John is a blogger from America who mainly concentrates on the political situation in his country. However, he also posts some fascinating recollections of his youth, and has sent me a short story with a Gothic theme that I am happy to present here as a guest post.
To see more of John’s writing, opinions, and thoughts, please use this link.
Yon Cathedral Structure.
Yon cathedral structure,
Bathed in light of amber,
What dread, unholy scene,
Is yet here to unfold?
The moon shone full and bright upon the ruined old cathedral, casting eerie shadows that danced upon the gravestones. A chill wind blew, rustling the dry leaves and causing the gnarled trees to creak and moan. The ancient building was a ghostly sight, its spires and arches rising up against the sky like the bones of the dead in the graves that surrounded it.
It was an ethereal, dream-like vision — enough to make the blood run cold and to paralyze the observer into immobility.
The cathedral was abandoned long ago, left to crumble and decay. But it was not truly empty. Many souls lay buried in crypts and tombs in the surrounding graveyard, their rotting bodies resting in eternal slumber. Yet, their spirits restless, their presence felt in the cold night air.
One could almost hear the soft moans and cries and sometimes the hollow laughter of these poor souls — with every creaking of the trees in the wind.
No one knew who lay beneath the gravestones, for their tombstones were too weathered and worn. But their ghosts wandered the cemetery, their mournful cries echoing through the silent ruins. The wind carried their voices, whispering tales of woe and despair.
They always seemed to be searching for something or someone but never finding what they were looking for,
How had they been abandoned and confined to this existence between heaven and earth in this silent special place or were they simply in transition to somewhere or something else?
As the night wore on, the moon began to wane, and the darkness deepened. Shadows grew longer, and the graveyard seemed to come alive. A faint light glimmered in the distance, flickering and dancing like a will-o’-the-wisp. It seemed to call out to the restless souls, drawing them closer to the old cathedral.
The earth quaked as those restless souls clawed their way to the surface of their resting places where “Rest” was just a cruel joke — There was a muted rumble as the earth was disturbed.
Suddenly, a figure appeared in the darkness. It was a figure like unto a man, dressed in black, with a cloak that billowed behind it in the wind. He walked among the graves, his footsteps echoing hollowly. He seemed to be searching for something, his eyes darting back and forth in the flickering light.
He wandered and searched silently, his feet walking but never touching the ground. A spectre of some sort was he.
The other ghosts watched him warily, uncertain of his purpose. But the spirit paid them no heed, his attention fixed on the cathedral. He approached the door, which creaked open at his touch.
Inside, the wraith moved silently, his footsteps not touching but nonetheless stirring the thick layer of dust that covered the floor. He made his way through the shadows, his eyes scanning the darkness for any signs of other life. But there was none.
It is not hard to imagine that death has a life of its own.
At last, he came to a door, which he pushed open with a soft creak. Inside, a single candle burned, casting flickering shadows upon the walls. A figure sat hunched over a table, its face hidden in the shadows.
The blurry searching figure approached cautiously, and hovered and stared — But as he drew nearer, he realized that the figure hunched over the table was neither human nor spirit. It was a statue, carved from stone and painted to look like flesh.
With a shudder and a scream that pierced the night, the wraith slowly turned and left the cathedral, his visage dissipating slowly into the darkness. The other ghosts watched him go, their eyes following him until he disappeared from view. And then they returned to their restless wandering, their mournful cries echoing through the graveyard once more.
And as the night lifted it’s velvet dark mantle and the first rays of morn had come, there sounded a subtle chorus of distant, muted angelic voices, greeting the day.