"In Chinese legend, a vampyr is a corpse that have been improperly buried and resurrected due to negative energy at work. The shell is a container for the dark spirits remaining from the previous Life. It becomes mobilize when the dark energy becomes active. The Un-Dead then rises and unleashed negative emotions such as Rage and a craving to consume positive energies."
"The Devil and Mr. Vampyre"
(Day 1 - Of Darkness)
I watched as the funeral paraded past me. A crowd of twenty people, mourning for the dead shell in the casket made of wood. The body must have once been someone important. His remains were decorated with fine silk and expensive possessions.
A throng of servants wailed their crocodile tears at the passing of their Master. The parade was led by a priest in a Taoist garb, reciting his sermon and blessings.
The path led to a hill top, where more of the villagers had gathered to bid farewell to the important man. The grave was at the center of the field, overlooking the village from down below.
The Taoist Priest looked incompetent. He was reciting the wrong passage, and the grave that he chose was of negative feng shui.
I stood by the side of the dirt road, watching this erroneous ceremony on a day of Negative karma. This funeral should not be happening. But it appeared to the bungling priest that money and fame chose his "Path".
The clouds above threaten to rain. I pulled the white hood over my head, and shifted my weight on my walking staff. The mourners eyed me curiously. They saw a man in a white hooded robe with foreign symbols etched on the headress. I am a Shaman, who just happened to passed by a village of Taoists. My animalistic belief does not jive with their spiritual understanding.
The Taoist Priest eyed me cautiously. But he continued to lead and recite the Prayers of the Dead. I listened to every word, understanding the blank verse. "You live your Life, now go and be free to live your Death…Ameta, ameta."
His prose appeared made up. He doesn't really know the Way of Tao.
In the middle of the parade, a woman was carried upon a sedan, drying her dry tears and looking sullen. She is the Widow. Her depressing image was false. She was glad that the man is dead and soon to be buried, and out of her life. Her eyes caught mine, and I stared accusingly into her soul.
In her head, she gasped and wondered, "Who is that Devil at the side of the road? What does he know about me?"
They passed, heading up toward the hill where the open grave lies to swallow the dead shell.
The entire area was filled with bad energy. The wind blows from the village side, bringing with it the negative aura of Life that have been digested and disposing its wastetoward the grave on the hill. If the wind were to blow from the hill side to the village, the Dead would instead be the one relinquishing its waste and absorbing the Life of the village.
The foundation of the hill was not entirely soil. It was made partly of rocks. When the temperature rises, the corpse would shift and never be at peace.
As the hill sit atop of the village, the thunderous clouds from above would discharge electrical current into the grave, and creates more negative energy. The remains of the man will never be at rest, and it would become a retainer for those dark energies.
When a body has discharged its primary energy, The Soul, the body itself is not entirely empty. Each person holds inside their body two type of energy. Positive Energy and Negative Energy. The Positive Energy is the main soul, with its thoughts and Life. When a person pass away, their soul and positive energy depart from the shell, the body.
But what remains in the body-shell, is the dark energy that still cling to its retainer. If the retainer is properly buried and the body is at peace for 100 days, the negative energy looses its charge and would fizz out.
If the body is disturbed within that 100 days of discharged, then the Negative Energy will always be active, until it creates a Dark Life of its own. The Dark Energy will re-energize the body and re-animate all organs and limbs. The Un-Dead corpse thus awaken from its Death.
The Re-animated corpse then search for the thing that would complete itself. It search for Positive Energy, the Life and soul of a Body. The Un-Dead hungers for Life, and must feed upon itself the Life of the Living.
The Taoist Priest burned his offerings for the Dead upon an altar by the grave site. Yellow talisman made of paper was tossed into the air to appease the Spirits. The wooden casket is lowered into the grave. The clouds above grew dark, and a low rumble filled the air. A violent gush of wind blew against the participants of the Mourning.
I approach the crowd.
"A dark energy surrounds this service," I addressed the gathering. "Heed the Spirits' warning. The body is erratic."
"Who are you, sir?" a man barred my advance. The man wore an expensive black, silk robe and a cap with a Jade jewel in the center. His fingers bore gold rings, and he was flanked by three other men who tower over him.
