beware beware i eat men like air [OPEN] Nov 19, 2014 10:01:21 GMT 9.5
Post by AUTHOR SKAANDIAN on Nov 19, 2014 10:01:21 GMT 9.5
“I don’t think we should be here, Cass. This place is… bad. This is a bad place.”
The blonde-haired boy clutched at his female companion’s sleeve, face pale with apprehension as the two of them stared up at the monolithic wooden cathedral that reached up from amongst the dark oak trees of the Wilde Woods like a great, black beast. A thin path of cracked stepping stones wended its way through the unkempt grave grass, up toward the swell of similarly cracked stone steps that led up into the cavernous mouth of the building; beyond, a handsome pair of heavy oak doors were shut tight against the outside world, carved into which was an intricately detailed relief that depicted a horrific scene of fire, skulls and crows in flight.
“Don’t be a wuss, Artie,” teased Cassandra Lique with a wicked grin, slapping Arthur Mann on the back with the flat of her hand. “It’s just an abandoned church. It’s pretty big, though. Kinda weird that you can’t see it from school, hey?”
Arthur bit his lip. “I don’t think it’s abandoned, Cass. Sophie said that the Black Witch lives in there, you know.”
Cassandra laughed, loud and bright. It was quite a lovely sound, and the way she tossed her dark, glossy hair as she threw her head back made Arthur flush. “And how old are you? Do you really believe in the Black Witch, Art? Are you really that gullible?”
Indignation stung his cheeks darker. “I’d rather be gullible than dead. And besides, Sophie’s actually seen her, you know.”
“Oh, I’m sure she has,” replied Cassandra airily, but there was a shadow of doubt behind her eyes as the pair of them turned their gazes from each other back up to the chapel with slight trepidation. It was a beautiful building, really, despite its ominousness. Ivy had forced its way up into the fractured wooden panels, digging its invasive fingers into every gap as if it were trying to pries the church apart - a task at which it appeared to be succeeding. Actually, she suspected that perhaps the voluminous vines were in fact the only thing keeping the structure upright now; indeed, the whole building seemed to creak beneath the weight of the glass-eyed crows that lined its steeples. The weight of their observation was cloying. Cassandra shivered.
“So… think we should go inside?”
Arthur made a noise of barely restrained panic. “Are you kidding? No, I don’t think we should go inside. I think we should go back. Principle Mercy said that students are ‘ill-equipped to handle the things in the forest’, and I’m pretty sure at least he knows what he’s bloody well talking about. Please, let’s go. We’ve seen it now, we know it’s here. You said--”
But his sentence was cut short by a long, low creak as the leftmost of the twin doors swung inwards slowly, its hinges groaning beneath the weight of the solid wooden slab. Now, a sliver of what lay beyond was visible; blackness, cut through with dusty beams of golden light, despite the thick clouds that obscured any sunlight outside. The pair exchanged stricken glances, Arthur’s grip on Cassandra’s sleeve tightening to a vice as he shook his head vigorously.
“Okay, yeah. That was weird,” admitted Cassandra.
“That wasn’t weird, Cassandra. That was fucking creepy. Can we please go now? This is how goddamn horror movies start-- Jesus!”
A chill wind ruffled the treetops and gained momentum as it swept down through the clearing, sending the perched murder of crows into a black frenzy of feathers as they took flight. Their wings hit the air with the sound of a hundred snapping twigs as they wheeled upwards, then around and away over the canopy with a cacophony of shrieks and cries that still sounded long after they’d disappeared from view. Cassandra cried out, covering her head with her arms as a storm of leaves whipped up around her, tearing ladders into her stockings and nicking cuts into her bared skin. Arthur, who had fallen backwards, cried out, though his words were lost to her as she was engulfed by the freak windstorm that had surrounded her.
Then, as quickly as it had begun, it was over. The litter of leaves tumbled feebly toward the opened door, then fell still. Silence reigned once more, save for the quiet rustle of the tree tops, and the shallow huff of Arthur’s terrified breaths. The golden light inside the church glittered.
She understood that she was being beckoned by the church.
