Day 14 – Dirges in the Dark by Antoinette Corvo

A sample from horror novella Dirges in the Dark

Prologue

“Tell me who you are.”

It laughed. Micah looked directly into its pale, white, cloudy eyes and, in a stern voice, commanded, “Tell me your name.”

“The cunt won’t be freed. Not now. Not ever. You failed like your pathetic King.” It spat on the floor.

“Tell me your name!” Micah shouted, veins popping, eyes wide, fury unleashed. It recoiled a little, having never heard such anger from one like Micah. It smirked a wicked crescent of a smile. Was it winning? Curled up in the dark corner, it hissed, trying to speak, but unable to say anything except these words: “Prince Vassago”. Dumbstruck, the Prince covered his mouth like a child who had just said a naughty word. Micah was winning.  

“Who are you?” Vassago panted. Furious.

“In the name of my King I command you, Prince Vassago, to leave this vessel … now.” Micah stood up over it, leaning into its face, unafraid. Its voice trembled.

“You see? We already got you, Micah. It took anger to get my filthy name out of your pure mouth and anger is a sin after all.” It tried to hide its fear. Vassago was a prince and not a king. What would his superiors do to him?

“In the name of….”

“Your King wept!”

“…all that is pure and good….”

“Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying…” it sang.

“Prince Vassago, be gone!”

“Your King wept. Your King will weep. Your King is weeping,” it hissed out in a whisper, then the voice of spite and wickedness ebbed away. The vessel collapsed onto the bed.

“Still alive.” Micah checked the vessel’s pulse. He’d won this battle, but the war was far, far from over. He knew he would meet up with Prince Vassago again but not yet – not just yet, anyway. There will be more of him and his kind to challenge.

The vessel slept peacefully. A doctor stepped into the hospital room and checked her vitals. “She seems okay.” Doctor Ruben spoke his thoughts aloud. “I just can’t believe it worked.”

“How did this happen?” Micah, having only more to contend with, knew this war was everlasting.

“She was from that theater.”

“Theater?” This was news to Micah.

The theater. That theater. Don’t you hear the news?”

Micah didn’t know how to answer. He wasn’t from these parts. He only recently discovered where he was from and by whom.

“Tell me more.” He sat on a chair and looked directly into Ruben’s eyes – lie detecting. Doctor Ruben shook his head wildly and quickly replied, “No, no, no, no. I will not mention her name. I will not speak of it. It is forbidden to speak of it. All the patients I’ve seen with these symptoms have got a picture of her, or a story of her, or a fucking blog about her on the Internet. Her name is never to be said. She is never to be spoken about. It’s the only way to keep them, those things, from making us their toys.”

“You mean her?” Micah pointed to the little lady resting on the bed recovering and in a deep sleep.

“No. Not her. I don’t know how she even managed to make it out of that fucking theater.” Ruben shook his head with his hand cupping his chin.

The little room where the vessel of Vassago rested was cold, machine-ridden, heartless, but a heavy weight had been lifted. The feeling of dread left with Vassago. All in shambles, unshaven, and a complete mess, Micah was tired – tired of it all. He rested his head on his palm, kept his eyes closed, and tiredly asked, “How am I supposed to deal with these things if I don’t even know what the fuck I’m going up against? Who is the one behind it all? What is this theater you speak of? Seriously, just tell me.”

“I’m too scared.” Seasoned old Doctor Ruben’s voice quivered.

“I am here. I will protect you. Just tell me…” Micah said patiently. “I have never failed, and I’ve never been wrong before. I’ve faced far worse than Vassago. The way you understand the mind and medicine is the way I understand these things. Tell me.”  

Dirges in the Dark is now available for Kindle, in paperback, and on Audible here.

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