Last Testament

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Something lurks throughout the wards of the hospital at night...

Submitted: May 18, 2016

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Submitted: May 18, 2016

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I am dead.
As I watched her dance around the ward, her ivory skin splashed with crimson, entrails trailing like ribbons, this was the only explanation I could offer myself. She danced, like some macabre form of Salome’s dance of the seven veils, only it was not silk she lifted away but flesh. Not her flesh either, but one of the screaming patients who lay helplessly on their hospital bed.
The moon was bright that night, a shaft of silver spearing through a gap in one of the curtains, offering the occasional detail of the parading murderess in the darkness. She danced, I must say, expertly, up and down the ward, leaving a trail of gore in her wake. Everytime she passed the vicitm’s bed, she would tear away another strip of his skin, or one of his organs, which brought about fresh screams of agony, and off she would dance as though it were music to her. I could only wonder why it was that everyone else remained asleep whilst this horror went on. The fear began to make my chest hurt, warning me that I may have another attack if I did not calm. This pain, at least, signified that I was still very much alive.
I could not say how long I watched this go on for, both terrified and fascinated by this malevolent beauty. I dared not rise up but lay back on my pillow so as to appear asleep like everyone else. Eventually the victim’s screams weakened, faltered and ended. He lay still and did not flinch as the woman danced by and pulled out what I believe was his heart. Then she danced down to the end of the ward and disappeared into the darkness. There was no door or exit down there so she could not have left, yet she did not re-emerge from the shadows that night.
I remained where I was, frozen, not moving an inch lest she come forth from the darkness to perform her dance on me. It was not until the silver of the moon was replaced by the first rays of dawn that I succumbed to my weariness and fell into a restless slumber.
I awoke to see the body of the patient being carried away and confused doctors and nurses bickering with one another. Apparently the patient was well on the road to recovery and was due out in acouple of days, no one could explain his sudden passing. To my surprise there was not a drop of blood or viscera to be seen, there were no telling patches on the sheet covering the body nor were any of those who handled the corpse stained. The floor was as clean as the day before.
One of the nurses noticed I slept most of the day and asked how I felt. What could I say? If I told them what I witnessed they would assume it had been a nightmare, and they would not have been entirely wrong. Instead I told her that I awoke to find the pain in my chest had returned and had struggled to sleep. I was chided for not calling for assistance and looked over immediately.
I was never the sportiest kid, it was not that exercise did not interest me as much as the sports that my school offered was boring to me. Nothing enticed me to partake of football, rugby, basketball or such. In fact, if it did not consist of a ball and two teams my school did not have it. Naturally, football was the most popular amongst the other boys and I was somewhat the typical bookish outcast as a result. After helping one of them with an essay, however, they invited me along and, yearning to make friends and develop my social skills I agreed.
I was not very good, but despite this I was beginning to enjoy myself and was even joking and laughing with the rest of them when a crushing agony erupted in my chest. The pain was overwhelming, like nothing I had experienced before. I could hardly breathe for the pain of it. Although I was young, I was convinced I was having a heart attack. Once I was in the hospital, the doctors, after ruling out a gastral reflux, seemed to agree.
So I was kept on watch, and that was my first night there. I would likely have spent the entire day asleep were I not woken by the nurses and doctor checking on me or feeding me. A couple of times I was awoken by the old man in the bed next to me, he would utter something incomprehensible on occasion that would startle me out of my fitful rest. At one point, however, he looked over to me and introduced himself. I learned that he was, essentially, waiting to die. “Bowel cancer, turned malignant. Kind of fortunate in a way.” he laughed drily and tapped his head, “I also have the early stages of dementia, guess I no longer have to worry about that. Would not want to reveal my embarrassing secrets accidentally.”
He was good company. He regaled me with stories of his long life and had me chuckling about his various escapades as he travelled the world as a journalist. It helped me forget my vision the previous night and lifted my spirits, as the sun began to set I was convinced that it had been nothing but my own mind tormenting me.