Maybe she wasn’t fully aware of the hesitant steps she’d taken along the path until her foot connected with the first step. But as the door opened a little wider, she was certainly aware that she was moving toward it. She hesitated on the top step a little while, casting a mournful look back at her friend with an extended hand. Her expression was laden with the inevitability of what was to unfold. Come with me. I don’t want to be alone for this.
And then Arthur knew that, as the hem of her floral, silk skirt disappeared around the dehiscent door, this would be the last time he would ever see his friend if he did not follow her beckoning.
The decision was easy. But the both of them would spend the rest of their lives wishing it hadn’t been.
Three weeks later.
Author spent her Sundays talking to the choir of drosera glanduligera in ramshackle pots in the small gated garden beside the church. They were stacked precariously along the broken and weather-worn slabs of stone that lined the garden in rows, and on sets of twisted metal benches that were long past any other form of practicality. Amongst the sundews were other assortments of carnivorous plants, too, though far less multitudinous indeed; heliamphora chimantensis swayed gently in the breeze, while the jaws of the almost iconic dionaea muscipula remained statuesque still in wait for prey; aldrovanda vesiculosa floated lazily in clay pots filled with water, shared by it’s cousins nana, ovata and clavata, each species long since extinct on Earth and its sisters. Similarly, archaeamphora longicervia, palaeoaldrovanda splendens and saxonipollis saxonicus, whose closest living relatives had over forty-million years between them, sprouted gamely from mounds of dark grey dirt and from within cracks in stones that hailed from times far longer ago than humankind’s most early ancestors. The tiny, abundant garden in itself was full of impossibility, and that was speaking nothing of the woman who had dipped through time to secure these beautiful, ancient specimens of her most coveted hobby.
The crows that perched precariously upon the spiked iron prongs along the fence offered their own croaky insights as the strange woman chatted banally at the plants. Birds, however, were infamously stupid, with this particular collection being exceptionally so. They were terrible gossips, full to bursting of useless tales of the children that swarmed that so-called school that existed so close by. She supposed, there was little else to occupy their little minds in these parts; so very few living things ventured this close to the church, and definitely nothing that warranted the concern of the murder of crows that called the church’s bell tower home. Nothing that piqued her interest enough to give her pause from her recitation of of the Titanomachy in well-spoken Ancient Greek, in the least.
Humans were, after all, so trivial. Monotonous and insipid in their absolute pointlessness, as they scurried across the face of one of the universe’s most beautiful planets and slowly choked the life from her. Full of so much potential, shining so bright in the darkness of space, each one like a little neon light from afar, and so much more like a chemical fire up close. There was barely a thing more disgusting, more grotesque… but perhaps that was exactly the reason that the first child of the Universe’s Cradle found herself so drawn to them. Certainly, there was nothing quite so destructive as Time, but the human race came in close.
She hated them so much that it gave her life.
A restless rustle of wind rushed down through the clearing and through the garden, causing the plants to bob and sway their bulbs. Author clutched the oversized sunhat down on her head, turning her black, pitless gaze toward the dense forest that surrounded her with mild interest. She could feel it, like a spider scuttling across her skin; the approach of someone towards her home. Her eyes narrowed and her mouth pressed into an irritated line as the hem of her white dress whipped at her knees. Rarely did she expect company, but never before had company been unexpected for her. The future was not an inaccessible dream to be prophesied and postulated upon for her; indeed, it was impossible for her to unknow all the possible futures that would unfold across a thousand interdimentional planes. And yet, here was a human, a nobody, a thing, sneaking up on her like a pulled thread.
The door to the ancient church slammed shut quite suddenly then, with a loud, resonating bangthat caused the crows to panic, and called Author’s interest away from the woods. A thoughtful look had come over her face, as the tickle of the approaching whatever became an itch between her shoulder blades.
“How curious,” she murmured in a husky voice, biting at a hangnail on her left little finger. “How curious indeed... What manner of man or thing should cause you to close your jaws, old friend? Is your hunger finally sated? ... Or... perhaps...“
She trailed off absently, looking back toward the trees, her face a mask of consternation. She hummed. "Yes. How curious indeed."
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