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For The Phased Out Souls

by Randall Windle 2 years ago in supernatural
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Watch The Yellow Flowers

Ruth hit her head on the attic beam…again. It left a red mark the size of a large coin on her forehead. Being used to it, she just gave the beam a death glare, and rolled out of bed. Both boots hit the ground, and she noticed she’d fallen asleep in her clothes again. The bandolier that trailed from shoulder to hip was still snug, the pointed lead pellets it held were present and accounted for. The dream from yesterday hadn’t happened again, but it still hid in her memory.

Staying in one place for months was doing her some good outside of the odd injury here or there. Ruth's broken skylight told her it was early hours, and hurried rain was rushing in. Ready to decide that the rain was what had woke her from a dreamless sleep, Ruth turned back. But the screams outside changed her mind. After taking two steps forward, she diverted from the unmade bed, and took an air rifle from its hiding place behind the headboard. Each day since the world had met underspirits, she’d been getting stronger, but still had to break the barrel over her knee. Ruth bragged she could load it faster than most, but no one else with a gun had crossed her path. It was a high chance that was why she was still on the living side of things. Boots clunked with her strides, and broke the skin of a canvas, Ruth kicked the remains off her ankle. Now a white rabbit had a hole in its painted head. The shrieks worsened. Sticking the barrel outside a front window, Ruth moved from the shadows.

Outside was shit. Blasted stretches of land warped the air into a shimmer, as if the planet was turning into a stove, and the gas had been left on too long. Radios having died weeks ago, with televisions and internet well before that. Information was scarce at the best of times, and those were behind everyone. At the next noise, Ruth snapped her eyes back on the iron sights, looking for the source. Now there were two noises at once.

A pair of cats jumped out from behind a pile of waste and cardboard, a drenched mess of fighting and hissing, Ruth wished she was still asleep. But that was weakness talking, so it went ignored. As a way of letting off steam, she shot at the ground by the cats, and watched them scarper off in opposite directions. “Never thought they’d be so loud.” She gargled through a mouthful of rainwater.

“In that case you’re stupider than you look.” The cracked voice downstairs was in no mood for unnecessary comments. Ruth respected that, but shot another pellet, seeing if it would hit the church spire across town. It fell flat by ten foot, but Ruth was happy it went straight, the thing still had a kick to it.

She clumped down the ladder that lead to the attic, taking care to not let the rifle clip the ceiling or thin walls. In the hallway alone the clingy stench of coffee lurked about the place. If Ruth hadn’t known the layout of the house by heart, all she’d have had to do was follow the coffee. Or the incense. Easing the door open with a push, it creaked, breaking the tension with a laugh from both of them. Ruth and Osiris. The poor soul she’d been co-inhabiting with for all waking memory. Only since I met her have I had those dreams. Graves, robes…flowers?

Osiris (Mother Osiris as a nickname she sniffed at) sat in her high-backed chair. Decked out with DIY witchy symbols and a dash of lilac powder. Osiris was sprinkling some on the table as Ruth slinked into the room. At hearing her, Osiris lifted her gaze and eyes met, the smile hadn't faded. Some of the powder had stuck in her fiery hair.

“Just for luck you know…underspirits hate lilac.” Osiris waved a hand around the room to back up her point. Books written in dead languages lay about in high-stacked piles from wall to wall. Ruth countered with a similar hand flourish.

“These are all good and well, but you shouldn’t take it all as gospel, this supernatural stuff is far from fake, but some of it could be."

Osiris made a noise of disgust, and barrelled over her. “I take nothing as gospel in this stuff, don’t talk rubbish. Anyway…”

The orange haired pagan cleared her throat to keep her upper hand in the conversation, and darted to the closest book cluster, pulling out a dog-eared notebook with butterflies painted on it. “This was outside the front door this morning, I only opened it to check the bloody weather, now we’ve got a nightmare on our hands.”

“Our?” Ruth caught the word.

“Oh Yes.” Osiris made the move of a smoker about to punch a dart, but since Ruth had cleaned out the house a week back, she settled for lighting some more incense. “Once you read it you’ll want to involved with what happens after, what we do.”

Ruth took the book, so weak that the spine peeled open with no resistance. The words screeched out in the handwriting.

