Since I’ve been in a dark place lately I thought rather than add more grey clouds to the winter weather I would post a piece that I wrote for the writing group I’m in. Each of us provided a word and off we went to write a piece using all of them. Here’s my contribution, a somewhat over used theme but I managed to integrate all of the words in there. The seven words are written above the essay.
MUSEUM – FLOWING – CRYSTALS – CHAINS – SYSTEMIC – DEATH – PSYCHEDELIC
Amy wandered through the dank basement of Caruther’s Museum. The lighting was dim. One light flickered on and off, the bulb almost expired, much like some of the contents in the room. She let her gaze hover to it for a moment feeling unsettled and quickly pulled back to search for the sarcophagus of Prince Ramunkam. It contained two large crystals embedded into the eyes of his face. The curator called them the mind’s eyes. A smell of embalming fluid swamped her senses and she almost gagged.
Through the feeble light she could see the sarcophagus. It was central to many of the other objects that had been haphazardly placed around it; statues that had watched over the prince for years. His belonging were chests, a chariot, jewelry, daggers, a hunting spear, maybe the one he’d taken on the hunt the day he broke his ankle. Research showed his death had been from systemic blood infection causing sepsis. It was shocking to think a broken ankle plus malaria had been enough to bring the burly youth down. The DNA tests proved he’d suffered from malaria several times, the final bout had killed him.
Fingering the small camera in her pocket she worked her way through the statues. One thing she didn’t like about being a co-op student was being given tasks like this. Being sent to the dungeon, as she referred to the basement, to photograph relics for the records was the job she hated most.
As she moved closer to the sarcophagus she noticed the smell become stronger. It made her cringe to think his organs sat in the jars in the chests around him. Looking about her she noticed some of the daggers had been scattered, she was curious as to why someone would throw them to the ground. It wasn’t her business; all she had to do was take pictures making sure she had a good view of the crystals and she could leave.
Her footsteps rang through the silent room. She had a sudden ripple of hairs move on her neck as if a cold draught had wavered through. Suddenly she was stumbling forward. Reaching her hands out to save herself one hand fell upon a jutting spear. It shouldn’t have been there. Her other hand fell to the floor leaving her body half suspended in agony in a crucifixion pose. She screamed at the searing pain that pulsed from her hand, sending shockwaves through her senses. Her knee dropped and she pushed herself from it to pull her hand off the weapon that had caught her. Letting out a crippling cry it echoed off the walls of the room. Startlingly, a low laugh followed. She was delusional from the pain. Warm blood was flowing from her previously impaled palm spilling like a waterfall and splashing upon the cold concrete beneath her feet.
The smell of embalming fluid was stronger, the stench causing her stomach to roil and she gave a dry heave. Clasping her bleeding hand she turned slowly. Her steps went no further, before her stood Ramunkam. The once five foot eleven body had shrunken to a height that matched her own as she looked at him head on. Her dry mouth wanted to scream but couldn’t. The horror she felt ran through her body causing uncontrollable trembling. Staring into Ramunkam’s eye sockets she saw the two glittering crystals. Flickering incandescent light bounced off them giving psychedelic strobes from the facets.
The shrivelled hand grabbed hers, covering her bleeding palm. She tried to pull away but there was a force stopping her from moving. She felt her energy draining and with shock looked down to see the grey flesh of Ramunkam’s hand plumping to form fingers once more. Her blood was no longer dripping to the floor it was travelling into Ramunkam.
Her vision was starting to blur when she heard footsteps and saw the chains drop onto Ramunkam’s chest and pull tight. His hand didn’t release its grip. His arm was now fully formed as was his chest, his opposite bicep starting to bulge. A roar of anger ripped through the room as the chains squeezed his body. She was beginning to fall but the newly formed hand of Ramunkam did not let her go. She knew as her legs buckled and the light faded that he still kept her hand suspended, sucking her life force away.
Cafe Crawlers I will miss you guys, you were a great inspiration!