Immortal darkness, p.1
Immortal Darkness, page 1
Translated by Claudia Nateri
Written By David Falchi
Copyright © 2017 David Falchi
All rights reserved
Distributed by Babelcube, Inc.
Translated by Claudia Nateri
“Babelcube Books” and “Babelcube” are trademarks of Babelcube Inc.
Table of Contents
I’m Marcello Kiesel and this is the first time that I feel bold enough to write something about my job; not because I’m afraid people won’t believe me, or because of some sort of professional secrecy. The thing is that the last case that I worked on made me realize a very important truth, which, up until now, I seem to have always underestimated. Every intervention, no matter how ordinary this might look, could always be the last.
I know, it’s a cliché, but only when you are about to meet your own death – or worse – you realize how much you’ve underestimated the risks that you’ve taken, and how lightly you’ve lived till that very moment. It must be some sort of self-defense mechanism of the human mind.
But the truth is very easy: we can be experts, we can be skillful, careful and even lucky, but some forces can’t just be controlled. And that’s simply because the energies that we have to deal with often come from brand-new entities. And even the slightest variation of what we think we know can lead to a series of consequences that can be lethal for the Purifiers.
This time I got pretty close. I haven’t been able to get out of my bed for two days before I could find the strengths to get up, eat something, and sit at my desk to analyze the situation.
My phone is still ringing but I don’t feel like talking at the moment. I know, somebody might need my services, but right now I’m afraid I won’t be of much help, and my intervention could only cause more dangers.
Besides, I don’t like to talk to a client without my usual self-control. People who have already met me are familiar with my cool and relaxed attitude. I’ve often been complimented for my strong moral fiber.
While now I’m trembling so much that I can barely hold the fountain pen with my hand.
The light of the candles illuminate the room and the smell of incense is so strong that I feel like I’m in a temple. The protection symbols on the walls reflect the flames of the candles, which only makes the room scarier than ever. But there’s nothing that I can do about it.
I still can’t bring myself to relax. Perhaps, I’ll be able to reorganize my memories and to put my last experience into paper. The only positive aspect of this situation is that the word last no longer seems so final. A Purifier doesn’t necessarily need to die to put an end to his career. Sometimes, losing one’s right mind can be enough to leave this life for good. And this time, I hate to admit it, I was nearly touched by madness.
I was at Stansted Airport and I was sitting at the departure lounge, waiting for my flight to board, when I got the phone call.
I’d just solved a case in a country house where a spirit had decided to wake up twenty years after its death.
Perhaps, the renovation works of the manor’s owner had annoyed it – that I didn’t quite understand. However, after two decades of darkness, the spirit still hadn’t found a proper way to communicate but I didn’t give it time to find a solution to its problem.
I wanted to go back to Italy as soon as possible. My job is in itself way too dark, and staying in a country where most of the time it rains would only make it worse.
I used protection spells only as a precaution because, deep down, I knew that lost soul was more scared than I was. In fact, I only had to show it the way to leave this world, and it immediately left the manor, breaking just a few dishes during its escape.
«It’s like opening a window when a big fly keeps slamming into it» I explained to the landlord - an Irish guy with red thinning hair and a patchy white beard. His English was so raw that I could barely understand him.
By contrast, Mr. O’Flynn had been so happy with my work that he left me a bottle of sixteen- years- old whisky. I’ve never been fond of wines, but every once in a while, right before bedtime, I allowed myself a sip of alcohol. It’s a custom that I have always found relaxing.
I searched into my coat’s pocket and I picked up the cell phone. I didn’t know the number on the screen, but I noticed that the call came from Italy, so I decided to answer right away. I still had a few minutes before the boarding procedures started.
«Is this Mr. Kiesel? » said the man on the phone.
«Yes, this is him».
«I’m sorry to bother you, I know you are not in Italy at the moment, but I just couldn’t wait».
The stranger on the phone seemed to be in a state of panic. In fact, he was so scared that he didn’t even bother introducing himself. «Don’t worry, Mr...? »
«Guidi», he said. «Everything is falling apart here and I don’t know what to do anymore. A friend gave me your number, and that’s why I took the liberty of calling you»
«It’s not a problem. Could I just ask who mentioned my name? »
«Alessandro Calisti», said the man.
I was relieved. Alessandro is a private detective and a dear friend of mine. This wasn’t the first time that I’ve been asked to work on one of his cases. He used to contact me every time that his cases went beyond natural laws. He has always considered himself a pragmatist and that’s why – he said- he never dared to venture into my world. To be honest, I’ve always thought that he was just scared.
«I see. And what happened, exactly? »
«I’d rather talk about it in person, if you don’t mind ».
