Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
I was struggling to identify something, anything, within the icy presence swirling around me. For eight years I had anticipated and feared this day. My eyes were rushing from side to side blindly; I couldn’t focus enough to see. Faster and faster they went, bringing with them my head, my neck probably reaching its breaking point, sweat as well as drenched hair covering my face completely. Blind and panicking, I suddenly heard an alien noise behind me. My instincts suddenly came back and I wildly divided the mask of hair gripping my face and turned around in less than a second.
The carcass of a rabbit was lying in front of me. Carrots were penetrating its skin in an obscene imitation of a hedgehog as it lied there, marinating in it’s own blood. Exactly the same scene I witnessed when I was nine years old and it all began.
For the next few seconds I went through a jarring trip down memory lane, recalling the events that had stalked and ruined my short life.
When I was nine, the darkness called out to me through the open window behind my bed. I don’t remember if I was sleeping before I heard it, but I remember being painfully awake for the entire duration of the voice. It was so demanding and clear, but it was also raspy with a horrifying edge to it.
The voice told me to go outside into the dark and find the bushes in our backyard. It told me to just go there and wait. After that, only a couple of things stand out amidst the blur that remains of that night. Having no choice but to obey. Not really being scared; only experiencing cold way too intense for a summer evening, unknown but morbidly beautiful crimson flowers surrounding the bushes and the rabbit placed on top of them. I remember the dark speaking to me yet again. I remember the last thing it told me before staying silent forever. “Once every day of birth until seventeen births are reached.”
Recalling the voice woke me up from my painful reminiscing, and I started screaming.
I was seventeen now, and several times I had tried to avoid the inevitable gruesome scene. It didn’t matter though; a different animal was presented to me in a grotesque and seemingly intentional ironic way every year without fail. A snake turned into a centipede. A duck with the head of a swan. Desire, jealousy and regret, and I could never stop myself from following the dark.
I was still screaming hellishly, and as more and more blood started leaking inside my throat and madness was tightening it’s grip, I felt the cold draw closer with it, just to drown out my mix of raspy screams and gargling. The only thing I saw except debris and my own hair flowing with the tempest surrounding me was the unearthly glow of the crimson flowers below me.
Suddenly, a sound, startling me more than I can put in words. It sounded like a man filled with regret struggling to draw a final breath. It echoed through my skull and escaped my mouth in a helpless, inaudible, moan. Why the intense wind didn’t block out that disgusting sound I will never know. All I could do now was wonder what dark deed was to be done upon me.
A door made of ice and bone was now in front of me. Waiting for it to open was true agony. Not a second too late, it opened and I hurried inside. Complete dark and silence. All I noticed, not even with any of the five senses, was an icy stare. I let go a relieved smile as the last remnants of conciousness blissfully faded away.
Credit To: Dalir