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Rated: E · Fiction · Horror/Scary · #2262584
When a deity rises from the desert Nox, a disciple is born.
Listen close, child. Do you hear our voice, like a siren at dawn? We are the wind whistling under your door and the owl tapping at your window. Do you remember what it was like when your ears were yet tuned? Then, you never noticed the mouse under the floorboards or the spider nesting with her children at the foot of your bed. Their voices are so clear now, but it isn’t just the skitter and squeak, is it?

Come with us as we climb beneath the wood and nestle our heads in a cloth hut filled with seed. A kitchen mouse gathers bits of paper and chewed velvet, wrapping the last of his winter stores. Do you see the tattered remains of a handkerchief spread like butter? This sundry was once as white as snow but now frayed and gray. Open your eyes wide, child. What do you see beyond mouse feces and sawdust? There is a stain far deeper than modern filth-a stain that smells of salt and vinegar. Indeed, what right had the fisherman’s wife to own such finery, but then, her husband wasn’t a fisherman, was he?

Do you hear musket fire in the distance? We do, and it is like clapping thunder and a spitting forge. The second mate was the first to storm the armory, kick in a king’s door and mount blue gold atop his head. Shink! There’s the sound of steel sliding through the back of his neck. The woman wept as her husband’s head rolled to her feet, wiping her nose on a white cloth once owned by a queen. So, she, too, joined the line as the blade was polished. Yes, child, there’s blood on the handkerchief too. Remember, we measure ichor by the pint during a revolution and gallons by the end.

Wait, do you hear that? A scratching noise like wool stretched and pulled. The spider tells a different story at the foot of your bed. Climb into her silken sheets as she cleans her feet with a silver fang. Look at where she has stitched the weave. Do you see those three divots before the knot in the wood floor? She bundles her webbing within the grooves to catch her next meal, hiding in the dark. Come close, child. Do you smell the gunpowder? It burns your nostrils and has an oaken flavor.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

There was once a man who tested his pistol, leaving lead embedded in the floor. Can you read the open note on the bedside table or see the glint of a golden ring without a finger? Do you know the sound of misery? It is the clink of a silver coin falling from the hole in a man’s pocket.

Goodbye, my love.

Bang!

No, child, the stains above your pillow are not from a leaky faucet. Go on, cover your ears, pull the sheet up over your head. You cannot shut us out, for there is a covenant that binds us. A covenant forged long ago. How could you have possibly known of such things? Back then, you only saw what you wanted to see, heard what you wanted to hear. Our screams may have been but a drizzle to something so blind and deaf. Know, child, that we are the reason your bedroom door creaked open at night and why, as an infant, you saw monsters under your bed.

Tell us, was it fate that brought you to that great desert once called Nox? Of course not; we were the ones who spilled tea on your cousin’s map and drew the camels west when your compass pointed east. There, in the distance, was the tip of a decaying pyramid, your chance to leave a mark upon history. Indeed, hundreds of years have passed since the Illile walked this place. You see, child, there was a time when our father was stirred by stone and not glass. Look at the way the rocks are stacked, neat and orderly, ending at a tip. These were the holding posts of a drawbridge to the moon Osio long before they were a tomb.

Doom shall come on swift wings to all who trespass here.

They say bravery is a step away from stupidity, but fame and glory are such an intoxicating drug, wouldn’t you say? We saw how your fingers shook and teeth clattered as you lit the torch and descended into the dark. You didn’t miss the Illile’s warning, did you? Your cousin certainly did, blinded by the glint of gold and the dance of a silver circlet.

Remember, child, curiosity didn’t just kill the cat.

Curiosity broke his heart, which rules over the misty shores of Sebala, the dreamer’s sanctum.

Curiosity made his stomach growl which dwells in the void seeking fat and flavor, the ruler of white sands and red blood.

Curiosity stoked fury within the lobes of his lung, beginning the ceaseless tempest and ruling over a cosmic sea of hydrogen, helium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Finally, curiosity drove him to remove the rest, pancreas, liver, kidneys, omentum, and bladder. So it is that the deity who was once whole is no longer. Yet, even without a stomach, our father’s hunger grows.

