Steal Head: Chapter 13 – And the World Went White…

“What… what do you…” Beck stammered, his voice small and full of fear.

“Shhh,” the voice rasped wetly from behind his ear, “Our Lord approaches…” The owner of the voice moved around from behind him and Beck gasped as he saw the ruin that had once been a man half crawl into view. Pallid, mottled skin hung from a frame so frail Beck wondered how it could hold him up. He looked worse than starved, worse than sick, this pitiful creature looked like as thought he were dying in front of his eyes. But before he had time to wonder what could have brought a human being to such a terrible state, the pool of water at the bottom of the tunnel of wooden walls and decaying heads erupted over them both.

Beck spluttered and rubbed the gore and salt-water from his eyes, blinking furiously until he could see again. As soon as he could he regretted it for standing in front of him was Steal Head, all ten feet of him with teeth dripping blood and clawed hands holding two freshly severed heads by their hair. Beck’s blood froze in his veins as he realised their eyes were still moving, that the poor souls were still alive and registering the horror that had befallen them!

The creature looked at Beck and, the doctor fancied, smiled as it strode towards him. It lifted one of its prizes up to its mouth and, without taking its gaze from Beck, pushed the torn stump of neck to its mouth. A long, agile tongue darted out and dove into the head where, with the sickening sound of wet tissue being pulled apart, it snaked and probed until a strange light suddenly emanated from the victim’s skull. The light grew briefly, shining brightly in the gloom, illuminating the cave until Beck saw the cave was actually some form of railway carriage plunging downwards into water before it faded and was gone. The monster swallowed the light whole, gulping wetly as it went. It raised the second head and repeated the process, once more the light shone briefly from the head and once more the creature appeared to eat it hungrily.

“Our Lord feasts,” croaked the man next to Beck, “and we serve His hunger.”

Beck’s eye’s grew wide with the terror of sudden realisation but the man saw his fear and wheezed “No. Not you. Not yet. You must serve Him to earn that honour. Serve Him as I have done. You are to be His new servant. His new Herald. My time has come. Take me Oh Lord!”

The creature looked down at the pitiful bag of decaying bones and skin and reached out to him. “Oh yes my Lord,” the man sighed in ecstasy, “Oh ye…” With a swift, effortless move, Steal Head pulled the man’s head clean from his shoulders and tossed it behind where it sank from sight in the churning pool.

Beck watched in horror, his legs desperately trying to push him up and along the roof of the rail car, away from the monster stood at his feet, but it was no good, everything was slick with water and blood and he could gain no purchase. He merely slipped back down towards the beast and certain doom.

~HE WAS WEAK~

~YOU ARE NOT~

~YOU SHALL SERVE ME~

~YOU SHALL BE MY HERALD~

The voice appeared in his mind, deep down where it resonated though his whole body until he thought he would faint with the power of it. With hands clasped to his ears, Beck at last found his voice, a small thing lost in a vast ocean it now seemed to him. “I… I will not…”

~YOU SHALL SERVE ME~

~YOU SHALL BE MY HERALD~

“N… no…” Beck said, tears streaming down his face with the effort of disobeying the all-powerful voice in his head.

~YOU SHALL SERVE ME~

~I RELEASE YOUR DARKNESS~

There was an explosion deep inside Beck’s mind, a terrible force of light and noise and wind flung him through the air and into the void. He fell and fell, tumbling past the point of return and into the deep, dark spaces he’d fought for so long to keep forever hidden.

And then he stopped.

It was cold. He was cold. Cold to his bones. Colder than he’d ever been. Colder than he could ever remember being. Except… except for…

He opened his eyes and the world was white. The boat swayed beneath his feet as it cracked through the icy ocean beneath. On the deck, at his feet, his wife, his beautiful wife sobbed uncontrollably. In a daze he turned slowly, his stomach lurching as he did so, knowing what he was about to see. The white landscape stretched out behind the boat, perfect in every way save for two dark stains slowly receding as the boat moved forward. Two small black ovals on the perfect, brilliant ice. His children.

“You killed them,” his wife’s voice was even colder than the arctic winds that burnt his face, “You murdered my children you bastard.”

****{}****

To be continued…

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) All Dr Beck’s Journal Entries can be read here.
2) All my “Steal Head” posts can be read on my blog here and on the Steelhead Ning here.
3) The latest “Steal Head” Story So Far recap can be found here.
4) All my “Mutations” posts can be read here.

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