Le Loup De Marseille

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 31, 2016

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Submitted: May 31, 2016

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France has been the central hub for cultural development in the Western Hemisphere for many, many years. Artistic attractions, geographical sights to see and plenty of entertainment to offer. But even the friendliest and brightest of places can have their dark, underlying secrets. France may seem to be a great place to live but there is much more underneath the bowels of this country than some may think.

 

Back in 1793 during the French Revolution, there was turmoil in France, with the execution of King Louis XVI, rioting and counter-revolutionary activity from the common lower classes of Revolutionary France which began the famous Reign of Terror between 1793 and 94. A lot of historians know the terror brought down on France due to the Reign of Terror. Over 16,000 citizens killed at the guillotine and over 40,000 prisoners killed under similar circumstances without trial or killed within the prison. However, history does not tell us of all the deaths during that year. The mass murdering known in the French language as Le Main de Dieu. The Hand of God. During these specific killings, the people of France believed that God was interfering in the Reign of Terror and punishing those who he felt were responsible for the slaughters in France and for bringing devastation to his land. From this came the name of a supernatural being sent by the heavens to serve as God’s Wrath. The people of the city of Marseille knew him first as the merchant Dominique Gilles LaMorte, but after the killings he was known to the French people forever as Le Loup de Marseille.

 

Dominique Gilles LaMorte was a 29 year old merchant from Marseille on the coast of France but he was born in Toulon. Dominique was a pleasant person to everyone in his local area, from the priests to the peasants and treated nobody differently, whether they were royalty or ragged. Dominique ran a general store in Nice that he had built from his own hands and owned since he was 17 which he called La Boutique de Dominique. He sold everything from food to clothing to toys and he loved his shop. Every morning at 9:00 Dominique would open the shop and right on time at 9:05, two local boys Michel Benoit and Tristan Daumier would come to ask for bread and meat for their families. Dominique was always fond of these boys and would grant them their wish every day without fail, in return they would do unpaid work in his shop such as cleaning, restocking and helping his customers. Dominique always refused to let the boys go without a reward and so would pay them a small wage to help them pay for a little extra for their families. Dominique loved those boys like they were his own sons and so was proud of them like a father. He was close to their families as well and his bond became much stronger when at 23 he married Tristan’s mother’s cousin Évelyne Bellerose. Dominique and Évelyne LaMorte lived happily above their shop which had a new perfumes and cosmetics section run by Évelyne, bringing in more customers to the shop and changing the name to La Chambre des LaMorte.

Dominique and Évelyne enjoyed many happy moments together and their lives only became better on November 25th 1792 when Évelyne was pregnant with a girl. Dominique wanted to name her Évelyne after her mother but she affectionately named their daughter Céleste Évelyne LaMorte. The LaMorte family was a prime example of happiness blooming in a time of sorrow.

 

However, not even the happiest of people can escape the cold grip of fear and nightmares. In the midst of the Reign of Terror and the lower classes massacring buildings and terrorising the people, Dominique fell ill in March of 1793. On the night of March 4th, the first murder ensued. A family of wealthy bankers known as the Du Bois family in Lyon were slaughtered in their sleep by a large beast with claws the size of tree branches and teeth as big as a mammoth’s tusk. This murder was most foul, the likes of which could not be fathomed by anyone in the city of Lyon. The father of three, Edgar Du Bois, was discovered lying face first in a lake of his and his wife’s blood on their bed. Edgar’s body was only just intact whereas his wife’s was barely visible, only a sordid mixture of bones and various organs lying in a pile on their king size bed. The current police under this era, the National Guard, took this murder case as a very serious crime since no man seemed capable of such a quick, yet brutal massacre in one night. The children had it much worse as their bodies were non existent. In each room there was only a few bones left over and in the room of the youngest child, Auguste, the carpet was almost painted red and the room was torn apart. In the very centre of the room was a tiny child sized skull with a few tears of flesh hanging from the eyes and parts of the head.

