The nightmare of Bathory
Again, All animals appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real animals, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
I do not, in any way, profit from the story and that all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator(s). Kappa
This makes everything sound cool doesn’t it?
It’s weird how monkeys’ behavior is mostly tied to where they come from, mostly, not always, but I’m known for generalizing and stereotyping among my comrades, I don’t see it as a bad thing, It’s most of the times true anyway, from the many times I chilled at the pool and observed, I came to some kind of behavioral patterns, some baboons drink and read books while enjoying each other’s company, some smooch and scream and explore the depths of their sexuality, and others gather as a group, play retarded trance on their wireless beats speaker and shout at one another while their McDonald’s left overs are being thrown around for fun. “Don’t discriminate” they say “We are all animals”
No we are not. A grizzly bear is slightly different than a polar, not by choice, they are different because this how they evolved, they eat different, live in different environments and behave slightly different, they are all bears aren’t they?
Speaking of bears, One summer night, an eerie mountain side, I strolled with the river, the forest felt sinister and the smell was of pine, trees looked like upside down canes, crooked and ashen, some were high I couldn’t see their ends, some lay broken like a half eaten pretzel, stale and mushy. For a regular baboon, it looked as if giants were migrating south, and froze in time, not dead though, only frozen, breathing and are able to sense my presence. Mist has covered everything, leaves fell and dried long ago, all in black and white, all silent and deprived of motion, still life.
Sitting next to a lonely tree consuming potato chips and imagining myself in a Finnish black metal music video is what I should have done, instead, I fearlessly kept walking, we parted ways, I waved goodbye but the river just didn’t care, I walked, which is pleasantly unfamiliar and obviously temporary.
“hel…hello?” shakingly muttered an extremely harsh voice from within the mist. “Hello, is anyone there?” I shouted, after a deliberate pause, so deliberate I froze in place.
“Shhhhh, please whisper, and perhaps, hide until I am content”
In the distance to my right, a wide silhouette hiding behind a tree where the voice came from, by wide I mean the latter only covered twenty percent of the total body mass of that being, It looked a little bit cloddish and, shady if you may.
I moved back a couple of steps, leaves crunched hard, I assume that thing didn’t know If I was retreating or closing in, I backed a few steps more, very slow, careful steps and Immediately held onto the first cane my back touched. Took a deep breath and blubbered like a five years old, took my backpack off my shoulders and frantically looked for anything that would be of use.
“B…be not afraid” Said the thing as it stood there irresolute, a sound of a bell ringing in the distance indicated urgency, “I am trying to find a good hiding spot, a hunter is on me” utter silence followed, I stood still, something inside my chest nuked the rest of my body which uncontrollably shivered, imagine trying to dance to a double bass progressive/thrash metal drum solo played in the weirdest time signature possible. “I wanted to be a dancer” Said the grizzly, as he shuffled through bones and threads, preparing what looked like a ritual altar “became a bear instead, but still, I dance, in the wilderness, heh”
Holding down fresh wounds, the grizzly walked towards me, limping, barely able to drag himself across, leaves falling off his damp, bloody fur with the number thirty six carved into his skin and half burnt skin.
“Grant us eyes, Grant us eyes, oh Micolash, will this nightmare ever end” He made sure we’re only a fistful of leaves apart, stood before me, heavily breathing and still muttering the same words, badly injured, snatched my backpack and turned back “Grant us eyes, grant us eyes” At this point, I am as lifeless as those canes, mist turned red and slowly lifted, trees flew up high, leaves shape-shifted into white lilies, wind blew gently and carried a familiar pine scent, the moon grew bigger, closer and of ruby “Is this a boss fight?” my brain tingled.
