A Dark Ritual
A Dark Ritual
Ghosts were quivering with fear. There were gasps coming from the spirits as death moved near. The mystery of the unknown moved closer like a shadow dancing in the candlelight. Flickering as if they had no other place to go. The darkness walked in with the grace of a mountain lion. Carefully planning each step as it made its way into the room. It heard the gasps and the reverent murmurs. The darkness consumed the room as if it displayed some captivating powers. If it weren’t so haunting, it would have been short of majestic.
First to walk in the room with a human body was an old woman. Very stooped and bent. She had long dried fingernails that were pointing to the floor. Her arm hung low because of the weight of a basket she carried with dozens of dead roses. Her movement scraped the floor as if she labored to make every step count. She slowly looked around the room like the Grim Reaper. Her eyes tired, and her flesh cold. A spirit walked closer and touched her. She took one look and erupted into laughter. Her mouth opened wider because of the lack of teeth. Her gums were stained, and shriveled. The spirit waved its hand as if to freshen the air. And the old woman took out a rose and handed it to the spirit. Reluctantly taking the flower the spirit faded like the final note on a classical piano piece.
Then a child appeared at the door. He walked in with crutches, but failed to display the crippled status. A clear skin boy with the smile of a saint. He moved towards the darkness with a humbling gait. The darkness displayed a beaming white face to the young boy. It displayed gleaming cheekbones, and then it winked. The young boy fell to the floor reaching for the crutches as if trying to fool the darkness with an elaborate illusion.
The old woman walked to boy and touched his perfect face. She too was once a young child. She looked into the boy’s eyes and remembered how beauty consumed her. She wanted the youth, but she no longer had it. A word escaped her lips as it echoed across the room. Her eyes somber and distressed. The twitter of sorrow filled her heart. Then suddenly, the figure of death woke with a stench so foul that even the devil had to cover his nose. Leering, grinning, harshly illuminated by the flickering candle lights.
The boy could see the ghosts and the other figures moving as the old woman turned and walked away. She dropped the basket as her gait was softened and slowed like haunting music moving to her pace. The boy watched as he became the only audience to a dark ritual. Death accepting life as the old woman faded away.
© 2011 Frank Atanacio
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