Digging the Bones

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heinzs
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Digging the Bones

Post by heinzs » Fri May 03, 2002 9:57 pm

Digging the Bones

Bones - I don't know why they were important. They sat there in profusion. Long bones, short bones, ribs and vertebrae - the skulls drew my attention. They were alarmingly human, yet not quite so - I couldn't immediately identify what about them bothered me.

My eyes became more accustomed to the dark - It was the teeth - long fangs, some like saber-toothed cats' - and the horns! Not all had them but enough to sort out a great variety of types! What timeless crypt had I stumbled into? I knew this was no theatrical trickery - these were not props in some weird B movie. I called in my crew and we began to collect the bones - if only I had known... I would have left them where they lay.

Hal at the Museum of Anthropology was so excited he nearly pissed himself. I laughed at his embarrassment - then got serious.

"How much?" I asked.

"Damn - I have no idea!" he stammered. "I've never seen anything like this! Just heard about it - never believed a word of it!" His fervor was almost contagious - but I'm a pragmatic businessman.

"Ten big ones." I said, and firmly placed both hands on the table for emphasis.

"Where d-did you find these?" he asked.

I could not give him the exact spot - it was private property, which I didn't happen to own. I told him "South of Phoenix," and let it go at that. "Alright," he said, "10,000 it is!"

"And 10% of the take," I added, glaring at him through half-closed eyes.

"Ok, ok!" he replied.

I had collected seven large crates of the strange relics, and I was actually quite pleased to get rid of them this easily. They had disturbed me from day one - but my greed had won out.

"I'll pay you in a few days - when I can get the cash. I don't have that much lying around," he said.

I agreed - I wasn't in that great a rush, and I did want it all in cash.


That night the nightmares returned.

I found myself in a deep, dark forest - running crazily through clinging brush. Fear welled up in my breast and breathing became a chore. I looked over my shoulder, but saw nothing... yet I felt a presence nearby. I heard a screech, and felt the whoosh of wings narrowly missing my head. The impact of the wind almost bowled me over as I ran. I stumbled, but recovered and looked up.


The harpy imp hovered over me - its eyes glowed bright fiery red, its 12-foot wingspan beat the air in a heartbeat rhythm. It slavered as it glared at me - the yellow drool dripping from the fangs - six-inch long daggers in a face made up of eyes and teeth.

It darted towards me and grabbed my shoulders with long sharp talons that bit painfully into my flesh. Immobilized, it stared directly through me, then opened its mouth... I woke dripping with cold sweat and trembling uncontrollably.

I could hardly wait to get my 10 G's and get the heck away from there. Hal had the cash for me on Tuesday, and I went over that night to pick it up. Somehow, strangely, the nighttime streets reminded me of my terrifying dreams, and I hurried myself along.

"Here you are." said Hal, handing me the lumpy envelope. "10,000 - and you'll get the rest when I locate a buyer."

I grabbed the cash and prepared to go, then I noticed Hal looked a bit haggard.

"Something wrong?" I asked. He said he hadn't been sleeping well - some weird dreams were keeping him up.

My heart skipped a beat - "Dreams?" I asked. "What sort?"

Something chasing him in the dark, he said - a flying monster - like a medieval gargoyle with wings. My heart froze in my chest, and I almost fainted.

"Damn!" I said, "I've been having the same dreams!"

He stared at me with a weird look in his eyes.

I've never been one to believe in psychic phenomena or anything supernatural. If I can't hold it in my hand and sell it for a profit it doesn't really exist for me. Needless to say, this new twist was quite disturbing to me.

Hal brought out some dusty books from the back of the museum in an attempt to identify our strange bones and shed light on our mutual dreaming. Some of the titles were creepy - books I would never have gone near without this burning need for answers. The "Book of the Dead" didn't have much, other than some drawings of gargoyle-like creatures it described equally as angels or demons. The "Necronomicon" had more stuff, but it was a scary as hell!

At last he found one that seemed to fit our needs - a tattered book, written in manuscript and hand-illustrated. The title was "Grimoire" by Elephas Raven. His section on "The Ancient Ones" had drawings of skulls identical to the ones I had found and brought back to the museum. These "Ancient Ones" were also referred to as "Dark Angels". The part I particularly hated was the quote, "Whosoever shall disturb the resting place of the Dark Angel shall suffer the consequences of awakening its immortal spirit." Hal and I decided the whole affair was a silly coincidence and shrugged it off ... or rather, tried to do so.

