is still getting to me."
"We just got into port water, this entree will be a short one for I am about to disembark the ship and find what I left behind. Possibly even visit my parents graves. I will pick this up further on in the day, oh and the fog finally vanished. Just into air, poof and it all dispersed."
"I am finally here, in my parents home. It was willed to me by my father and it needs some repair but all in all it should turn out rather well. I will try to recruit some of the nice strong men in the village to help with the repairs. When I entered the village from the dock a majority of the villagers gave me these horrified looks. As if they were almost frightened out of their clothes, it may be a few days before I make another entree."
"I went into the village the other day to try and get some help but only a few people would talk to me. The villagers probably haven't ever seen an English woman right off of the dock in a while, apparently no one ever comes to this village. I did however get the assistance of a young man by the name of Adam Orwell, his father runs the local tavern and I belive he was quite taken with me. We sat in the tavern for hours just talking about thing we like and what there is to do here in Aiden, that is the name of the village if I hadn't already wrote that. After church tomorrow he said that he would come with me to take a look at the house. I have been sleeping in my former room as of late, it almost seems as if I had never left it there are no spider webs in the corners and the floor is clean. Sometimes when I sleep there I dream of mother, I know that I never saw her, and that I have dreamt of her all my life but never quite like this. She seems so real that I can almost touch her but when I call for her she doesn't answer, and when I try to catch up to her she is already farther ahead of me, but when she turns around and I try to grab her arm she vanishes into nothing and I wake up crying and soaked in sweat. Maybe tonight she will speak to me, I most hope for that. With but a few minor differences, the mother in my dreams and I look almost exactly alike. She might be trying to talk to me from heaven, I sure hope so."
"We started work today on fixing the house of my parents. The rafters have mostly rotted away and need to be replaced, the floorboards creak, and the furniture needs to be replaced. I know that it seems to be a lot of work but Adam says that he can get some of his friends to help me out, I suppose it would only be proper for me to describe Adam to you as you will probably not know who I am talking about when you read this. Adam is a very tall young man, and he is in his early twenties, he has fire red hair, and has a slight Irish accent, I saw him today without his shirt on and I must say that he is quite muscular. As I am writing this I am beginning to realize that Adam and I are becoming close. I know that we haven't know each other for very long but it is almost as if I have known him all my life. He says that he remembers my father, that his father and my father were good friends but he was just a child then so the memories are blurry. There is another thing that I must mention before I fall into sleep, some times I wake up from my dreams and hear the call of a wolf I am unsure whether or not it is a dream or I am awake but it seems so close that it is right outside my door. I may not make an entree for a while, there is a lot to do over the next few days and I think I will be too tired to write about them."
"It happened again, and now I know that it is not a dream. I awoke to the sound of a wolf outside my door. I was too terrified to get out of bed and look, I am so scared right now I am unsure of whether or not I shall find sleep. Wait, there it is again. This time it is closer, as if it is inside my house! It just got silent again. Oh no! There is a scratching at the door to my room, like claws on hard wood...its knocking at the door almost trying to break it down. I can write no more, I must end this entree short...."
"I am so relieved, but scared at the same time. I am in good health but I must have fainted earlier. My door has deep claw marks in one side of it and the door knob has been broken off. That must show that it wasn't a dream right? One of the windows in the dining area was forced open but the glass wasn't broken. This I don't understand, how could a wolf open a window without breaking the glass? I remember shutting the window before I went to sleep. This doesn't make any sense. There is also another odd thing, on one of the nails in the window a small piece of black cloth was torn. It wasn't like normal cloth though, it was unlike anything I had ever felt before. What makes it most odd was the fact that I went to pick it off the nail and only seconds after it was in my hands it erupted into flames, though it didn't burn my hand I could feel the flames burn. I belive I shall ask the church keep about it in a few days."
"I go to see the church keep tomorrow, I shall remember to ask him about my fathers journal when I ask if there are any devils in the woods behind my house. Adam and I are almost finished replacing the thatch on the roof, I got so close to telling him what happened last night but I fear that he might think me a witch. Tonight Adam and I are having dinner with his parents, I am most interested in talking to Mr. Orwell. If he and my father were close friends then maybe he knew my mother as well. He might even know what happened to her, all I remember is that everyone said that her death was a tragedy. Luckily for me I have found some clothes in my parents room, there is a really nice dress that I think I shall wear. It is a little bit different than the dresses that I normally wear but all of this work has been tearing them to shreds, if I find time I will patch them but maybe I shall start wearing my mothers clothes from now on. It fits perfectly, but I shall add more later. It is nearing time for dinner and I need to get ready."
"Dinner was incredible last night, but something strange was abound. Mrs. Orwell would not look upon me and kept grabbing for the cross around her neck and Mr. Orwell was speechless when he opened the door to greet me. Adam was fine but both Mr. and Mrs. Orwell looked upon me in terror all throughout dinner. Every time I asked a question they both went silent as well. Maybe they just don't like to talk during a meal. Another thing that was not right happened when Adam was walking me to his house, an older man walked out of the tavern and fell backwards upon seeing me. He even got down on his knees and started begging my forgiveness. Adam knew him from the tavern well and said the he was probably just drunk but as we walked around him I thought I saw a tear fall from his eye. I am starting to think that there is something not quite right about Aiden at all. I don't remember anything else worth mentioning but I end this entree as I go to see the church keep."
"Apparently the church keep won't be back in Aiden for a few months, the man who was filling in for him said that he went north to settle a land dispute on where a new church should be erected. I looked around the church and found something out of place. There was a hidden door that led to the basement and there I found all sorts of books and other items. Some of them looked like the belonged to my mother and father, I think tomorrow I shall go back and make sure. If they do belong to my mother and father then they are rightfully mine and I shall take them back. I am so curious to find out what happened to my mother and why my father hung himself. So many question run through my mind it is too much to write but if I can find out I will."