Beware Hot Summer Days

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Camille is a young Irish girl who grows between France and Ireland. On a warm and sunny afternoon she discovers a strange locket. What's inside ? what's the story of that object? Camille will discover it step by step. Pain, death and madness will be part of that terrible discovery.

Submitted: November 17, 2009

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Submitted: November 17, 2009

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The young woman was prostrate on her bed. She didn’t turn her head when I came near the barred door of her room. The view of her room was worse than what you could imagine about a room in a psychiatric hospital. No one but the nurses and doctors could enter the room. The walls were padded. The only piece of furniture was a bed with bars around. The room was dark as there was no window, cold and I could feel electricity in the air coming from that room. Her tangled, burning-red hair clashed with her livid face. Her bright green eyes, filled with red veins, stared ahead and were impassive to my movements. Their irises were of a bright green but red veins filled her gaze. Her whole body was trembling, rocking back and forth. After a short while I noticed that her lips were moving; I listened to catch what she was mumbling but the language she used was totally unknown to me. This girl was twenty-two. My interest in her story began about two years ago.


On one hot summer day Camille, then aged twelve was playing in her grandfather's garden. She often used to spend her holidays with her grandfather in Carnac, a Celtic town in Brittany. She loved playing on the lawn but she liked gardening better. She was a solitary child who talked little but read a lot. On that hot afternoon she wanted to sow sunflowers seeds, then she asked her grandfather for some help. They selected a patch of ground and started to dig-over the soil to prepare a seed bed. After a while Camille stopped doing that as she saw a shiny object among the heap of soil they had made. She picked up the object and wiped the soil from it to reveal a silver locket. Camille’s eyes remained stuck on it for a while; she seemed possessed by the vision of the object.She was trying to read what was written on it. Camille was twelve and she could talk and read French and English as she lived in Ireland with her parents and had her French grandfather. But the sentence written on her locket was in a language unknown to her. The sentence followed the round shape of the locket. In the middle Camille could see the image of a knight holding a big flag mounted on a war horse. She thought it was a royal symbol but her grandfather told her it must have been a Celtic mythic symbol and the language called Gaelic. She found the character on her locket very attractive, like all children do when they find something new. Camille asked her grandfather whether she could wear the locket or not. He told her “You found it, it is yours now. I just expect you to take great care of it.” Camille simply replied “you know grandpa; I swear that I will never take it off from around my neck!” And this is what she actually did.

After the summer holidays Camille went back to Ireland. There she became more and more isolated, having neither brother nor sister she spent her days alone, even at school as she hardly listened to her teachers. Yet, one teacher managed to catch her attention: the literature teacher who talked a lot about Celtic stories and legends. Then she started to read tales on the subject. One day she found the same writing which was on her locket illustrated in a book.

Two years after the discovery of the locket she went back to her grandfather’s. She did not go there every year as she also spent her summer holidays at her other grandparent’s in Dublin. Camille had become more and more interested and fascinated by Brittany and its legends so she asked her grandfather to take her to the most mystic forest in the region: Broceliande forest. Camille’s grandfather agreed on that, as he was a man who would have done anything to please his granddaughter. Camille knew that very well and loved very much her “grandpa” for that. Yet, Richard wanted to show another fascinating site to her, his little girl, this place was an open park where big menhirs and dolmens that had been erected centuries before could be seen. When they went there Camille was just amazed and fascinated by all those rocks. She kept on asking questions of her grandfather about who erected the rocks and what was the purpose of this display. Richard replied as fully as possible to satisfy Camille’s curiosity while she listened to him with the greatest attention. The sun was hot on that day so Camille tried to find some shade near an enormous menhir and she leaned on it putting her hands on its cool, refreshing surface. She closed her eyes and then she had a vision: it was the night but she saw the figures of some people who were sitting in a circle around a fire; they were right here in the park of Carnac surrounded by the big stones. Camille noticed that one man was standing in the middle of the circle; he was tall, dressed in black and was stretching his thin arms and fingers to the sky. He stood just behind the fire and before a dolmen, he was shouting something but Camille did not understand what he said.She finally managed to reopen her eyes, she felt sick and a terrible ache was throbbing in her head. Her heart was beating so fast she could hardly breathe properly. She did not understood what had just happened. Her grandfather started to worry when he saw her all sweaty but she did not say anything about her vision and just said it must have been a sunstroke, so Richard decided that they should leave.