In the next few weeks things started to take a turn for the worse - more coincidence? Three of my excavating crew died under mysterious circumstances. One was found in his bed, decapitated... they never did find his head. The other two were seemingly mauled by some wild beast while they were camping.

Hal didn't talk any more about the dreams, but I continued to have them several times a week. I determined I had to find someone with some answers. I had heard about a local gypsy who "knew everything", so I wrapped up one of the skulls and paid her a visit.

We spoke for some time as I recounted my story. She seemed to become more and more disturbed at my words. Finally I unwrapped the skull and set it on the table between us. She started backwards, uttered one word... "Baphomet!" and fainted in her chair. When the gypsy recovered, she had me wrap the relic once more. Then she told me a strange, fantastic tale of a race of demonic creatures that shared our physical world.

Aeons ago there roamed this plane, along with the sons of man, seraphs and shaitans - creatures that divided betseen themselves the rulership of light and dark. These beings fed on the power of psychic energy and pure emotion. We would come to call them angels and demons, though in truth they were actually of the same non-human stock.

The more chaotic, demonic shaitans gravitated to the dark netherworld - a place of pandemonium created by their dark overlord, Hades. He and his zombie queen, Hel, had three devilish sons, Baal, Mephisto, and Astaroth. These three used the earthen plane as their juvenile playground, plaguing the world of man with their havoc until they were defeated in a horrifying battle between light and dark.

However, Hades and Hel had a fourth son, Baphomet - the horned one - who survived the sentence of exile afflicting his siblings. He continued, quietly, becoming known as Satan, ruler of the underworld and all its demonic legions.

In time, though, Man changed. He became more independent, less susceptible to psychic energy due to his own forces of industrialization and globalization. The remaining shaitans, in this realm of diminishing foodstuff, retreated underground to lie dormant until man's self-destructive urges should plunge him once more into a more receptive state.

I had stumbled on their resting place. Skeletal though they may have appeared, they were far from dead!

I left the gypsy, not at all convinced, and definitely not appeased. Too many questions remained unanswered, and the whole story was so much mumbo-jumbo it could scarcely contain any credibility.

"Ridiculous!" I told myself, and headed back to the museum. Hal let me in the side door - he was more agitated than usual.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"I have a plan." he said, "There is a tome on necromancy I have found, and I want you to help me use it on the bones."

I laughed, "Raise the dead? Surely you have lost your senses, Hal!" He only shrugged, and led the way into the basement. There he had set up three adjoining, yet separate, circles of salt and chalk. Each had a pentagram carefully drawn in the center, and candles lit around the edges at the points of the compass. One circle had a small pile of the bones in it - minus a skull.

I chuckled maliciously as I unwrapped my prize and set it on the pile. Hal positioned himself in a circle and indicated I should do the same. I humored him - but my skepticism was effusively obvious. He had a little cauldron that exuded thick smoke - it smelled of sage and frankincense. He opened the book, made some signs in the air with his hand, and intoned a strange incantation. Rhythmic, and strangely familiar - yet no language I had ever heard before!

He threw something into the cauldron and it flared up. As the smoke dissipated, a red glow began to emanate from the pile of bones. Hal looked at me.

"For God's sake," he said, "Don't move from the circle - whatever happens!" I was convinced, and not about to go anywhere.

The bones began to jiggle and twitch - they separated and rejoined in different patterns. At last they took on the form of a standing creature, with the skull aligned atop the vertebral column. Muscle and flesh crept over the bones, like a fungus attacking bread, and a dark grey leathery skin spread and covered it all.

It opened its eyes - the same stare as in my nightmares - and glowered at me.

The demon lunged towards Hal, but fell back as if it had hit an invisible barrier at the circle's edge. It flailed its arms and screeched - an ear-splitting howl of dark rage.

"Demon, speak your name," said Hal, in a remarkably calm voice. "I, who have summoned you, command it."

The creature scowled and hissed - like a hundred snakes all at once!

"I am Asmodeus of the Shaitanic Brethren," it said, quite clearly in a strange booming voice. "Puny human! Who dares interrupt my slumber and disturbs my resting bones?"

