In Touch With Darkness

A man discovers that which he should not and pays the ultimate price for his misfortune.

She wanders the Earth now, just as she once did thousands of years ago, what she stole has been returned to her. It is my fault, for I am just a man, weak in body and broken in spirit. Do not mistake that for any attempt to justify my frailty, for no words can cast any light into the depths of my shame, I could never justify my betrayal. I am not an altruistic man, I never have been and now it seems I never will be, and as much as it sickens me, their is some relief in knowing I will not be around to see her desires come to fruition, though such a blessing is too little and too late.

How I learnt of it's location, I dare not say, for even at the end I still fear what will become of my soul, and the implications upon those whom I came close to having loved, and were almost loved by. Too few years have I seen for me to be satisfied with my existence, but at the same time, too many have I cursed for me to abandon with any pride remaining. In my travels, I had grown complacent and foolish, oh the fool I was! Had I only know what fate was to befall me, what was hiding in the shadows of our perceptions, I would have heeded the warnings of that old, blind shaman instead of so readily dismissing them as the ramblings of local superstition and gathering wives.

We set out in the wildernesses of lands unnamed too eager and too willing. No feelings of dread or distaste accompanied me, no supernatural senses forbidding my exploits. We sang songs in the silence, and cheered when we could sing no more, for we were setting out on an adventure, I was leading doomed souls to ruins untouched by mortal men for more years than heads of peasants who followed me with promises of payment. In petty books and movies, such a journey would have been accompanied by sickness, disease and nightmares. Insects would have writhed around our path, warning us with all the tricks and treachery at their disposal not to continue, not to carve our path to that place where destiny was found. We encountered no such blessings, and that was what was so strange. Such a journey should have been ridden with illness, heat exhaustion and sorrow, but we found none. At the time, my rational mind thought us to be just lucky, but now I can't help but wonder if I was not marked by the undying one before I even left the womb.

I shall not remember how many days we had marched, nor shall I put to paper which direction, for I know that one chained to it's failures is alone too great a number. It may seem hypocritical that I'm even writing this tale, and I doubt it will see the light of day, for this tale is my dying wish, my last request. When I am finished, I shall be taken away and she shall execute her will upon me and these papers. Regardless, I am ever conscious that these words may be read by mortals and not burnt by those lacking such a trait, who knows what the future holds? Not even the long dead prophets of myth are infallible in their visions.

We arrived at noon, it was beautiful. What was it? It was a palace and a crypt. A city and a village. It was life and death, success and failure. I shall give it no name, no definition, no value, no time, for all are things which can be traced and truths which can be discovered. It was at that point I made my first mistake, and my most fatal. Most would have sent in monkeys, expendable men whose mysterious removal would hinder no-one, and merely grant all a greater pay, but not me. When I found that entrance, that perfect gateway inside that magnificent structure, I knew I had to be the first one ever to bring torchlight inside. As I fulfilled my wish, I was soon overwhelmed with awe and wonder, for the interior was the very embodiment of heaven's grace. The carvings on the wall were all but translatable, and yet they were perfect. Comprehension was destroyed, for the shapes themselves defied all that was and ever shall be illustrated. I had found that which I sought, that fatal proof of my theories I long desired, and yet I still ventured further.

At first I believed it to be a wall like the others, for while I could not bring my attention on it yet I gazed straight and could see naught else. I could discern movement and life, which I first imagined to be the ghosts of what magnificent craftsmen ever had dwelled in such a place, until my mind once again returned to me, and I recognised that the walls shouldn't move in such a conscious manner. There and then, I should have fled. But no, my curiosity condemned me by overwhelming my fear, and inspired me to raise my hand to the animate barrier.

Darkness followed, darkness and understanding. But this was not a welcoming embrace of learning, for I was beyond the realm of such things. Where was I, where was I going, where had I come from? These things seemed meaningless, I had no cause. Words filled my mind, but my mind was forming words that even now I do not fully understand. Who is Lilith? Who is Taimat? And Kincha, Crystallis, Malgorn and Dagon? What is Gucarestia? What is Wiedere? Where do I fit in to all of this? I could make sense of nothing.

When I awoke, the curious structure was no-where to be found, and I was lying filthy in the streets of a village I shall not name. Half-aware, my body aching, I stumbled alone, my every instinct screeching at me to vanish, to hide and forget the world I briefly knew. What followed are tales I must never delve into, that are destined to remain in the recesses of my mind for my eternity. For two whole years I lived in shadow, not owning a passport, a driver's license or credit card, never keeping a job for too long and always using a different name, lest I be tracked down by the demons that hounded my mind. In the end, it mattered not, she finally caught up with me.

As soon as I was discovered, I knew it was over. I had lost the game, my instincts had failed me. She is coming for me now, she knows my tale is at an end. If this reaches anyone, then let it be known that she is Ashai, the witch, the first leech who bound the lost remains of the sleeping god, who tasted his divine essence and was not destroyed by it, and who has once again Taimat's blood flowing amongst her veins because of the weaknesses of one, foolish man. Lilith, save me!

The End

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