Rainy Nights in Calvert Creek

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by AmbrosiaAndNectar, Jul 27, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. A thick mist had settled over the musty rooftops of Calvert Creek village. The days before had been hot and humid, and the thick raindrops that bounced off the dirt paths gave way to steam almost instantly. It was a blessing in a way, to have such a heavy downpour in the midst of summer when the crops so desperately needed it, but now there was a slight fear that perhaps they'd get to much rain, drowning them out and making them useless once more. Flooding was always a big issue, being nestled in a valley stuck in the middle of large mountains, but the adjacent creeks on either side usually did a pretty decent job of draining excess water. Flooded crops were about the most of the villages worry in Calvert Creek, making life there all and all decently peaceful. They had hardships in winter, worried about running out of food and the risk of disease spreading rampant but the new cultivating systems that had been worked on over the years have made providing for the people quite efficient, even in the cold depths of winter.

    As with most villages of that time, nestled comfortably in the center was a great church who's peak stood high above all the other buildings, it's shadow casting a powerful calm over those who walked its path, letting them know they were in good hands. It was a great stone structure, built what seemed like a century ago with beautiful carved statues beside the heavy oaken doors, brilliantly colored stained glass pictures filling every window pane, and a ceiling inside that always glowed brightly with the soft flames of candles, lighting up the painted details set there so long ago. One could tell just by looking at it that it was a well cared for place, and it was no secret that the priest of the town loved his job dearly.

    The priest, known as Father Aviden, lived a pathways down from the church, in a modest log structure with his son, Silas. Silas had grown up to be a fine young man, following in his fathers footsteps to become his apprentice and had shown remarkable improvements over the years having eventually learned how to read fully. Father Aviden was well liked by all, always a caring figure to talk to when one thought there soul was in a bad place and needed guidance, and was even kind enough to allow his son to lead in sermons now and again.

    And on this particular rainy night, Silas had just finished patching up a leak in the roof from inside, placing an old rotted board over the hole and a small bucket beneath. Silas loved rain. The smell of it, all musty and earthy and cleansing and the way it would sound as it pattered relentlessly off the roof, creating a weird sort of lullaby that could easily doze the fiercest of men to sleep. It was nights like this that he'd get the best sleep, and normally would be quite drowsy by now had it not been for his fathers restless pacing. He'd been doing it for about an hour now. Back and forth beside the fireplace, pausing to run a stressed hand through his hair before starting up again. It was worrying.

    "Father, would you please sit down? You're going to wear a hole through the floor if you keep up on that path. What's troubling you?" He asked finally, having put his supplies away and dusted his hands off on his pants. His father started, staring at his son as if he'd forgotten where he was and who he was with. He blinked and shook his head, and it seemed like his old age all at once caught up with him, the lines in his face becoming defined and seemed to move with his exhausted frown as he collapsed back into a worn chair. "Ah, my son I'm sorry to worry you. I cannot shake the feeling that something is very wrong. I know you hear this from me often- always on rainy nights like this one- but it just feels as if something is off. I feel on edge, and as if we are to be in terrible danger." He said, rubbing at his forehead and for a moment Silas stopped listening to what he said, focusing on his withered appearance and wondered if that's what he would look like when he grew old.

    They were very similar in features. Light brown hair- though his fathers was greying quite badly now- deep green eyes and in Silas's case, on very sunny days, a light dusting of freckles across his nose and cheeks. In build he was quite lanky, and both father and son shared sharp facial features. High cheek bones, slightly pointed nose and from his mothers side Silas had a much thinner face. No strong jawline, but something almost feminine in the way it sloped inward gently, ending at a chin which seemed to have forgotten it was supposed to grow hair. Troubling genetics had he decided to become a blacksmith or something that involved a lot of physical strength. Luckily for him he never had the hard decision of choosing what to become.

