Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Rituals Of Flesh And Blood

The newly-ignited firewood crackled softly, obliterating the silence that reigned over the grave, dark forest. The night sky overhead was pitch-black and completely starless. Once in a while, a fiery meteor would blaze throughout the somber sky, leaving a flickering aura in its path. Then it would burst to rocky rubble as it exploded intensely. A blinding flash would ensue, only to be followed by a monolithic, earth-shaking bang. The protective halo of the planet was too hard for one meteor to pierce, but together the group of barraging meteors would batter the halo and easily smash the planet.

Below the celestial encounter, the sound of briskly-walking footsteps and the cracking leaves underneath resonated in the forest. An obscure figure emerged from beneath the murky trees into the clearing illuminated by the sparkling flames of the firewood. The figure was humanoid and tall, but his head was shrouded with a black hood. Besides that, nothing could be made of the figure, and even with the aid of the gleaming fire, for he was extremely dark. He stood grimly in the middle of the clearing, his head levitated and fixed at the ongoing explosions in the sky. Suddenly, he raised his right arm high and delicately swung it to the left. Within moments a rain of meteors crashed down on the defensive halo, shattering it at many locations. The crashing meteors painted the sky with bedazzling colors, and even the grim figure pulled his hands to his veiled ears when the sound of the explosions reverberated. As soon as the shrill noise faded, the figure's arms sprung towards the sky and he sounded a maniacal laugh. 

And as if an answer to the wicked chuckles, an object tumbled down hastily from the sky. The figure ferociously lunged and groped the object before it impacted with the hard floor of the forest. It was an altar; a stone altar emblazoned with delicately-carved runes, but it seemed that the years have taken a heavy toll on it, for it was damaged and wrecked at many of its corners. It also had a perfectly round top, apparently for sacrificing. The figure stroked the altar and then set it on the ground in front of it. He brought out a candle from his cloak and magically lighted it. Following that, he pressed the flame of the candle against the altar and then he extinguished it. A red, incandescent glow emanated from the top of the altar and washed against the pallid face of the figure. The glow betrayed the darkness and disclosed the horrific design of the figure's face. It wasn't a human; its body resembled that of a tall, slouchy man, but its face drastically differed. For instance , a long, yellow-tinted bird beak protruded like a mountain from its grey, feather-covered face. Over the beak two bead-like, pupil-less eyes loomed cruelly. The hood concealed what remained of the hideous creature's twisted face. Its hands were also clad in leather gloves.

The bird-faced man bellowed a shrill, ear-ripping shriek. He then drew his gloved hands to his beak and he forcefully agaped it. After that, a low growl reverberated from his bowels as his stomach began to expand, as if he had eaten a gigantic object. The object inside him began to slowly move inside his body, and so his stomach returned to its normal size and now it was his chest that was swollen and large. The creature growled ear-splittingly again. The growl squeezed the object out of the creature's chest; it was now crammed in his beak. A third vile growl followed. With a torrent of blood and vomit the object was thrust outside the creature's beak.

The object wasn't technically an object; it was a human's charred remains, a mutilated cadaver. The bird-faced man heaved the repulsively-rotten corpse and softly set it on the altar. Carefully, he poured blood on the corpse from a flask he had with him. Again he lighted his coarse candle and this time he malevolently scorched the human remains. As the flames fed upon the body, the bird-faced man burst into hysterical laughter as if he accomplished his ultimate goal.

A solemn expression returned to the creature's grotesque face as the ashen smoke rose in tendrils from the desecrated corpse. The creature moved its arms in intricate shapes, as if performing an esoteric ritual. It abruptly stopped and set off swiftly into the murky woods. A minute later, two sounds came into earshot: the first was that of creaking and the second was of glass breaking. Massive shards of glass were tumbling from the sky; the planet's protective halo had been devastated.

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