 

There was plenty of investigation but nobody knew who could have a reason to hate the DuBois family. Even the lower class people, who may have had a grudge with them for being rich whilst others starved, wouldn’t have been able to commit a deed as bad as this. Everyone knew that killings were commonplace during the Reign of Terror. Criminals, ex criminals and possible future criminals were all bound for death but nobody knew of any crime the DuBois family could have committed, until the guard searched Edgar Du Bois’ private office. There were numerous records of transactions between himself and King Louis XVI, payments made for Edgar’s services as a private accountant during Louis Capet’s corruption of the public.

 

Two days after validating this evidence, the guard publicly shamed the Du Bois family and burned the body of Edgar since nothing remained of the rest of the family. The guard continued searching the house for clues as to what might have killed them since they were still unsure of how this crime could have been committed by a human. After much investigation, one of the guards found a trail of blood leading out of Edgar’s master bedroom and down into the main hall where there was a large blood spatter on the wall. The guard deduced from this that Edgar must have put up some kind of fight or the killer committed suicide after the murder. The only question left to answer from that was, where did the body go?

Dominique awoke on the morning of Edgar’s shaming, his brain was beating furiously at his skull. Beside him was a freshly prepared soup, a cup of tea with a roll of bread beside it, a small vial of blue liquid and a note from the doctor.

 

I am still yet to diagnose the problem Monsieur LaMorte but all symptoms suggest that you have the common flu. This will not be an easy ailment to get past but it will not bring you to any immediate harm. Just keep drinking the medicine I have provided for you and you should feel better within a week.

 

Dominique put down the note and drank the medicine. It was vile, like the combination of spider blood, sheep urine and bad dreams. This thought brought him back to the night before. The nightmare he had. Dominique was standing in a narrow hallway with numerous doors on either side, leading up to a double doorway. Inside each room was a man typing on a typewriter, the writing on the paper couldn’t be deciphered but they were hard at work and barely moved, only their hands and wrists were in motion. Dominique proceeded toward the large door at the end of the hallway and kept looking in the window of each door. As he progressed, the men sitting at the desk seemed to be deteriorating in some way, as if they were slowly dying. As he passed each office the typewriter became older and older until the end when he saw, on each side, an ancient and wizened man with a long, thin grey beard and a balding head typing very slowly on the typewriter, yet they remained just as still as the youngest writer at the beginning of the hallway.

 

Dominique opened the door at the end of the hallway and a huge man with an extremely wide jaw leapt out from the room and bit into Dominique’s neck. That was when he awoke. What was that nightmare about? What was it supposed to mean? Or did it even have a meaning?

 

Dominique was never one for superstition and continued to be just that as he disregarded the dream and went downstairs to survey the shop. Before being urged back into bed by a frantic Évelyne, Dominique was greeted by Tristan who had come to the shop alone. Strange. Tristan and Michel were thick as thieves and thus inseparable. It seemed that Michel had not been seen yesterday and his family had alerted the guard but nothing was being done. Dominique couldn’t stand by whilst the family and everyone was worried so he went out into the local district to search for Michel.

 

It was 12:00 and a cloudy day as Dominique set off into the city to find Michel. It was very unlike him to just run off, if indeed he did run off. Since the murder in Lyon, and a number of various other murders across France, a lot of people in different parts of France were staying alert. Dominique made his way through the streets and scanned for any sign of Michel but found nothing the whole day. Dominique found himself at the coast near the Old Port and unable to get home for sun down. Thankfully, he was taken in by his friend Alexis.

Dominique and Alexis were old school friends, not the best of friends but they still had fond memories of each other.

 

Alexis asked Dominique what he was doing do far from home and he informed Alexis of his mission to find Michel. Alexis mentioned that he had seen Michel passing by the Old Port back to his home near Dominique’s shop. It seems Michel had been going for a walk and become lost among the city but had found his way home thanks to the priest at the basilica. Alexis insisted that his friend stay the night and allow for transport to be provided for him in the morning. During that night they shared drinks and stories and Dominique spent the night as if he was never ill, until he slept. Another nightmare. It was almost as bad as the last one.

