Terror Chains


My life was spent on a ship.  For as long as I could remember, the life on this ship was hard, very hard.  The requirements of our lives encompassed continuous movement.  Constantly moving.  Never stopping.  Every moment of our lives was spent rowing the ship.  No matter how tired we may have been or how sick we felt, rowing the ship was the orders given by the captain.

No one had ever seen the captain.  We had heard he was a ruthless fellow, beating those who question and killing those who rebelled.  Rumors had been spread that the captain was once good and pure.  The story surrounding the captain was mysterious and questionable.  How could this man once be good and pure and yet be so evil.  No one knew for sure, except that if we didn’t continue to row, the whip would make our back bleed.

Every moment of every day, the faceless beings walked up and down, cracking their whips crying, “Row you meaningless dogs!  Row!”  Those who were too weak were beaten until unconscious.  Others who refused to do their task, were first beaten and then placed into the brig, where blood curdling screams could be heard.  We heard rumors about that as well.  Death was assumed, torture guaranteed.  Some would eventually return to their task of rowing with us, while others were never to be heard from again.  Only those who had been there knew, but no one ever spoke about what they experienced down their in the chambers of death.

Those with me were family.  My father was to my right, my mother to my left.  Father was hunched over his section of the oar handle, sick and exhausted.  Mother and I continued to row hoping the faceless crew didn’t notice.  Suddenly the air behind me snapped with authority.  “Row, you meaningless dogs”, exclaimed the faceless beast.  I could then feel the air suddenly retract and then snap with the same authority.  “I said row!  What is this a sleeper?  If you don’t row, I’ll make an example out of you!” shouted the faceless beast.

Each member of the crew was faceless.  No one ever knew how they spoke or how they breathed.  No nose, no mouth, no eyes, yet they saw our every move.  Their body was that of a man, but their voice was lower pitched, raspy and toned with evil, like a serpent that could speak mans native languages.  Their whip was always drawn, their hatred always present.  They stood about seven feet tall.  They wore a simple vest and torn shorts.  Never did they wear shoes for that was a sign of inferiority.

“Father, wake up”, I whispered.

“Silence, you little puppy!  Let your father speak for himself”, exclaimed the faceless beast.

Father didn’t respond, nor did he move.  All that could be seen was a beaten man, hunched over lightly breathing.  “Father, wake up”, I screamed shaking his shoulder.

A slap was heard across the ship, but I felt the impact.  The faceless beast drew his closed hand and struck me on the back of the head.  All I could hear were the muffled cries of my mother as she screamed for help.  A ringing had interrupted all other sound and my sight was blurry and faded.  A few moments later I came to.

“Are you alright honey?” my mother asked with tear filled eyes.

I nodded acknowledging my mother’s question and subsiding here fears.  looked to my right to see where my father was.  Father was still there.  Barely rowing, sweat dripped down his body.  His clothes were drenched in sweat and blood.  He had mustered all of the strength he could find in order to stay out of the brig.  Father had been there once, but like the others, he never spoke about it.  Knowing he was here relieved my fears and nightmares.  I wanted to reach over and give him a hug but could not due to the chains we all bore.

Every slave on the ship had rusted shackles on their wrists and ankles.  Each one was connected to the other.  As I looked down, I could see my feet dirtied with soot, blood and slime.  My wrists were swollen from the incessant rowing.  No matter how much they hurt, I knew I could never stop.

Suddenly, my shackles fell.  What just happened?  I looked around and others had shackles that had fallen.  The chains that held us to the ship had fallen off and no one understood how or why. What if the faceless crew noticed the shackles had fallen?  Would we end up in the brig, the chamber of death?  Questions arose in my mind, but no answer could be held.

“Get up and leave”, whispered the voice inside my head.  Was I to move?  “Get up and leave”, the voice said a second time.  I leaned over to my father and noticed his shackles had fallen off as well.  My mother whispered, “Did you just hear that?  I was just told to get up and leave.”  She had heard the same inner voice that I just experienced.

In an instant, my father regained his strength and grabbed my shoulder.  “Let’s go”, he said to my mother and I.  We stopped rowing and stood up.  The faceless beasts continued to whip the others around us, but seemed to leave us alone.  As we left the benches we were previously chained to, a few observances came to mind.  First, there was darkness all around us.  Never had the daylight breached the thickness of night.  No stars were in the sky, no water beneath the ship.  How were we floating?  Where were we rowing to?  Nothingness appeared to be everywhere.  Hopelessness, despair, fear and trembling surrounded those still chained to the oars.

“Come toward me”, whispered the voice.  All of us looked at each other.  We all had heard it.  Where was it coming from?  “Come toward me.”

As I looked around, I saw a distant beam of white.  It was like a black canvas that had a single bead of white paint.  “There!  The voice is coming from there!” I shouted to the others.  Many others whose chains had fallen began to walk toward the white dot.  I just stood there observing my surroundings, wondering what was happening.

“If you want to live, then come to me”, exclaimed the soft voice.

What did it mean?  Of course I wanted to live.  Life was the very thing that kept me alive for so long.  Each moment that I rowed, I thought of what the possibilities were had I not been on the ship.  I desired to run with other boys my age.  I longed for a time where my mother and father smiled as I played in the park, happy and free.  Life was the very thing that kept me alive.

“If you want to live, come toward me and never look back”, said the voice.

I began to walk with my father and mother toward the dot and then realized we had left the ship.  Desiring for others to join us, I decided to turn back and see if others could be freed.  As I turned my shoulders, my father grabbed me and said, “You heard the voice, son.  Never look back.”

