The Sacrifice

Warning: This post is rather graphic and contains ritualistic human sacrifice.

Following is another very short story I wrote. I hope you enjoy.

This work is copyrighted 2013 by Nathan Washor. All rights reserved.

Small circular windows shone thin beams of moonlight down from the vaulted ceiling. Their glint off the medallion’s silver was reflected by the jewel’s innumerable facets, cascading tiny rainbows about the blackened chamber. Lights danced to the medallion’s slow spin as its beaded chain twirled between her finger and thumb. The scent of oranges and cloves clung to the air. The scene hypnotized, lulling her sacrifice to trance. The time was near.

* * *

He came willing, hearing his master’s call from beyond death’s veil. Still, terror of the act gripped his heart with claws that dug deep into that muscle. Fear’s fist would not be the one to tear flesh from his ribs. That job was reserved for the slender digits that suppressed his panic with their mesmerizing motion. Those delicate fingers. They had so loving caressed him that morning; his master’s final act of gratitude on this side of the veil.

She had said it would be quick. She had said, “Almost painless. Just a little prick.” She had not said how the waiting would be torture itself. She stood there so beautiful in her poise, naked in the moonlight, rainbows twinkling in her eyes. He laid there sheathed in sweat, strapped to the altar, trembling in the dark. Her perfume wriggled up his nose, gently massaging the knots of panic in his mind. Gradually, his shivers calmed and his breath steadied. The time was here.

* * *

The moon shone full through the tenth window. The medallion angled the beam and the gem glowed green. The portal was opening.

She withdrew the knife from its plain leather sheath. Its glass blade was so fine and delicate, so incredibly sharp, its purpose so sinister. The point glided through his exposed neck, separating throat from jaw. His head tilted back. His eyes bulged and rolled as his body spasmed under its restraints. Blood pumped furiously, flowing in a torrent down chiseled grooves to pool around her bared feet. She raised the blade and sliced a long, deep furrow down the center of his torso. She set the blade in the bowl of water resting on a side table and looked down with purpose.

She flattened her hand as it dove into his cavity. It quested following the stalling beats and grasped the organ tight as she ripped it free. She held it aloft in the green glow of the open portal.

She cried with zeal, “Blood and muscle, join with my flesh and bones so that my body may become a perfect vessel for my lord!” She bit deep into the heart, chewing savagely and swallowed. She cried again, “Lord Nosos! Master of disease. Enter me, your willing servant!”

The portal winked out. Her face contorted in dismay and shock as she dropped lifeless to the ground. Rejection was something she had never conceived.

The Murder

Following is a very short story I wrote taking place within the world of Zarathuz. It is to be continued.

This work is copyrighted 2013 by Nathan Washor. All rights reserved.

Colors swam over his vision, a liquid ball of pigments swirling over and around one another, but never mixing. His hands began to tingle and his legs were already numb. This was the cost of life, and payment was due.

Half his skull had been shattered by the red knight wielding his awful mace. He somehow retained consciousness as he had fallen from his own steed to land beneath stomping hoofs and fighting men. He had lain there, bodies piling up all around him, cloaking his still breathing corpse under a guise of death. The battle still raged on, but this piece of blood soaked ground had already been claimed. Its true victor waited for one more soul to pass into its grasp.

He closed his eyes, but the colors would not dissipate. He longed for oblivion’s sweet embrace to take away the pain, the nausea, the involuntary twitches that wracked his body. Death did not come though, and had it, it would not have been so merciful.

He had lived a hard life. A mercenary’s life. He had killed innocents and vented his rage and lusts on the victims of his warfare. The gods, whether he believed in them or not, would not grant him peace everlasting. Instead he had a visitor.

The crow looked down on him with an intelligence one only thinks capable of men. A new fear welled up inside him. He wished to flail his arms to shoo the little beast away, but they did not obey. He growled at it, but all that came out was a choked gurgle. The colors danced more brightly from the strain and his head throbbed in pain. The bird hopped forward and in one fast motion, plucked his left eye out with its beak. The man watched in stunned horror with his remaining eye as the thing tilted its thick black neck back. It opened its beak and scoffed down its morsel. A savage urge of delight welled up in the man, mixing with his already present anguish and horror as it choked on its prize. It only lasted a moment and a deep feeling of loss replaced delight as the creature managed to get its meal down. It cocked its head at him, stepped forward again and plucked out the other eye.

The man tried to scream, but met the same shortcomings as before. Colors still swam before the vision that had so permanently been robbed of him. A flutter of wings foretold of the beast’s friends arrivals, but the flutter soon became a chorus, and then a roar. The air about him stank of carrion and a rhythmic wind pattered his face, drying to his cheeks the blood that dripped from his empty sockets. The man now knew fear. This was his payment; to be eaten alive. How he wished he had been luckier.

Had he not blocked most of the red knight’s furious assault, he would already be dead. The jealousy he had of his fellow corpses flared with each moment as the murder descended on them. Tiny claws gripped onto exposed flesh as the clinks of feet on metal were all but drowned out by the ruckus. Then he noticed a voice in the commotion, as if the thousands of wings themselves spoke.

“Mortal man” the murder said. “You can hear us mortal man?” It asked of him.

The man gurgled, “yes”. He choked on his own words and coughed hard, relieving the phlegm in his lungs for a moment. He reiterate with a stronger voice, “yes.”

The murder responded, “Good. Mortal man, We have need of you. Will you obey us? We will return life to your dying body.”

The man cried, “My eyes. I can not see.” He whimpered, crying too difficult to achieve. “How can I help without eyes?”

The murder said, “We took your eyes. You will not need them. Had they remained, you would be dead.”

The man just sobbed in self pity.

The murder said, “Will you obey us? Or will you die? We are not patient and grow ever hungry.”

Fear jolted the man again. The thought of a god consuming him was a horrible one. “I will obey”, He squeaked as another coughing fit racked him.

The murder said, “Then sleep.” He obeyed.