"I am a Shaman," I replied to the important man, "I could not pass by this funeral without revealing an error in the service."
"I am the Mayor of this village," replied the expensive man, "I must ask you to respect our Dead and continue passing."
The Mayor is a short round man, with a thin mustache upon his lips. His small beady eyes judged me.
"Who was the Dead?" I asked, "How long have he released himself from his suffering? What destroyed him?"
The mayor's eyes flashed something resentful. "That is none of your concern! Now I must ask you again to leave, SIR!"
"There is Negative energy active here," I revealed, "You must postpone this ceremony, now. Today is a horrible day to bury your Dead."
This time, the Taoist looked up from his performance.
"The light of the sacred Lamp will lead the Dead from Darkness," he said, throwing raw glutinous rice into the lamp's flame, causing an incense ball of fire.
The Taoist Priest was a skinny man with a pencil-thin mustache. He wore the yellow robe of a Spirit Medium.
"The Spirit have been disturbed," he said, addressing me, "It has been 90 days from his Released. We cannot afford to stall, we must continue!"
My eyes squinted with confusion and irritation. "The corpse have not yet laid to rest all this time?"
"Sir!" the Mayor invaded my personal space. "Please leave at once. The Priest will do his job, without your input!"
"I am a Shaman, a Spirit Guidance," I explained, "I know all there is to know about the spirit world and the living. Not laying the corpse to rest for that long have invigorated the negative energy of the body. Thus the negative feng shui of this area are attracted to the energy of the corpse."
The Taoist Priest punched the altar table with frustration. He stride toward me, his uni-brow curled with annoyance.
"Shaman or not, I am leading this ceremony!" the Taoist Priest exclaimed, "And your Negative attitude is affecting our Mourning!"
"Just tell me the reason why this corpse was not laid to rest?" I asked, "A month or five weeks is bordering from safe measure. BUT 90 Days? Why the long delay?"
"Because he was not found until two days ago," said the Widow, approaching our little confrontation.
The woman's face strained with forced sorrow. Her eyes darted from mine as she squeeze a tear with dramatic performance.
"How was the appearance of the corpse?" I inquired.
Her eyes glared into mine with irritation.
"I apologize for offending," I muttered, bowing "But you must allow me to examine the state of the corpse. Please heed my warning; you must not bury the body today."
The Taoist Priest shoved me away from the Widow. "Did you not hear me? I am the one who's leading this ceremony! If we do not bury the body right now, surely the Dead will return as a Jiang-Shi."
The Mayor added, getting uncomfortably close to my personal space again. "You are disrupting our tranquility. You disrespect our Dead, and you've insulted His widow. Your presence agitate our Mourning. If you will not leave, I will have the Magistrate retain you!"
I turned toward the Widow. "You're making a grave mistake. The Dark Energies are already forming. The corpse will not Rest. The only way to prevent the Jiang-Shi from happening is to incinerate the shell."
Rough hands grabbed at my white robe. A hulkish man restrained me, and I dropped my walking staff. Another man came into my vision.
"That's enough of you," the man said, gruffly.
"Magistrate, lock him away until our funeral is complete," the Mayor said.
The Magistrate locked his hard eyes on me. He is a bald man with a bushy beard. "The villagers don't take kindly to Strangers who insult their Lord. You will be secured in the holding cell for the time being."
Defeated, I allowed myself to be taken away. But I paused to witness the casket being engulfed within the dirt grave. The sky threaten to break and a flash of lightening foreshadow the Darkness coming. But I will just be safe in my holding cell.
Until they have a need to request my service.
[ Back at the grave site ]
The final patch of dirt was shoved into the grave. The remaining villagers scattered quickly as the clouds started to sprinkle its raindrops. It was close to evening, as the Taoist Priest cleared the altar. The Mayor and the Widow remained behind, standing over the grave.
"Good riddance…" the Mayor spat over the grave.
"How much do we owe you?" the Widow addressed the Taoist Priest.
The Priest slung his silk bag of supplies over his shoulder and stride toward the Mayor and the Widow. His face revealed a disturbance.
"That Shaman have ruined everything!" the Priest said with disgust. "That body will not be at peace. I will have to do another ritual to appease his spirit. It will be 10 pounds more."