***

I awoke that night to find my chest aching painfully, albeit not as much as the previous night or during my poor attempt at football. Considering how the nurse berated me for not calling before, I began to reach for my buzzer. I stopped, however, when I looked over to the elder in the bed next to me.
A shadowy figure was convalescing over him, hovering a scant inch over his body. It was hard to make out much detail in the gloom but I was fairly certain his eyes were wide open and his lips moved as if quietly conversing with the thing. I watched, statue still, as this occured. I recalled the dancing woman the previous night and wondered what fresh madness this was. The shadow floated there for a few minutes until she descended slowly onto him, I heard the elder moan in an uncomfortably orgiastic manner. The shadow sat up on the bed, leaned over the man as if kissing him, then stood and coalesced to form the woman I saw the previous night.
She did not dance her way to one of the patients this time, instead she walked with a strangely languid grace. Imagine my dread when it was my bed she shifted over to!
Light as the shadow she materialised from, she crept on my bed and straddled me. My body became alight with pain as all my muscles spasmed and locked into place by her presence, leaving me helpless. I watched her hands, one moment the elegant hand of a lady, the next the talons of a beast, gently pull my blankets away and brush against my torso. They were so sharp that light touch was enough to leave shallow cuts. Her face, smiling down at me, shifted also. I saw the face of a woman, the next it was the face of something else, feminine but not human. My chest began to hurt dangerously again.
Although I was terrified, I could not help but also admire this naked beauty above me. For she was indeed alluring like no human woman ever could be. Somehow, accepting this seemed to slacken my muslces enough for me to breathlessly utter as such to her.
She paused at this, she considered me for a moment, then her leonine face smiled. She spoke, and even her unearthly voice had me enraptured by her, her words reverberated in my skull like a bell, “I am beautiful to you?” I wanted to answer, but I could not bring myself to speak again, all too aware of the shifitng hands poised over my stomach. With feline dexterity she slid off me, “I cannot harm you.” she said, both amusement and disappointment in her eyes, “Not yet.”
With that I watched her walk down the ward to another bed, where she set to with her claws on another patient. With fear and confusion I witnessed her mate and feed from the victim, his screams unheard and disturbing noone else save me. I garnered enough courage to reach the buzzer in the hope someone would come and get the authorities, but no matter how many times I pressed it noone came. Like before she eventually put the poor soul out of his misery, tearing out his heart then disappearing into the shadows.
Also like before, I did not allow myself to fall asleep until the sunlight assured me she was no longer in the ward.

***

The victim of that night was taken away, again none of the blood and entrails I had witnessed was there to be seen. The body was completely intact. The doctors and nurses did not bicker now, but whispered in hushed tones, their concern plain to me. The patient simply had a back injury and had nothing to suggest he was at death’s door. A few hours later men with clipboards and swabs appeared and looked over the area. We were told it was a routine hygeine check but I knew it to be otherwise. The elder beside me stirred from his slumber as I watched all this and uttered something that had my hackles rise, “Must you feed here Belili?”
Summoning my courage I gave one of the nurses a toned down description of what I saw and complained that no one came when I used my buzzer that night. They tested it and found it to be working, assuring me they had received no such signal from me that night and summized that I must have been dreaming.
I would have spent the rest of the day making up for lost sleep, had the person in the bed to the other side of me not had a hacking cough that kept me awake. He kept the curtain drawn so I could not see him but from the sounds of it he was in a bad way. My parents visited briefly, but I could not bring myself to tell them about my nightly spectacles. Wishing they were rich enough to afford private healthcare, I gave a brave face and spoke of mundane topics with them.

***

“Good evening my love.”
I woke to the sight of the murderous woman over me. I would have shot up in fear had my muscles not locked up again. My chest ached, but as I took in her beauty, it faded and I found I could awkwardly talk. I had read enough fantasy books and mythological tales to have a suspicion as to what she is, “You’re a succubus.”
“Do not confuse me with those phantom whores. My name is Belili, I am Lilitu.” she said this proudly, and smiled wide enough to reveal her sharp teeth, “Made in Her image, unlike them. I was never human. You have a lifetime to learn more, firstly I have a proposition. Will you marry me?”
Of all the questions I was expecting this was the last. I laid there in stunned silence for a moment, thinking of all the answers and repercussions they might bring. In the end all I could manage to say was “What?”
She arched a perfect eyebrow at this and laughed, the sound of her laughter filled me with a strange yearning, “Marry me. You think me beautiful do you not? I heard your call, and I answered. We belong, you and I.”
I recalled seeing her over the elder and looked over to him, where he slept contently, “Weren’t you with him? I mean, I saw you materialize over…”
“The night is short here and you plague me with questions!” she hissed. I looked back up and was both aroused and fearful of the anger she showed, the anger of an enraged beast, “I must feed, no time to prattle, give me your answer.”
Part of me wanted to say yes, there was no denying her beauty human or no. But, naturally, the idea of being with a homicidal creature and what doing so entailed set me trembling. Saying no terrified me, would I become just another victim to her if I did so? Yet if I said yes what would happen then?
She hissed as she realised my conflict, “Rare is it to earn the favour of one us, for we are few. Such a chance shall not come again. You shall give me your answer upon the next fall of your sun and the rising of the moon.” Her features softened slightly, and she briefly brushed her lips with mine, before walking away and filling the ward with screams that reached her and my ears alone once more.

