Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Decapitator - part 7

The Decapitator Part 7 –

The process of transmogrification from human to Grave Dog is a slow and excruciating ordeal with many opportunities for folly; a carefully crafted form of torture with the aim of erasing personality through pain.  To purge the sentient human, uproot the soul from the frame through extreme pain, and then replace it with a bounty of pure necro-slime, is a process that can take months even for a witch or warlock with close ties to the spiritual realm.  Preparation for the grim ritual can take even longer.  Necro-slime is mined from the deepest dead pits; mold choked chambers where offspring of the old ones pack the ancient dead, lost rulers of the reclaimed world.  A burial mound of at least fifty cadavers is left to ferment with bundles of spider moss and albino bat droppings for years, even decades, slowly rotting, the flesh eventually coagulates into a green slime on the cold dungeon floor.  The chamber must be made of strong stone or granite or lime, none of the noxious gases from the exposed decay can be allowed to slip away into the Earth.  If the necro-slime is exposed to fresh air before it has properly fermented it will lose its deadly potency.  Many witches and vampires of the new world have spent years using zombies and other indentured slaves carving out these chambers in the deep Earth with their bare hands, scabbed palms, and bent back fingernails; many were left to rot in the same spot they died toiling under the witch’s watchful gaze, their bodies dropping dead from complete exhaustion in these dark subterranean chambers.  If the witches let their slaves eat at all their feast would likely be a hardy plate of rat guts and insect stew, or even a cannibalized fellow worker, most witches are happy to let their slaves starve to death and replace them with fresh meat.   

The victim to be transformed into a Grave Dog is placed in a metal contraption that should invoke images of the medieval iron maiden; after the chalk board of the mind’s eye is erased by horror they are strapped inside and encased within the artfully crafted metal casket.  These devices are said to resemble gargoyles and demons whose names have been lost in time along with the tongue of their language.  After the mortal mind withers and dies as it retreats from the horror of this realm and is replaced by the chaos mind induced by necro-slime.  This imbues the master with total authority over the Grave Dog vessel.  The slime is carefully poured through inseam holes in the mouth, nose, and eyes; great caution is taken to ensure none of the precious burial chamber sludge is lost in the process.  The slime is also said to cause total seething madness if ingested or if left on exposed skin for a short duration, the only remedy for it is suicide or death.  All of the slime is used during the ceremony to ensure successful transformation.  Incantations are intoned in a semicircle around it to impress its master’s name deep into the flailing psyche of the victim.  The screams of the victim are slowly replaced with more bestial tones, it is said that leaving the victim exposed to pure moonlight will also strengthen the blood bond of the necro-slime.

The future Grave Dog is left in a heavy steel cage for several days as the process winds down; its un-needed internal organs bubble into mush.  A Grave Dog has no need for lungs or a stomach; it will no longer draw air or attain sustenance from food for it is an instrument of death; it only needs blood.  The flesh grows pale, almost translucent, the muscles bind and form knots under the skin.  The Grave Dog’s head is covered and concealed by an ancient ceremonial helmet or magic bound leather straps to bind it from biting at its handlers in its rabidity; a muzzle to stiffen its strength until unleashed.  While a proper Grave Dog will never attack its true master its ferocious nature will lead it to attack anything and everything that moves around it.  The mere hint of life can cause a Grave Dog to roar with quaking anger; it is only content with absolute still silence, perhaps a reflection of their nature as undead, for the dead seek the comfort of the quiet eternity of the grave to reflect on life.  In this way the Grave Dog is like the ancient ones, the old ones, the space eaters who raged at the intrusion of light into their dark realm after the explosion of the Big Bang, and vowed vengeance on all life for its noisy trespass.

The Strange Case of Madame Web part 3

But Clarissa died silently screaming in the dark at what she found at the bottom of the old well.  Her mind could barely comprehend such a creature, the mummified remains of a giant.  And it moved and spoke to her in her mind; each thought nails on the chalk board.  It’s intelligence old and reptilian.  The treasure clutched to his chest, the promise it made, all a dark lie.  It promised to grant her wish, just like the old fairy tales.  Clarissa could hardly resist; I never want to be lonely again.  The mummy never moved, but its rictus grin grew wide in Clarissa’s minds eye.  A cold blanket of air drew over her, she screamed but no sound came out, she could feel her heart beating wildly, threatening to burst from her ribs, then the dark.  Her wish was granted.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Massacre of the Si-Te-Cah Giants

The Massacre of the Si-Te-Cah

The red haired giants of the Si-Te-Cah had troubled the dreams and startled the curiosity of the Paiutes tribes for long enough; soon the fragile vision of the noble savage would be dispelled.  They seemed to have appeared all at once in the great lake of their ancestors, carried by large rafts held together by leathery strips of Tule, a plant which they were also seen eating in great quantity.  The most trusted scouts reported the absurd impossibility of their long limbs and bright red hair, an exotic prize of nature sought after by the Paiute chiefs.  Shamans warned of demon plague, all were cautious of approach.  Arrows had been given flight, keeping the intruders off shore, but under the shroud of the night it was feared the giants stalked Paitue prey.  Their monstrous girth and appearance gave rise to stories of cannibalism.  They called them flesh eaters.