Bad people hurt me when I look at them. I do not know their names. Fingers are dirty with cigarette stuff. Their rings look the same, but they can’t be married. There are loads of them, nine, I think. Not good with numbers yet. Can use this notebook to get better with counting. When they took me, they took this book away from me. After I cried and cried, they gave it back. The meanest one ripped out some pages to upset me first. I have it back now though so that is good I think. He has spiked hair that smells of burnt toast and is so skinny his bones show in his face. Only thing he does most of the time is checked to see what I am writing, but he stopped doing that after the last time we went to the place with dead stones. Five times now we have gone there. It is not called that, but I know the stones are called G – R AVE – S. Think it is done that way.

Oh yeah their rings, not married rings. Shiny silver things with the same star shape. Star made of thin lines and pointy parts. Like small treasure on their hands. A thing like fairies would protect at the bottom of gardens. But they are not real. Oh no I keep using that word. The bad people tell me they aren’t then they laugh. When they take me to the garden, the one with dead stones, not faries, they tell me to look at the oldest stones and watch. While I look all of them dig for long times. “Something important!!” is what is said. I try really hard to be brave. I hate it when my eyes get scratchy and want to close. The baddest one with burnt hair gets angry and wakes me up from my dreams. Time before he did it with a bucket of rain. Said it was a shivered (?) baptttism B – A – P – T – I – S – M. It made me so cold. This time he pressed my face into the mud. It is full of rain and gets everywhere. It smells and the worms get into my mouth. Not friendly like cartoon ones, but fast and horrible. I sick it up and stop crying after a little bit. He tells me he wants me to watch a dead stone one more time. He put me back in the van, that is why I am writing all this now. I hope they let me stay here forever. Or take me home, I miss my friends. It makes me sadder that they are probably dead, I heard the bad people listening to the radio. Bad things are happening across every city. Things are breaking up past the ground.

And hurting people. I heard my hometowns name, and it said the church got broken by the things. It did not sound like they were animals. I can hear the bad people outside, they are all singing together, that is nice, maybe if they sing and be happy they will let me go, close to my twelfth birthday. The words are not in English or any language we learnt about in school. Now it is getting louder. Singing is getting louder and I’m scared now. Burnt hair person is getting angry now so I’m writing quickly. His footsteps scare me. He is arguing with someone. He has opened van door. The star is on his shoes too. He looks different. Still the same person, but something in his eyes. It makes me cold in my stomach. His hair is the same and his clothes are different. A long robe thing with that same star pattern stitched all over. They are silver and gold now. He’s staring at me and I can smell smoke coming from the dead stones. The singing is too loud now. It hurts too much. Makes my eyes water.

Spiky hair is trying to make me hold yellow flowers. I think I am going to listen and look at the grave one more time. I hope I will be back to write more soon. Bye.

“…and that’s all she wrote?”

“Quite so. Presuming it’s a she. But who knows these days.” Osiris coughed.

Ruth looked up from the brittle pages, ink-scrawled lines forced across the margins. Just looking at it made the room go cold. “That’s it then. A dusty diary.” All Ruth knew was that the thing made her uncomfortable.

Osiris made patterns in the lilac dust with a ringed finger. “Better than most get dear. At least the poor sod got to put the last of themselves on paper.”

Ruth sat at the table, feet felt bloodless. “But my dream…”

“Yes your dream was true, and it matches that diary. Entities are rising from the earth, and the last people are dying. Dark magick or not, something is rotten.”

Osiris’ face dropped, and the lines present on it stretched deeper. “Something must be done.” With that she stood and went to the window. Rain hammered the glass. Her reflection had twisted in on itself, a smooth pain-free face. A mirror to a past time. But past the window itself all was gone. Buildings stuck with skeletons of the homeless littered around and fused into the brickwork. A single moody positive being that with all the destruction, the few trees left stood tallest and strongest. Osiris tutted. “Ignore the trees darling. Focus.”

“I am.” Ruth snapped. Then. “I’m going for a walk.”

Under her feet any ground was ruined, blasted by energy attacks to mindless gravel. Burnt stone with the crunched texture of ice cubes. Ruth half-ignored the skeletons along the roads. Still used to mourning them as if they were flesh and blood people to her, but that needed to stop.

The end times really have swept over us all. Saying it again and again made the reality more real. After the fifth corpse pile she reached the church. Its door sat broken and lazy over a shattered bicycle. Some of the walls leant inward, twisted at the foundation. The church was worse on the inside, guts of stained glass all over the place. She placed the diary on the podium, and began to plan.

“How can I save a dead soul?”


About the author

Randall Windle

UK Based Author, sci fi and fantasy with a dash of horror.

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