    He sighed slightly at that thought. Was it so lucky? Having your whole future planned ahead for you? Never having to wonder what hardships would await to get where you need to be because apparently this is where you are meant to be? Silas knew these thoughts were bad. He knew he shouldn't have them and he'd swore never to dwell to long on them, or act on them, but sometimes late at night when he was alone in the silence he couldn't help but allow himself to fantasies just a bit. He'd been in this village his whole life. Never once had he been allowed to set foot outside- not to hunt with the other boys to bring home kill for there family's- not to travel with the traders into neighboring towns to collect rarer goods for the community- and not with those who'd realized there intellectual talents were meant for much bigger places and had set off in the night to seek out there destinies. He'd never gotten the chance to leave because, as his father put it simply, he just had no business out there. He'd read about the world, off and on in distant books, but to actually see something like that. To get a clearer picture. What an idea!

    Returning his thoughts back to where they belong he moved over to the arm of the chair and shook his head. "We go through this so often, father. It's just your memories of that storm you were in when you were young that makes you feel this way. There's nothing malevolent on the wind, nothing sinister gliding through the trees, just put your fears away and get some rest. You've been on edge for weeks. I told you if there was something to be worried about it would've happened already, right?" He said, smiling and moving to sit in the opposite seat. His father gave him a wary look but knew this was a conversation lost already. "It's not always smart to throw caution to the wind, my boy. But I see the ravings of this old man aren't reaching your ears anymore. Perhaps you are right, and I'm just reliving old fears from the past. But remember your caution, boy." He said, sinking down into the chair further to gather up the fires warmth. Silas chuckled, which was rather rude of the situation but he couldn't help it. "And it's not always good to never relax now is it? Look where it's got you! Put it to rest now father. I'm sure the storm will quiet soon and you can rest easy."
    #1 AmbrosiaAndNectar, Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016

  2. The traveler was neither old, nor young, and he did not know how long he had been traveling. He only knew that his mouth tasted like blood, and that the Dark was every growing. The taste of blood, and the Dark, had been his constant companions for his journey. He was going South, ever South, and his feet never tired beneath him. He had walked for what seemed like centuries. But surely, it had not been so long. The Dark would have killed him, if it had been so long - or perhaps, it was the only thing that was keeping him alive.The traveler clasped as his palms, sweaty, clammy palms, and felt the Dark growing in them. His hands were felt cold and slippery on his bones, as if they were rotting off of his person. In the center of his palms was a cruel inversion of the wounds his Lord God had suffered - the stigmata was blackened and crawling, always crawling. The traveler's pressed his fingers into his palms, making fists. The pain from the seeping, weeping wounds almost made him cry out - but he held his tongue. he knew that if he opened it too far, a swarm of bees would fly from his throat, and bring plague with him. He had been traveling for a long time. He knew what happened when he lost control - he knew why he was traveling. He remembered his village, or maybe it hadn't been his. He couldn't remember the name. But he did remember holding a piece of the Black Rood in his hands, prying the black nail from its holy resting place, and driving it through his hands. He had saved it from the heretics. They thought it had been destroyed, but there it was, splinters of it in his hands, the infection slowly spreading through his being. But the Dark kept him alive. He lived in that, now.

    The traveler had a name, but it had not been spoken in a long time. He had been renamed, with the Baptism, but he had clung to the fabric of his old name. He dared not speak it, and suspected that he would never be called by it again. He thought of his new name, and he thought of Paul. Paul, who had been once Saul of his People, who walked the Road to Damascus. The story was one of the first he had learned, after his head had been sunk into the pool. As the rain stuck to his head, he remembered the story - he remembered being told that he was wayward, but that he too would see the Light that Paul saw. The Abbot had assured him of that, when he girded him in white and black. The traveler had not seen the same light. The Dark burned in his hand. The rain was coming down heavier than any baptism, and the traveler though of his own Road - but not to Damascus. He thought of the Light that had shown all around him, and how easy Paul's fate had been. Saul had become Paul - he had been blinded - he had gone three days without sight, and he neither ate nor drank. But the traveler ate and drank, in an effort to put aside the hard truth of the matter. He was Paul too. Not Paul the Apostle, not Paul who was Sha'ul, not Paul who had seen the Light. Paul Marrane. Paul Marrane was not his real name.