 

Dominique was inside Alexis’ house. It was difficult to distinguish this dream from reality until he ventured deeper into the small house. There were bloody footprints on the floor. leading through to the pantry and in the basin was a pair of arms and a pair of legs covered in blood and bathed in blood. Dominique bent over the sink and vomited into the mixture of flesh, skin, bone and blood. The sink turned a shade of purple after being mixed with his stomach waste. After wiping his mouth he ran upstairs to check on his friend. The blood prints became longer and more beast-like as he progressed up the bloodstained staircase. On the door of Alexis’ room was a message scratched into the wood of the door mixed with traces of blood. “Craindre le loup ou mourir”.

 

Dominique woke from the nightmare, cold  sweats streaming down his face and back. His head was filled with questions but were overpowered by the ungodly thumping on his skull. Alexis burst through the door to check on his friend and, after explaining the dream, Dominique got dressed and proceeded outside toward the carriage awaiting to take him home. He bid a reassured farewell to his friend and waited to see his wife and friends.

 

Before reaching his house Dominique stopped at the house of Benoit to see Michel. But he was not the only one there. The Daumier family was gathered around the house along with Évelyne, Dominique’s doctor, the priest of the nearby church and some of the National Guard. Dominique rushed toward the door and, upon seeing Évelyne and Tristan both in tears, looked toward the door. There was a spray of blood emerging from the door and some writing carved on the door. “Craindre le loup ou mourir”. The same message in Dominique’s dream. He reached for the handle but was stopped by the priest as he shook his head. Despite the warning, Dominique forced the door open and was immediately sick at the sight. All that lay before him was bones and various organs. The entire main room was painted red with the blood of the Benoit family.

 

Dominique was hesitant but proceeded up the stairs, following smears of blood trailing up the staircase. As he reached the top there was blood spattered on the frame of the door in front of him. Michel’s room. Dominique took the handle, now cold as ice and opened the door. There, in the very centre of the room was Michel Benoit’s torso, hanging by his neck. Dominique easily recognised Michel from his blonde hair which was now darkened by his own blood. The lower half of Michel was torn off with threads of flesh and a bit of his spine dangling at his waist.

Both arms were ripped from the shoulder, leaving only broken bone sticking out from the stumps. Michel’s head was worse off as his eyes had been torn out of the sockets and his jaw had been swiped off, leaving his tongue, flesh and teeth hanging out for all to see. The sight was most foul. Flies were circling the hanging torso and blood still dripping from his waist, shoulders and mouth. Dominique left the house and looked toward the Daumier's and to Tristan who had tears streaming down his face. Marseille was still that night, nobody was talking to each other and the night sky seemed more dark and daunting than usual. The air was filled with the scent of death and the streets dimly lit with dark lights as if even the light of France had given in to the darkness of the day.

 

As Dominique laid in his bed next to Évelyne he contemplated the dream he had in connection to the death of Michel Benoit. Could it be possible that he knew about the death before it happened? The National Guard were quiet on the details of the death and refused to disclose a single detail. Dominique decided not to sleep but to consult the priest who had arrived from the basilica. Dominique made his way to the church, Notre-Dame de la Garde, to speak with the priest François to find out who or what may have caused these killings. Dominique took his seat in the confession box to speak to the priest since this was the only way anyone could talk to him at this time. Dominique explained the nightmares and François gave him an answer he was not expecting.

 

Back in 1573 there was a man called Gilles Garnier, also known as the Hermit of St. Bonnot and the Werewolf of Dole. This man was burned alive for being a werewolf and killing multiple children as well as feasting on them. François believed that Satan had brought the spirit of Garnier back to France to possess and terrorise France once more, and that the one he had possessed was Dominique. He did not know how to take this information and stayed silent for a few minutes. How could he be a werewolf? How could he have possibly murdered his friends or even travelled across France to murder so many others? The priest explained to him that the only way to remove this curse was to have an exorcism and so Dominique agrees and left himself in the care of François for that night. A letter was sent to Évelyne to explain the murders and what had happened and she could barely believe it either. Her beloved merchant, the kindest man in all of Marseille, was a night stalking killer.

