(Note to Readers: Dear readers who have stuck with me so far as I try my hand at my first story series, few as you may be- I greatly appreciate your patience and your comments. Big shout-out especially to Migbird, who has provided exceedingly helpful feedback in almost every chapter and even the constructive criticism in the latest chapter have been invaluable in helping me think about how to improve this story. That having been said, it seems based on the comments and ratings from chapter to chapter, that readers aren’t too keen on the parallel story line involving Lilia and Corbin. I would greatly appreciate further feedback in this area from those of you who may have dabbled in this community longer so I can improve as a writer and produce a story that people can enjoy. As of now, this is the last chapter that revolves around this side plot but I had planned to weave it into the main story line as it progresses. Please let me know in the comments if you all feel it would be best to just kill off this side plot altogether and focus on Kazelle’s main story line.)
Chapter 10— Blood Ritual
Somewhere in the depths of the cemetery park, Kazelle has slowly regained consciousness. As she tries to get up, she discovers that her hands are bound together over her head against a tree trunk, her body is stripped completely nude and laid horizontally against a cold slab of sepulcher belonging to an unknown grave.
In the secluded darkness, she feels a touch between her legs and peers down to see a pair of fat, greasy hands locked around her ankles, forcing her legs open while the head hidden under a dirty pig-skin mask is buried greedily between her thighs.
She struggles violently to free her arms and legs, but the rope and her assailant’s vice grip prove to be too strong. The sound of her scream is muffed by her own knickers that has been stripped off and used as a gag. Soaked with her urine and saliva, the odor of the makeshift gag filled her nostrils.
Detecting her struggle, the pig-mask snorts with lewd delight as he extends a tongue from under the pig-skin mask. Kazelle can only manage a disgusted whimper and continues to struggle in vain as she feels his slippery wetness lubricate her labia and slithering its way into her slit. Her body tenses to the stimulation as the pig-mask slurps his enormous tongue around her insides like he was licking sour cream from a fleshly bowl. She huffs and moans, feeling almost ashamed at how intensely her body responds to this unwanted penetration.
Kazelle tries to kick, but the grip around her ankles remains unbreakable like a set of iron chains. Amidst this humiliating deflowering, she hears the rustling of leaves and branches. She quickly glances up, silently begging for help to arrive.
What she sees instead is two other masked men: one in a goat-mask and the other in a cow-mask, simultaneously emerging from the depth of the thickets, one holding a bloody head by the hair, the stub of spinal stem dripping with blood, and the other carrying a decapitated corpse over his shoulder. Kazelle’s ocean blue eyes widen with horror as she immediately recognizes the blonde bob with pink highlights and the tube dress. She tries to scream and kick even harder, but still to no avail.
The two men toss Colette’s head and decapitated corpse on the cold slab next to Kazelle. Kazelle can feel a cold shiver jolting through her entire body, her eyes start to water with terror, anguish, and rage rolled into one as she lets out a series of muffled scream.
Kazlle cries out inwardly to her beloved roommate. But all she receives in return is the silent stare of Colette’s cold, dead eyes as the head rolls to a stop. Her mouth twisted open grotesquely with her tongue hanging out, dripping with blood and semen.
“Hehehe, Bo… Not finished with this one yet? Then why don’t you let us have a go at her?”
The two younger brothers cackle sadistically as they approach the pig-head, who reaches up and waves them off with one hand.
“Nah, piss off! You two had your own and look what you did wit… oww!”
Kazelle seizes the opportunity to use her unrestrained bare foot to kick the pig-head squarely across the brow, sending him stumbling back. The other two quickly lunge forward and seize her ankles again while Kazelle struggles violently, letting out yet another muffled roar, this one more out of rage than fear.
“Oy, oy! Feisty, isn’t she, this one?”
As the brothers secure of their catch, a hooded figure appears from the shadow.
“Leave this one as is.”
The instructions were brief and direct, the voice under the hood eerily hypnotic. The brothers quickly comply and release Kazelle’s ankles, shuffling to the side as the hooded figure approaches her. For a moment, Kazelle wondered she might be saved.
But her relief was short-lived.
