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Purgatory - Public Submission - Turn 4

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:20 am    Post subject: Purgatory - Public Submission - Turn 4 Reply with quote

Deadline October 5th.
"It is not the literal past that rules us, save, possibly, in a biological sense. It is images of the past. Each new historical era mirrors itself in the picture and active mythology of its past or of a past borrowed from other cultures. It tests its sense of identity, of regress or new achievement against that past.
-George Steiner

Last edited by [Syl] on Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metatron woke from his slumber feeling groggy but startled. The dog had been nestled beside him and jumped to her feet as he started awake. Unfolding his wings, he probed his head with his fingers, rubbing his eyes to clear his vision. He looked up and there, the mouthless one stood silent - a sentinel.

Metatron looked around for her companions but they were nowhere to be found. He noticed also that Leviation was absent and remembered the look in Leviathan's eyes. Metatron remembered the depth of evil he saw there and that thought gave him a dread that sunk so deep in his soul he knew it would drive him to insanity if he allowed himself to wallow in it.

Leviathan had been a powerful angel at one time. It would take immense strength to possess such a being. Metatron felt something he was unfamiliar with. He felt fear. Cold, dreadful, dark, malign. A panic that could rise up in his throat if he.... I can't think about that now.

Pushing aside the gloom, he knelt and surrounded himself with his wings, making a safe cocoon. He bowed his head and prayed to his God, meditated, and regained his peace of mind and purpose. He prayed for the soul of the woman he saved, prayed that his God not abandon him. As he meditated, he began to calm. Reasoning took over and Metatron's fear dripped away.

The evil that had so possessed Leviathan could not destroy Metatron for even Lucifer was only a member of the Second Choir of Angels and beholden to him. Metatron himself was of the First Choir, the Holy Twelve who had all knowledge and was aware of all existence. He was an extension of The One and the teacher of lesser choirs. As such, members of the First Choir were more powerful than lesser orders.

But, not here, he reminded himself.

With that final thought and his resolved renewed, he stretched out his wings and stood. The dog sat there with head cocked, waiting for him. The mouthless one was there as well, unmoving. Metatron considered her for a moment and realized what he must do.

To her, he began, "I cannot begin to thank you enough for your assistance." He paused. "I will call you Galiel.

In response, Galiel bowed her head and Metatron thought he saw a pleased glint in her eyes. He looked at the dog, turned, and began to walk out of the forest.

Time had no meaning but eventually, Metatron and his companions reached the edge of the forest. It ended abruptly into a wide expanse of desert. It was dry and hot, the ground hard from an eternity without water. Above appeared to be a burning ball of light like the sun but not the sun at all. It beat at the ground and waves of heat could be seen rising in the distance.

Metatron and Galiel were not affected by the lack of water but the dog might begin to suffer. He looked at the dog who fixed her eyes ahead at some mark. Straining his eyes, Metatron saw a circle of pillars. And then another circle, and yet another circle. From the pillars, he heard groans of pain and occassional cries.

As he neared, Metatron saw the pillars more closely. There were five circles of 20 pillars. Made from the very rock he stood upon, souls of humans had been imprisioned inside the pillars. Their heads poking out of the top of the pillars, their hands from the sides, and their feet from the bottom. Unable to move, the souls were being tortured by the sun. The skin was burned and blistered.

But that was not the torture. From the ground, fire ants poured up the feet, over the pillar to the hands, and up to the head and feasted on the blistered flesh. They entered the body encased in the rock and exited the mouth, eyes, and ears, eating everything in between. Thousands would descend upon one victim, completely covering the soul, devouring its flesh from the inside, from the outside, leaving open wounds and blood. The soul would scream in agony at the onslaught of the attack yet could never run away.

When the ants finished with one soul, it would move to the next pillar, never ending their feeding. The sun would then quickly assist the skin to scab over, to be ready for the next feasting. One by one, the ants would feed on the flesh of the souls and each soul would wait with dreaded anticipation its next turn at the banquet table. Some souls were hysterical as their turn neared, desperately trying to escape the torture. But the rock held them fast and they could not but submit to the ants.

The constant cycle of feasting and semi-healing were too much for some souls to bear and they had long stopped reacting to it, having gone insane with the agony.

Metatron walked into the middle of the first circle he came to and looked at the faces of the souls. None of them met his gaze or even acknowledged his presence. He could not stop the tears that began to well and sting his eyes. Oh, the agony! Would that he could stop the suffering. But, that was not his purpose.

Speaking to them all with a voice like silk, Metatron spoke, "What sin have you committed that caused such punishment?"

One soul replied, "What does it matter now? We are all damned!"

Metatron turned at the sound of the desperation in the voice. This soul was next to be devoured and he could not keep his eyes off of the oncoming slaughter.

"God has cursed us!" another said and they all began to wail and lament their plight, spitting and cursing The Creator. The cursing caught like fire to the other circles and soon Metatron stood in a sea of noise.

He began to move from the first circle to the second, and onto the third, looking at the souls. Some of them looked back at him and spitting hatred at him, cursing his presence as even more torturous to their plight. Metatron realized that his presence did indeed torture them - his beauty, his holiness, his goodness was a blight to their souls and stood out in white contrast to the black evil of hell.

Passing through the circles, Metatron looked from face to face, hearing the hatred and gall of the suffering.

"Is there not one of you who would repent? Can you not see in me the goodness of The Creator?" He paused. A few voices were quieted by his words. "I want to help you but I cannot while you are so filled with bile."

This angered many of the souls whose wails grew louder with indignation and pain.

Then through the din, Metatron heard him. One lone voice begging for forgiveness. Metatron moved through the circles, listening for the weak voice. In the fourth circle, he found the speaker.

