Aftermath

By J.T. All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

Blurb

A mysterious speaker recounts her story to one who wronged her--You.

Aftermath

Ever wonder if things would have been different if I hadn’t entered that cave? If I hadn’t uncovered that secret? If I had just left that damned dare alone?

Well? Do you?

I do. I think about it all the time. In fact, I sometimes like to reimagine that day and change its events so I don’t ever enter the cave but instead leave it. I go home. I see my family again. I hug them. I go to school the next day. And I live a normal life. But that’s the funny thing about life, isn’t it? It can’t ever seem to be normal. We see everyone else live it normally, but yet we don’t. I don’t. Why is that? Is it because God made it that way so only a few of us live normally but the rest of us live horribly? Or is it the other way around? I’m part of the few and you the many.

But I’m just rambling now. Allow me to get back on track. Where was I? Oh, right, the cave. Yeah, so we all know what really happened that day. I didn’t go home and I certainly didn’t get to hug or see my family. No, instead I entered because of that simple little dare you gave me. That simple little lie. Oh, how gullible I was. I should have known the moment you started speaking of the cave’s history you were full of it. I remember it now, “The landlord took his family inside and butchered them all up so they wouldn’t starve to death during the Great Depression.” Seriously? What kind of lie was that?

Though, I shouldn’t sell it too short, since after all I did believe it. Or at least, I believed some of it. The bones you dared me to grab from in there, those were real enough. So, it gave some hint of truth to your wild tale, yet now I know you probably thought the bones weren’t human at all. You probably thought they were the remains of some dead deer or wasted bear. But, oh, believe me, they were genuine and believe it or not, they were far older than your little lie claimed them to be. You see, they were ancient. They were natives, perhaps even older than them, but more importantly, they were sacrificial.

Oh, I can see by the surprise on your face you didn’t know that, or perhaps you’re surprised because you’re just now starting to catch on and realize who I am. Yes, I know, it feels like a lifetime ago since we last spoke, and I sure do look a lot different than I did all those years ago. Darkness does that to you, but let me go ahead and finish with my little tale, shall I?

You see these bones are all that remain of the men and women that were sacrificed to this malevolent Darkness that roams these woods and mountains. Every year men, women, children were brought here and put to the sword to appease this deity, hoping in return they could live another year without fear of its wrath upon the land. But, one day something happened. The settlers from distant lands moved in. They killed the natives, putting a stop to this annual ritual.

Care to guess what happened when our good friend, the deity, didn’t get his meal?

Carnage.

Pure devastating carnage. It was a very beautiful sight I have no doubt, as plague and famine struck the land. Many died and so many lived and so many suffered. Oh, don’t look so skeptical. You know this to be true. You just don’t realize it. Remember the history classes we took as children, describing the lifelong journey of our nation? You know the story of how the settlers starved as they moved westward. Did it ever occur to you that it happened for a reason? Hmm? No?

Well, it did and now you know.

But–you’ll have to excuse my giggling at this next part–but after the famine and disease finally relented, the Darkness remained in its cave asleep. Dormant. Waiting for something or someone to wake it up, to bring it back to the new world to feed. You see, it knew things would change now that a new people had arrived, and it too knew that it would have to change. If it kept killing, no one else would come. It would starve. So it waited, and waited, and waited until about ten years ago; when a little, gullible, ten-year-old girl was dared to go into its home and grab some bones.

Yes, that’s right. Me. It awoke the moment my hand touched the smooth, cold ivory of its victims. It sensed how young I was, how innocent I was, how malleable I could be. I was perfect for its plans.

So, it took me. Caused the cave-in that sealed me inside that tomb you led me in. Oh, don’t start crying and begging for forgiveness. I know how you alerted the authorities and how they were able to dig out the cave. But, they never found me. I was gone long before they planted the first shovel into the dirt.

I was away in a special. A dark place. A place within that cave that no mortal could ever enter or leave, being molded, shaped, and merged with the darkness that you awoke.

That’s right.

You.

I would have never entered if you hadn’t dared me. The Darkness would have continued to sleep peacefully if you hadn’t convinced me to enter. I would’ve still been a nice little girl, probably in college now, with a bright future ahead of me. But, no. You gave me a different future. A darker future. A better future.

So here it is, ten years later to the day and we’re back where we started–in the cave. But now under different circumstances. This time, you came in.

What was it that you were expecting to find I wonder? Did you think you would find something that the police had missed all those years ago? Were you expecting to my find my bones amongst the rest? Well–heh–you found something, didn’t you? And it wasn’t the remains of the ten-year-old little girl you left behind all those years ago. You found a twenty-year-old woman instead.

Me.

The Deity.

Waiting for you.

You see, I’ve been watching you for some time now. I wanted you to be the first to see what you wrought upon this world. So, I, the Darkness, waited. Waited for the perfect moment to reveal myself to you; and then you did the unthinkable! You came here, to the cave, on the anniversary of my disappearance.

The irony!

You should’ve listen to that kid in the blue hood you talked to earlier this morning, right before you came. He told you coming here wouldn’t solve anything; well at least not solve anything for you.

Me, on the other hand, it solves everything.

So, let’s gets started, shall we?

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