“This one is a direct offering to Master Jack. She has already been marked. You will do well not to defile her any further.”
As the hooded figure speaks those words, a long, twisting dagger appears from under his cloak. He begins muttering some sort of incantation in a low-toned voice, apparently in a foreign tongue. He purposefully stretches out his other hand, pale like a dead man’s, and begins carving into his own palm until a pentagram is etched out in blood.
As Kazelle looks on with terror and confusion, the hooded figure bears the knife down upon her, still dripping with his own blood, and holds it directly over her freshly inked moth skull tattoo. Kazelle catches a glimpse of the man under the hood: a slim face with a thin, full goatee, with complexion so pale it is as if the blood has drained from the veins in his face. He gazes down at her with expressionless, yellowish eyes, the pupils narrow, like that of a reptile- a lizard or viper of some sort. Kazelle shudders as she is struck with a sudden realization: he was the one who inked her and Colette their new tattoos at the festival. She tries to kick him, her legs now unrestrained, but she finds herself unable to move a muscle, as if his hypnotic gaze has rendered her immobile, Gradually, the knife lowers onto her skin and slowly pierces its way into her flesh.
She lets out another muffled cry, this one of pain, as the knife drives into her and begins carving the same pentagram over her tattoo. As the hooded figure completes his task, he lowers his bloody palm upon her skin, pressing the two pentagrams together as he continues his ominous chant.
Next, he slides the knife up to her belly button, and with the unchanged deliberation, begins to lower it slowly until it presses into her navels. Kazelle lets out another muffled cry of anguish as blood splurts out of her belly wound and her mouth, soaking the knickers gagging her. Her body twitches intensely with pain as the knife drives deep into her bowels, twisting about sharply. She begins to feel her consciousness fading away…
In the eyes of her mind, there is a 7-year-old girl, covered in bruises and blood, being viciously stomped into a dark corner by a raggedy old boot.
There is a tiny silvery shimmer in the dark followed by a gentle chime, as the little silver bell is being handed to her for the first time.
There is Colette’s carefree, smiling face, as they dance blithely together to music blaring in the room.
There is the warm touch of Colette’s own tattooed arm, as they distribute a kiss and make love for the first time.
There is a bright flash of light, followed by a few faint shouts
And then, absolute darkness.
Back in the security office, Corbin’s mobile phone rings. He answers to hear an elderly woman’s voice.
“Hello, is this Mister Corbin Graystone?”
“Speaking. Who is this?”
“I’m calling from Eastend Primary School. I have you listed as Iley Fasari’s secondary guardian, is that correct?”
“Uh… yes. But his mother should be with him right now. She left about half an hour ago.”
Corbin glances up at the clock, perplexed. There was a brief pause on the other end.
Corbin can sense an uneasiness creeping in.
“Miss Fasari never came to the school. And we have not been able to reach her on her mobile for the last twenty minutes. Iley is waiting to be picked up.”
This time it was Corbin with the pause. Every alarm in his intuition is blaring wildly at that moment.
“Ah, yes… will you excuse me? I’ll get back to you shortly.”
Before the caller can make a voice of protest, Corbin abruptly disconnects and buries his head in his hands.
“17…174? No… 147. Something -gard… Edengard? 147 Edengard.”
Corbin mutters to himself in a panic, trying desperately to recall the address Lilia jotted down earlier. Then, confident that he has the right one, quickly flies out of his chair and out the door, grabbing his guard stick on the way out.
He jumps in his car and tears down the street until he reaches the secluded industrial district. He glances around until he spots an old rusty placard with the address and darts into the massive warehouse, bursting in to the sound of dead silence. He glances around again, spots the clipboard with the sign-in sheet on the counter, and jogs over to see Lilia’s name in her own handwriting.
Guard stick at the ready, he scans about alertly.
The young security guard whips out his mobile phone and dials Lilia’s number, pricking his ears attentively.
There was a faint but unmistakable buzzing sound coming from down the hall. He spots an open door marked “DRESSING ROOM” and cautiously makes his way over.