The citizens of Illile were his chosen people. That’s why he drew the links from Nox’s sands to the craters of Osio. So we, his last-born child, gave our voice, slipping down the drawbridge Euphrates and blessing their ears. Can you hear the cheers, a rising chorus? We can, and it’s like an earthquake drawn by thunderous applause.

Listen as the blind man cries out, seeing the color of his son’s cheeks for the first time. Look at the radiant smile of the barren woman who conceives her first child. Feel the smooth skin of a once desolate leper.

Never since the fae has a civilization been more blessed, or was it a curse? After a thousand years without sickness, you invented your own.

Did you ever wonder what was in the ivory jars your cousin stuffed within the folds of his bag? Maybe not, but the sarcophagus was too much to ignore, wasn’t it? Her desiccated corpse must have frightened you, dropping the torch as you did. But listen, child; she was once so much more than kindling for a fire. Her name was Hathor, a pharaoh’s daughter who became the first of our offspring. We once thought she would carry through the eons fulfilling her role as history’s ark. We were wrong; after a thousand years, a sickness took hold of her, and she looked upon death with a smile.

Hathor tore out her heart, lungs, liver, kidney, and pancreas to repeat our father’s sacrifice. Then, her servant sealed them in ivory jars before ripping her brain out through her nose so the citizens of Osio would starve, and our voices grew silent. Thus, Hathor was the first to die since the day the Euphrates was drawn. So angry was our father that he cut the drawbridge free and set the moon Osio loose into the void. So, year by year and yard by yard, we drift further into darkness, our voice once strong and free now weak and shackled.

Doom shall come on swift wings to all who trespass here.

You pondered the Illial’s warning as you left the now barren crypt pack filled with treasure. What doom could a people, who feared not death, refer? You were too preoccupied to notice as we worked the lid off an ivory jar. Thunk! Off came the cork as gray sand poured out from your cousin’s pack, the dried powder of a woman’s liver.

I say to you now, child, while Hathor is dead, the citizens of Osio are not. From the dried organ woke a cloud of tiny black flies that sunk into your cousin’s ear. He cried out, dropping his bag, and breaking open the remaining jars. You rushed forward to catch his fall when the stinging insects reached your tympanic membrane. Then came the screams as you fell into the dust, clasping your ears. The parasites dug deep into your eardrum and nestled close to your hypothalamus when you finally blacked out.

Did you hear the buzzing in your ear as we shaped your cochlea? Did you feel that pinching sensation at the back of your head when we built a hearth for Osio’s citizens? They are calm now, warming their mandibles by the fire of your passion.

Wake up, child. We have many stories to tell.

You convulsed, jumping up, shouting for your cousin, but he was gone with the bags of treasure too. Did he think you were dead or was this his plan all along? That is a story, child, that we will not tell, as the answer would serve only to bring you pain. Yet, for your cousin’s role in this sordid affair, we must apologize. Sometimes tools must be used and discarded even if you’re attached to the rust and grime. But, if you insist, we will guide you to his body.

Another victim claimed in the dunes of Nox. You will find your cousin dead with his brains leaking out of his nose. His tympanic membrane was too soft, and there wasn’t enough room for a hearth in his head. So, the citizens of Osio consumed him, for he wasn’t our offspring. He wasn’t the one we sang for when placed in their mother’s arms. But, come, child, surely you must’ve known the blood of Illial flows through your veins. You’re among the last, and thus we strike a covenant and a promise with thee.

While you stay your hand from your throat, you shall live free of want and need. Yet, we shall not give a promise of everlasting life, for that is the lesson learned. You shall die at a time of our choosing; such is our promise. Look how your hands tremble; are you afraid, child? Good, perhaps then the sickness will not manifest.

Come, the hourglass drains, and we have many stories to share with our chosen ark. Know, child, that we are the duke of Osio, and in our right hand, we pluck you from the desert sands. Let us share the visions within quartz and crystal and intrude upon the domains of our forebears and siblings.

Listen close and remember, child. While curiosity killed the cat, where our father is concerned,

Satisfaction brought him back.

© Copyright 2021 M.D Schultz (fafnir313 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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