The Pale Ones

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ezekiel McCready is a preacher who just moved to New Orleans. Something he discovers just might bring about the end of his life.

Submitted: May 28, 2015

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Submitted: May 28, 2015

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“The Pale Ones”

Preface:

My name is Ezekiel McCready, and, on the May 14, 1843, I received a letter requesting my services as preacher in a small church in New Orleans. At that time, I was employed at the local general store. I had, for the past few years, however, been seeking the position of a preacher in various places, for that was the occupation I had longed for since my teenage years. I was overjoyed when I received the letter, for it seemed to be the first good luck I’d had in a while. I was a poor man (as I said before my only source of income was my small payment from the store, which was barely enough for the necessities), and, although I am 37 years of age, I have never been married. I sold my small house as quickly as possible, packed all of my things, and left for Louisiana.

I

The sun was about to set when I arrived in New Orleans. Out of the carriage window, I viewed the pedestrians meandering about the town, moving from shop to shop, some likely heading home. It was during this ride that I saw one of them for the first time. It, or he (for it looked masculine) was definitely human, or at least he looked humanoid. He was short (about five and a half feet), his skin was very pale, and his eyes were a deep, deep black (almost as if one could see their reflection in them). At first, I thought it might be some disorder, but if this was the case, it was quite common in this region, because before I reached my destination, it seemed as if around a fifth of the population shared the same appearance.

There were a handful of churches in and around the city, but there was one that always struck me as odd. I had never ventured near it, but from a distance I have gazed upon its tall, spiny, black steeple. When I inquired about this ghastly structure, I learned that it is more of a cult than a church. The people that congregate there don’t worship any gods or goddesses, but they do experiment with the arcane arts. I also learned that when a family starts to attend the gathering of this cult, from the second generation onward, they resemble “The Pale Ones” as the locals call them. When I questioned on how they became like that, I could get no answers. They said that they didn’t know any of the rituals of these beings, but there was one man that might.

II

Cecil Blanchet was a strange old man. He looked about 60, with grey hair and deep sunk in eyes. His laborious professions had resulted in a hunched back, and he used a cane to walk. He had a face that also showed years and years of his hard work, tan and full of wrinkles. He seemed to be a happy man, greeting me with a smile, and inviting me into his abode. After a polite refusal of the drink I was offered, I asked about that peculiar group of people with the white skin and the soulless black eyes. Immediately, the smile faded from his face and in a very serious manner, he told me, “You jus’ need ta leave dem thangs alone.” I explained to him that I was a new preacher in town, and that I would like to know something about what each of the other congregations in town believed. Believing that no harm could come from mere information, he recalled the history of the cult.

“Firs’ Imma start by tellin’ ye dat I used ta be part a dat little gatherin’. I wus goin’ through a rough time, an’ dem folks seemed ta have da answer. I don’t really like ta talk about it too much. It all started when a new feller came inta town. He tells everyone if they follow ‘em, he can keep ‘em from getting’ sick and plenty ‘o other thangs I cain’t remember. People started fallerin’ ‘em, like these fickle people usually do. ‘Bout a month inta his bein’ here, he tells ‘em how he planned ta keep ‘em from gettin’ sick. He tells ‘em it’ll only work on tha newborn children, though. He says they’s dis elixir you can feed da baby every day fo a week an it’ll never git sick. It started from there. Da second generation of tha gatherin’ all looked like those little white fellers out there. Tha only problem was, Da elixir had ta have blood… human blood, and lots of it. So, once or twice in a generation, someone would go missin’ right around when some kids was born. ‘Twas strange, but not many people cared much, seein’ as only people of low social stature went missin’. I joined round about ten years after it started. I never did have no kids, so I ne’er had ta mess with dat elixir stuff, but I heared a lot about it.”

After he explained this to me, he went on for about another half hour about the other potions and elixirs they used. None of the others used anything as violent as human blood, but there were a few odd ones (some caused increased intelligence, strength, luck, etc. these were the more normal ones).

III

I woke up with a jolt to two of the pale people in black hooded robes in by bedroom. Just before I was able to scream, one of them aimed a blow gun at me. The dart hit me in the neck, and a poison was released into my bloodstream. I was still conscious, but I was paralyzed. They lifted my body up and carried my into their building.

There, they stripped me down to my underwear and chained me to a wall. I was there for what seemed like hours in that scalding room. An eternity later, 40 or 50 figures in the same hooded robes as before entered with three babies. The ritual began. They laid the infants in a triangle around a cauldron, and proceeded to toss in all manners of things from vials and jars. Afterwards, they announced that the time had come to add the blood. They didn’t plan on just quickly killing me though. There was a rope I hadn’t noticed before, hanging just above the cauldron. They hoisted me up, and tied it to my ankles. Hanging upside down, I could smell the vapor wafting up from the elixir. It was by far the worst smell I have ever encountered in my life.

There I hung for at least half an hour, the blood rushing to my head. The majority of my body was numb, except for my head, which was in excruciating pain. To make matters worse, the robed figures were dancing around me chanting something in an incomprehensible language. Just when I thought my life was coming to a terrible end, one of them stopped dancing and pulled out a dagger. He started making cuts on my lower legs. There wasn’t much blood left, but what was left slowly trickled down to my face. His incisions slowly rose higher and higher up my body, and, when he had made his next to last cut (which was on my chest), announced to everyone that the final cut was about to be made. He brought the dagger across my throat spilling my blood down my face, into the cauldron.

IV

I woke up in a cold sweat, panting. It was only a dream. I laid in my bed thinking over the nightmare, when I heard my door creak open. Two men in black hooded robes entered my room.


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