The Widow's face scrunch with annoyance. "Do what it takes," she said, accepting the Priest's greed.
"What?!" the Mayor interrupted. "Are you trying to cheat us?!"
"You did not give me an ample time to prepare everything!" the Priest replied, "The corpse have been out in the open for too long. And you informed me to bury him yesterday!"
"Maybe we should just burn the corpse like the Shaman said," the Mayor said, "It would be cheaper!"
The Widow's eyes glared at the Mayor. "How dare you even suggest!" she said, disgusted.
The Mayor retracted. "I apologize."
"Have your preparation ready for tomorrow night," the Widow commanded to the Priest.
"My payment?" the Priest inquired.
"It will be settled," the Widow said.
"Then it shall be done," the Priest bowed to the Widow and scurried off.
The Mayor and the Widow watched the skinny man disappeared into the shadows. The wind was picking up and raindrops brushed against their face.
"I don't trust that man," the Mayor said.
"Perhaps we should speak to the Shaman," the Widow said, "He may know more about my Husband."
The Mayor looked at the Widow, his eyes softening. He wrapped his fingers on her arm to give her his warm support. "Come on, Love. Let's get you in a warm bed."
[ Holding Cell ]
The rain came heavy then, as I sat in the stone prison of the Holding Cell. I listened to the voices of the Spirits, whispering in the wind. They warn of the coming Darkness. In front of me, a lone guardsman sat behind a desk, nodding as Sleep sang its lullaby into his head. Beside the sleeping guard, my walking staff was perched on a wooden chair.
I needed my walking staff. I cannot feel at ease without it. My long fingers wrapped around the cold bars and my head rested between them, eyeing needing at the staff on the chair. If only the staff was alive, I would have beckoned it to come to me. Like a good pet, it can be.
The door slammed open and the Magistrate barged right on. The sudden impact caused the sleeping Guard to jump awake. The Magistrate eyed the guard, sternly.
"Is this how you keep an eye on your prisoner?" he asked the guard.
"He's not going anywhere," the guard said, sleepily.
"I'm not going anywhere," I echoed, slowly and softly.
"You are relieved," the Magistrate said to the guard.
The guard shuffled out of the room, to find a warm bed.
The Magistrate pulled a chair and planted himself on it, in front of the bars.
"Who are you?" the Magistrate asked.
"I am a Shaman," I replied.
"Name?" the Magistrate continued.
"-Less," I said. "Name-less."
"What are you doing here, in our village?"
"Just passing through," I answered.
"Do you know who was in that casket?" the Magistrate asked.
I tilted my head and peered right into the Magistrate's eyes. "No," I said, "Who was it? Somebody important?"
The Magistrate leaned back on the chair, and avoided my piercing eyes.
"He was the Lord of the Village," the Magistrate answered, "A powerful and rich man. He was my boss, and the Mayor's boss. He owned the entire village."
"What happened?" I asked, knowing where the Magistrate was leading.
"He was murdered," he answered, correctly. He set his hard eyes into mine, trying to grill me for information that he can use.
"Why was he not buried appropriately?" I asked, staring deep into those hard eyes.
"We've just found his remains in the woods," the Magistrate said.
"How was the corpse's appearance?" I asked.
"Stiff," the Magistrate answered, "Moldy. A little bloated. Not fresh."
"What killed him?" I asked, still peering into his eyes for more information.
"We don't know," he said, "We…don't know."
"I must examine the body," I said.
"It's too late," the Magistrate said, "The body is six feet under."
"Indeed it is too late," I said, stepping back from the cell and breaking the hold of my spell. "If I can't get to the corpse, the corpse will surely come to me."
The Magistrate blinked away and got up from the chair. He turned to me, staring at me. He then shuffled the chair into a desired position and planted himself on it again.
"Who are you?" he asked, grilling me.
"I am a Shaman," I answered.
"What are you doing here, in our village?" the Magistrate asked.
"I was just passing through," I said, tired. "I am also tired, sir. May I rest first?"
"You are very suspicious," the Magistrate said, "But tomorrow, I will interview you."
"I'm not going anywhere," I replied.