The truth was the Si-Te-Cah giants were famished; driven to a more bestial means of survival by extreme starvation; they feasted on the dead of their own tribe, cracked open bones and suckled on the marrows of their own brethren to etch out a few more days of survival.  Their large frames required more sustenance than their prized Tule would provide.  Their lungs sought a more oxygen than the dust choked planes of the surrounding desert would afford.  These once proud tribes of warrior kings, descendants of ancient Babylonia, were on the brink. 

The attack came swiftly, the Paiutes gathered the best warriors, 2000 strong, and under secret sign launched a volley of fire branded arrows at the Si-Te-Cah’s river community.  Despite being on water their makeshift huts burst into flames immediately, the tinder of their boats kindled for hours like a funeral barge.   Hundreds of giants burned, red hair aflame, screaming as their family’s charred carcasses sunk into the murk of the lake below.  No respite was given to the survivors that managed to swim ashore, many with arrows poking out of their backs like bloody porcupines.  Frantic warriors with blue face paint descended on them from all directions.  Some Si-Te-Cah had large spears which quickly became barbed in the flesh of their attackers; one Paiute would impale himself on the weapon in brutal self-sacrifice brought on by a high of peyote and violence, the others would circle the giant with hatchets, hacking at the legs then scalping flesh for the precious red prize secured to their skulls as they dropped to their knees.     

This hair would be used for mourning dress and trophy, trade and commerce; proof of the Paiute conquering spirit and nobility.  After purging the land of the Si-Te-Cah all that remained was bundles of the crimson stained hair, to be passed from generation to generation for hundreds of years, along with the lie of the red haired cannibal monsters that faced the noble savage and lost.   

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Strange Case of Madame Web - part 2

Madame Web began as the shape of a human, for all anyone in town could tell she was born Clarissa Clarmont, lovely heir to the Clarmont fortune, in a life that Madame Web couldn't even remember, but could only feel like a phantom pain.  Clarissa had a miscarriage; the respected and very public Clarmont family tried their best to cover it up.  Gossip ran amok in the prude town.  Speculation that she had sex with a vagrant from out of town ran through the phone wires, that the baby was misshapen and deformed.  Clarissa had been pulled from school and all but disappeared from town life.  Her friends were denied visitation by her staunch Christian father, Christopher Clarmont. 

Chris was with her now, so was everyone that has ever been to the house and died in its cold embrace.  She could call on him anytime she wants, but he always says the same thing.  They all do, and they are so boring and annoying.  They all just want to leave her like everybody ever has, until now.  They know the answer to their query.  Escape?  Never.

Clarissa spent her lonely life looking out windows, always waiting for people, always wanting company.  Her childhood was spent in the secluded Cider House manor, one of the first houses built in town, taking advantage of the deep well thought to be dug by the very first Dutch colonists that settled the land.  Her great grandfather and his family of 12 sons built several additions to the old house in the late 1800’s, many of which survived through the Great Depression.  Some of the additions never made sense to Clarissa.  There were doors that led to steep drops to the basement.  Some rooms seem uneven and tilted; earning the nick name the “Slanty Shanty” from some of the maids that toiled there.  There was a hand cart that went up from the first floor instead of down to the basement.  When she asked her father about all the strange dimensions of the house he only offered a glib reply and sardonic smile; something to the effect of “old gramps was quite the prankster”.

To many people around town her great grandfather was more than an idle prankster.  Some speculated that he made a deal with the devil, got greedy and traded his soul for smiling dollar bills.

Clarissa was home tutored and kept from school.  Her parents treated her as their own personal treasure, not to be shared or touched.  Her entire universe was the house but she was not allowed to explore it all in the day time with adult eyes watching.  That was her great secret; during the night she would slip from her covers and explore the house in the gloom, carefully avoiding the creaky steps and floorboards she committed to memory, just like a Nancy Drew detective novel she read.  This was her proudest accomplishment; to slip around the house freely and undetected like a night shade.  Sometimes Clarissa fancied herself a ghost.  Maybe then she could leave her suburban confines and explore the world beyond the mortar and dry wall of this aging relic of a house.  As a ghost she could sneak right out the door, maybe visit the local matinee and see some, oh my gosh, real live boys that seemed to populate her more perversely colored dreams of late.  She blushed at the thought as her undercarriage moistened, sex was beyond her nubile understanding but her body reacted to her perversions none the less.