“Potato chips, fold-able headsets, access cards, a bulky as fuck gaming laptop, painkillers, a book with a sleeping wolf on front, a pack of cigarettes, agoogle chrome key chain, neat, a..heheeheeeee, he, red,..hehhe ..red … chequered….bed sheet...heuheuehee….propitious, tempestuous”
Giggled the grizzly, listing the things found in my backpack and almost chocking when the list reached the point where the red chequered bedsheet came by, carefully placing the now bloody veil on top of a tree stomp “Step lightly child, for this is inexorable, for this shall cut deep, all life shall perish, all sweet life shall be sucked into the cosmos with a paper straw in a blink of an Asian eye”
Elements gathered in a swirl of dust, bones and white lilies dissolving into a chalice. The squealing of what I imagined would be a wheelchair grew nearer, very, very slowly that I actually wanted to go push that fool into the scene. Growls grew higher “Grant us eyes, Grant us eyes” as the chalice trembled and dripped from the sides, the wheelchair dude finally came close to the ritual stomp, a shabby well worn cap atop grey hair and a cane, wheelchair looked royal, darkened golden double wheeled on each side, golden lining round red and black embroidered silk on the back, gothic frame craved out of dense black wood ebony, and oh, yeah, blood dripping scythe strapped to the bottom.
Held tight to his cane, this old man gently poked the chalice but deliberately kept it afloat “You must accept death” Said the hunter, looking down at the altar, inflecting what seemed to be a huge deal of pain on the beast, his eyes bled out, the chalice trembled frantically and elevated, matching the height of the trees, this went on for a while, hunter had no expressions, face never changed, hands steady as if he’s being professionally animated and streamed in sixty frames per second, For no good reason, I pushed myself forward.
The sequence of events did not involve me, maybe that’s why I felt less threatened, and a bit sad, not to mention the physical advantage I thought I had over the hunter, wasn’t sure if he noticed me there and ignored my presence, maybe my role was still being prepared, and it was. Trees behind the hunter were slightly wavering, I got close, and soon enough realized there were no wavering trees, there were women ringing bells with no particular pattern, gathered around the altar. My heart pulsed hard, once, it repelled throughout my entire body, the only way i’m getting closer now is if I can find a bell and blend in, my red hoodie and basketball shorts were perfectly suitable, “they’ll suspect nothing”.
Sadly, irregular bells they were, nor basketball attires, long metal layered waist atop spiky bead line and shiny clappers made these bells echo hard into the woods. There are many similarities this one shares with other past dreams, but the most uncanny resemblance was a dress a lady wore when I first started documenting. Victorian, satin black, velveteen flocked ivy patterns, puff sleeves and black loop lace trim, that is the dress the bell ringing women had in common along with fact that they did nothing but ring forever. They held long daggers in their very skinny pale hands, faces looked like they died and were revived one hundred and sixty years later, no teeth and barely any skin on their faces.
“Come closer, kid” Said the hunter, not making eye contact of course, cool guys don’t make eye contact.
“I’m not a kid”
“Would you come closer, child?”
“This bear needs your help”
“Yeah I can see that, there is nothing I can do, plus. he’s a little bit racist”
“I am not a hunter, I am cos-playing as a hunter, and this bear is a ballerina, you can be the nerd if you fancy”
“And them?” Said I, looking at the, not very pretty bell ringing women.
“No idea, they just followed me here” Replied the jerk.
My memory failed me here, but I suppose this dream is infected with another, It felt like there were way too many triggers in one day, and all fired at the same time during deep sleep. I remember one thing vividly though, the face of Micolash when i woke up, or as they call him “Host of the nightmare” A weird guy running around with a long cage on his head, he also never shuts up, uses mirrors as doors to confuse his prey, but you still hear his voice regardless “ Ah hah hah ha! Ooh! Majestic! A hunter is a hunter, even in a dream. But, alas, not too fast! The nightmare swirls and churns unending!” That’s him when I first climbed the stairs of Mensis’ nightmare.
I had little to no vision here and, I had an ant’s view, face down on the moist forest dirt, this is what I think I heard last:
The Spirits have all but fled judgement
I rot, alone, insane,
Where the forest whispers puce laments for me
From amidst the pine and wreathed wolfsbane
Beyond these walls, wherein condemned
To the gloom of an austere tomb
I pace with feral madness sent
Through the pale beams of a guiltless moon
Who, bereft of necrologies, thus
Commands creation over the earth
Whilst I resign my lips to death
A slow cold kiss that chides rebirth
Though one last wish is bequeathed by fate
I recognized those words, I scribbled this passage all over my school books, I played this album day and night in my basement as a kid my mom thought I’m possessed, I now know what’s going on, the tale of Bathory, redesigned into a nightmare finely tailored of fifteen years of memories, reminisces of a lovely childhood.
The ritual never happened, the grizzly perished, releasing an array of souls in a requiem.