Hal was visibly sweating - even I could smell his fear.

"I seek enlightenment, " he said. "Information and power!"

I was shocked at his audacity, but kept quiet. I did not want to draw attention to myself just then.

"I do not bargain or make deals," said the shaitan. "What, exactly, is it you wish?"

"Immortality," replied Hal, without hesitation.

Asmodeus shrieked with laughter... obviously greatly amused.

"Foolish human! You want something you cannot handle. You are incapable of managing your lives now, as short as they are!"

"I have summoned you to do my bidding!" said Hal. "As I will, so mote it be!"

Asmodeus laughed again. Then, without another word, he turned his back on us and vanished into thin air.

Hal was visibly shaken. "Th-the circle was supposed to imprison him to my will!" he stammered, wiping off sweat.

I could not help chuckling at his heartfelt disappointment.

"Obviously not," I said, "Of course, now he's out in the world free to do whatever he wants... thanks to your meddling."

Hal gave me a dirty look.

"Ok, ok... I dug him up... but you brought him back to life!"

I really felt that I needed more input as to what to do next. To that end I paid another visit to the gypsy with the answers. She scowled at me as I told her of Hal's attempt at necromancy and what Asmodeus had said.

"Your friend is indeed foolish!" she said. "It is a wonder he has been allowed to survive. The demon must want him for something."

I hadn't considered that as a possibility, but it made dreadful sense. Asmodeus was not restrained by the chalk circles and could easily have ripped both Hal and myself to shreds if he so desired. I pondered the significance of this revelation, and it did nothing to lull or allay my feelings of impending doom.

These feelings were heightened by the insistent and incessant nightmares that now daily plagued my sleep. For these dreams the gypsy also had no answer - to my great disappointment.

I pressed her for more response, and finally she indicated that maybe... just maybe, returning the relics to their ancient resting place and re-sealing the crypt might release me from the curse. I was determined to give anything a try that might relieve me from the maddening nightly terrors.

Hal was not so easily convinced. He became more and more obsessed with ways to control the shaitans and the stacks of strange and esoteric books grew daily as he added to them.

I worked on convincing Hal as I collected the bones and returned them to their crates. I could not help noticing a sense of electric warmth within each piece I touched.

The dreams intensified - as if that were actually possible. On Friday I got the phone call - Hal's mind had apparently snapped - he was going to resurrect the whole bunch of them!

He cackled madly into the phone "I'll get them to listen to me! They can't deny me!"

He hung up on me at that point. It was futile for me to talk to him in this condition anyway. I raced over to the museum as fast as I could - but it still took almost an hour to get there.

The place was sealed like a tomb - I had to break in at the side door and hope Hal hadn't set the alarms. The place was permeated with a scent of spices mingled with a sulphurous tinge of brimstone... not a good portent. I headed straight for the cellars where I knew Hal would be plying his necromantic skills... such as they were.

The cauldron still smoked and the 12 candles were still lit. My crates had been dragged into two of the circles and were lying in jumbled pieces. Of the bones there was not a sign - I suppose I was not surprised. The third circle contained nothing but the cauldron - and a large, dark, irregular stain - blood!

I turned around, and was sickened by what I saw! Little bits of unrecognizable flesh splattered the wall in the rough outline of a man! The pieces were connected by splash trails of blood, and a single eyeball stared blankly up at me from where it had fallen to the floor.

It was a full week before I could force myself to leave the dubious safety of my house. I expected at every turn to hear the whoosh of leathery wings or feel the impact of claws in my flesh. I had lived it often enough in the nightmares.

I visited the gypsy and she gave me a small bag of herbs to wear around my neck. Oddly enough, for the first time in over a month the dreams actually subsided and I was able to get some much needed rest. I knew I had to go back to Phoenix. The name - another coincidence? I thought not.

I loaded my truck with what I would need - tools and dynamite. During daylight hours I worked my way into that hidden crypt. The bones had come back to rest on their own - without my help. They lay strewn about the chamber just as I had found them the first time.

I touched nothing, but set about my work. I strategically placed charges along the corridor where they would do the most and lasting damage. At last, at sunset, I was done. I stood outside and pressed the detonator. The rumble began deep below me. Dust and gases spewed from the opening as it collapsed into itself.