The board on the wall showed that there were still eight minutes before boarding procedure started. If I had managed to calm the man down, maybe I could have collected enough information to start working on the case, and maybe I could have come up with a few ideas by the end of my flight.
«Actually sir, I’d rather talk about it now. I can understand, by the tone of your voice, how nervous you must be. But, if you fill me in with the details, I could start to analyze the situation in this very moment. And don’t worry about the fee. That is a thing that we’ll be able to discuss in person».
«Alright», said the man, lowering the tone of his voice. «I hope you don’t mind that I’m whispering, but I don’t want to be heard. People have already seen me acting weird, and if they were to hear a single word of what I’m about to tell you they would think I’m crazy. However, I have to admit that this is not my biggest fear, at the moment ».
«I only have five minutes and then I’m going to have to switch the phone off Mr. Guidi. I suggest you to be as concise as you can».
«I’ll do my best», said him in a whisper.
«So», I encouraged him.
«My wife and I have just inherited a cottage from her grandfather. It’s on Mount Amiata, near a town called Piancastagnaio. Cristina’s forefather passed away a few months ago, at the venerable age of ninety-nine years old. We’d never gone that far to visit him. You know, with our jobs, travelling isn’t that easy».
It seemed like a rehearsed speech. He must have prepared it to convince himself to reveal his story. I didn’t say anything. I simply waited that he finished his speech.
«What happened? » I asked, hoping that he got to the point.
If a physician needed to know the medical history of a patient before he could visit him, to do my job I needed quite the opposite. In fact, before I can ask my clients the right questions, I need to know exactly what I’m dealing with. As a matter of fact, in several occasions, I’ve been able to solve cases without the smallest involvement of my clients. They don’t always need to know about the thing that they are dealing with.
«The first day nothing strange happened», said the man. «The house was a bit shabby and dusty. The grass around the house had significantly grown and, in fact, I remember talking about it with a guy downtown, which was supposed to come and take care of it. Obviously, he never came. We didn’t give him time to do his job. The first night I immediately noticed a funny smell. It made me think of something putrid, as if someone had left a dead animal under our window. I woke Christina up and we looked outside, but we didn’t find anything. We thought that maybe, a small animal had decided to take its last breath behind our house, although unfortunately, we never found its body. We came back to our bed, and despite that funny smell, I fell asleep».
«I don’t mean to hurry you», I interrupted him, «but I only have three minutes because my flight is about to depart. You are going to have to focus on the main events, otherwise we are going to have to finish this conversation in Rome».
«I don’t think I’d be able to tell the whole story from the start. I’ll be quick, I’m sorry. The following day, that smell had spread all over the upper floor, while the lower one, for the moment, had remained immune. We still hadn’t thought of a supernatural phenomenon, and we kept repeating ourselves that there must have been a dead animal inside the house. We put the entire house upside down: our bedroom, the guestroom, the storage closet and the attic. We found every possible thing, even a mummified bat, but obviously that noxious smell wasn’t coming from that animal.
At noon, we had to put a piece of fabric on our faces in order to be able to stay inside the house without feeling the need to vomit. We didn’t dare to eat anything inside the new house, and we decided to go downtown. We tried to bashfully explain the problem, and as we expected, no one believed us. The waiter came up with the same idea that we had: an animal had probably died among those walls. We just didn’t find it.
When we came back, that noxious smell had already reached the porch. It was as if it had taken advantage of our absence to conquer the lower floor. Crazy, uh? ».
I decided not to waste time explaining him that I was no longer familiar with the word absurd. «Go ahead» I encouraged him. «What happened then? »
«Well, I asked Christina to wait for me in the backyard, and I went inside. For a moment, I convinced myself that it was just a joke. It was way too weird to be real, and I honestly didn’t know what to think. I reached the base of the stairs and I didn’t move from there. I covered my nose with an arm, and I tried to make sense of this situation. The smell was now so strong that it was as if an entire cemetery had been buried under our house. I could hear my wife calling me from outside, but I didn’t reply. I didn’t want to open my mouth, not even to take a breath.
That evening she confessed me that she could smell it even from where she was, at thirty feet from the entrance door. But she would have told me that only once I was out of the cottage. In that moment, in fact, I was caught up in something way too incredible to even consider it real. There was somebody at the upper floor. I could hear the steps along the hallway, but I was so terrified that I couldn’t move. So, I stayed there, and I don’t even know for how long».
Speaking of which, I realized that the first passengers on the line were exhibiting their tickets and their identities card to the hostess. I had to hang up, even though I must admit that I was pretty intrigued by the story of this man. I kept the phone against my ear, and I stood up. «Did you see anything? » I asked, noticing that the speaker had shut up. Then, after a few moments of silence he said «Yes». I could hear his voice trembling, and I knew how hard he was trying to control himself.
