Preservation in Granite

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

A series of diary entries from a lonely aristocrat in the 18th century.

Preservation in Granite

Diary of Matteus Courcillion

Entry #1

21 avril 1747

Today was the first day I've left my castle since I was twelve. It was as grotesque as I remember it. The common folk have not changed one bit. Their gaze is just as snarling as the rabid beasts Father used to bring back from the exotic Amazon. I was sure to bring Josephine and Nicholas to accompany me. They were always my favorite. I get the idea when I'm with those two, they have feelings for one another. What a shame that servants can't love. It's like Father used to always say, “Can your dolls love one another, Matteus?” What a silly thought. I miss Father. Anyway, while I was in the village, there were sights that ignited a sense of absorption within me. First noteworthy sight, was the statue of Mother, Father, and I as a small boy, in the town square. I remember when they had constructed it for the whole town to marvel at. From the statue, there is the clearest view of our home at the top of the hill. It's even more grandiose than I could have imagined. Spending so many years in here alone, it began to feel scanty and minuscule. My intention for going into town became that much clearer as I looked upon my sky-ridden towers. There is a girl in town I've been watching, the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Even more pristine than a princess. I went to go see~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is a sound. A sound coming from the basement. How curious. No one has been in the basement for years. It sounds as if it is in pain. I'll gather Nicholas to venture down with me.

Entry #2

22 avril 1747

Last night was the longest night of my adult life. How could I forget the basement? Father used to spend all of his nights down there when Mother fell ill. He would pour over readings and research far past supper. He never liked it when I went down there. That's probably why I forgot about it. What I found was most peculiar, indeed. I always thought Father was writing a book about his adventures, for Mother to read when she got better... She always did enjoy his stories of expedition when he returned home. But what I found was something entirely different. There were stacks and stacks of books on witchcraft and sacrifice and necromancy. Father always spit on that type of thought. Pages were ripped out and pinned to the table. Ritualistic drawings on the walls and floor. I spent hours looking over Father's notes and I barely made a dent in them. I would very much like to keep some in my diary. I need not worry about going into town today as rain falls from the sky harder than it has in years. Ferocious thunder and lightning in the not so far off distance. My time today will be spent learning what my Father was up to. I never did find out what the crying sound from the basement was.


My Journey to the Witchtu Tribe

The Witchtu tribe was most fascinating indeed. Their Shaman has given me a blessed skull used in their sacrificial ceremonies to ward off demons and evil. How curious that they are willing to murder an innocent tribe's person to save their village from disaster. What's more is that the sacrifice is a volunteer. It's such a gruesome method. They cut open the belly of the sacrifice, and watch the blood drain out. It's supposed to be a mortal cleanse of the Earth. The Witchtu have hundreds of villagers volunteering and the Shaman decides based on their morality and contribution to the tribe. One would think they would sacrifice the least useful individual, but after Vincent, my translator, explained it to me, it started to make sense. “The sacrifice of the purest heart will overcome darkness with a shining light.” I haven't told Katerina what I was really doing on my adventure. She would have scolded me if I had told her about my encounter with the pirates, well she would have in a clearer state of mind. Poor Vincent was terrified, but I believe we learned a lot about humility from the Captain. An English fellow, Captain Oliver Ainsley. It was a fair barter for a swift passage with no laws or questions of what we were doing on that island. I hope the Captain and his crew are doing well. My adventure with them shall be a story for another time. Right now I must focus on my wife. My Katerina. Her body has gotten so weak as of late. Matteus will not leave me alone. Something deep within his eyes. He watches me from the top of the staircase. That confounded boy. I worry what it would do if it understood what I was doing down here.

Marcus Courcillion, 13 octobre 1727

Entry #3

23 avril 1747

After a long night of clapping thunder and blinding lightning, it has subsided. I laid in bed all night, unsure of what was keeping me awake. Was it the unpredictable storm? Or the undefinable past that lay in the musky basement? Either way, I left Father's research with more questions than I was able to find answers for. Words like, “Sacrifice” and “Ritual” became common tongue as I dove deeper into his long nights. On another note, Josephine and I had a good laugh at lunch. Well, I had a good laugh. Josephine brought me my soup and bread, but tripped over a scuff in the carpet. Soup flew everywhere like some sort of massacre. It was the hardest I had chuckled in a long time. Josephine was so nervous and apologetic. I assured her that there was nothing to be sorry for. These things happen. Father would have given her forty lashings in the stables for that. I am not my Father. What a shame Josephine was born into servitude. In another life, she could have been a pretty girl worthy of many mens' hands. The morning after it rains, it looks so peaceful and beautiful outside. Like the washed out paintings in my fairy tales. I think I'll gather Josephine and Nicholas to take a stroll into town today. Maybe I'll see her. Mother would disapprove of the common love that's taken my eye, but Mother isn't here. Daughter of a fisherman. Oh, how I wish to speak with you and court that perfect hand. Just a simple kiss on those supple lips.


