All & Artsydaze - The story of S.
Atop of the pile of contorting bodies I stand. Lonely. Tonight, in the glittering moonlight, I am standing by the last ones, powerless. Thousands of them, swept away by the invisible stream of the disease, have unknowingly marched toward their end like an infinite army reunited under the ominous flag of death. I stand alone in the cold night, weeping at the sorry sight of the ever-changing face of death.
It all starts with black swellings about the size of an egg, sometimes of an apple. Many carry it under the armpits, others in the groin. They call for water, but, when the swellings ooze blood, and pus, it is a thirst that cannot be quenched. Black botches quickly conquer the rest of the body, pain spreads, a pain that knows no remedy, and fever rises, untamed, uncontrollable, feeding from the very flames of hell. The lucky dies quicker, before blood reaches their mouth, before their spit colors red.
It all started with sailors, they say, a ghost ship with a cargo of spices and a dead crew silently entered the harbor and spread the miasma. Then the elderly, and the children. The mothers called next, and the fathers, brothers, soldiers at arms. Sometimes doctors died before their patients. Sometimes one would go to bed like a healthy man in the safety of his boarded home, never to wake again. Families threw their beloved in the streets to vomit their blood-stained excrements and to sweat their foul smelling blood away from them, but it was always too late for the disease spared no one.
For days red capes have hurried to add more flesh to this mountain of glorious defiance, to this rotting monument of demise. Then, even the red capes succumbed, coughing, spitting and lamenting next to the bodies they carried. Like trembling worms they crawled at the base of the pile of bodies and with empty eyes they stared at me. Not a fly eats these corpses, so that their eyes, swollen with misery, still look at me in the glittering moonlight. I am the last, the beholder of humanity.
How ironic that I alone still live. I alone have been chosen by the heavens to carry the memory of the living beyond this era of death! I am the one to bring their memories on. I cannot stop thinking of how many fools during the centuries have clung to crumbling beliefs. Armies marched across the Earth seeking for glory. Philosophers explored the depth of the human soul searching for truth. Kings and emperors ruled to set examples. Each convinced to be the maker of his destiny, death had always surprised them with the bitter taste of disappointment. In the last moment, their face had always turned to the last standing one, their eyes begging for an unspoken mercy. It was in that last moment that every one of those fools must have realized that glory shines of a different light, that their memories would be lost, that themselves would not exist beyond a name and, maybe, beyond the few actions that posterity would remember. They must have begged, some probably cried, just like these contorting bodies, these rotting corpses that death took without mercy.
I wonder if they ever understood that it is the last one, who is to give them everlasting glory. Like myself, the beholder of time, who will have to remember them for what they had truly been. All of them. And while their short walk in the land of the living comes to an end, I am the one to continue struggling in the darkest shadow of solitude. Tonight in the glittering light of the moon, I stand atop of the wondrous sanctuary of death, glazing in terrified adoration, for death is the ultimate beauty that I brought upon all of them, the fascinating delight of the end.
Plot Bunny Breeder
As I gazed upon the face of Death I remembered my earlier days, but a decade earlier as I was still very young, my form steadily growing as others twisted and rotted into mass of pus and blood... but still I grew. I was born in a village far away from here from a diseased woman not much different than all of the other corpses I have seen since then, my form strange and called a curse by the nuns that took care of me until their demise a few years later. I cried then, but my tears have long since dried and my heart had long since stopped to bleed upon such atrocity as what they called the Black Plague.
Thinking back, my strongest curse was maybe that Death clung to me from my mother's womb and has since followed me on my long travels, the same fate I had as that phantom ship, cursed to forever bring the Plague to the innocents and the sinners alike, a angel of Death, they called me. And I scoffed at the fools for I was no angel, I was merely an aberration of an human being, forced to take the life of others to survive for I could not exile myself for fear of perishing.
I could not die yet, something called to me, urging me on and cajoling strength out of my body. That is was my own mind or the one of a higher being I could not care about as I walked, barefooted, under the blazing sun and the freezing moon unflinchingly, my wound not getting infected and the food and water I drank not making me sick no matter from where I took them. And still I grew and walked, stopping merely to watch the disastrous effect of my presence upon humankind. Rats were my only companions now, they seemed to have a liking to me and followed me as well, making me wonder if they were not in fact the true angels of death of this tale... but it did not matter.