    Paul Marrange wandered through the rain, his boots sinking into the bog. He brought rain with him, wherever he went. He wondered if this was another curse, another cruel irony. Perhaps he was a new Noah, meant to flood the world to drown all of the monsters. He doubted it. He was, after-all, Paul, Paul who could not see, Paul who had been blinded. And so, he wandered, wandered until he found a woman who could heal him. She was of the Faith - she believed in the One True God. Paul Marrange wondered if that was what was at the end of the long Road. If at the end, he would find somebody who could heal him. The wounds on his hands began to drip thick, black blood, following behind him in a grim breadcrumb trial. Paul did not know what his blood would attract, but he knew whatever it brought would be ill. That was what it was to live in Darkness , to live without Light. Or that is what they told him - that is what they believed. The Road was coming to an end , in a town with a name he did not know , with rain pouring down and washing away what Paul brought with him. He stood infront of the town for a full minute , counting the moments with his breaths. His eyes trailed across the church's spire. His eyes were wrong. They were not human eyes. Paul did not remember what it was to be human - he remembered being wrong. The wounds in his hands burned, as if somebody had ground salt and dirt into his palms. He could feel the blood bubble beneath the skin. Black blood.

    His heart hurt, if he had a heart to hurt. He truly did not know, and perhaps - it was better that Paul Marrange did not know. There was a gate, and it was open. There were no guards. It was not that sort of town, it was not a town that had to worry about anything like him, it was not a town that feared anything but the flood and ill harvests. They had not harmed God with their words and ways. There were legends about gates like this. Braids of onions hung against the walls of the village, to keep demons from entering their midsts. Crude iron crosses were affixed to the walls, to banish monsters from the threshold. Paul tilted his head, rain clinging to his lashes. They had nothing to fear. Christian magic would prevail over the Dark. They had lit candles in the dark with all of their symbols, with their onion braids, with the words chanted behind the Church's doors. It did not matter to Paul. The secret name of God was in his mouth. They could not pry it out. He pressed his fingers into his palms, getting his fingernails all bloody with the stigmata that should not belong to him. He looked at the crosses, the onions, and heard the Lord's prayer. He closed his eyes, burning and strange. He took a step into the town. His feet did not bleed, he did not catch up in smoke. He walked in, and with him came a gust of wind, a baying of wild dogs that could not be seen. Wild dogs were more dangerous than wolves. They had learned cruelty from their masters, from their humans. When Paul entered Calvert Creek, he did not come alone. He brought the Dark with him.

    Paul walked to the wooden doors of the Church. He did not know if peasants looked at him. He did not care. He had been stared at many times before. His fingers pressed against the wooden doors. He pushed his cheek against the wood, his eyes staring at the saints that looked down upon him without mercy. Paul's eyes, all wrong, all a-burning, connected with Paul's empty eyes. The sword was in his hand, the book in his other. Paul Marrange felt hot bile rise in his throat. He looked away, unable to bear looking at Paul any longer. His palms pushed, his fingers splayed, and his stigmata left a black mark against the oaken doors. They swung open with all the force of a gale. He did not ignite, as he should have. God did not strike him down. God had done enough already. He wanted to rest. He would not rest until the last of days. That is what he knew, but he would try - he would try anyway. He stumbled through the church, as if injured, and the candle-smoke burned his eyes. He did not see the priest and his son. He only saw Paul's judgement. He looked without sight, as blind as his Baptismal name.

    He spoke, and his voice was different than his look. He was rough, but his words were milk and honey. They had an accent, but it was not Scottish, it was not Irish. It came from somewhere else, somewhere far away. Paul did not remember. "Hallowed be the name of our Lord God," he called out to nothing - nothing that he could see. "I beg this House of Christ for sanctuary for the night." His voice faltered, and so did his feet. he stumbled, and leaned against a column for support. He coughed, and smeared black on his sleeve.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.