They went to Broceliande just three weeks later. There Richard told her hundreds many of stories and legends. He showed her places where witches and elves were supposed to come for their celebrations. Camille was even more amazed and fascinated. She felt at ease in that forest and felt renewed, as if she was born again. And later when Camille returned home she also felt that way in Ireland when she gazed upon her locket and held it in her hands; it was her little treasure. When she looked at it there was a peculiar light shining in her eyes. Richard and Camille spent two days in Broceliande and Camille was just delighted and didn’t want to leave the place for anything in the world. Yet, she changed her mind when another strange phenomenon happened. She was convinced she saw creatures which she believed to be fairies, but who could just have been butterflies, and little elves running into bushes with squeaky laughs or jumping from trees to trees, they could have been squirrels. Yet, she was also sure she heard voices and once again she could not understand what they said but she would bet they were addressing her. Richard heard nothing but the wind... She was very much scared and was deeply relieved to leave the forest before nightfall. She dared not speak about all those creepy events to her grandfather for fear he would laugh at her - or worse think she was mad and stop loving her.

Camille dedicated the next three years to studying more Celtic stories, legends, songs and pictures in order to find evidence which proved that what she saw was real. At the same time she also thought that the peculiar atmosphere of the forest and her vivid imagination could have made her see those creatures. She also decided to begin learning Gaelic language. She wanted to translate and understand the sentence written on her locket. These searches and growing interest isolated her more and more. She stopped meeting the few acquaintances she had, she became mean, and it had become hard to talk to her. She had become a teenager who did not make things easier, but her parents, Jenny and Francis thought her attitude was the one of a normal teenager: they did not worry a lot but were annoyed to see her doing nothing but reading all day long. She was locked in her Celtic world. She studied Gaelic on her own and had no teacher, and it was a long process; too long for Camille who wanted to know everything as soon as possible. She wanted to go to a special school in Brittany but she could not achieve that before she was eighteen. Camille had stopped going to Brittany, not because she did not want to see her grandfather anymore but because she was still afraid of what has happened in the forest. Yet, she wanted to know more things about the Celtic culture, so she had to live in this environment all the time.

When attained her eighteenth birthday she left her home in Ireland to live in Carnac. Her parents did not really understood why she wanted to spend her life with her grandfather but they thought it was a good idea as Camille hardly talked to them. She had hardly lived with them the last few years: she spent most of her time in her bedroom or at the library and even when she was physically present her mind was always a million miles away. This lack of communication led to bring a bad atmosphere in the family and both Camille and her parents were glad to be apart for a while. Richard was the happiest man in the world when he saw Camille on the threshold of his house; she was loaded with all her luggage and Richard was glad to have company. Moreover it was his only granddaughter who was there. After such a long absence the old man felt relieved, he feared Camille had abandoned him. At that very moment his heart swole and he thought “I could die for this wonderful girl, my little girl”. He smiled to Camille and hugged her. The first few days of Camille's return to Brittany felt heavy and she was unsure that she had been right to make this choice. One day she met a strange woman who told her that she felt a strong power in Camille. This old woman could not tell if this supernatural force was of a good or malevolent nature. Camille thought this was twaddle, and even if it was true then at least it meant that she was not alone.

Camille took advantage of her weekends to drive to Broceliande as often as she could. She liked to wander in that boundless forest. She knew in her mind she could never get lost. Yet, one misty day she kind of lost her way, and ended up on the edge of a large lake. The water was green and surrounded by tall and leafy trees, the place looked like another world. There she heard a crystal-clear voice singing. Camille did not know what the song was about but she felt it was a sad song, and because of the mist she could not tell where the voice was coming from because of the mist...She just decided to go back home. Once more she had witnessed a strange event and could not help thinking about why all those things happened to her.

She felt at home in the forest, she often peered in the bushes in the hope to find the little elves she saw before. They were called leprechauns; Camille had learned this from her grandfather’s tales. She spent many weekends in the forest before actually seeing one of them. The leprechaun she saw was wearing leather boots, green breeches and a jacket of the same colour and a pointed hat with a bell on it, he was green eyed and red haired just like Camille... the tiny creature spoke to Camille in what sounded Gaelic to Camille’s ears. She had little knowledge on the oral form of the Gaelic language, but after the leprechaun had repeated his sentence to her, she managed to understand he was saying “follow me”. It was a very little creature but it ran very fast, Camille had to run to keep up with his pace. After a few minutes of the chase the leprechaun vanished at the moment he arrived in a clearing leaving Camille feeling bewildered.This glade was bathed by the sun and Camille was even more puzzled as the place was nothing but a huge lawn. Camille wondered why the leprechaun took her just there, but Camille felt relaxed and comfortable here and the lawn seemed pleasant enough for a nap under the sun.Camille slept for about a couple of hours. She had a strange dream that seemed so real: in her dream it was the night and she was still in the forest, she was on a dark and narrow path that led her to a wild cemetery where she found a grave-stone that bore the same symbol that was on her locket... She woke up suddenly; she was sweaty and felt a terrible pain on her face: she had sun burn.

This dream obsessed her all the way back to her house. She thought that further studies were necessary to find out what this symbol was about. She arrived home late in the night and did not see Richard. She spent most of the night pouring through books, looking for pictures of grave stones but nothing came from the searches. Eventually, she got nothing but a terrible headache and the sun burn made things worse. She needed some medication to calm down the pain. She felt feverish and her mind was a million miles away when she hurried to the stairs without turning the light on. Then, she did not notice that her grandfather was also going downstairs and on the way down she bumped into him with a rare violence. The old man rolled down the stairs and his head crashed on the floor. He was killed outright.

Camille’s parents came to Carnac for the funeral. It was a big shock to them and they inwardly blamed Camille for the death of the old man. Yet, they found an advantage to the situation: they rented their house in Ireland and it seemed more convenient for them to move into Richard’s house for economic reasons... They did not care much about Camille’s sadness. Camille’s soul had become darker as she also blamed herself for her grandfather’s death. Since then she had abandoned the idea of discovering the story and meanings linked to her locket. Yet, more often she felt the need to go to Broceliande, it was more than a desire, it was a necessity. But she never returned she avoided returning to the clearing where she had her nap the afternoon before the accident by which she killed her grandfather.

Yet, one hot sunny evening she found herself by chance, in that very glade she did not like to be there. She was about to leave when on her right she noticed a dark and narrow path; she was sure she had not seen it the last time she was there. Indeed she had not but this path reminded her of something... After a few minutes of reflection Camille remembered when she had seen the path; it was in the dream she had made during the nap she took on the glade before Richard's death. The memory of that dream raised her curiosity and she decided to follow the path; just to see if her dream was just a fantasy. The path was so narrow that Camille kept on being scratched by brambles. The walk excited her and she was ready to walk for as long as it would take on the path just to satisfy her intense and deep curiosity to discover one more clue in the forest. She walked for about half an hour before finding a wider space where the top of the trees were arched-over forming a kind of ceiling and where the sky was invisible. Camille could hardly see in front of her, but as she walked farther her eyes adjusted to the dark and she could see more things. There the temperature was one of a winter evening, and Camille was shivering as she was wearing only a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. She noticed that the place was full of gravestones and so it must have been an old cemetery. She wandered between the stones; she was very interested in this kind of place full of history that held so many mysteries...

One gravestone caught her attention, it was the biggest of all, it was actually a mausoleum standing right in the middle of the cemetery. Camille walked up to it and read to whom the epitaph was dedicated.It just said “In loving memory of Cythraul” Camille also noticed an engraving on the gravestone, this struck her: this was the same symbol that was on her locket and she did not need to check it as she knew it perfectly well. This new information left her feeling paralysed with fear and doubt. Was she in danger? Should she fear for her safety? Was this Cythraul an evil man? So many questions were running in her head and she needed answers quickly. Camille had ceased her searches since her grandfather’s death. She felt that all those searches had led her to murder Richard and even though she knew it was an accident, she felt responsible.She arrived home very late and so she went straight to bed. Her sleep was disturbed by nightmares: she saw blood, heard shouts, and she was chased by wolves and threatened by big owls.

The next morning she woke up ill at ease. She thought that all the day before was a nightmare but she decided to resume her searches. She went back to the library but could find nothing even in books of magic. She could not find any books on black magic in the public library so she had to find a specialised one. She finally found a bookshop who sold books on magic. This little bookshop called Le Chat Noir had a room where customers could read books without having to buy them. Camille managed to find books on Celtic magic and sat in the room that which smelt of candle smoke and oranges. The book she found was leather bound and was so thick that it took Camille two weeks of visits to the shop before she could find what she was looking for because the book had no index. On the page 666 of the book she found a long chapter on Cythraul. The bookshop was about to close so Camille made copies of the few pages of the chapter to bring them home.

She started to read the chapter after dinner. It was one rare occasion when Camille had dinner with her parents on a Friday evening; she was usually already gone to Broceliande. Since Richard’s death Camille dedicated most of her time to magic and witchcraft but she had never studied black magic before that night. Once in her bedroom Camille started to read what she had taken from the bookshop. The first thing she learnt was that Cythraul appeared to be the Celtic god of evil and death. He seemed too had been a very powerful man. He was often represented as a knight mounted on a strong horse ready to fight to be the master of all human creatures. He and his followers hid themselves in Broceliande forest, they used to organise ceremonies in order to find more adepts and increase the number of followers who were to become soldiers of his army. The story of Cythraul ended on a battlefield when the king of Brittany defeated him and his followers during an attack upon the king in order to take the control of the kingdom of Brittany. The corpses of Cythraul's beaten army were left there after the bloody battle but the survivors created the cemetery which is now scarcely known by the present population. Today, most people refuse to talk about it as they consider it to be an ominous place for those who went there. Camille also managed to get more information about the locket. Her locket was not the only one. Others were made and given to all each of Cythraul’s followers to prove their allegiance to him. The message Camille had tried to translate and understand for so many years was simply written in black and white on that sheet of paper. Translated it read “Cythraul, I swear allegiance to you and I swear to give you my life if needed.” Camille read the sentence aloud and then repeated it one more time, her eyes fixed on that sheet of paper. She repeated the sentence a few more times until she began to feel dizzy. She was delighted, thrilled, and relieved at the same time to have found what had lacked in her life for so long. She would have shouted her joy if her parents were not sleeping in the next room. She knew the truth. She wished she could have run to her grandfather to tell him what it was, but she could not do it anymore just as she had not been able to listen to his stories over the past two years. She was sad and started to cry. Eventually she fell asleep.