***

“Who is Belili?” I croaked, throat dry with nervousness.
The dying man stopped in the middle of his story and turned to face me, “Have I been mumbling nonsense again? Sorry, it’s my condition.”
“She spoke to me last night.” I pressed, wondering how crazy I must appear to him.
There was a ruckus going on. Another unexpected death occurred and rumour filtered through that the suspected cause was the novovirus. The staff had been accused of not meeting hygeine standards and, as would be expected, there was a lot of panic and tension in the air. Knowing the true cause, I was less concerned over being infected. As was the dying man who regarded me with shock and delight, “Never thought I would meet the one she would choose next, I am glad she has found someone. How was the wedding?”
I bit my lip, “I have to give her an answer tonight. Please, what happens if I say no?”
He seemed aghast by this, and struggled to one elbow “No? Why would you say no? Listen to me laddie, I know the prospect of being with her for the rest of your life can be daunting but I assure you she will never harm you without good cause. Do not squander this chance.”
I considered this, “Just what is she?”
The man smiled and lay back again, “Some would say she is evil, but she is nature, an incarnation of our most primal needs. Created by a goddess in Her image, can you imagine how beautiful her creator must be? Do you know how she came to me? What drew her to you?
“In my youth I was a lonely creature. Never was much good at making friends, what others considered important just seemed so trivial to me. I could never relate to them. I was so lonely. Then she came, I yearned for love and romance and she offered murder and lust.” he chortled, “We were perfect for eachother, as she is for you. You see, across the realms she sensed my loneliness, and it echoed with her own. That is how I think they were made, you see. Her creator made them to be filled with our primal needs, but she added a touch of her own loneliness in them too, as if to not be alone her loneliness. Does that make sense?”
“It does.” I meant that too, recalling my lonely days in the school library and my pitiful attempt at being someone I’m not just to try and socialise. “Who is this creator that made her?”
He gave a feeble laugh at that, “Too long a tale to tell. I shall die soon, I think, and Belili will need someone to soothe the loneliness in her, as she will in you if you accept. With her I have lived a life of purity and perversity, of virtue and decadence. She has shown me wonders that few ever get to see in their short time here. She is more true than any woman or man you will ever find in this bland world.
Say yes, trust me on this.”
Countless other questions came to me, but that confession seemed to have exerted him and I could not bring myself to press him further. All I could do was wait for the night to bring her.

***

“What is your answer?”
Again I woke and she was above me. To my surprise there was a single tear trailing down her face, “Are you crying?”
“Answer!” she hissed, “Do not torment me with questions unless you intend to be mine.”
“I would be a poor mate. My heart is weak you see, I fear I may not be around for very long.”
She blinked, “Weak heart? No, I never choose men with weak hearts, they cannot endure my embrace.” She pulled my blankets away and tore open my nightgown, “Foolish boy, it is not your heart. You are blocked.” I cried out when a talon sank into me and, with precision, pulled out a small, bloody gobbet of some form. I looked down at the incision and stared in amazement at the lack of a wound there, “This was the cause, now…” she flicked the thing away, “Will you marry me?”
“Yes.” As I said this I could only wonder what manner of hell I was getting myself into, “What now?”
The captivating woman above me smiled with joy at this and kissed my forehead tenderly, “Why that is simple,” she whispered, “You say ‘I do.'” She blew gently into my eyes then. The sensation was so relaxing and pleasant that I could not help but fall asleep.