Entry #4

23 avril 1747

Today was the worst day of my life. Worse than when I lost them. I've never been more embarrassed, even in my nightmares. She'll never talk to me again. She just watched with trembling eyes as they insulted me. I would have been a court jester in the times of old. Father had to put that stupid granite statue up in the middle of town. It had never occurred to me that the townspeople detested Mother and Father. I can't help but think they have a poorly misconstrued perception of me as well, because of my bloodline. I will order that the statue be destroyed at once... They laughed at me. They pointed and dripped with distasteful humor as I posed in front of the statue. It reminded me of why I haven't gone back into the village since I was a child. “Matteus the Fatteus” they called me. And they didn't forget it. I'm not a little boy anymore.

A Preservation in Granite

Today, my family's legacy has been preserved in flawless granite. Our statues have been positioned to look upon our prestigious castle. I wish I had done this sooner. It looks marvelous. I was tempted to get a statue of my prized stallion, George, as well, but decided against it. I wish Katerina was healthy enough to gaze upon it. I wanted to preserve the memory of how we once were, a strong and determined family. Something noble for the town to look up to while I'm away on my adventures. There are so many thoughts roaming around my head as I journey on these expeditions, and even more when I return. Katerina barely notices I'm gone for months at a time, now. She just smiles and says, “Good morning,” when I arrive. Matteus is a disaster. He has thrown a fit and painted his walls in pig's blood, while sitting there petting his dolls. He shouldn't even be playing with dolls. A male at his age should be learning to hunt, to sail. But alas, he finds no joy in these things. If it weren't for his Mother, I feel as though I wouldn't come back. There is so much culture in this world I have ignored during my lifetime. Frightening, yet beautiful culture. Vincent has decided to join Captain Ainsley on his ventures through the seven seas. He enjoyed our time with them. It’s always the calm and collected ones that have a deep down desire to brutalize and pillage. I would love to spend the rest of my life sailing from island to island, writing of my journeys. I wish I could bring her with me. My tribal associates should be ready at any moment now to start the ritual. Let us pray that this time, it works.


Marcus Courcillion, 22 septembre 1729

Entry #5

28 avril 1747

The wailing sound has come back. That bone chilling scream. I searched all over, in that disturbed basement, but I cannot find it. Even at this moment, it howls through the entire castle. The most curious thing is that when I confront the servants, it stops. They all seem to think it's me crying from my bedroom. I haven't cried since the day Mother and Father passed... I watched them destroy the statue in the middle of town today, from my favorite tower. They bashed Father's head in, then my Mother's. I was left in the middle until they cleared the rubble. I watched them tear me apart. I crumbled much quicker than Mother and Father's statues. I, for some reason, had the idea that I would be overwhelmed with a completeness after the statues were gone... but I still feel empty. Last night, I did not sleep. This is the third moon now without a wink of rest. I spent the whole night digging into Father's research. I think I finally understand what he was trying to do. There are many manuscripts about removing an evil within. Mother was very ill, and in a lot of pain. Doctors could do nothing about it. That's why Father ventured to such exotic lands. He would return with mysterious herbs, animal blood, and words from tribal shaman. He loved my Mother very much and would have done anything to save her. The howling never ends. There is something in that basement crying out for retribution, and I have no doubt that it has to do with Father's research all those years ago.

