The Malevolent Sleepless

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about a grave robber and a witch who end up together in a graveyard and there is a battle that ensues.

Submitted: August 20, 2013

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Submitted: August 20, 2013

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The Malevolent Sleepless

A Short Story

As the sun set in the Norwegian hills, Argus began packing his tools. It was a freezing cold evening on October 6, 1692. Argus worked as a cobbler and was well known in the village. He was especially notorious for the strange items and precious jewels that he would so often produce when guests were over. He was a strange man who lived alone and didn’t host parties or celebrate holidays with others. Despite his odd nature, the community liked him and greatly respected his talent for creating shoes. Argus held a dark secret however, he was a grave robber. The source of his most curious possessions spawned from this appalling hobby, and it granted him an immense amount of wealth.

Tonight was a special night. Argus was going to visit the grave of the Archduchess who was buried over 200 years ago. Rumors held that she was placed in her coffin adorned with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and a large gold necklace withholding an Amethyst stone. He planned on stripping the coffin clean of everything but the skeleton. With this necromantic heist, he would become rich. The horses neighed as their wagon was attached to the harness and readied for a journey to the graveyard.

The sun sank lower and shadows danced around the stone room while Agnes freely tossed a cat’s spleen into her boiling pot of water. The pot, of course, being filled with other repulsive items of animal anatomy began to turn a dark yellow. Agnes practiced witchcraft and subsequently had to isolate herself from the rest of the village so as to not divulge her true satanic nature. She chose a stone tower to the east of the village as her location to practice rituals and potion making. There was a plethora of books on the wall, but only one would suffice for tonight’s final trial. Agnes removed the volume entitled “Intinctas Spiritus Solum” (translated it means, “Instilling breath to the soil”) the literature was a book about necromancy full of spells and incantations meant to resurrect the dead. Tonight, the weather conditions were perfect for a mass revival of bodies. She slipped the spell book into a burlap sack and packed it with the rest of her ritualistic novelties. As she climbed onto her black steed, the sun drifted past one last mountain in the west and vanished casting an ominous shadow across the landscape.

Argus hoisted himself onto the wagon and cracked his whip viciously against the horses’ back. They took off at a steady pace heading quickly down the wooded trail. The journey would take approximately two hours to complete and he was anxious to arrive. Large, murky clouds started to fill the sky blocking out the moon and conceiving a veil of pitch black darkness which was set across the countryside. Due to the destruction of visibility, Argus lit a lantern full of whale oil, enough to last the entire night.

 

The wind whipped around Agnes’ hair as she sped along the twig ridden path racing on her dark horse towards the dead field. Her horse was bewitched with a curse allowing it see through the dark and blend in with it as well giving Agnes a mask of invisibility. However, as a consequence for the curse, the horse was extremely disloyal and hard to control. With alarming speed, she reached the cemetery. Agnes jumped off the horse, and when her feet hit the ground, the creature bolted. Feeling alone and frustrated, she strolled through the different graves in the field and picked a spot at the very end of the burial ground atop a small hill to perform her ceremony on.

Not shortly afterwards, Argus reached the entrance gate. He jumped off the wagon and tied his horses to the post. He grabbed his supplies and began heading left towards the tomb of the Archduchess. Argus didn’t necessarily enjoy spending time in the graveyard, but his greedy lust for free prizes held within the coffins of those who cannot resist him drove his efforts. Particularly, he hated the cemetery most for its miasma of rotted wood, damp soil, and decomposing bodies. Tonight was no exception; he stepped foot on the soft ground and became nauseated. His pace quickened, and Argus reached the massive stone marking nearly running into it because of his carelessness. He put his bags down and began to sort through the bundle of tools looking for a thick, blunt item to break the thin layer of stone. He found the chisel he was looking for and dug it into one the cracks. The sound of metal being beaten rang out as he worked to force the shield open. 

 

Agnes set her bags down and picked up the burlap sack. She removed the bulky book and opened it up to the page describing the process for raising the dead. Starting with step one, she initiated the ritual by spreading the cremated remains of those she had killed on the ground in the shape of a pentagram. The sky grew lighter as nearby clouds began to swirl around the atmosphere. The moon was revealed and the veil of darkness was removed.

 

Argus set his lantern down since he wouldn't need it with the newly found illumination. The primary layer guarding the coffin was broken and the crypt looter tightened his hands around the shovel; he pushed further into the ground with it and after some time struck the wooden lid that held his goal. Ecstatic but exhausted, Argus wedged his crowbar under the coffin’s hood and yanked it free. The sight was overwhelming. 

 

The preparations had been made and now Agnes was chanting the ancient words that were never supposed to be released. The wind was howling and sped up, creating a cyclone of air just above the young witch's head. The miniature tornado picked up every leaf in the vicinity and slowly gained power. Despite these strange events, Argus gave his undivided attention to the skeleton of the old Norwegian leader. It was covered in rich, precious gems and it captivated him completely. He could not have imagined how much wealth was actually sealed within the tomb, but seeing it now, it far exceeded his expectations. 

