by T.C. Harrow
Karma in the works...
One summer's stormy eve, a diplomat sat warm and freshened upon the hearth,
While outside, in the cruelest of evenings raging winds and savage rain pounded down
Upon the earth...
The hearth-fire glowed bright hot and illuminated the room with a orange-hued light and not one sound could be heard in the lone chamber; save the groan of the mansion settling and the crackling of the frenzied flames in the place, dancing and undulating For its master, immersed in his work.
So immersed in a novel of some sort was he that when the chiming grandfather struck the hours two, then three, his pace never slackened and his conscious remained Tranquil. But a rapid rapping on the door to his chamber broke his spell and he lurched Up from his work, lumbering across the oaken floor to salute the stranger awaiting in The corridor ---
"Who is it?" his voice broke the silence. "Who raps at my door, when the morn is too near?" His gaze floated to the grandfather -- alas! it is a quarter to four. He swivels the Door on its hinges, but no more had he cracked it a mere meter than a haggard old Fellow burst through, sopping wet with the most grotesque of features.
"My apologies!" cried the oaf, with his ragged hands he threw high. "I mean not tumble through at such a time in the night! I must seek solace in this fortress! I beg of you, please, grant me a night in this room!"
The diplomat, riddled with disgust at this being --- "Get out, you hideous thing! Be gone, or I will have your head on a stake!" The poor man; fear-ridden and cringing, wished yet again for hospitality.
"Out! Out, with you and your disgusting abnormality! You are not welcome! Out, out!" The old man fought with his tears, cried out his blabbering fears as his soiled and shapeless self was thrown out into the night. "Never again cross my sight!" the diplomat roared against the tumult of the storm and against the cries and begs from the sick, flailing elder, he slammed shut his door and the man howled and wailed worse than ever before.
The next morning the sun arose firm and bright, and with its cheerful light the diplomat Stretched and saluted a gaity not common. To his servant he commented his cheer. The servant agreed, and left out the corridor. "All is proper, and in order." said the diplomat with a grin. "I think i might go for a stroll," thought he. "And see just what this beautiful landscape could bring."
Out in the shine of the morn walked our fine fellow, with his cane of choice and specialty suit tucked nice and neat, squinting against the blazing yellow of the sun on the dusty dirt street. His gaze flitted from horizon to horizon, admiring the glamour, when his foot struck hard against something beneath him; he nearly fell forward with a Clamor. Disgraced, he looked down at what he had found, and when his eyes perceived what seemed to be the haggard old man from the night afore, his thoughts Raced immediately and his stomach churned at the sight of the gore.
The man, oh, good heavens! where were the pieces? His face ripped clean, his arms stained with blood and lacerations, his mouth agape in a final realization of horror, the Carcass riddled with the innards of the weak and helpless sojourner. Stupefied and stricken, never minding the bile that trickled from his lips and made him quicken his pace to sidle away from this display of torture, the heartless diplomat strayed far from the Bloodied eyes of the man from the night afore.
A week passed. The storms raged yet again. Another week, then another, and another. One day, when the sun had finally won the fight against the rains, the diplomat started on his way to Derbyshire, to deliver a package to the Missus there. "Quench the fires till I get back," ordered he. "I want no one to take hospitality in my residence. Nobody!" He flicked his whip on the horses and off he treaded. Remembering the road of the elder, he made a quick detour, but after an hour became embedded in the thick muck of the Forest floor. Hurry quick, his harrowed mind told, The night is nearing closer and closer! The diplomat new he was bold, so he set out on the road adjacent the forest, and treaded far, as the horizon weakened in the twilight, and the sun became a star.
Fear gripped this character of ours, he knows too well the nights and the powers bestowed upon the land. Feigning weakness, he trundled onward, but a howl of the night penetrated the stillness, and fright crept up his spine. The howl came again, then another, and another, closer and closer and nearer and nearer and our diplomat flew forward on his feet----