A long forgotten marker
From a less memorable time
Weathered by sun and storm
Stone covered in lichen
The symbol barely visible
None know of the secrets beneath
A labyrinth tomb kept away
Hidden from prying eyes
Safe from hands of theft
Though no riches lie below
Only the broken remains of souls
Yellowed bones with chips and marks
Lifeless forms etched with runes
Their story never to be told
Of the day the world collectively bled
Of the day ancient evil awoke
Water and sky became crimson
And no mortal dared stopping it
None except a courageous few
They gathered from around the globe
Uniting as brothers under a common banner
It took the lives of every one
To send the evil asunder
A mutual defeat of both sides
Darkness dragging the men underground
So their legend could never live on
So their names could never be praised
To this day no one can fathom
What transpired so long ago
But the earth will always remember
What was done to save it
That’s why if forever preserves
These deserving bones of saints
Tag Archives: Death
A long forgotten marker
I had always been told that the Devil smiles with a crooked grin. It seemed to be more of a warning than a statement. But I usually passed it on as some superstitious mumbo-jumbo. If the Devil would ever appear to me, I was certain I didn’t need to identify him by a grin. I mean, the Devil does have his generic, assumed looks. A grin wouldn’t be the only thing that would make him known.
But the Devil didn’t reveal himself to me with his presumed appearance. He didn’t have red skin. Nor did he have horns or a spaded tail. He didn’t even have a pitchfork. No, he made himself known as a well-dressed man sporting a sharp suit, striped tie. And…a smile made of a crooked grin.
He came to me not too long after I found out my grandmother had been diagnosed with an incurable disease. I prayed to any and every being that she would be spared. That a miracle would happen. My grandmother and I had forever been close. She raised me, after all. On that fateful night, I was devastated, vulnerable. Walking down the dark and dreary streets to our apartment.
It was then that the Devil approached. Pushed himself off the wall of a building. Flashing that infamous grin I had been forewarned about. But I was too lost in my sorrows to notice. “It’s a rather nice night, isn’t it?” he asked with a suave tone.
I immediately stoned my expression. Being a blonde, I was used to such encounters. Especially when the sun went down. “I’m not selling my body. I have more respect for myself than that. Buzz off before I call the cops.”
“I don’t want your body, Amy.” He stepped forward. I could’ve sworn I saw smoke dance in his dark eyes. “I want your soul.”
My lips curled in disgust. “I mean it, creep. Get back.” Then I blanked. “How do you know my name?”
He chuckled in a manner I did not care for. “Oh, I know all about you. Your father was never a presence in your life. Your mother died while you were a baby. Now, your grandmother lies in a hospital bed, terminally ill. And you’ve cried out numerous times that you will do anything to save her.” His tongue ran over teeth that suddenly seemed to be turned to points. “Will you? Will you really do anything to save her?”
I took a couple steps back. My unease about this man ever increasing. There was something about him that was not right, and I had a feeling it was something more than him just being a creep. “Wha-what do you want?”
“I’ve already told you. Your soul. Yours for hers. You’ll still get to live with her, of course. But, when you die, your soul is mine. Which shouldn’t be that big of a deal, anyway. I’ve heard a lot of you mortals claim your souls don’t go anywhere once you die. So what’s the risk, huh?”
“You–” I cut myself off, rubbing my eyes with the heels of my palms. This man was a lunatic, thinking he could collect people’s souls. It wasn’t like humans had supernatural powers or anything. I almost flipped out when he stepped even closer. Eyes widening, I waved my arms in a spiral motion in attempt to seem as crazy as him. “You know what, fine. If that’s what it takes for you to leave me in peace, fine. Yes, I agree to your stupid soul thing. Now get the heck away from me.”
But he didn’t leave. Nope. Instead, he smiled with that crooked grin. Approached me even closer. Both of his whole eyes swirled to black, and he transformed into a thick cloud of black fog. Which then swallowed me whole.
The young maiden gasped, amber eyes wide. Her lips trembled as she looked down at the sword sticking through her chest. Then she lifted her gaze to her attacker. It was none other than her lifelong friend. They had grown together, cried together, laughed together. Fell in love together. The person she trusted most. While it was true that Anne was considered nothing more than a handmaiden to the rest of the castle, Princess Marie called her sister.
The heir to the throne blinked as she felt her blood running down the front of her gown. “Why?”
Anne gritted her teeth, holding the sword in place. “You know why!”
Tears ran down Marie’s cheeks. “I-I don’t.” She gasped for air at this point.
Despite herself, tears welled up in the handmaiden’s eyes. Seeing her friend in such a pained state. But she persisted. “Yes, you do. You sent John to his death. We were going to be married.”
The princess’s eyes fluttered, and she struggled to remain balanced. “I always supported you and John. I don’t, I don’t have that kind of…authority.”
Anne’s expression twitched. It was true that the princess did not have the ability to carry out executions. “But…but–” She cut herself off, looking down at the cold stone floor. “They talked. They all said you wanted him dead. That you begged your father…”
Marie swallowed, though trickles of blood came out the corners of her mouth. “No, Anne.” She choked. “You, you have been blinded.” A short breath. “Fooled.”
