Monday, October 27, 2014

Coffin Hop 2014 Cloud's Story Part Two

With the mystery being gone, having vanished into thin air, Cloud brought the drink up to his nose and sniffed. Slightly sweet smelling with the distinct hint of alcohol. Taking a sip, he smacked his lips at the dry taste of the bittersweet wine, before dumping it into the brambles.

“Yeah, no. Not going to hold onto a glass while you’re off doing something weird.” Cloud muttered, looking around for a place to put the wine flute. It looked expensive, and while he wasn’t a friend of the Ghoul, he didn’t want to upset him by breaking his fine glassware by leaving it out to be stepped on.
Seeing nowhere else to take it, Cloud decided to just brave the event of the year for the graveyard and head down into the mausoleum to return the glass.
They won’t hurt me… besides, Stephanie would just have me stitched up again, Cloud thought bitterly as he walked up the small rise to the mausoleum’s entrance, set some ten feet deep into the brambles. Walking up onto the stone, Cloud could feel the darkness roiling beneath his feet, the same sickened feeling he felt whenever he was around one of the Lurkers. Walking to the steps, each lit by a red wax candle, leading down into the ground, Cloud took a deep breath and began to descend.
The embossed faces of tortured souls lined the walls of dark stone, which slowly curved to where Cloud was heading beneath the mausoleum itself. Echoing laughter and the softest violin music could be heard drifting up from the chambers below; a mixture so wretched that they sounded like the calls for help one would hear from a woman being dragged to her death, slowly at that.
As his feet reached the last step, he looked at the landing, a wide and deep semicircle with a door, and two statues flanking it. Both were of cherubs, twisted and deformed beyond recognition, with horns growing from their heads, wreaths of thorns drawing blood from their head, fresh blood still dripping, and long tails that ended in a spade. Walking up to the closed door, Cloud stared at the statues as he felt their gaze move upon him. Stopping to look at them further, he leaned down and held out the wine flute to one.
“Can I leave this with you?” Cloud asked with a half-smile.
The statue remained silent, no movement or discernable signs of life coming from the twisted abominations. He stood back up, hand going for the door knob.
“I thought not,” Cloud muttered, pushing the door open which let a whoosh of fetid air out, causing the candles to flicker dark for a brief moment. And for that brief moment, the only light coming from within the room was the sickly ethereal light of spirit, a young girl who looked utterly crushed despite her beautiful features. A sickly wound on her neck left the girl with a wide range of motion to move her head in unnatural ways, which if she was a typical corpse she would take every advantage in doing so. Her hands and fingers moved deftly over the violin and bow, dragging out a low and mournful tune.
Then the candles flared back to life, revealing the twenty odd Lurkers in the room, all with looks of surprise at Cloud’s presence. One, a bulky corpse with short cropped hair and a missing mandible, widened his eyes at Cloud while several others gasped. The Ghoul was near the back, dressed in his black finery, the seams partially undone and tears still visible, standing next to a corpse with frizzy red hair and a pink sweater. He set down a femur that still held a few chunks of grey meat to the bone and turned to Cloud, eyes hard and cold, a seemingly endless void of darkness as he gazed into the boy’s eyes.
“This, ladies and gentlemen, is Cloud. He is a protector of the graveyard above us, a caretaker if you would believe it.” The Ghouls said in a prim and proper tone. “He must have heard our gathering and wanted to see what the dead do to liven things up. Is that why you’re here Cloud?”
“Actually, I came to return the, um, Maestro’s wine glass. I met him outside.” Cloud said after clearing his throat. He held up the glass for emphasis and held it out to an older looking corpse, a moldering thing that looked like the only thing holding together was mucous.
“You what?” The Ghoul’s tone fell flat. “Maestro was upstairs and you spoke with him?”
“Yeah, he… he wanted to know more about me.” Cloud said, looking down before locking eyes with the Ghoul. The crowd muttered amongst each other, looking to and fro, their eyes always falling back upon Cloud. A few of the Lurker’s were licking their lips at the very sight of him.
He didn’t want to stay any longer than he had to.
“What did he say to you?” The Ghoul asked, stressing each word.
“He said he was interested in my life, how I came to be. He told me about himself, and then he disappeared.” Cloud replied, slightly on edge.
The Ghoul picked up his femur and bit into the bone, slowly cracking the outer layer, splintering the bone. He pulled away some of the calcified material, chewing as he stared at Cloud. Finally, he said something.
“You entered into a deal with the Maestro somehow. I don’t know over what, or how you did it, but that would be the only reason he’s not back down here by now, is if he’d found work. He left a spirit here to play for us, and she’s been on a loop since he left. I don’t think I’ll be seeing him anytime soon, will I?”
Cloud swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat. “I-I don’t know. He did say he was going to do something. He was vague…”
“I can guarantee you this Cloud; your world will change tonight beyond what it has been for the past two years. You may be the sole survivor of an onslaught, or you may end up as a corpse like the rest of us. Maestro is an old being, far older than any of us here tonight. He can do things that your little girlfriend could only dream of.”
“Should I try and stop him?” Cloud asked, steeling himself for the answer.
“His machinations are such that trying to stop him may be what he wants you to do. I can tell you this: stand in his way, and immortal or not, he will kill you.” 
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2 comments:

  1. This does not disappoint... thank you, Nicholas, for sharing it with us! :)

    ReplyDelete