«I saw it. It had the shape of a man, but then again, it only looked like a man. It was naked, and its body was made of raw flesh. It had no skin. Blood was pouring out of those tissues and, in fact, there was a red trail behind it. Once it reached the stairs, it turned toward me. I was still incapable of moving. I even noticed that some crimson drops where falling from its finger, when suddenly it raised its hand and pointed it towards me. As I lowered my gaze I realized that its ribs had pierced its flesh in multiple points. They looked like white blades in that red sea. Then, my mind went nuts. I was paralyzed. What I was feeling was so intense that I couldn’t even tell how scared I was. Then, the entity talked ».
«And what did it say? » I joined the queue, but there were still ten people in front of me. I wanted to call my colleague, but I decided to call him as soon as the plane landed.
«Come to me. it repeated it twice: the first time I didn’t quite get what it was saying. Then I raised my eyes and I saw its face».
He stopped talking and I didn’t dare to ask him anything else. I didn’t need any other upsetting detail to think about what had happened.
He whispered. «Seeing that thing gave me the strength to leave the house. I reached the backyard and I pushed my wife toward the car. You need to understand that I was too shaken, to even turn the engine on, so she had to be the one to drive the car.
Once we were far enough from the cottage, I managed to tell her a few things about what I’d seen. We never came back to the house, and we got a room in a hotel. We’ve been staying here for two days now. I wish I could erase that memory from my mind. Ever since that day I haven’t been able to sleep. I just hope that you could help us. Knowing that something like this even exists...»
I was way too familiar with the state in which the man was, and telling him that there was nothing that he could do to erase that memory was pointless. «Now I really have to go» I said instead
«I’ll call you at this number once I get to Rome. Stay where you are, and don’t go back to the house»
«Is it dangerous? »
«Do as I said», I replied and hanged up.
I didn’t need to explain the obvious to the man.
* * *
While I waited in line, I continued to analyze the few information that the man had given me. From what he said, there was no direct link between the deceased relative of his wife and the phenomenon that he just witnessed.
If their entrance in the house had unleashed such an intense supernatural force, it can only mean that the entity must have been pretty strong to materialize in such a short time.
If that was the case, then I had to use every kind of protection before I visited the house. If the vital energy of a married couple had created that reaction, I could hardly imagine what could have happened if I had entered the cottage. Of course, if Mr. Guidi’s story was entirely true. But I would have found that out in a few minutes.
I entered the aircraft, and I followed the steward’s instructions. My seat was near the wing, right next to the window. I was pretty sure now, that the seat on the left wasn’t going to be occupied by another passenger. This was how the universe used to protect those who didn’t need to know about the supernatural. Even under circumstances in which I was forced to stay close to people, the universe would just keep me far away from the rest of human kind. In that specific moment my vital energy must have been pretty intense, because all the seats around me had been left empty. When I was just a boy, I ignored the reasons that lay behind these phenomenon, so they used to cause me sufferance. Needless to say that my childhood had been particularly lonely.
I took my coat off, and I left it on the closest seat. As for
I was about to jump into another case, and once again, I would have had to walk into the darkness. This is what I do, and it’s the reason why I was born – or at least this is what I’ve kept repeating myself for years – but sometimes, even I needed a little light in this darkness.
When the plane reached the dark clouds, I picked my suitcase and opened it. I only needed the portable mirror that I had stored in the side pocket. It was in a dark and hard box. I opened the lock and I removed the piece of dark fabric that covered it, and then I looked inside.
A few minutes later, my face got swallowed by the way in which the mirror saw the aircraft interiors. In the reflecting surface, the fabric of the seat where I was leaning was gone, showing just a skeleton made of plastic and metal. The window had exploded, as if someone had decided to crush it with a gunshot. Some reddish liquid was pouring from the glass fragments, and then falling on the floor. If I had moved the reflecting surface around me, I knew I wouldn’t have found the image of the other passengers. In fact, as I expected, I only found their mummified bodies. I didn’t need to see any other special effects. I needed answers. My assistant peeked out from behind the chair. He was dressed like a hostess, even though the uniform was torn in several points and it was very dirty. From the torn fabric of the dress I could see his hairless and fair chest, which was filled with wounds.
His thin hair was combed in what looked like the parody of a chignon. He had a satisfied smirk on his face, and he was wearing a pair of sunglasses.
They tilted heavily to one side, and so, he looked even more sardonic. To make up for it, the lenses were able to cover the right eye, which I knew was empty and blind. Other scratches and wounds on its face showed other red stripes.
by David Falchi have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes