I was walking through the darkness. Not the soothing balm of the Umbra but an empty, pitiless blackness stretching on for eternity. Was this what regular humans felt in the midst of cold night? Eying each shade as if something terrible would come creeping out? Was this what fear felt like? There was a sharp, sweet smell on the air, the scent of rotting meat. It seeped into my hair, into my spirit and into the gritty soil beneath my feet.
I didn’t want to go forward, onward towards that all encompassing stench, but my feet moved on without me into the silence. There was a lack of sensation save for that sickly scent and the crunch of sandy dirt as I walked unwillingly into the deep. I didn’t want to go. Please please, don’t make me. An underlying musk soon joined the rot. The unmistakable reek of crawling, hungry things. Carrion worms. I imagined that I could almost hear the sound of billions of tiny bodies squirming over…something. Something decomposing and decayed.
My foot connected with something with a dull, ‘thunk’ and I began to topple. In an attempt to save myself from a jarring landing, I threw my hands out in front to catch myself and connected with the ground. My hand, instead of finding dirt, squished into what was unmistakably an eye socket. Rotted tissue burst under my finger in a wave of slime and creeping maggots. I found myself staring down into the decomposing face of…me. I was staring at a corpse of myself. I jerked my hand out of the now pus-filled, once lavender eye with a shudder. More and more of the darkness was lifting, my vision becoming horrifically clear moment by vivid moment. The cadaver’s face had been eaten away along the jaw, the cheeks and lips missing completely so teeth showed through like a grisly shadow box. The flesh around the eyelids was entirely gone and clumps of hair had begun to slough away from the skull. The neck looked like something with teeth and torn it away, black, dead blood spilling like a cancer over a familiar white button-down shirt.
I remembered this. It was before I had even come to Thaumaturge Security and Investigations. A ghoul had gotten away from me and taken a bite out of my neck. I’d been so furious when I came to that I’d made the thing explode bits of dead matter all over the place. There was another me beside the body, this one with it’s lower half missing, the end of a white spine peaking out between torn fabric and mutilated skin. The corpses were like ants or snowflakes just beginning to fall. Once you saw one, you suddenly couldn’t unsee them and a thousand more became clear. Corpses of myself scattered the ground as far as the eye could see. For every death I had ever experienced and every death I would die to come. A voice carried on a foul, malodorous wind, a low whisper, almost a moan.
Was I asleep? Was I dreaming? Or had I found myself in some sort of inner-trance state? Was this my own private corner of the Death cycle? Could it be that Necromancers were privy to the same cycle as the mortals but all within one lifespan? Were we somehow just stuck? Would we move on once we’d reached our perfected states just like the mortals or were we to be forever cursed as liaisons between the realms of the living and dead?
‘Sasha. I see you.’
Without warning, thousands of empty eyes turned towards me with an eerie moan like the sound of a great wind. Even sockets and skulls with no eyes remaining, decapitated heads turned my way. I was suddenly looking into the thousands of rotted faces matching my own, skulls leering up at me as if they waited eagerly for the moment when they would be set free to devour me, stealing back a little life for themselves. I was a child of the lost, the dead, the departed.
Then Death said, “No one may come to the Father except through me.” and Death held dominion over all.
- Thaumaturgy (thewritersbay.wordpress.com)