Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bleakmans Bog Pt. 1


Okay so tomorrow is the Blackout... And by blackout I mean many internet types are stopping their services tomorrow in protest of PIPA. One of those being wikipedia so that link will not work tomorrow. I am in agreement with these protests which is the main reason I wrote this news portion of the blog. I will also be participating in my own little way. I will not use the internet tomorrow. I encourage anyone else who is offended by our government being bought and used for personal gain by the rich and influential should do the same. Our freedom of speech is not something to be played with. I doubt my absence from the internet will be of any note to anyone, but I thought I should do something.

Lastly Bleakmans Bog will be updated every Tuesday until it is completed. I will try and also write at least one other post every week. The other posts may be news or free writes. And once Bleakmans Bog has reached a conclusion I am thinking about going back and doing MP3 files of me reading my stories. Anyone interested in an audiobookesque format please tell me on Facebook or here. I know sometimes it is easier to find time to listen than to read. Each story will be posted as a separate file. Thanks for reading please continue onto Bleakmans Bog.

Bleakmans Bog
Matthew Jones

Dennis Ironarm wondered through the mists of Bleakmans Bog. It had been days since last he saw another living soul. Bleakmans Bog was no place for the living, but he had a responsibility to his people. There was no turning back. Especially since he was uncertain if that was even possible at this point.

It was a black night when the scream broke into his sleep. The scream of a child. It was the same as the four the town had heard before. They were ahorse in minutes and the hounds were following a trail into the bog. However the scent was gone as soon as they entered as if by magic. Many turned back at this point. They feared wondering around the bog in the night. Dennis and seven others continued. They made camp after a few hours of wondering. In the morning they were three. No one knew what had happened to the other four. All their possessions were gone. So, it was assumed they had returned to town. They split up in order to search more area. They had agreed to meet back at the town's edge in seven days.

It had to have been nearly seven days now, but Dennis was not turning back. Not until he had something to report. Other than the absence of anything. Perhaps seven was his lucky number. He hoped that the others did not fear for him too much.
As he continued his horse dropped from exhaustion. He had not brought enough oats or grass for the trip. And the water was like poison even to the horse. Dennis felt compelled though. He could not stop. He had to continue. The horse whinnied in pain as it pawed at the ground attempting to rise again. Eventually there was no sound again. Dennis was alone.
As he walked he felt the mud and muck suck at his boots. Each step was heavy and hard. Exhaustion was making his limbs heavy. He barely was conscious enough to realize the ground had turned into a bright green grass. A grass that almost glowed even in the mists. The mud was like a black taint upon the grass as it was trekked behind him. Then the light was blinding. He fell to his knees. The mist was gone. Except it wasn't. Just behind him it still hung thick as mud. The green grass was now accompanied by wildflowers of every color and a single house. It was then that Dennis recognized the place. It was his home back before Bleakmans Bog had swallowed it. He couldn't believe it. Especially when he smelled his mother's Sweetcakes cooking. The house was just as he remembered. Whitewashed walls that were made of wood and sod. A rood made from baked clay. It was red, but had moss growing on it. It was then that he realized all the trees were gone. But it didn't matter he started walking towards his home. The door was swung open to allow the summer breeze to swing through. His mother's humming floated out to him like a dream.

A dream! Suddenly his mind cleared. He was in a cell. Tethered by these hissing vines that constricted him cutting his wrists and ankles. The witch sat in a chair smiling a sick more hideous expression he could not imagine. He single brown/green tooth sticking out with the other non-tooth things that inhabited her mouth. Lips that were cracked and scabbed from gnawing on bones. Her skin was sickly gray like she was dead. And he nose was nothing more than flesh and bone leaving holes instead of nostrils. A single ear that hung like a dogs. Her head was bald except for the wisps of hair and feather she had sown into it. But the most horrifying part was the shoes in the corner. He recognized each and every pair. They had each belonged to someone he had known. She started sucking marrow from a bone and stood on crooked legs. She leaned on a piece of wood nearly as gnarled as herself.
"So, the knight awakes! Is he ready to die yet?" she said to no one in a ghostly voice.
"I would say not yet. The fire can't you see it. Someone with so much fire in their eyes makes a poor meal." she replied in a different yet equally foreign voice.
"We must wait anyway the child still turns within my stomach. A meal so sweet cannot be followed so soon." said the ghost voice.
"You are correct my dear. No brave knight shall I eat your eyes to release some of that fire?" asked the foreign voice.
"Mmm, yes the eyes! The eyes! A better soup cannot be made than one made from eyes." the ghostly voice shrieked excitedly.
"If you eat my eyes I will simply kill you blind. I fear that it will only result in more pain though. Since without my sight I cannot guarantee I will kill you swiftly." Dennis spit in retaliation, however some of the edge was lost to his weakness.
"He would kill us! Kill us! It mustn't happen, sister! It mustn't!" screamed the ghostly voice from the Witch's mouth.
"Don't worry sister. He has no power here. Not with our spells. That have been bolstered from our resent meals." Even as the foreign voice spoke she also chewed and sucked at the marrow of a bone. "Now sleep my humble knight. Dream of home or some such thing."
Her hand raised and his eyes felt weak. The pox ridden fingers writhed like snakes as sleep fell over him.

As the 14th day dawned since the expedition the few towns people that remained began to pack their things. None of the seven had returned. One of their horses had made it back, but that was all. Crippled Duncan Stone watched over the preparations. He was torn. It pained him that he had not been among the seven who went into Bleakmans Bog, but life was something he did not lightly forfeit. The last wagon was loaded when they started to go. As the wheels started to roll a wave passed over the villagers. Duncan shivered and felt a pull from the bog. At the same moment all the wagon wheels began to sink into the earth. Along with all the horses and the people who were on foot. The sinking stopped as it reached a two hands deep. But it made movement impossible. The horses slipped and fell whenever they were whipped into movement. Duncan had feared the bog might not let them leave. The women who still had their babes held them tight to their breasts and wept. Those who had already lost all to the bog stared with dead eyes. Duncan's withered legs grew sore with memory. It had been years since the wraith had touched him. Since he had lost his Anne.

Continued in Bleakmans Bog part 2...

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