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Sic Mundus Creatus Est

Horror short story

By Cecilia Maria CimminoPublished 2 months ago 15 min read
My art

Walking slowly along a narrow corridor submerged in semi-darkness I wondered where it would lead me.

From my earliest age I had shown a curious disposition; for everything that seemed meaningless I had to find a way to solve that intricate mystery, even at the cost of performing inappropriate acts and looking where it was best to keep the eyelids closed. My parents had often scolded me for this behavior, telling me it would lead me to no good. In my entire life I never wanted to disobey, bringing them pain and shame; I loved my parents, also because they were the only people capable of understanding me and being close to me. But the impulse dictated by the thirst for knowledge hammered in my head like a persistent echo; indomitable. There was never silence. Everything around me gave birth to questions and mysteries to solve; I couldn't stop. I was born as the embodiment of sin.

So I kept walking in that long corridor that never seemed to end. I didn't remember where I was or how I got there, but it didn't matter. With my bare feet, almost numb from the cold, I slowly and delicately tested the smooth marble floor; almost as if I counted the steps that kept me away from the goal.

I knew that once I reached it I would never be able to escape. I felt a heat in my belly that was impossible to describe and a sharp pain in my left temple. My heart was beating so hard that I could hear the beats breaking a heavy silence as a boulder.

Even before I knew what was in the end, I was aware that it was going to damn my life forever. I would have faced an unparalleled knowledge, destined for a select few, falling into torment until the moment of my death. I knew it but I didn't stop. I was walking the road to which I had been destined from birth.

At this point the memories become confused and feverish, but I remember certain things well: a cacophony of sounds reached me even before I saw her, screaming and crying in a dark corner, in an indefinite and indescribable room. Huddled on the ground, her long red hair falling over her face, the little girl shivered and cried, alternating with screams of horror at something terrible that only she could see. She was there with me but she at the same time she was elsewhere, in another place, in another time. I knew I couldn't touch her and interfere; I didn't have the power.

Observing her in her desperation, I began to tremble and fell to the ground because the pain in my head and belly had become unbearable, but it was just as I was writhing on the floor that I saw what was at the child's feet: a book. It was small and white, slightly dirty and scratched. It lay close to both of them, separated by the impartial barrier erected by time and size. But that book, I realized that I could touch it and take it, because it existed everywhere.

On the cover was written, in black and refined letters, a phrase that destroyed my mind forever: "Sic Mundus Creatus Est".

"And Then The World Was Created," I whispered almost unconsciously, as the unbearable pain dragged me into the dark.

The last thing I saw were those black letters, while an inhuman cry pierced my head.

And so I woke up; in my bed, in a sweat bath and with my ears bleeding slightly.

Art by my friend Jusan:

For months I did not dream of anything. I slept quiet nights immersed in darkness or I couldn't sleep, spending hours listening to the submissive breath of my roommates as rain often raged against the old windows. The incessant wind shook the shutters as if it knew that the nights of true sleep and rest were now over for me.

The days went on slowly, marked second by second by the strong desire to see that book again. I wanted to leaf through it and consume its pages, although I still did not know its actual content. Knowledge was soaked in that tome as blood rushes the tissues of the body every day, at every moment.

Death and time were unknown to it because the world was born only later. It had no epoch, it had no beginning or end. It was there and it was everywhere.

I would have found it; I already knew that I would look for it at any cost. That night, in that dream, something had entered my belly. No annunciation as with the Virgin Mary; no Grace. I had been violated.

With virtually no clue, I began my search; every free moment was devoted to the purpose of finding even the slightest trace, to give me confirmation that I was not just simply crazy.

I spent my days, when there were no lessons or homework to commit myself, in the large and ancient library of the city. Being thirteen still and living in a prestigious girls' boarding school didn't help. Much less the simple fact that she was born a woman and became an orphan after the accident that took place the last inverse. The only people who had ever really loved me had died and only thanks to their enormous wealth, of which I was the legitimate heir, as specified by the will, could I afford to live in a prestigious school for young women.

Once all my homework for the day was done, I was allowed to go to the library until just before sunset. Both my classmates and the teachers and staff had stopped asking me questions. They thought I was just a bookworm. What harm could a young woman do who spent her every free moment reading?

If only they could have imagined what had happened to me about a month ago, while I was exploring the darkest and most forgotten sides of the huge library ...

Overwhelmed by tomes that are battered and eaten by mold, full of dust, with the title almost erased by time, I saw one of the rare extant copies of the Necronomicon.

Until then I had only vaguely heard of it in other old books but I never thought I'd find one of the few translations from Arabic in my hands.