 

Suddenly, the sky broke, and it began to rain. The pentagram was glowing a subtle red, and the small tornado residing above Agnes' head transformed into a massive wind tunnel sucking up every leaf and loose stick in the lot. Her chanting increased and became louder, "O tenebris Dominus inmensa potestas voco super vos, olim vita his attollere rursus." (O dark lord of immeasurable power I call on you, to raise these of old with life anew.) 

 

Midnight neared as time dragged on.  Argus still didn't notice all this, his distraction being greed itself. His powerful trance wasn't broken, until the scariest thing that could have happened did. The skeleton of the duchess reached up quicker than lightning itself and grabbed his arm, pulling him down closer to the clamping jaws of the terrifying creature. Midnight came and every single body in the graveyard began to stir. 

 

In a fit of panic, Argus lifted his free fist and smashed it into the beings skull. It shattered into a thousand pieces, and the whole skeleton fell apart. He ripped the clutching hand off of his sleeve and frantically clambered out of the grave. Looking up, he finally saw the massive tornado that had formed above the graveyard and the menacing red glow coming from the ground. Still, Argus was totally oblivious to the congregation of undead walking amongst him. 

 

Now, Agnes could feel the power surging through her body. She opened her mouth, and a host of six hundred and sixty six demons sprang forth, whirling around her. The sky changed its face again, becoming a sickly dark red while all of hell brought itself into the cemetery. She heard the devil himself speaking to her, telling her how well she was doing. Then, her eyes became white with her iris' changing their color. She started to foam at the mouth; the strain was becoming too much for her. 

 

Now, as he searched for the exit, Argus noticed the skeletons and decomposing bodies walking around. They were headed in the same direction as him. They were all traveling to the road that led to the village. Argus knew he had to do something to stop them; he spotted the witch from across the field and started to run towards her. His movement was noticed by the corpses and they began attacking him. Argus was in desperate need of a weapon. He grabbed the closest thing he could find to defend himself with, a wooden grave marker. With the beam in one hand and a lantern in the other, Argus pushed towards the wicked witch who was now raising hell from its dark depths. 

 

Crossing the vast plain by himself was no easy feat. The first ghoul he came across he beat over the head with no problem, the whole ordeal was not a struggle until many of them started to assault Argus. He matched up with a group of four of them. The first lunged from his left; Argus pulled back the long sturdy piece of wood and swung with all his strength. He knocked the creature's head off and then was contended with another who grabbed onto his shoulders from behind. He shook him off his back and kicked his skull in, but this distraction allowed for him to be vulnerable so, seizing the opportunity, the third undead being sank its teeth into Argus’ shoulder causing him to shout in pain. This only alerted more of them. He kicked and whacked the last body out of his way. The tomb thief suddenly gained new courage and his adrenaline set in; with these advantages, he sprinted towards Agnes with unrelenting power and will knocking over every skeleton in his way. Finally, after fighting, struggling, running, and falling multiple times, Argus reached the small hill upon which Agnes was standing. She was still possessed by Satan and didn’t notice the beaten and battered man standing just yards from her. However, the demons did notice. They swooped down one hundred at a time and forced Argus to drop to the ground every time he saw them coming. While he was still lying down, he remembered the cross that he had brought with him on the mission. It was still in his pocket, this whole time it had been protecting him from the unholy. He yanked the sacred piece of wood out of his clothes and held it up. The demons hissed and retreated. Argus looked for an opportunity to use the cross on the witch but found none, that is until he noticed the gaping hole about three feet wide sitting in front of her. There was a long misty red entity coming out of the hole and going into Agnes’ nostrils. Argus realized that this was how the devil must have been controlling her. He set his arm and steadied his aim, with one great heave, he tossed the cross straight into the hole and down into hell itself. A hissing scream came from the hole and the ground closed up around it. Agnes snapped back into consciousness and regained her eye color. The wind stopped and every undead body in the graveyard dropped. She was confused at first, but once the witch realized who had broken the spell, she became furious. Agnes screamed and fumed at Argus. Using her left over power from the night, she produced a small wad of dark energy and hurled it at the grave robber. He dove out the way and the ground where it had hit exploded. Argus grasped his lantern tightly and charged at Agnes. He planted his foot firmly into the ground directly in front of her and swung the lantern down smashing it against her skull. The glass broke and so did the base of the item. Every last drop of whale oil spilled onto Agnes, and her skin caught on fire. She wailed and screamed but to no avail, she continued to burn. Upon her last breath, she burst into a gust of wind leaving nothing behind. Unfortunately, the wind propelled the flaming whale oil onto Argus and caught him on fire. Both of them burned to death. Despite his tragic ending, Argus saved the entire village from complete destruction and will always remain as an unsung hero.


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