It was then I remembered a story that my father had told me when I was younger.  It was a story about a man and his wife who were told to leave the City of Sin.  The city had been so evil that destruction had crept toward them.  In order for them to survive, they needed to leave.  Unfortunately, the wife desired to return to the City of Sin.  She turned back and took one step when she froze into a pillar of salt.  I knew that I didn’t want to end up like that.  I acknowledged my father’s words and turned toward the white dot.

It had grown into a brilliant light, that was more beautiful than anything I had ever seen.  Peace and joy exuded from the light.  I then noticed that we no longer wore the torn, bloody clothes we had left the ship with.  We now wore robes of white, brilliant white with clean cushioned sandals.

As we walked forward, I could hear the screams of torture and death.  My curiosity desired to see what was happening, but my desire to live outweighed that option.  As the blood curdling screams continued, we entered the light until the screams could no longer be heard.  Now the brilliance, peace and joy surrounded our very being.  Finally, we had entered the promised land, happy and free.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,and broke away their chains.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” – Psalm 107:13-15 (NIV)

Advertisements

Serpula – Prologue


The following is the prologue for a book that I am in the process of writing….Comment and let me know what you think….

      The darkness of night masked the light of terror.  The horrifying shapes in the shadows created a fear that could not be quenched.  Light shone around the door frame but the eerie shadows caused fear and pain to overcome every ounce of his being.  Mental and physical anguish became a daily battle for the soul.  The young boy didn’t understand why his life was terrifying.  Why did this have to happen to him?  Why couldn’t they just leave him alone?  Was there someone out there that could help him?  Would he ever be saved from the horrors that awaited him this night?

The shadows made different forms which created a fear inside making his body tremble.  Hidden under his bed, the boy felt he could hide from the shadows.  They wouldn’t be able to get him there.  While other children told him about monsters under the bed, this young boy knew it was his only refuge.  The monsters under the bed were no comparison to those behind his door.

As the shape-shifting shadows floated from one side to the other, the voice of horror could be heard, “Where are you?  I’m coming for you!  I will find you.”  With each and every word, the voice seemed to laugh so sinisterly that fear overwhelmed the boy.  He knew if he screamed that the shadows would find him and unexplainable horror would become his final destiny.  With every ounce of strength, the boy withheld all sounds knowing that any sound would be his demise.

Suddenly and without warning, the shadows stopped in front of his door.  Tap.  Tap.  Tap, went the door.  Tap.  Tap.  Tap.  What would happen if the shadows found him?  The door knob slowly turned.  It was as if time had been slowed down to a microsecond.  Every millimeter the door knob twisted could be understood in fear.  Should he run or should he stay hidden?  As the doorknob made its final approach, the creaking of the door began.  The sound of the rusty hinges created a screech that would terrorize any man.

As the door slowly opened, a voice from the shadows asked, “Where are you, little monster?  I will find you and you will be in trouble.  Come out now and I won’t beat you like I usually do.”

“RUN, SON, RUN!” screamed a female voice from the distance.

“Yes, son, run all you want.  I’ll still find you”, said the sinister voice from the shadows.

The young boy wanted to run, but he knew that as he had tried before, that running would only worsen his fate.  He decided to stay still and not move.  Breathing became an option that he would not allow.  Even the sound of his breath would invoke the shadow’s terror exponentially.

The shadow continued to float by inch by inch.  With every movement, it became larger and larger.  From the left to the right, the shadow moved ever so slowly.  Creeping along the side of the bed, the shadow started to overwhelm the presence of light in the room.  The boy could feel the fear approach with every movement.  He needed to stay completely still and not allow the shadow to know where he was hidden.  He had left the window open in the hopes to confuse the shadow.  That may be his only opportunity to run.  The open window may be his only savior.

“Did you escape, little monster?” asked the shadow.  Laughter filled the air but this laughter was not like children playing in a school yard.   Instead this laughter was a vibrating, slow deep laughter.  This type of laughter did not invoke joy or happiness.  It only allowed terror to fill the room.

“You are still here boy.  I can feel it.  So where or where are you this time?  Are you in the closet?  No.  You wouldn’t hide there.  I found you there the last time.  So where would you hide?  Now that you won’t come out, the punishment will be that much greater”, promised the shadow.

“Son, you must run.  Run far away!  Get out now!” cried the female voice.

“Shut up woman!  You can’t save him.  No one can.  He is mine!  I will have his body and soul!” shouted the shadow.

As the boy lay completely still, he again contemplated running but didn’t have the courage to do so.  He must stand up to the evil in his room.  He must tell the monster to go away and leave.  Was it possible that a boy his age would be able to stand up to the impossible beast?  He then remembered the nights he was caught by the shadow.  The beatings would continue until he was unconscious.  He couldn’t stand another one of those.  Just the thought of enduring the abuse caused weakness in his body.  Now, he couldn’t move due to exhaustion and fear.

The shadow continued its search.  Floating from side to side, changing shapes with every movement.  It cried out to him with an evil pleasure.  Hunting the boy down was the shadow’s only function.  Torture its only desire.  As it moved, only the creaking floor guided the boy’s eyes.  Each creak meant the shadow was near.  Every step told him where the shadow was.

Without warning, the bed was thrown into mid air.  Flying side over side, dirty linens scattered the room.  The bed frame was thrown against the wall.  The mattress toward the ceiling.  Now he was exposed.  His hiding spot had been discovered and he knew safety was nowhere to be found..

“I told you I would find you!” laughed the shadow as he grabbed the boy.  “Now you will see what happens to those who hide from me!”

The boy knew what was to come.  Would he survive the beatings or would he die?  Would death be his savior tonight from the shadow’s horrors?  Only time would tell.  As he fell unconscious, all he could hear were the blood curdling screams of the female silhouette standing in the doorway.