03 Mar The Father
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"The Father"Written by
Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
When we are speaking of the supernatural, of the disturbing, of the grotesquely weird and disgusting, we consider only the monsters themselves. We see the twitching limbs and sharp teeth, the death and the despair, and the heart-stopping terror of the moment of death. We rarely look past this, into the real question and mystery. I could spend all day debating back and forth about any number of spooky topics, but I want to take a moment to discuss something else.
Recently I was going through a dusty old corner shop near where I live. It’s a small antique business, and I’ve found a couple jewels there before, and for bargain prices. The old man who runs the place doesn’t know the difference between an old piece of junk and an arcane artifact. I take advantage. But what I found there on this day was a stack of old books stacked haphazardly on the counter, as if they had been tossed down without a second thought. I started going through the pile, expecting to find a few old story books, maybe a diary at best. I was just leafing through a book of old nursery rhymes when I noticed an old, thin volume tucked between the other books.
My curiosity got the better of me, and I carefully removed the odd little thing from the stack. Made out of worn leather, it wasn’t more than 15cm in height, and couldn’t contain more than a hundred thin pages. I was unconvinced this was anything more than a short novel or someone’s old notepad. Judging by the lack of a title, probably the latter.
I opened the cover carefully, turning to the title page. Written in delicate, beautifully flowing handwriting were the words “The Father.” My interest peaked; I carefully lifted the thin paper and turned the page. To my surprise, I found a short verse, four lines long, with no title and no author’s name.
“From Mother’s womb we did not come,
Father’s hand is what was done.
To heaven’s gate we did not crawl,
Into the deeps we did not fall.”
I knew that this was not just any old children’s rhyme. There are no nursery poems which dismiss the mother of the child so quickly and easily. It’s usually “listen to your parents and do what they say. Obey God’s will and you will be rewarded.” This little verse was clearly saying just the opposite.
I closed the book, taking it up to the counter. The man gave me a strange look when he saw it, like he was wondering what a young person like me was going to do with such an old book. He just shrugged and let me buy it after a minute, but gave me that look again on the way out. It was like he was judging my personality.
I drove home, eager to investigate the rest of the book’s contents. I wanted desperately to know what the verse meant, and thought perhaps the idea might be made clear by the rest of the writings. About ten minutes after I opened the book at home however, I was even more confused than before. Each page of the book contained a verse of poetry, and each poem was of similar style and voice, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
“With fire’s blaze and ice’s chill,
In darkest night and deepest still,
He comes to those close to death,
And finds the souls he likes best”
Now what do you make out of that little piece? Does it make any sense? It didn’t to me, and I gave up and went to bed after an hour or so at it, leaving the book on the table. I figured I would be able to figure it out in the morning.
I dropped off almost immediately, and found myself in a strange dream. I’m in a gray-walled room, standing against one of the walls, as if I had just stepped through a doorway. All around me is perfect frozen silence, not like anything I’ve heard before. It wasn’t the pregnant pause at the theater, of the soft silence of falling snow. It was as if the entire universe had simply stopped rotating, and left behind the most complete and utter silence ever to exist. The atmosphere sent crackles of electricity up my spine, making me grow ever more tense and nervous. I began to feel watched and a little sick standing there.
Then the silence was shattered as the sound of approaching footsteps echoed eerily throughout the space. I found that I was able to move, and turned my head to see a man approaching. He was dressed in regular clothing, blue jeans, and a gray sweater, pulled over a slim, angular frame. I couldn’t tell you exactly what he looked like, because his face seemed a bit blurry. It was as if he weren’t a real person, just an idea. I didn’t notice it at the time, but just remember that there was something unsettling about him.
He walked towards me, smiling with his blurry mouth, like a generous host. Except he didn’t really walk, he almost glided, with a slight hitch after every couple steps, like his muscles refused to obey him. I noticed that it wasn’t just his legs either, every few seconds his entire body would spasm, twisting in an unnatural way.
I watched the figure draw near with increasing dread, but then he simply vanished, faded away. I barely had time to breathe a sigh of relief before I was slammed into the ground, staggering from the impact. I looked around, and found I was standing by a table, and on the table was the old book, open to the title page. The words “The Father” seemed to shimmer slightly. I watched in horror as a dark liquid began to run from the letters, staining the page, drenching the paper.
The smell hit me, and I gagged on the odor of blood. The liquid bubbled up from the pages, running out of the book and onto the table, forming a puddle. It spread outwards rapidly, spilling drops onto the floor of the room.
