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Wretched Little Beast



 
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Iria Visile

Iria Visile’s story begins as most stories do. With ignorance and innocence wrapped into a blissful package. She was a simple girl that lived in extraordinarily boring life, she abided by rules and did what was commanded of her. The village she was born in was the only home she had ever know, and all 123 residents of their small village felt like a very large family. Iria had been betrothed to a man she didn’t mind, and she was prepared to take her place as wife and mother at her age of 23.

                However, when all things in the world seem right, that is when they are to become most disrupted. Terror ran through the village one late evening when shadows descended upon every hut. Men were slaughtered and children vanished. The terror lasted months, people were being picked off one by one each night. When the man Iria was intended for was desecrated fear finally struck her core. It seemed that the wretched beasts were closing in on the sanctuary of her home and her family. Villagers that remained recounted stories they had been told as children, fairy tales about monsters that came into the night. Iria had remembered those stories too, but they were supposed to be stories, false accounts to scare children into being good and to mind the rules set by their parents. They were tales to keep children away from the woods and to do their chores, but they were only supposed to be stories. They weren’t supposed to be some gruesome reality.

                It was frightening.

                The world that Iria knew was forever changed.

                She felt like an animal caged, bound to her home and never permitted to leave the house without an escort. When night befell each member of the house rotated to keep watch. The weapons left to guard the threshold felt useless in Iria’s hand. If one of the unearthly creatures bound into her families hut, she would be horrid at defending their abode. Which is why father gave her the last watch, when there were only a few hours left of darkness before the dusk brushed the house with its faint morning rays of sunlight.

                The light never brought warmth though, it only meant that they were to wake and succumb to the mourning of another friend lost to the devils flight. No matter the amount of praying there was no reprieve. Their numbers were dwindling and no help was coming. Soon they would all be dead and there would be nothing left of their small town. The numbers were down by half when Iria’s world would once more be dislocated in such a horrifying way.

                The skies had permanently turned a deep shade of gray with thick, heavy clouds that blocked out the rays of light that pushed against the barricade. Days seemed to linger and nights never went by fast enough. Iria lived, no, not lived, she simply existed as she went through the same routine every day and night. Complete her chores during the day, help prepare their nightly meal and then sleep for only a few hours before she would be shook awake to guard their humble home. Days and weeks blended together, until everything changed, she would remember this life in vivid detail as long as her memory allowed.

                The first flakes of snow had begun to fall and all moonlight and starlight was blocked out by the dreary clouds. Iria was on her watch, eyes dropping as she counted the flakes as they fell from the sky. She had counted 579 flakes before her eyes latched onto an eerie shadow lingering in the distance. At first she believed tricks had befallen her eyes and she was hallucinating the images. She blinked and rubbed her eyes and blinked again before the dread set in. The beast was finally ready to come for her family. They had lost no one but her betrothed. She had thought them to be blessed, but perchance they were truly unlucky. The beast may not have come for them but their rations were scarce and food was a commodity not to be hasty with. With so many villagers dead and missing there were not enough men to tend to the crops, especially since their rations were already low due to a drought during the settlement of their village. Some days she feared starvation more than the wicked beast. Terror clutched at her throat and she ceased to breathe as her hand fumbled for a weapon she knew not how to use.

                She wanted to scream out to her parents, wanted to alert them of the threat that lurked just a few paces from the doorstep. She wanted to scream, but she stayed silent as a mouse so she didn’t draw attention from the monster in her wake. Her bones in her body shook till her spine ached and her knees wobbled. Silent tears flowed like rivers down her cheeks as the creature latched its cold dead gaze on her house. She trembled in her boots willing the monstrosity not to see her.She couldn’t move, she could only wait, wait to die, and wait to face the wretched little beast that had torn her whole world apart.

                The creature moved with grace, it seemed as if it floated towards her, and when the creatures face was finally slashed with candle light Iria drew in a deep gasp at the thing that stood before. Only it wasn’t a thing, or a beast, or a creature. It was a woman. With tanned skin and glowing eyes. She smiled at the trembling girl and Iria’s heart pumped at two times the speed.

                “W-who are you?” Her wobbled words pinched through shaking breaths as she stared upon the face of the woman who caused so much strife. She must be the devil, the devil walked among them but god never answered their prayers. God was going to let them succumb to the devil, their village washed away like the people of Noah’s time. But were they sinners? Why did they deserve such hate? Such turmoil? Was god not just? Or was he cruel? Was he good? Or was he clever?

                These questions would never be answered.

                “I am here to take you from this misery.”

                “I don’t want to go anywhere.”

                “You will.” I saw the points of her teeth only a moment before she flung herself towards me and latched her garish mouth to my neck. My body was pressed against the walls of my home as this woman encompassed me in her terrifying grasp. At least I would die at home.

                But I didn’t die, not then at least. When I was ready for life to leave my body the woman swept me into her arms and carried me away from my home and family. I wanted to call out for them, I wanted to claw my way out of this girls arms and crawl back into my mat of straw and sleep away this nightmare.

                I couldn’t escape though, and the last thing I saw before my conscious faded was a single word scratched onto the trunk of a nearby tree. A word that would hold no meaning for years, a word I wouldn’t understand till I myself became a wretched little beast. 