Clarissa would never know what it felt like to have sex with a man.  Clarissa died in her own bed under her pink polka dot blankets at the age of twenty, still a shut in to the adult world.  The diagnosis was pneumonia but everyone seemed to think it happened too quickly for that slow disease.  She was her typical plucky self the day before, practically bursting with youthful energy.  Now she was silent and stiff, cadaver showing no sign of struggle, the maids agreed “at least she died in peace”.       

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Strange Case of Madame Web

The Strange Case of Madame Web -

The house on Cider Hill grew from the shadows like a tumorous lump on the landscape.  Its menace greeted new comers to the sleepy suburb; the once prominent family household sat on a hill overlooking the interstate exit leading into the town; for many it was the first thing they saw coming into town and the last thing they saw leaving.  For many winding down the interstate road the house itself piqued the curiosity and stirred images of the ghostly inhabitants in the mind’s eye.  Weary travelers might imagine some yellow eyed ghoul peering from behind the slats of one of its boarded up windows; a chill running down their spine.  It was the house the children always pumped their bike pedals a little faster as they rode by, fear triggered by a silent animal alarm within.   The elders of the town, who could still see farmland where municipal buildings now stood, would offer strange stories of a lone widow that used to live there, but even their fanciest yarns and wildest recollections would not do the true story any justice.  The being that denned inside the house on Cider Hill, the one the dead called “Madame Web” in whispers spoken into the midnight wind, was a night creature without comparison, the only kind on this continent and certainly this century.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Scene of a Hanging

The scene of a hanging:

The guilty walked slowly as their heads were covered in white linen, they could only see their feet as they awkwardly stumble walked to their hanging fate.  Their motorization restricted by tightly bound ropes which twist in the dirt and rake the skin red on their bare legs, goose pimpled from their short but cold journey.  They are covered by dirt smudged sheets, like pretend ghosts; some rank drunk offering foul repentance for any approaching onlookers, others chillingly quiet and resolved as they make their death march.  

The warden leads them one by one into a cart, led by pike and sword to be dragged behind a horse’s ass and displayed to the carnival that waits.   More indignation before the end; the town is crossed, a half mile march to the gibbet.  They can smell the thunderous aroma of horse shit; hear the gaffs of the quant village folk further condemning them, mind split between the spectacle passing by in the street and their morning choirs.  A chaplain sings verses and offers final salvation expertly ignoring the bellow of the buzzing crowd assaulting the cart from all sides, natives now thirsty to see the final act of the bloody ritual.  As the fevered pitch of slurs peaks the chaplain hits an even higher octave, until at last all singing is done, and there are no more psalms to offer.     

The noose is placed, the cart is pulled, and all hang as one.  The friends and relatives of the damned pull at their feet to ease their way to death’s embrace.  After a few moments the sky dance ends, and it is over.

But the hangman’s job is never done, he strips the clothes from the bodies of a few, sells their final fur to relatives, and the rest of the mess goes to surgeons.  Teeth are pulled by pliers and placed in decorative baubles to be used later as dentures.  The truly damned are left to hang, covered in fat and tallow, bound by heavy chains; there they rot in public until they are reclaimed by dust. 

The Decapitator - chapter 1 part 6

Part 6

Loyal protectors and stalwart sentinels of the tomb, the grave dogs were the result of an ancient black magic that would enslave the victim, ensnaring their thoughts and bending their desires to one purpose; protect their sleeping undead masters.  These graveyard warriors would stand guard over their vampire lords, a waking nightmare of transmogrified flesh, protecting against any foreign invader.  Their skin a pale reflection of moon light, their eyes give a faint crimson glow from the necro-slime imbued in their being.  Grave dogs have given rise to legends of the un-killable serial killer backwoods slashers of the past. Patrolling sleepy campsites for human meat to mutilate, suffering grievous injury but never stopping, these monsters made flesh protected the hidden crypts and sarcophagi of their deterred masters as they wait out the long sleep.  While most vampires deliberately placed their resting places far from the sprawl of society there have still been occurrences over the ages where ignorant wanderers stumble on to grave dog territory and are promptly eviscerated for their trespass.
Grave Dogs have been mistaken for Bigfoot and Sasquatch in the remote and empty places of the world, almost every culture has some familiarity with them but few can guess at their true purpose; steadfast protection of the undead.  Their sense of identity and past life erased by the torturous and shocking means of transforming a mortal into a grave dog; it is said that grave dogs are typically fierce enemies of their eventual vampire master during life, forced to serve them for all eternity after death as a sadistic revenge.  During the dark ages hundreds of grave dogs were employed by vampire warlocks from all around the old country, most were ghoul hunters or town executioners who fell upon the vampire’s malice.