Light brown hair, cut shoulder length and darkened by mus and filth whipped around my face as I gazed upon the work of the plague, my gaze sometimes being attracted by a plague doctor, cowards that they were, hiding from the last survivors as they made a bid for the freedom of the dreadful plague. They irritated me, these charlatans, weak men that used long sticks to pierce the pus oozing protrusions from their 'patients' and seemed to appear like the rats they were every time I arrived at a new destination. I had found one of their masks once and was overwhelmed by the stench of dried herbs mixed with sweat and tears. Disgusting.
I dreamt of the dead sometimes at night, awakening in sweat to the phantom sensation of grasping clammy hands and cold, dead lips forcing themselves on mine. I could never sleep afterwards, a fact that brought me to my present situation as I was once again forced to take travel further north, the start of the cold instilling in me a slight hope that all would cease once snow fell. Hope was all I had left...
...but hope too can crumble.
I took shelter in an abandoned hut and waited for winter to come, and spring to rise again, so that the world may be reborn and in its glory, shine of a stronger light, of the light of Life. There I stood, in the dark months when the Sun, the giver of Life, slept under the line of the horizon, just as Life succumbed to death in the rest of the world, seemingly never to wake again.
I waited, and suffered in the stinging cold of the Northern lands. It was barely a life that which I lived, hiding from nature, avoiding other humans, loathing in darkness, barely feeling the warmth of a dying hearth. Mankind! How I came to despise it, eventually, for their unbearable frailty! Yet, even as my soul washed away any compassion, and my loneliness grew to unbearable heights, I dared not set my foot South.
Months passed, slowly, unbearably, and when I lost hope that the Sun should ever rise again, one morning of a month which I ignored - in my isolation, I had lost the notion of time! - the feeble rays of rebirth cracked the ice and freed my door from the deadly winter lock. It was the omen, I thought, it was the moment to return to men, and to bring them the memories they had confided me.
I collected all that I had and burnt it all. I burnt my shelter and with the cleansing fire shining upon me, so bright and powerful as the Sun of spring, I started my return journey. I crossed the iced lakes, the snowy fields, and the silent forests until a village came to my sight. Delighted by its sight, I waved my hand high in the air and ran toward it. Not a soul moved. It must be too early in the morning, I thought, when suddenly the empty orbits of death greeted me from a broken window. A dead village, a victim of my previous passage!
I screamed in pain and ran away as fire blazed behind me marking yet another step of my tortuous path. Mountains I crossed, from the Norse-land till the land of deers. More villages I found, abandoned, emptied, taken, until, half frozen and believing that nature would finally take its toll upon me, a city appeared. I dashed in the streets, crying like a madman, calling for the kind I had loathed and avoided for so long. Afraid to confront reality, I reached the docks and jumped in the first boat I could find.
The wind pushed me away toward foreign lands. Lost, starving and thirsty, I fainted and woke again, as in a swoon, with horrendous images of apocalypse occurring in front of my very eyes, bloody hands calling my name, empty orbits grinning at my demise. I, who survived the scourge, I was to be tried, for it was because of me that all of them had to die! As my nightmare deepened, I approached a new city, whether of dreams or real I could not tell, but people lived in it. I laughed at it, and felt the warmth of my kind cheering me once more. So happy I was, until the black oozing pus fell from their mouths, and the foul smelling sweat tinged red in blood.
They cursed me. I, the bearer of the plague, had returned, they said, and one after the other, they all died. I fled again, until I reached that immense city, slowly thriving under the renewed sun of summer. A sanctuary they had built, of majestic beauty, to thank all gods that ever marched the Earth for ridding them from the plague. In this sanctuary I went, barefoot, shaved and cleansed. I threw my clothes in the fire, I ate the bread of penitence, and I bathed in the holiest water. I, the living curse of mankind, I did walk and rested in their sanctuary under the vengeful eyes of their gods.
"S!" suddenly called the voice, and in fear I turned to the dancing flames standing in front of me.
Last edited by All; 03-20-2013 at 11:11 PM.