 ‘Croatoan’

October 07, 2018 05:35 pm

Iria Visile

Iria spent days in darkness, the only time she saw the mysterious woman was when she came to drain her of the precious blood that scarcely trickled through her veins. The only thing she saw was darkness, and the woman with tanned skin came quickly and quietly, and disappeared before Iria even had a chance to protest the woman’s heinous actions. The blonde haired girl was chained to a wall hard as stone and she begged for the woman to end her life with every visit. She called out into the darkness but the only response back was the echoing of her own pleas.

The agony from the torturous repetition was driving Iria towards madness. She was envious of the people that were slaughtered and brought to death in such a quick and concise manner. Every moment seemed to linger and each night she cried out to the gods for a reprieve. After countless days or perhaps it was months, Iria’s wish would be granted.

The woman who had brought her to this chamber of despair offered her the one thing that she had wanted since her capture: death.

“Do you wish to die?” The woman’s voice broke through the barrier of the abyss that had been Iria’s home for countless days. A heavy accent tangled with the devils words so it had taken Iria a moment to decipher but once their meaning rang clear through her conscious she pulled against her chains and begged for the woman to kill her.

“Yes, yes, I want it more than anything. Please. Please.” The woman’s laughter flitted through the air as she moved forward, she was barely a shadow in the darkness but Iria felt the rush of the wind as she approached. God had finally answered her prayers and should would be taken from this world and bound unto heaven were all misery and pain would cease to exist. Her Elysium was waiting for her, a place with no famine, sickness or strife. This was a kindness that her captor was giving to her, she would commit the monstrous crime of murder so that Iria could move into an afterlife of peace. Relief pulled at Iria’s heartstrings and tears rolled from her cheeks.

“Good.” The woman lurched forward and drank from her neck like she had never done so before. Teeth tore at flesh and blood flowed from her body into her murderers. She wanted to fight it, to call out for the woman to stop, but stopping would only mean she would live another day in this penitentiary. Only when she thought death was nearly calling her name did the woman pull away from her neck and offer a goblet of liquid to Iria’s lips.

Iria drank, which was her blunder.

The liquid was not cool, nor was it water nor wine. It was warm and think and tasted of dirt and copper. A part inside Iria’s head screamed for her to cease her consumption of the blood but she was too thirsty to stop. So she drank. She drank until she had gorged herself on blood and pain began to shot through her body like venom of a snake. The brief blissful thoughts of death were consumed by the most agonizing pain that ever existed. Every nerve fiber felt like it was on fire before been doused in ice. Needle pricks stung deep within her core. The pain was so cruel and intense that she couldn’t scream. Her throat constricted and the death she thought she wanted was becoming her biggest regret. This was not paradise and she wasn’t leaving this world in peace, she was being reborn in anguish.

 

When Iria woke she knew that she wasn’t in heaven, but she was stilled strapped to a wall with chains. She was still in hell, but everything around her seemed different. The silence seemed like it was no longer quiet. She could hear things that she had never heard before, the most disturbing of those things were the cries of others from somewhere in the cave, possibly miles away from her own hanging place. She could see clearly in the darkness, and she could smell death from every direction. She had wanted death, but she never wanted this.

“What did you do to me?!” Her voice was hoarse and cracked as she called out. “What did you do?” She screamed again, pulling at her chains and feeling them slightly give under her strength.

“I gave what you asked for.”

“What did you do to me?”

“I gave you death. I gave you strength. Power.” The pride in her voice brought bile to Iria’s tongue. This woman before her was the devil.

“Who are you?” Iria demanded.

“So full of questions. I am Nya of the Croatan tribes.”

“Croatan? Croatoan was clawed into a tree. Why?”

“It is so the world will always know of the greatness that we brought upon the land. We belong next to the gods. They granted us immortality, the gods came to us and asked us to drink the blood of a lamb. Sacrifice our mortality so we could live forever and serve them. We are Croatoan. We are immortal. And so now are you.”

“How? How am I immortal?”

“You drank as we drank.”

“Blood? Animal blood?” The woman balked with laughter at that before lunging forward, her nose touched the edge of Iria’s ear, her voice sinister and chilling as she spoke.

“No, blood of the children. You drank the blood of your people. Animal blood ceased to quell our appetite, so we sacrificed a tribe member each month to the gods and drank their blood to ease the thirst. But then, then you settled and we no longer needed to make a sacrifice, all we needed was your people. Iria, you have danced with the gods and sang with the devil when the blood of the innocent splashed across your lips. You are stained with red. Let me teach you to harness your immortality, to revel in it and to serve the gods.”

Iria wanted to wrap her thin fingers around Nya’s throat but she didn’t have the strength because like it or not she was thirsty and her attention returned to the cries of those in the cave, they were caged animals and she wanted to pick her pet.

“Come, let us delve into our urges.” Nya’s hands snapped the chains from Iria’s hands and feet. The freedom felt sweet on Iria’s tongue but she stood frozen, staring into the mouth of pathway that led her away from her prison.

“I don’t want to kill.”

“You will. You are strong and death becomes you.” 

October 10, 2018 10:10 pm
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