***

I was not in the hospital when I awoke. I knew not, and still now do not know where I was. My eyes opened, expecting to find myself lying in the hospital bed, only to find myself standing in a court so vast and grotesque I would likely have been driven insane had I tried to take it all in.
There was a sick moment of vertigo as my body realised it was not lying down and I stumbled. I kept my feet however and watched the throng of creatures assembled before me. Some seemed human like me, albeit bound in chains, but many were clearly not. There were things amongst the crowd that defied any logic of evolution.
“Welcome to my court, my child.”
The sound of that voice was so perfect, so promising of things no human would offer that I was flushed in a moment. I turned and saw an ornate onyx throne where the most beautiful creature in existence was seated. I dare not do the injustice of attempting to describe her, how can words possibly convey the absolute beauty of this enchantress? I needed only gaze at her briefly to know this was the creator of Belili. To witness her splendour was to give myself to her utterly. I would have fell to my knees in worship if her eyes did not command me to remain standing. Her gaze seemed to pierce into the very depths of my mind. She unearthed all the darkest thoughts that the moral man keeps locked away. She saw the vile things there and was pleased with what she saw. I was so happy that she was happy I wanted to cry. She spoke in that magnificent voice again, a voice that held utter sovereignty, “You have my blessing and favour, you are indeed one of mine.” The crowd cheered, more a chorus of hisses than applause.
An organ sounded then, playing a cacophony that was both maddening and melodic. Inhuman screams sounded that managed to be in timing with the tune. I looked to the distant wall to my left and felt horror at what I saw there.
The largest organ I had ever seen was being played by a multi-limbed creature. To either side and above the organ, nailed crudely to the wall, were what were undeniably angels. Their pale limbs and soft white wings seeped blood where a variety of nails had impaled them. To see such wondrous creatures tortured instilled both a sense of fascination and abhorrence in me. Strange, tiny entities thrust nails viciously into them, eliciting cries that brought emotions of loss and lamentation.
I began to see the pattern. This was all a mockery of the wedding ceremony, they had taken the wedding as I understood it from my world and transformed it into something both terrible and magnificent.
My attentions were brought back to the crowd when gasps of admiration filled the silence between the screaming angels. They had parted for Belili, who was making her way to the dais where I stood. She strode with the casual grace of a predator toward her prey. There was no pretense at humanity here. Her claws were proudly displayed, those claws that had eviscerated many yet healed me. Her eyes held a luminescence common to nocturnal beasts. Her long hair trailed freely behind her.
She was captivating! She was so alien, so otherworldly. She held a feminity without any of the frailty associated with it. With the exception of the goddess witnessing our marriage there was noone else who had me so enthralled as Belili. As she moved, too perfectly for any mortal to gimmick, and joined me there, she gave me a victorious smile.
A cadavic looking creature glided his way before the throne, bowed deeply to his queen, then made his way before us. The grisly music ended and he spoke drily. The vows were not unlike the vows as I had heard when my uncle was married, or what I witnessed on films and TV. A contractual agreement was made, however, that I would reveal the presence of Belili on the mortal realm to noone. The world had to be in ignorance of my unusual wife.
Finally I said the typical I do, as did she.
We kissed, in a manner that would have been considered inappropriate to the mundane world. But there were no such restraints here.
Then she drew back, still smiling at me she held up a gore covered hand.
I contemplated the thing in her hand, pulsating, dumbly for a moment. Then I looked down to my chest to see a gaping hole where my heart had been.
I screamed, and the nightmare world dissolved.

***

Gasping, I rose in my hospital bed and scrabbled at my chest. There was no wound there, nor was there any pain in my chest. On the end of my bed sat Belili, licking blood sensuously from her claws. “We are married now.”
“That was real?” I panted, not caring that I woke anyone, “What did you do to me?”
Belili cocked her head quizzically, “I married you.”
“You tore out my heart!”
“I tore out your emptiness, I thought you would be grateful.”
I would have continued arguing, forgetting that I was doing so with a bloodthirsty entity. But that answer brought me up short. I did indeed feel different. There was something missing in me, or rather something filled. I had never known it was there until Belili relieved me of it. It was an agony of a subtle kind, a yearning that, I think, most people feel more keenly when they look to the starry night sky. A longing pain that is both delightful and painful. With it gone, I felt whole, stronger even. It is hard to explain in words. I looked to Belili’s previous husband, “Is he…?”
“He dwells at Her court now.” she said sadly. Then, more cheerfully, “What is a wedding without the consummation?” Before I could answer she was on me, there were no more words that night.

***

Although I felt much better, the doctors kept me a couple of days more. They concluded that it must have been a clot that had traveled to my lungs, but had since dispersed. With a variety of tablets and dates scheduled for a checkup I finally got out of there. The novovirus outbreak, coincidentally, faded soon after.
My life took a turn for the better soon after. Thanks to Belili’s teachings I became more eloquent with my words, more confident in my demeanor. With that, and the aura of her on me, people felt strangely drawn to me. I became the most popular and achieving kid in school and, after that, in the workplace.
Belili would often visit at night, where we would be together as, albeit perverse, lovers. Although she did not really consider herself a succubus she seemed to feed from carnal acts as much as the life force of her victims. When I slumbered she would occasionally enter my dreams and take me to witness realms that would break most mortal minds. With her I have seen things that stirred me like no lush green vista could.
Why, do you ask? I was sworn to secrecy, why do I tell all now? Well it is simple, it has been many years now, not even Belili can keep my flesh going forever. I feel death coming for me, soon I shall sleep and not be waking up, not here anyway.
Then she will be alone again, the loneliness we staved in each other will return to her like the reopening of an old wound. I could not bear the thought of her suffering so.
To most of you this will be the writing of a deranged man, most of you who read this will be nothing more than food to her. She knows you have read these words and she will come for you, to consume you like the livestock you are. But one of you, I am sure, one of you will be the one. The one she is looking for. The one who’s loneliness will resonate with her own and understand the words I have written.
Do you feel her breath on the back of your neck, a murmured whisper in your ear? If so, then take my advise…
Say “I do.”


© Copyright 2017 Lethargic Scribe. All rights reserved.

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