Entry #6

30 avril 1747

I found it. It was behind me the whole time. My Father had a secret room hidden in the bookcase of the basement. Just days ago, I would have been afraid to venture closer to the bellowing. But I have been overrun with a sense of duty after reading Father's research, and this screeching was a prominent piece of the puzzle. I made sure Nicholas was not around when I walked into the darkened room. I wouldn't want him to be intimidated by my bravery. It was too dark to see past my nose, but the painful screaming had ceased. All there was, was heavy breathing and a snarl filled with umbrage. Sounds of clanking chains and a beastly footstep. I pondered over fetching a light for the room. Would I be more afraid if I saw the monstrosity that stood in front of me? Or would the fear creep into my imagination and create something inexplicably terrifying? I could feel its angered presence, but it did not want to hurt me. I walked around the wall of the room until I stepped on something hard. I picked it up. A spherical object with clefts and varying conclaves. I retreated back from the way I came. The beast became restless as it knew I was leaving. Did it just want someone there to keep it company? I walked out of the secret bookcase with the object in my hand, ignoring the whimpers from the chained monster. I looked at what I had found in the room. A skull. A human skull. This creature must feed on human flesh.


Entry #7

3 mai 1747

I visited it again last night while everyone was in their rooms. I did not bring a light in. I sat in the darkness with it, as its gaze pierced into me. I may not be able to see it in the absence of light, but it could see me. I did not speak to it. I didn't need to, I could feel what it wanted. It wanted to feed. It must be so hungry, being trapped down there for so long. So many questions have been running through my head since the moon was at its peak. Did Father feed this thing? Was this part of his rituals to cure Mother? I don't have the answers, but I want them. Has this creature been here since I was a child? How has it been ignored for so long? This has enveloped my absolute attention. I walked in on Nicholas and Josephine holding each other as lovers would, after I left the beast last night. The punishment is a hundred lashes for such an atrocity, but I've tired of whipping. I felt as if there was a more justified punishment. I grabbed Nicholas by the throat, such a tiny neck, and dragged him into the basement. Josephine screamed and pleaded, but they were muffled by my determination to set an example. I threw Nicholas into the room and closed the bookcase behind him. I did not watch, but listened. Crunches and snaps until the sound of silence. Why should Nicholas, my property, be able to find love if I could not? I locked Josephine in the south tower until I figure out what to do with her. Seeing them together reminded me of the Fisherman's Daughter. I'm going to go see her today.

Entry #8

4 mai 1747

Annabelle. That is her name. The most beautiful name ever spoken. We talked for hours at her small cottage. I even got along with her Father, the Fisherman. He hooked a whole barrel's load yesterday. He was worried that he would not be able to sell them all before they spoiled. I agreed to purchase all of them from him. Though the taste is unsatisfying to me, I felt as if my good deed would not go unnoticed by Annabelle's heart. We agreed to go riding tomorrow morning. She has never ridden a steed before. To be honest, it's been awhile myself. Tomorrow is the most important day of my life. I would love for Annabelle to move out of that forsaken cottage and live with me here in my castle. I would even allow the Fisherman to live with us if he desired. I must prove myself worthy of that hand. Josephine has given up on trying to get out of the tower. I could care less if she starved in there, but she might be a damper on the mood if Annabelle were to visit. It might be best to get rid of her. The other servants have been asking about Nicholas. I tell them that I sent him on a trip and he won't be back for a long time... I haven't been to the basement since the feeding. I wonder if Nicholas's bones will be scattered among the dust. Since then, I have felt different. My heartbeat has not stopped beating at an incredible pace. I can smell what is being cooked across the castle courtyard. Nothing tastes good anymore, but I have an unfulfilled hunger and thirst. I read about this, nights before in Father's research. Maybe I'll go back to it and plunge myself into this study. I might as well drag Josephine with me while I'm heading down there.


Failure to Exorcise

This has to be the final time. The blood, the sacrifices, and the rituals all must come to an end. This has been going on for too long and I fear the time wasted could have been time spent with my family. Maybe if I paid more attention to Matteus, he wouldn’t have come to hate everything I stand for… It is always hungering for more, never satisfied. I now understand where to get the purest heart from. Let's hope I can get it before it's too late. I wish it didn't have to come to this. It's still deep inside there hungry for blood, hiding behind its human shell. How does a creature hide behind the flesh of human, when it, itself hungers for it? I'm afraid it knows what I've been doing and will try to stop me.