Then the screaming started. A hundred wailing voices all crying out, all begging to be freed, pleading for mercy, and over was all is the sound of laughing. Laughing, whole-hearted and happy, overlaying the sound of all those keening voices. The sound turned my stomach, making me cough and retch from the combination of scent, sight, and sound.
Everything went still again. I looked up to see the image of flames, dancing on walls, and a boy, trapped in the fire. His black hair falling over his face, and a knife is in his hand. Blood stained the ground around him, a single hand reaches from the flames, grasping at life, but it’s already too late. The still image flickers, and the figure I saw earlier is crouching before the boy. He’s offering a hand, as if in salvation.
Another image appears, a little girl, lying with her head bashed in. Her skin is black and blue from bruises. The figure appears beside her, lifting one tiny pale hand in his own large one.
There’s a man who’s badly wounded, shot and cut. He’s lying in a makeshift hospital bed .There are bandages wrapped around his head, covering his eyes. The man appears beside him, whispering in his ear.
The image changed again and again, each time another person was shown in despair, on the brink of death. Each time, the man appeared beside them, as if offering help. There are too many to count, too many to comprehend. I felt as if my head was being filled up with knowledge that I had no place for, that I didn’t understand.
Finally, the image became one of me; pouring over the book at my table. The book is highlighted, brought into sharp focus. The pages ruffle, blank and white, without a word written on them. A thousand hands reach up, tapping the book, adding a verse to the collection. Each page is filled, one after another. Then the hands change, becoming paws and claws, long hooked fingers, blades. They all grasp for the book, but it hovers just out of reach.
Then, the tome settled back onto the table, drenched in blood, and the pages fly backwards, until only the title page is visible. The words “The Father,” written in the beautiful thin handwriting. It seemed almost alive.
I woke up in bed, gasping for air. I leapt to my feet, throwing off the covers and practically flew to the other room, scrambling to the table. The book was still there. I’m conflicted. I want to throw the thing out the window or set it on fire, to destroy it, and never see it again. And yet I want to keep it with me, and make sure that no harm comes to the precious object. I feel as if the object is tied to my life, that it is the single most important object I’ve ever possessed.
Since then I’ve tried to leave it behind several times. I never had the heart to destroy it. I always threw it in the trash, or set it along the road. Once I left it at a café table, in the hopes a waitress would, perhaps, take a liking to it and rid me of the thing. But it always comes back. Even if I left it behind hours before, someone brings it back to me, or I arrive home to find it inexplicably on my kitchen table. Once I left it across town before going to the coast for a couple days, and when I came back my house was broken into, and the book was set carefully on the mantel. I’ve long since given up.
It doesn’t seem to harm me in any way. It just seems to follow me about, like a puppy. I’ve grown attached to the object, reading and rereading the verses again and again. Gradually, I’ve worked out the meaning behind them by comparing the dreams, and researching the entity known as “The Father” online. He’s hard to find any mention of at all, and it was months of digging before I found anything that seemed remotely related.
There were several reports by a shady internet group about supposed “captured creatures.” I’m sure you get the idea. The suitably called “monsters” were interviewed, and the audio recorded. Either the files leaked or their purpose all along was to be published, but I was able to listen to them. In each recording, the monster will mention “The Father,” as though refers simultaneously to a despicable entity and a treasured family member. The recording were removed only days after I found them.
Based on these and a few other strange articles I found, I have come up with the following description:
The Father appears only to humans in extreme situations where they are about to be killed or consigned to a fate worse than death. He appears only to certain individuals, based on some personal method or choice. At this point, he will ask the individual a question. What the question is exactly, I don’t know; it seems to be different for everyone. The individual answers the question immediately, and based on the answer, The Father will either leave them to their fate, or change them. If he changes them, the person will then become something more than human. They become what normal people define as monsters. This is the truth.
I said at the beginning that people look only at the surface of monsters. I mean this in more than one way. People don’t look deeper than the appearance of the creature, the terrifying, heart-stopping entity, so they don’t see that most every monster was once human like them. And second, they don’t bother to ask where the monsters come from, how they can exist in the first place. Maybe, if one person were to ask this question, the truth would be apparent. Monsters are not born, they are created.
The Father is the one who makes the monsters.
“The Father appears when all else fails,
To those who have no other hope
He’ll ask you one question only,
Yes to stay, no to go”
Credit To – IHaveNoName