Weakened and healing, the man looked down at Metatron from his stone pillar.

"I have been praying for redemption, dearest angel, but have found none. The more I pray for release, the more I am eaten."

"I don't understand," Metatron replied.

The man spoke through cracked and dry lips, "As punishment for my prayers, the ants always return to me after eating two of the others in my circle. I am eaten more than the others."

"And you do not stop praying?" Metatron asked.

"No. It is all I have left, " the soul replied.

Metatron's heart broke for this soul but he was not easily swayed. The repentance might just be a ruse to be free. He looked at Galiel for some sign. Galiel just nodded.

The soul looked surprised as Metatron and Galiel dug him out of the stone pillar. Time had no meaning in hell, but while Metatron worked, the ants avoided the pillar. They surrounded it but did not approach for fear of the angel. His heavenly body repelled them.

Time passed and the work was laborous and slow. Finally, the soul was freed from the pillar. As the others watched, many began to repent, begging for release as well.


With that, Metatron turned to leave the circles. Galiel held the weak soul in her arms.
Put your hand under my thigh. This is the righteous one. The mystery is that the world exists on these three: grace, judgment and mercy. He is appointed from the mystery above to resurrect those who sleep in the grave. He will come with the will from the one who is above to bring back the breath and the soul to the proper place.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that was... unfortunate. I surely don't know every inhabitant of Stovakor. Not even every species. Whatever the heck they were, I hope they don't come back.

"A temporary setback, my good people! And very few of us were truly harmed, after all. Yes, we grieve for those who were, but we need to carry on as best we can. Everyone gather around. Here's the plan..."

These people are all good, Loving people. They'll be fine. I know they will.
When your life is filled with Love, ...uh... it's a pretty neat thing.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The group showed no sign of hearing her. They showed no sign of even knowing she was there. The strange little man stayed hunched over his square of hide, and the three Silent Ones stood sentinel.

Squaring her shoulders, Niggle made to draw closer when she saw Derlebn approach the Three. Curious, she decided to stand back and observe for herself.

With the same flourish with which it had accepted its name, Derlebn extended a foot and bowed to them. They regarded it impassively; then Mouthless, with eyes just as full of wisdom as the Mouthless that had followed her, held up its left hand, palm facing outward. Derlebn came up from its bow and, raising its right hand in a mirror gesture, opened it to a beam of light that shot from the hand of Mouthless. As the beam touched it, Derlebn slowly dissolved into the beam, its particles flowing up from its arm until it was no more.

With a wrench that shook her to the core, Niggle realized that once again she was alone. "Derlebn!! she screamed in terror.

Mouthless slowly turned towards her, then broke through her fear by doing a little soft shoe and ending with Derlebn's bow and flourish. When it raised itself up, it did so with a small smile upon its face.

Niggle did a double take.

A smile???

Yes, she was not mistaken. The vacant space of Mouthless' face now had the mouth of Derlebn, and was "Mouthless" no more.

The wise eyes turned towards her. "This is only temporary, until you and the One you call "Derlebn" move on," it whispered. "We three will stand and observe you and the other until you part. Then Derlebn will separate from us, having shared what he, and the One with you is a he of our kind, has learned of you with us, while he learns of the other from us. Then he will be restored to you as he was."

Niggle absorbed all this slowly. "Derlebn can talk?"

"We communicate with each other by melding, as you have seen. Only when we take on traits of another of us do we verbalize so that others may comprehend what they can. When Derlebn is restored to you, he will be of himself only again.

"But, he tells us you are responsive, and that you would agree that verbalization between you has not, and will continue to not, be necessary for you to understand him."

With that, the One took its place with the others, stood silently, and spoke no more.

Totally flabbergasted, Niggle stared at the Ones for a few minutes. When it became obvious nothing more was forthcoming, she once again turned her attention to the man of the group. It was as if he still had no idea she was there, or that any of this occurred. But, he seemed harmless enough, and the Ones were watching. Not that that guarantees anything, she thought.

Bracing herself for anything, she stepped closer to the man and reached out her hand, so a shadow fell upon the square of hide. He slowly raised his head, blinking. When she felt he had finally become cognizant of her presence, she tried once again...

"Hello," she ventured...
Who knows where madness lies?
To surrender Dreams, this may be madness, to seek treasure where there is only trash?
Too much sanity may be madness! But maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not how it should be!
~ Cervantes
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By his own account, [Nameless] found himself for a time to be a man without noticeable feature. The flesh of his being was loose, though, and his scalp remained patched. He turned inward for deciphering the land. This path was too bright and humming to discern much otherwise. So he set himself to fashioning a map until its circles were clearer. When he turned to the partial hosts who had trailed, they motioned for the map and wished to gaze at it or feel the texture of the etch. There were at times five others near him, but he saw them little. A choral invitation sounded, but when he brought his ears to hear, it was still brighter. When he peered out, there was no silence, but only a woman who had approached carefully. Her words were not of his own and she stood in the direction he would not return. After a moment, he offered a look at the maphide.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dispatching the Herald with a motion of the hand, Iblis,
bemused but not daunted by the strange topography of this plane,
sends the first among his servants out of Gehenna and into the Void that surrounds him.

There somwhere, perhaps only the thickness of a shadow away,
spin other planes of infinite possibility, ripe for the invasion of bright intent.
And Iblis would turn that possibility to advantage if it can be done.

All around seethes the unquiet lands of this domain, twisting uneasily
beneath the all-encompassing intent of Will in search of that purpose Iblis defined.
And knew it to be good that it was so.
Now because You have led me astray, I shall surely sit in ambush for them on Your straight path.
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