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The Darkness Within
He looked down, into the glass; the last dregs of the wine long gone but still he looked into the bottom, maybe in it he could find a cure or ending he pondered. Looking up from his small booth Johann caught the innkeepers eye, waving the glass gently the burly host nodded and headed for the bar. Johann pushed the empty glass to the middle of his table, his clothing may have once been labelled as stylish or noble. Now they were nothing more than rags, not long ago he would have been appalled at the state they were in, now they were nothing but something to keep the winds off his back. The red surcoat trimmed with gold now looked brown, the once deep red faded with ware and lack of cleaning; Johann couldn't even remember when the last time he had changed clothing: his coat, the silk shirt he wore underneath, even his leather leggings bore the signs of age â€“ yet were little more than a month old. But those who past him saw the once bright young noble little more than a beggar now, the clothing and flesh of his person hidden behind the hooded cloak he wore: its length covering all but his face, though even this was shrouded in shadow. Looking up through glassy eyes he saw the innkeeper stood before his table, indicating he should leave the bottle Johann tossed the odd coin across the wood surface; scooping up the coins the man walked off without a word. Picking up the bottle he tried to pour it into the glass, but he couldn't. His hand shook, maybe it was the drink he told himself. But he knew it was not. He drank because he needed too, but as he drank he knew it would appear...the darkness would overwhelm and consume him.
He looked up, the denizens of the hoe called 'The Miners Axe' indulged themselves, the ale poured freely, decanters of wine clashing in toasts mixed with the the fake laughter of wenches sat upon the knees of self named warriors: their keening wails of laughter dug deep, the baulking laughter of pint sized halflings or dwarfs rattled within his skull. If only they could see themselves, weak, pathetic creatures. Humanity, pah! Tear it down, burn them and watch what happens: fear is their foe, themselves their greatest enemy. They're like a plague, a swarm of ****roaches; not matter how many are slain or what befalls them they'll always survive, grasping to the thread of their existence. He should teach them a lesson, they have no right to live; cast them down and their so called 'god' Sigmar. Johann's lips twisted into a snarl, he could feel the anger boil the darkness threatened him; its touch caressed his mind, telling him to give in; to fight is pointless. Flay their skins from their backs, gut them. Let their insides feel his talons caress, watch their light in their eyes die; their fear is a delicacy, it's taste rapturing, tantalizing a tease His claws cutting through the flesh, the feel of their hot blood dripping down his body, down his throat... Johann didn't even consider the glass, he rammed the bottle into his mouth and began to down the red liquid like it was his salvation. If anything it would be his damnation, it came on when he was the least focused; the darkness would take him, the foul deeds he would commit would only come to light then his mind returned to him â€“ nothing could make him forget the girl. Her naked body defiled in the most vile of ways, her flesh gouged with claw marks, markings in blood daubed upon her body â€“ even now the thought of the scene made him want to gag. With one last gulp the wine was gone, dropping the bottle to the ground it came to a halt with a shattering end: but he was already out the door. Staggering down the street he needed to hide, keep out the way till it stopped. His head throbbed, thoughts and images of debauchery and vile sacrilege came unbidden now: his whole body pained him, each step swept a wave of agony across his stricken form. It was in his current conditions he failed to spot the two shadows detach themselves from the shadows.
His legs walked their own paths, neither seemed to respond to him. It was with a lurching gait that he stumbled into the alleyway, his pursuing friends were not far behind. Johann moved like a drugged lunatic, he slumped against the walls and his legs gave. The throbbing was now a drumming, his head held an imperial army on marching procession, his breaths came in gasps, his tight chest burnt with a fiery pain - his heart was trying to escape. Then dimly he heard voices, muffled and distorted he hear them, then he felt them. Felt voices? You don't feel voices. His mind raced, he got it. He was being mugged, the footpads and thieves were going to remove what little he still owned in the world. He wouldn't let them. It was his! Red descended over his vision, his mind retreated and the darkness engulfed him. The pairs screams were quickly silenced when his talons tore their throats out, their quickly cooling blood called to him â€“ bending down the Johann-thing lapped it up like a dog, his form quivering with excitement and squirmed with pleasure as the vermilion liquid slip down his throat. Then the fun really began.