Once more she had a nightmare, but it was different from the ones she had had since her grandfather’s death. This nightmare took place in Carnac, it was the same vision Camille had when she was fourteen. Yet, this time she was part of the circle and she was listening to the tall man dressed in black who had thin fingers. The ceremony was dedicated to Camille to make her a new member of Cythraul’s community. She had to swear allegiance to him and swear she would obey him- whatever he asked of her. She said she would. She also had to shed some blood to prove she would belong to the community without betraying it. The language Cythraul was talking sounded strange to her, but because she had heard such sounds before when the leprechaun talked to her in Broceliande forest she understood their meaning. She was able to him in his own language even though she had never before spoken it." Camille simply said in Gaelic “Cythraul, I swear allegiance to you and I swear to give you my life if needed.” It was done. She had given her 'soul to Cythraul..." Camille was still sleeping in her bed. Yet she got up, her eyes still closed. She walked down the stairs, went into the kitchen looking for something without turning on the light. Finally she walked up the stairs again, a butcher’s knife in her hands. She opened her parent’s bedroom door, walked as lightly as possible and there she fulfilled her promise to Cythraul...

The next morning Camille awoke feeling refreshed and elated. She got up with a big smile on her face. Once in the bathroom she noticed she had blood on her hands. This puzzled her because she did not know why there was blood on her hands. She called to her parents but there was no reply. First she thought they were gone for a walk but she wanted to be sure they were not still sleeping so she went to their bedroom. She beheld a bloody and miserable sight. Her parents were lying, bathed in their own blood. She screamed and then she threw up. She wondered why someone had killed, or would even want to kill her parents, moreover she felt guilty because she had heard nothing. She was sure she could have avoided this slaughter. She called the police who arrived. The weapon of the murder-weapon was found just beside her parents. Camille was questioned. Of course she was the primary suspect but she kept repeating that she remembered nothing about the night before. She actually remembered nothing but she was feeling surprisingly good. Not even her parents’ death could not erase her state of beatitude. The investigation into Camille’s parents murder started very quickly. Camille was tried in the court and found guilty - she left enough incriminating fingerprints on the knife to allow no mistake at all about the identity of the murderer. Yet, Camille sincerely professed that she did not remember what she had done that night. She had never sleepwalked during her childhood. She was suspected to belong to a sect because of her locket but she said that it was just a gift from her dead grandfather.

Camille was detained in prison before the trial. She would have had had to confess to the murder if she did not want to spend her whole life in prison; but she could not confess a crime she did not remember having committed. Camille’s life in prison quickly became troublesome for her and the others. She talked to herself all day long, yet she spoke neither in French nor English. She spoke Gaelic even to the people that were in the prison. She could not use her own language anymore. She was under Cythraul’s control and he was protecting her. Gaelic language was a shield for Camille. Psychiatrists, mediums, Gaelic teachers came to study her very special case. After weeks of observations they finally understood what was going on. Camille spent her days talking to Cythraul and the other members of the community who were actually all dead. She showed no reaction to the world around her. Her state of madness was quickly recognised and the trial was interrupted. She could not be recognised guilty anymore. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Rennes where only the most serious cases were sent. Camille had fallen into evil ways, yet she was only twenty. She grew up being, tormented by an evil power until finally becoming his dark bride.

Today, I am here for her. I was her lawyer; at least I was supposed to be. She is there prostrate on her bed, like every day. In spite of all the anger you can read on her face and the hatred you can see in her bright green eyes she has remained a beautiful young woman. The bloody locket is still around her neck. You can’t take it off. One nurse told me that when she tried to take it off her in order to put the straitjacket on Camille, this latter had bitten her so hard on the hand that she had to stop working for two weeks. Camille wearing a straightjacket is a terrible sight for me. Camille yells every night trying to escape from this prison of cloth, but she will have to live like that forever. According to the doctors, without the straitjacket she could kill anyone or even herself. You must wonder how come I know the story of her life if she can’t talk and as all her acquaintances are dead. Camille was the kind of girl who kept a diary and I read all of it. I was her lawyer so I had to discover all I could about my client. At first I felt sympathy for this poor girl but step by step I felt more than that, and I finally fell in love with her. This is my curse - but what do you want me to do about it? I have passed most of my time in this empty and cold room. I never talk to her because she does not hear me. I just feel the need to be with her, to be a human contact. I hope, one day, she will manage to free herself and come back to us. So far she has chosen the other world but I still hope, because the future is the unknown...





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