I had successfully sealed the chamber.

Oh no, I had not sealed anything in - of that I was fully aware - the shaitans would emerge in their own time as they wished.

I had sealed myself and others of my kind out!

~fin~
4/8/2002

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ButtercupFullOfTears

Digging the Bones

Post by ButtercupFullOfTears » Tue May 07, 2002 6:18 pm

very impressive, but what else would i expect from you Heinzs, your stories have inspired me to start writing stories instead of just poems again.....keep up the outstanding work, you're one of my sole sources of entertainment anymore...

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heinzs
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Digging the Bones

Post by heinzs » Wed May 08, 2002 2:43 am

Hehe... I don't post that much here. The rest of my poems are at allpoetry.com under the same name. Glad you like the stories!

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Moongem
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Digging the Bones

Post by Moongem » Sun May 12, 2002 9:35 pm

I like this! Actually, I would like a whole book about these creatures, their family and their world, but then, I am a fan of horror and science fiction! I especially liked the description of Hal's remains ending with the eye ball looking up!! Great mind-picture!

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heinzs
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Digging the Bones

Post by heinzs » Mon May 13, 2002 1:53 am

Thank you, moongem. Obviously an immortal race of beings could very well inspire a sequel! *grin*

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dtexast

Digging the Bones

Post by dtexast » Tue May 21, 2002 6:02 am

Now when I'm laughing and resisting the urge to defecate in fear, the story was good. Now I'm afraid to go near a shovel ever again!

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heinzs
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Digging the Bones

Post by heinzs » Tue May 21, 2002 5:10 pm

LOL... thanks, AKD!

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Nefertari
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Digging the Bones

Post by Nefertari » Sat May 25, 2002 3:16 pm

Very cool story..have you talked to a publisher? If not I think you should. [img]images/smiles/icon_cool.gif[/img]

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heinzs
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Digging the Bones

Post by heinzs » Sat May 25, 2002 6:28 pm

Thanks, Nefertari. Have not yet "talked" to publishers... do plan to, perhaps self-publish at first (that's the cheapest route), but it means getting down to brass tacks and ORGANIZING the material (grin).... us procrastinators don't do that very well.

[img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

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heinzs
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Digging the Bones

Post by heinzs » Thu Jun 13, 2002 12:10 am

I think this is the original post, then I must have done so again at a later date. Here are some other comments:

Lil Gray
Silver Fox Poet
Posted: 20 Mar 2003 06:03:pm Post subject: Digging the Bones
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(*shudder) Another chiller, Heinz. Hauntingly good write!


heinzs
The Fat Cat
Posted: 21 Mar 2003 12:21:am Post subject: Digging the Bones
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Thanks Lil!


SamIAm
Posted: 21 Mar 2003 03:00:pm Post subject: Digging the Bones
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This would make a great movie. Where do you get all your research information, Heinzs?

heinzs
Posted: 21 Mar 2003 04:59:pm Post subject: Digging the Bones
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Umm... this was mostly straight of the top of my head, with a smattering of whatever I have managed to permutate from stuff I've read.

Thanks, Sam!


Blaze
Posted: 21 Mar 2003 08:28:pm Post subject: Digging the Bones
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wow, scary!
Last edited by heinzs on Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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heinzs
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Post by heinzs » Mon Nov 03, 2003 9:07 pm

:cry:
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the quiet poet
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Post by the quiet poet » Mon Nov 03, 2003 9:26 pm

Why the tears Heinzs? You are a master!

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heinzs
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Re: Digging the Bones

Post by heinzs » Sat May 21, 2011 4:18 pm

:bump:
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LadySaturn
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Re: Digging the Bones

Post by LadySaturn » Mon May 23, 2011 12:39 pm

Wow, this past my radar screen. I didn't know you took a crack at some story writing, Pops... Huh.. Anyway, I liked it.. :thumbsup: Thinking about getting a team together and collab on a future Poetry Familia story.. I'll definitely have to add your name to the list of folks I have in mind... :hello:

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heinzs
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Re: Digging the Bones

Post by heinzs » Mon May 23, 2011 4:38 pm

lol... yes, I have a few stories posted here. I've even tried to get one of them published, to no avail.
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