Marcus Courcillion, 31 décembre 1731

Entry #9

5 mai 1747

A monster. That is what she called me. I feel as though I'm destined to be in a constant cycle of highs and lows. Maybe that means tomorrow will be a good one. Annabelle hardly recognized me this morning. After my meeting last night with the beast, my hair began to grow all over. My nails sharpened and my spine protruding through my skin. I watched it feed last night. I still cannot see fully in the dark, but my eyes were able to make out shreds of flesh being thrown around the room. I feel compassion for the Bellowing Beast. I feel as though it understands me more than anyone else in this world. I tried my best to cover up my physical changes with Father's cloak, for Annabelle. She was alarmed at how long my hair has grown, but she continued to walk with me to the stables. Unfortunately, the mares were even more uneasy at my presence. They hoofed and swung their powerful legs. I lashed out and screamed at the scenario. I fear this may have frightened Annabelle to a point which I cannot come back from. She uncomfortably walked home as I stood there staring at the disappointment. I walked up to Humphrey, my most prized steed, who was uncontrollably whining. I couldn't take it anymore. That was my chance to show her the life she could have with me and it was spoiled. I grabbed Humphrey by his thick neck and snapped it. The other broncos retreated as far back into the stable as they could. I thought that maybe I would feel regret or guilt for what I had done, but I had not.

Entry #10

14 mai 1747

Satisfaction has become a rarity in my life. The only time I feel it, is when my out of sight companion feasts. “I've sent two more servants on a long trip” after Josephine and Nicholas. My skin has paled and my eyes cringe at the light. Spikes have stabbed their way out of my elbows and heels. My teeth have become noticeably disfigured and pointed, jutting from corners of my mouth. It hurt at first, but now I've come to accept the pain. The others have begun to ask more questions than I want to answer. It reminded me of when I was a child, and Mother and Father had passed. I don't leave my favorite tower. I watch Annabelle from here as she wanders the village path. If it were not for her, I would embrace my new appearance. She seems to have taken a fancy to another man in town. I may visit her tonight.

Entry #11

14 mai 1747

I will never come back from tonight. I cloaked myself through the town and wandered to Annabelle's cottage. Town's folk were hesitant as I passed. My breathing has become heavy like the ferocious, wild creatures Father would bring back to study. My footsteps are uncontrollably heavy, and leave a permanent mark in the earth. I veered into the cottage window. The Fisherman, Annabelle, and her new lover sat around their poor table, eating fish. They all laughed and enjoyed one another’s company. Their happiness was permeable, only, that emotion translated into hatred for myself. All it took was a kiss. He picked up her perfect hand and kissed it with a smile. I burst down the door with a tremendous roar. They were horrified. I first slaughtered him. I ripped his lips off of his handsome face, then I plucked out his chestnut eyes. He continued to scream until I ripped out his throat. The Fisherman was next. His old, brittle bones collapsed with just a squeeze. I looked into Annabelle. Those rosy, plump lips trembled. I ran my claws across her supple, milky skin. Tears streamed from her unforgiving, perfect, blue eyes. I wanted to cry alongside her, but couldn't. As my gaze pierced into her soul I could only think of one thing. Did I lose myself? Or have I finally found myself?

Entry #12

15 mai 1747

He's gone. The Bellowing Beast has disappeared. Where could he have gone? Now I am truly alone. Maybe Father had the answers, for it must have been his creation. Where else would it have come from? I ripped pages from the books as my body continued to transform. One black wing has stretched out of my left shoulder. My muscles have grown three times their size and my skin has begun to decay. I only feast on blood and flesh. My servants will no longer have to fear lashings or punishment as I have given all of them peace of mind. I enjoy the sight of peeled skin draped over the staircase and puddles of crimson organs in my kitchen. I hated these books Father read. The words have become displeasing and make my eyes swell with fire. They talked about removing evil and rituals of sacrifice to save the soul. The words ripped whatever I had left of a heart in pieces. I started to understand that this research wasn't for Mother. There's no mention of curing ailments or disease. My Father knew what was inside of me and feared if it were to get out. I'm afraid that this may be my last entry as my hands have begun to disfigure and it's difficult to put ink to paper. Father always did love Mother more than me, ever since I was a baby. He always blamed me for her sickness. I always wondered why he never put an end to it, for he certainly saw it coming. Was he trying to heal me before it was too late? There is no cure for this. The cure is my bloody salvation across this world. Father always did love Mother more than me, that's why I had to get rid of them.

Submitted: July 20, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Charles Stulck . All rights reserved.

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I Love gothic stories so I thoroughly enjoyed this. All the great elements are their diabolism, secret passages, beasts chained in the cellar. great stuff with terrific atmosphere. I liked it a lot.

Tue, July 28th, 2015 3:13pm

Charles Stulck

Thank you so much. It's very much appreciated!

Tue, July 28th, 2015 4:42pm

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