With a groan Johann's eyes fluttered open, that within itself was a challenge. Slowly he raised his hand to his face, but stopped. It was wet, the liquid covered his arms from tips to elbow, his clothing was missing; looking at the wall in front of him he tried to remember why he was sat in an alleyway naked. The green moon, Morrslieb, cast it's ghoulish light upon Johann's resting place. The sight he saw made him gag, the wetness of his arm was blood. He was covered in blood. A carnage than nothing but a maddened beast could have wrought lay about him, it may have once been two men that lay there but now he could not tell. There were pieces of dismembered men spread about, he recognised a mangled arm, a shattered leg â€“ the bone peeking through the skin, a torso lay open; its internal works exposed for all to see. The cobbled floor and brick walls would have looked more at home in an abattoir, he never imagined two bodies could hold so much of the liquid. Then he looked at the rest of him, symbols and sigils he didn't know the meaning of adorned his naked form and a coppery taste filled his mouth: he could smell the same too. His gorge rose as he realised it was blood, he emptied his stomach â€“ blood flowed freely from his gullet. It had taken him again, naked he staggered out into the street again; he couldn't resist it, the presence was too strong. Stopping still his gaze lay upon the count's residence and he knew what he had to do. As quickly as his worn legs would carry him he set off to meet his protector, the count could help him. It took him nearly an hour to reach the top of the hill, looking upon the bastion that he overseer lived in, the imperial guardsmen patrolling the walls he was prepared. Taking a single deep breath he ran headlong at the gates â€“ curses and screams tore from his throat as he hurtled towards the house. Shouted warnings came from above, be he ignored them. Again they came and again he dismissed them. The air was filled with a whip crack and an acidly stench. Finally what he sought.
He lay there, his blood mingling with those two men upon his naked form. His skull echoed with a piercing scream, the daemonic presence that inhabited his body was banished back to it's own gods realm as the host body of Johann slowly cooled. With a smile upon his face and his last whispered word Johann Von Fletch expired, his soul now belonged to Morr. His body was burnt at the stake by Witch Hunters in fears of the creature returning, but both mortal and immortal were long gone.
A good story, was a good read. Kudos Ulrik.
One thing though "He looked up, the denizens of the hoe called" You might want to correct that to 'hole', a hoe being something quite different.
Oh and point of reference when I read "Imperial Guardsman" I did a double take and wondered what universe this was in again. You might want to make that 'Soldiers of the Empire' or something a bit less resonant of 40k. But again, kudos well done.
Thanks, ah yes... there maybe a few mistakes in there, I was suddenly in a slightly depressed mood when I wrote it and never proof read it. The Imperial Guardsmen I used simply becuase that's what they are, it fitted quite well.
It's alright overall. The wording could use some smoothing throughout, though the inspiration is definitely there. I appreciate the way you built the story up over its length, giving the reader just enough knowledge to be intrigued but retain a sense of mystery. I particularly like the second paragraph, as it gives the reader insight into the character's motivation, without revieling in full his identity. I really couldn't tell that you were "slightly depressed" during the writing , but seriously I find my most inspired periods of writing to occur when I am either depressed or angered.
So, overall a very good rough work. You know you are talented writer, just stay away from narrative contractions (gah!). I'd give it a 7/10 (as in a C), but I'm a very critical reader.
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely...
but it rocks absolutely, too!
Thanks. I don't truely consider myself a great writer; not too bad, maybe bordering on good but then I've only truely begun to write recently. But thanks.
Overall I'm happy enough with it, just a bit of spellchecking and maybe making sure the right words are in the right place. I tried to give as little away as possible, t'was the main idea anyways.
A C? ^___________^ Works for me. Ta.