I didn't know exactly what to expect when I started browsing it. In a short time I read each page avidly; many concepts escaped my mind because they were so inhuman to be understood or even imagined. Despite the terror that penetrated my insides as I went on, I couldn't stop. I knew I had in my hands the means to reach the book I had seen in a dream months ago. This was enough to keep me from giving up or giving in to fear.

I had nothing left. Nothing that belonged to human warmth; the only thing that could feed me was the truth.

It was the year 1798 and winter was giving way to spring, when I found a way to dream again.

Time, reality and life were just an indefinite fragment where the vastness of true knowledge had been lurking for years.

Here are the keys. Look for the locks; be satisfied.

But listen to what Adbul Alhzred says: I was the first to find them: and I am crazy.

So I finally found myself retracing that long and semi-dark corridor.

I walked fast, almost running, while my bare feet became numb from the cold and my nightgown was sticking to me because the rest of my body was soaked with the sweat of excitement.

It went on for an incalculable amount of time so that when I reached the goal my chest was shaken by the spasms of the race.

At that point a pungent metallic odor choked me; all around me was complete darkness. Only the faint rays of the full moon slightly outlined some points of the great room in which I was.

What I saw in the following and very heavy seconds made my breath tighten and I almost fainted; a huge thick red spot was slowly spreading from a now completely unrecognizable body, so much so that it made me doubt that it had once been human. It seemed to explode from the inside.

I avoided looking too much around to spare myself from seeing other similar spectacles; meanwhile my belly was starting to hurt more and more, while my temples throbbed relentlessly. I knew my time there was running out. I had to hurry to find the book.

Suddenly the silence of death was broken by the shutters of a window being thrown open. Standing on the edge of the abyss of the night, I saw the same thin girl with long red hair.

She was stained with blood and she was holding the book in her hand!

With no more fear and no precautions, I hastened to join her. By mistake I stomped in the great pool of blood; the dense heat crept between my toes but I ignored it.

I knew what was going to happen, I didn't have any more time. It was my only chance to get it.

The little girl, standing on the abyss with the moon's rays breaking against her slender body, no longer trembled. Just moments before she voluntarily leaned toward death, I pulled the book out of her hand.

She turned, just before she fell, and she looked me in the eye.

She saw me and we made contact. When I was about to wake up I felt her bones break and I screamed in pain

Many years have passed since then, but I remember every detail because what I saw in those minutes following my awakening visits me every night, in whirlwinds of horrible memories and nightmares.

I can still smell it while I wake up in unimaginable pain; the sense of smell is the way through which our experiences are impressed more deeply in the mind, in the unconscious, from the first seconds in which we fill the lungs with oxygen. Through smells we can remember anything we witnessed while we were smelling it for the first time or during a particular moment; this will always come to mind, at any time and place, like an uncomfortable fold in the pages of life.

The metallic smell of blood, that empty look, so unnatural on a little girl's face and the excruciating pain of death; that night I continued to relive it, without peace.

The thing that heartened me then was to find the little book in my hands. When I realized this, I loosened the grip of my diaphanous fingers on the cover and began to breathe. The blood returned to sprinkle my fingertips and the pain that went through my body like an electrical discharge slowly subsided. Breathing and heartbeat also slowly returned to normal; I have no idea how long it was before I was able to move. I was lying in my bed, under the covers, immersed in the darkness of the night. I could only hear the sweet breath of my companions who slept unaware.

Despite the shock, I felt within me the feverish excitement dictated by my evil curiosity; finally I could know the secrets of the creation of the world.

I let more time pass before I was able to sit down without shaking. I took a deep breath a few times and opened the book; thanks to a light ray of the moon, which filtered through the large window behind my bed, I could glimpse what was written on the first page of that small timeless tome:

As above, so below.

That was all I saw before the disaster.

Something happened that night, which is still not entirely clear to me, something that shook my mind forever.

I have lived so many lives since then, I have defeated the effects of the passage of time on my body, I have acquired knowledge that a normal human being could not even imagine, but only now I have found a way to return to that fateful night, in which in the confusion the book vanished into thin air.

I could neither find any other copies nor the one that vanished from my hands. By dedicating my entire existence to the attainment of absolute knowledge, only one thing kept the fire of my soul alight; come to the day when I could finally go back to that night. I wanted it so much that I imagined the fateful moment in various ways; act that would have crowned my secular life. I would have accepted death. I had no brakes or other desire. My every breath was dedicated to reliving the night that had destroyed my mind.

What remained of pure and childish died when the first inhuman scream broke the silence.