 

Another nightmare. This time it was very different. Dominique was outside the basilica which had been set aflame. Inside the priest François was banging on the window, begging to be released. Dominique ran as fast as he could to the window, grabbed a large rock and was about to throw the rock to free François but was halted. He felt a large, fuzzy hand gripped tightly around his wrist and turned to see a large man wolf snarling behind him The wolf seemed to be of a humanoid form but had a deformed face to accommodate the features of a wolf. The eyebrows were protruding and contorted, his human hair was everywhere like some sort of mane and a fuzzy chinstrap emerged out of his hair and across his chin. The mouth and nose were elongated and formed a sort of humanoid snout. his eyes were piercing red and full of rage.

 

Dominique tried to fight but watched as the basilica burned to the ground and the werewolf struck its hand deep into Dominique’s back and through the other side, out of his chest. Dominique woke with sweat streaming down his head but another liquid burning on his chest. François had poured holy water on him and the burning only confirmed the need for an exorcism. People from parts of Marseille had come to the basilica to witness the exorcism and have the curse removed from France. Among the crowd was Évelyne, staring straight at Dominique with tears in her eyes. The Daumier family had been slaughtered just like the Benoits. Tristan’s body left in the same manner as Michel’s, in the centre of his room. Dominique’s eyes filled with water as he felt a combination of burning anger and sadness overcome him. Suddenly, as the exorcism was underway, the basilica burst into flames. Notre Dame de la Garde was set alight as the bells tolled, yelling for aid. François looked around at the destruction as Dominique’s body twisted and contorted in pain. Most of the audience were able to escape the burning basilica, leaving only François and Dominique left alone. There was only one thing left for the priest to do.

 

He took up a cross with a sharpened bottom to represent a sort of stake, the lord Jesus Christ looking directly at Dominique. As he lifted the cross doused in holy water, some rubble from the roof fell down and struck the priest on the head. Dominique awoke to see the body and destruction but was unable to get out of the door as the entrance was blocked by burning rocks. The only way out was up and off the roof. Dominique ran up the spiral staircase until he reached the spire of the roof. Dominique looked down on the crowd and saw a beast sprinting toward them. It was the wolf man from his nightmare. Without warning it began attacking and killing everyone in sight. Dominique couldn’t think of what to do until François appeared behind him wielding the stake. There were two choices, die up here or die down there. François lunged toward Dominique with the cross but failed as Dominique sidestepped out of his way and the priest fell off the roof. Dominique did not hesitate to save the priest and pulled him up. As he lifted François, the gargoyle he was hanging on to broke off and Dominique fell to his death. François got out safely and the basilica fire was put out. As for Garnier, if indeed it was Garnier, he disappeared as soon as Dominique touched the floor. To this day, all those who saw the truth that day cannot tell if there truly was a connection between Dominique and the werewolf, all that remains of him is a letter written to his beloved Évelyne.

 

“My dear Évelyne. I am truly sorry for the evils brought upon us and our friends. I know what the benevolent François probably told you but I know in my heart and soul that I did not kill anyone. I could never be responsible for such crimes and I think you would believe me. I am sorry that I cannot stay with you and watch our beautiful Céleste grow but I pray that you will keep the memory you have of me close to your heart and always tell our daughter that her father loves her. I know that this plague that torments my France will not leave unless I leave with it. I hope we will see each other again in the next life. Vous êtes ma lumière et mon espoir. Forever in love.

Dominique.”

 

After the Reign of Terror had ended, Céleste was born but only spent three years with her mother who eventually died from severe depression due to the loss of her young husband. Évelyne’s body was taken and burned for being the wife of a werewolf and for another following month, Céleste was hunted for being a werewolf as well. To this day, nobody knows what happened to Céleste. Some think that she was taken in by the last surviving member of the Daumier family, Belle, and thus became Céleste Daumier. Others believe that she ran away and eventually died from starvation or any other ailment. History will only remember Dominique LaMorte as Le Loup de Marseille but very few know the truth about Dominique the Blessed, as some have come to know him. All that matters now is that you know the truth as well.


© Copyright 2017 J.J. Matthews. All rights reserved.