The Wake pt II
I approached them slowly, the men, or man, I’m not sure how to word it. All standing around a single, lonesome coffin, I counted eleven of them, eleven of the same man, all wearing the same suits, black, all but one, who was dressed like a priest. And as the closer I approached, the stranger the scene became.
The fact that they all looked perfectly the same was inarguable, impossible to deny. Same clothes, save for the priest, same dark brown, almost black hair, same stature and slight slouch, and same faces. Complete without mouths and eyes. A nose, but where the eyes and mouths on of them should have been, just flesh, skin.
Realizing this, seeing these freaks of whatever they were, I stopped, my body wanting me to walk away, but for some reason my feet wanted me to continue forward. The men disturbed me, but the curiosity of the casket and the grave drove me to inch closer and closer.
The casket, looked as though it was decades old, wooden, appearing to be hand carved, nailed together and painted blacker than a moonless midnight. And upon closer inspection, so close that I was shoulder to shoulder with two of the mouth-less, eyeless men, that I could see the coffin was shaking, and light pounding could be heard. I questioned whether my eyes were merely playing tricks on me, and I pondered if the pounding was merely the wind playing games.
Bending down, the instance my hand touched that wooden casket, I knew it was shaking, the pounding coming from inside. Someone alive was being buried, and these freaks were going to bury that person, alive or not. Looking frantically for a way to open the casket, I was stopped, my wrists, shoulders grabbed by three of the freaks, one for each wrist, and the last my shoulders.
Pulling me back, pushing me to my knees, the one holding my shoulders moved it’s hands to my head, forcing me to look at the face of the freak-priest. It occurred to me that I had just walked up, not even thinking what they were, or where I was, or what the hell was going on? I had, without even thinking just approached, as though a puppet just being pulled by the strings.
Staring at the priest, he, or it, but I assume a he, reached to the fleshy spot where his mouth should have been, and with a razor sharp nail on his thumb, cut the flesh, blood running down from the wound. The blood though wasn’t red like that of a fresh, humanly wound. No, it was a darker red, and thick, so thick. I wanted to look away from the gruesome act, but my head was held in place, and no matter how I tried, my eyes wouldn’t close.
Finishing the self mutilation, the priest had sliced a line long enough to be a mouth, and opening his newly formed mouth, the flesh at the corners of the wound tearing, more of the dark red blood running down its chin, what appeared to be hundreds of razor sharp teeth could be seen. It had to have been hundreds, just so many.
“What are you?” I managed to ask, my voice sounding like a strangers to my own ears. The response given, from the priests newly formed mouth was what I assume to be a laugh, but it sounded like it was coming from under water. It sounded so distant, gargled. But it was a laugh.
My head finally released to move freely, I looked to the others, and instead of cutting a smile in their faces like the priest, they instead dug their nails into their faces above their eyes, pulling, the flesh pulling, tearing, ripping away. When all was finished, their hands, clothes, razor sharp nails were soaked with dark red, and where their faces had been, there was skull, permanently painted red from the blood. And their mouths were visible then, and so were the hundreds of teeth in each mouth. But still no eyes. Sockets for eyes, but empty darkness.
I wanted to ask what they were again, but I couldn’t find the words to form the question. My mind and ears were too full of their laughter, and my whole was full of fear.