One of my roommates had begun to squirm under the covers of her bed. Her last moan was so terrible that it remains impossible to describe. Immediately afterwards I heard a sound of bones breaking simultaneously and the blanket flew off, along with part of the internal organs of the unfortunate.

Screaming, I got out of bed to hide in a closet. I reacted on impulse, without thinking because my mind was paralyzed. In the dark and curled up in my shelter I felt my companions being slaughtered by something I could not see; it escaped the perception of normal human senses.

Screams of pain that I never thought I could hear, broken bones and, finally, silence.

I was found the next day, still curled up in my hiding place, in shock and stained with the blood of the first victim, the one who had died before my eyes.

As I learned later, no one else had survived in that little school for young women and the book had vanished into thin air.

As I become aware that I am no longer in the waking world, I finally retrace that narrow corridor; to pass I have to continue bent down, leaning against the cold and smooth walls as black as pitch.

I have done horrible acts in order to be able to continue living again and again, after centuries.

I don't dare to think about what awaits me after death but I have no interest in it: I am ready to face any pain in the pride of having managed to crown my existence. Dying, having in my hands the answers to the creation of the world, leafing through those pages, stealing every essence while life would slowly leave my flesh. Centuries spent making sense of my being in this world, time and universe; the reason itself, as well as proof, of existence. I will die, holding her to my chest.

I immediately recognize the smell of antiquity that exuded from the old walls of the school. Nostalgia and excitement tighten my stomach. Then fear sets in.

I am in the dormitory, it is late at night, the light of the moon casts pale shadows on the still world. The slow and light breathing of the sleeping girls marks the passing of the seconds.

But I can't move.

I am paralyzed by what I see above the young myself of that era; a mass of flesh, vaguely reminiscent of a human figure, walks, sways and floats in front of my bed.

In the meantime, I am dreaming; I sleep and I move slightly, remaining unaware as I am observed by that Horror. He looks impatient and very amused.

I can only look and I have no power to interfere. But despite this, I'm sure that Thing is able to see me. Surely he is already aware of my presence.

I have frozen blood in my veins as each passing moment is so distorted that it seems to last for centuries.

The myself of the past wakes up and, unable to see me or that horrible creature, she lets herself be carried away, after recovering from the shock, by the excitement of finally having the book in her hands.

Meanwhile the Thing looks at me, smiles and then enters the body of the young myself, who does not notice anything.

A few seconds later the being re-emerges, this time with the appearance of myself as a teenager, and with a giggle rushes to the girl closest to her.

At this point the massacre begins.

I observe that Creature who now has my appearance jumping on the poor unaware young people: she bites, tearing shreds of flesh, breaks arms, legs and ribs, every bone seems to shatter like nothing under her immense strength.

Finally I manage to get out of my stupor and snap, running to get the book, before that thing, distracted by the thirst for blood, takes an interest in me.

The volume fell to the side of my bed as the young girl ran into hiding for me, terrified.

The moment I touch it, exactly what happened too long ago happens; I come as if sucked in and wake up in my bed, in my time, in the darkness of my apartment.

I slowly resume breathing regularly; when I finally think that I have recovered from the tremendous effort and shock received in discovering how things really went that night I realize how cursed that tome is.

It has destroyed my life and feeds on sacrifices; it is evil incarnate. The tangible punishment to mortal beings who claim to be able to understand the Divine.

Intent on killing myself, setting fire to me and that hell incarnated in a book, I sit down.

And this is where I really feel that I am about to give up my entire existence of suffering and loneliness, insane searching and horrible acts.

Am I really willing to end it before I have even been able to take a look?

I feel like the right decision is that I have to die and not read anything. Not even trying.

But I was born as the personification of sin and I can't stop my fingers from leafing through it.

My blood freezes instantly, my muscles are paralyzed and a deafening whistle tears my head apart.

Instantly my ears start to bleed and the pain becomes unbearable, as I see that Thing, which has my adolescent appearance and then changes into that of the red-haired girl who lived in ancient times; swinging between these two shapes in a grotesque way, she looks at me laughing at the foot of the bed.

The last thing I can feel are her nails digging into my belly, before falling into the dark.


Author message:

This all stems from a nightmare I had a few weeks ago; it terrified me but I also found it too much fascinating for only to let it fade into the depths of my memory. Taking inspiration from the Dark TV series and the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, singing their praises, what you just read. Hoping you enjoied it!

FantasyYoung AdultPsychologicalHorrorCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Cecilia Maria Cimmino

Hello, I'm Cecilia, an Italian writer and artist.

I like write long and short novels. My stories are especially of genre: sci-fi, horror, gothic, fantasy and psychological.

For all my social links: CLICK!

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