The handmaiden’s mouth opened and closed. Yet, no words came. Her dark eyes searched her sister. “Marie…”
The royal heir struggled. “I thought…I thought you trusted me. I trusted you.” A final breath escaped her, and the last thing she saw was her lifelong friend weeping. Her eyes finally fluttered close. She didn’t know what had caused this confusion in Anne, but she knew one thing before her death. It was not the sword that cut her heart.
The water thundered over the side of the cliff, tumbling down below. The mist roiled skyward. But such was the ways of waterfalls. A peaceful yet violent force of nature.
She stood atop the falls, surveying the land below. It had taken her three hours to climb to the precipice, and it had been worth every second. The serene atmosphere gave her plenty of time to reflect. And nothing in her mind had changed.
Recently, it had occurred to her what life really meant. How futile human existence was. Their purpose was to make the world a better place. And how miserable they failed. That’s why their lives were less than a hundred years. Why would they live longer lives? They were only selfish beings who honestly deserved less.
It was why she climbed to the falls. Her life had been nothing but a selfish disaster. A selfish disappointment. She would make the world a better place by returning her body to fertilize the earth. It had been something that filled her with fear, but no more. It was something she came to terms with. Something she wanted.
Her eyes closed as the waterfall breeze mingled the spray with hair. It was time. Holding out her arms, she leaned forward. Felt the rush of the wind against her face. Tingling every nerve.
She had no regrets.
No more reason to live.
This was her wish.
No one would ever see her again.
Her body hit the water.
The sky turned a gray he had never seen before, causing the forest to dim; something inside him whispered to find shelter. His eyes scanned the moss-covered trees. He paused. Fully turned in all directions.
He didn’t know this part of the woods.
An over-grown trail led west. He almost missed it, it hadn’t been used in so long. Moving branches and foliage out of his way, he traversed in silence. In fact, this whole region of the forest was quiet. Not a single animal or insect sounded their respective calls.
He stopped. A set of stone stairs lay before him, leading to a black doorway. His heart raced. Causing him to breathe in quicker. Moist earth permeated his nostrils. Putrid algae and decaying trees followed. Then…ash.
Studying the sky once more, he looked back at the door-less entry to a stone building forgotten in time. Left to the clutches of nature. So much so, he hadn’t noticed the rest of the structure at first. And as much as common sense screamed no, something pulled him inside.
His right foot mounted the first step. Dust, leaves, and ash being stirred in who knew how long. He wasn’t positive the staircase wouldn’t crumble beneath his weight. But he had to know what was inside.
He stepped on the second stair. Then the third, the fourth. Careful to avoid the jagged stone that somehow survived years of the tender care of the elements. Fifth, sixth, seventh. The toe of his hiking boot caught a thick root, sending him down onto the final two steps.
On hands and knees, he lifted his head. The darkness of the doorway was much closer now. He swallowed. Why did he feel so compelled to enter this dilapidated place? Yes, he sought shelter from what he assumed was a storm, but certainly, there was a better place than this.
However, he pushed himself off the wet stone. Wiped his bloody palms on his shorts. Mounted the eighth step. Then the ninth. Finally stood on the landing taken over by fungi and ivy. He still couldn’t determine the building, but he assumed it was an old home. Built so someone could find solace among the silent trees.
One deep breath prepared him to cross the threshold. Two paces, and he was enveloped by the inky blackness. It took three seconds for his eyes to adjust. And in the distance, he saw a light. Light that must’ve streamed through a gaped hole in the ceiling.
He held his breath. Slowly placed one foot in front of the other. The wooden floors creaked and moaned, clearly unhappy about being disturbed. He prayed there were no missing boards.
A wet, acidic stench clogged his throat.
The ray of light was within reach, and he paused. Thick particles floated in the air. What had he been breathing in? The ancient debris of this abandoned home? It seemed like something more. He coughed and choked, stepping into the light to see if he hawked anything up.
A surge pulsed from the stream of light.
This part of the forest returning to its undisturbed state.
The light had claimed another victim.
And added more ash to its home.
Because nobody wants to hear words
Because nobody wants to accept truth
Because nobody wants to know realness
Because nobody wants to perceive depression
Because nobody wants to see weakness
Because nobody wants to attend pain
Because nobody wants to genuinely care
Because nobody wants to admit imperfection
Because nobody wants to observe others
Because nobody wants to seem lower
Because nobody wants to get close
Because nobody wants to praise failure
Because nobody wants to acknowledge poverty
Because nobody wants to understand love
Because nobody wants to truly coexist
Because nobody wants to confess death
If you mess with the rose
You’ll be pricked by thorns
If you mess with the bull
You’ll be struck by horns
If you mess with the sword
You’ll soon taste iron
If you mess with the dragon
You’re asking for fire
A warrior may not always win
But a warrior will never bend
I will fight even when cornered
I will fight until I look horrid
I will fight with passionate fury
I will fight with vision blurry
I will fight until my last breath
I will fight even after death
Do not put on my grave
How I won or saved the day
If I had words on my grave
This, I would want it to say:
I helped those I found in need
And the captives, I helped freed
I did what I felt to be right
I didn’t accomplish everything with might
For there are higher powers above
And the greatest of these is Love