As he enters the dressing room, he hears the buzz coming from behind a dark curtain marked “CHANGING AREA”. He quickly swipes the curtain apart with his guard stick and sees Lilia’s clothes folded in a stack, with her vibrating handbag sitting on top. He reaches in and retrieves the mobile phone: 10 missed calls. But where was she?
He looks back at the empty dressing room. A sense of dread slowly overtaking him: the fact that Lilia has left all her belongings behind is extremely abnormal, if not downright ominous.
Slowly, he makes his way towards the opposite side of the dressing room where a long dark curtain creates a divide to the other side, the wooden floor creaking under his leather shoes with each deliberate step. As he nears the partition, he can vaguely make out the low-toned muttering on the other side, almost a chanting of some sort. With the guard stick held in front of him, he pokes his head out.
There he spots a figure with frizzy blonde curls, back turned to him, wearing a short dress tightly fitted around a brawny frame. The figure is knelt down on one knee in front of a badly mutilated figure sprawled out on the stage floor with blood splattered about. The low-toned chant is coming from the blonde-haired figure. Corbin could not make out what this person is saying, nor could he tell whether this person is a man or a woman. He carefully steps out onto the stage behind the figure.
The sound of the creaking floorboard apparently alerted the chanting figure, who leaps up and whirls around, allowing Corbin to catch a glimpse of the mutilated corpse: legs split aside, partially eaten from the crotch area, and guts grotesquely hanging out. The shape of a bloody pentagram has been carved into the corpse’s chest, right below two mangled lumps of exposed flesh where the breasts had once been.
What he sees next sent a shock throughout his entire body, impaling his heart and hollowing a pit in his gut as he feels his stomach churn violently:
He sees poor Lilia’s face: deathly pale and eyes rolled back in grisly horror, mouth twisting open and still dripping with a mixture of white cream and thickening, dark red fluid.
“Who are you?”
The blonde-curled figure inquires suspiciously. But Corbin doesn’t respond. In fact, he hasn’t heard. He senses a lightheadedness as he feels his entire surrounding blacking out, like a bad dream that refuses to let him wake up. He staggers one step forward, still unable to fully process what he sees.
“You’re not with the Society, are you?”
Slowly, Corbin shifts his gaze from the disfigured corpse of his beloved to the one speaking. The figure sees the dazed look in the young man’s eyes starting to take a more conscious, savage form.
“Wha… what have you done to her…?”
Corbin grinds his teeth viciously, the grip on the guard stick tighten intensely with veins popping from his arms. He feels a fire welling up in his chest as the words explode out of his mouth:
“What have you done to Lilia?!!”
He launches himself at the figure, swinging down the guard stick with the full force of his rage upon the head of the one he believes committed this atrocious act.
Instead, Corbin is the one thrusted backward, crashing into a straw hut stage prop and scattering fragments of wood everywhere. He lifts his head with a stinging wince and sees an massive shadow, covered in dark fur. A set of vicious yellow eyes and drooling fangs baring at him.
“Kill him quickly and let’s get out of here before we draw any more attention.”
The blonde-curled figure instructs from behind the newly-arrived beast and scurries off the stage in the opposite direction, disappearing into the curtains with the fading sound of clicking heels.
“Wait! Get back here! I’m not done with…!”
Corbin leaps up, feeling the pain throbbing through his whole body. He drops to one knee and coughs up a handful of blood. He glares up at the colossal creature in front of him. Ignoring the wound, he pushes himself up once again, grips his guard stick tightly with both hands, and confronts the beast, who responds with a terrifying howl and charges at him.
Corbin screams and takes a full swing at the beast, but the creature beats him to the punch, swiping a powerful claw at him, tearing into his chest and hurling him off stage, crashing through several rows of seated wooden dummies:
As Corbin lies motionless, buried in a pile of splintered puppets and overturned leather seats, the continuous, automated laughter from the audio speaker seems to mock his demise.
By the time Corbin regains his consciousness, the beast was gone. Enduring a bloodied chest wound, and pain coursing through every joint of his battered body, he crawls onto the stage and limps over to Lilia’s corpse.
Collapsing helplessly to his knees besides her, he cradles her lifeless head in his wounded, trembling arms. He presses his bruised forehead against hers and unleashes a bitter wail.