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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Great Abyss

We humans are inundated with fears & superstitions. Things like walking under ladders or a bird signaling sickness or even the fear of walking though the graveyard at night. The unknown can play strange tricks on us, causing our minds to believe unnerving & frightening things. Things that could happen, if they were only real. 

All reason calls it impossible, but what about when we go beyond reason? When we explore the central world of our fears? Are we justified in our belief that there's something to fear amidst the stone markers of the dead? Only a journey into the forbidden world of the grave holds the answer.

I belong to the world of the living where a world of ghosts & goblins are reserved for Halloween, seances & the like. After all, I was a person dedicated to realism & to accept such fears would only go against the grain of all I believed in. It was a world were such things were unthinkable.

The dead did not return, & yet, here I was standing in the middle of an old graveyard late at night. Curiosity can be a powerful element within itself. And, sometimes deadly.
As I made my way through the masses of monuments honoring the dead, my eyes fell on one unusually large slab of stone. It was old. My guess was that it had been there flat across the mouth of the grave for 100 years or more.The writing on the stone was faded & time had taken its toll on the surface. " My God' I thought, ' How could anyone have moved that thing? It must have weighed 2,000 pounds. "

I was about to turn away when the bell from the town clock resounded over & over until it reached the hour of evil. Little did I know that this was my appointed time. How could I have known that destiny or fate, call it what you will, had long ago in the recesses of time chosen me to be in this place, at this time? How was I to know that I was to become the sacrifice of the dead?

 The chimes of the massive clock faded away in the distance. I turned, preparing to go when suddenly, something stirred. Something was scraping on the ground. As I stared in disbelief, the huge marker began to move. Slowly, ever so slowly. Stone scraping against stone as if it were being opened by invisible hands. It struck me that the stone was being opened for me. And time stood still.

Unspeakable fear gripped me until I felt paralyzed. I tried with every ounce of strength in my being, but I couldn't move away. Couldn't run. Couldn't make my body do what me mind was commanding it to do. Then, without warning, my feet began to shift. Not away from the grave, but down into it. I descended deeper & deeper into the abyss. There seemed to be no bottom, no end, until finally I settled on solid ground. I had been somehow carried beneath the surface by a presence of which I couldn't see or touch. I soon realized that this was a prison from which there was no return. 

I heard sounds of pitiful moaning. Moaning & anguish as only the dead can make. It echoed through the farthest resources of time. And with each moan & cry it was repeated by spirit after spirit who lived or rather existed in this place. The sounds grew until they became deafening. It blasted as thunder again & again, mimicking the pangs of eternity lost & without end.
Screams of unrelingquished torment tore through my heart & mind until it melted the blood in my veins in which it flowed. It felt like streams of liquid fire pouring through my body. 

As I looked, in my panic stricken state, I saw flames of fire, spouting like fingers out through the cracks of the ancient stones that lined my prison. Hideously half  formed faces, twisted & unnatural, looking at me with glassy eyes. Looking, & yet, not seeing. Their lingering fingers reaching out for me. Their mouths were trying to form words, but emitting only strange, garbled sounds. It was like they were trying to make contact. Trying to use me to free them from their world of agony. They were trying to lay hold of my flesh. I was theirs for the taking. I was helpless in their grasp. Their decaying flesh clung to me as I screamed in fear of becoming like them. A victim of their bondage. They were trying to make me like them & yet, trying to free themselves from their realm of doom.... their hell, if you will of no return. 

The reason for being became clear. They existed in this realm for the sole purpose of nourishing themselves by feeding off the flesh of the living. Their minds & bodies were still in the process of regeneration, & yet, half human, yet, without normal function. Half spirit, half human. Half alive & yet dead in the normal sense of the word. This life enabled them to slowly return from the dead in the form of many humans to each spirit. 

I did not belong here. I was bound with invisible chains of their lust for the living. I was to satisfy their need for being. I knew I couldn't escape. There was no escape for me. It was only a matter of time until I had to submit to their lustful desires. I was weak in mind & spirit. My will to survive, to escape was becoming theirs. I was becoming theirs & theirs alone to do with as they willed. I was alone. Alone in the world of the living dead. 

I found myself cowering on my hands & knees while they hovered over me, baiting me, waiting for my last ounce of strength to die from my body. They had beaten me with their powers of possession & I knew it. They knew I would soon be theirs to do with as they pleased. I screamed, cried & begged for mercy, but there was no mercy, no compassion. No mercy for me existed. I was swiftly coming to my end, an end for which I had been born. 

Only time will tell what our purpose in life is. We are all destined for one thing or another, whether it be a long satisfying life, or a sudden end. It's all written in the stars. The next time you're sitting beside a stranger or even a friend, take a good look at them. It could be someone from the great abyss. 

Dalton Lasher

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