Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Grim Idol

When I lie awake at night, my thoughts wander to the man found washed up on the Stolen River. I remember the glint in his eyes: a desperate plea. The exact nature of his plea eludes me still, the only clue to his intentions being this silent, scowling statue he’d pressed upon my palm. He passed on without a word.

Perhaps, instead of waiting on the cold, dank banks for the stranger to recover from that nasty stab-wound, I should have pulled him to somewhere safer. Then, maybe I could have gotten a scrap of information on this strange idol. All events considered, the constables did arrive on the scene at a suspiciously convenient hour, just as the man began to take his first breaths.

The idol now sits silently on my dresser. It’s a fiendish looking statue, and I hope that it may suffice to ward off the dangers of the night. Thieves, assassins, devilesses whom I shall not name. If only it could scare away the nightmares (oh lord, the nightmares) that occur to me every fitful hour.
Three long nights now I have drempt of a lime-stone cave. It is dimly lit, the ground lined with flickering foxfire candles. For a time, I watch a drip of wax roll sluggishly down one candle, pool on the cool stones, and solidify. It grows darker. I look up, and the little flames, one by one, are turning to wisps of smoke. I’m consumed by darkness and then-

a metallic sheering sound.

I startle awake every time, drenched in my own sweat. Never before has this dream occurred to me, and yet the moment this grim idol came into my possession, the same horrors repeat every night. I fear to throw it back into the Stolen River. What if the wretched statue were bestowed upon some other unfortunate soul? What if it returned to me?

I’ve determined to research the blasted thing. An idol this old, this striking, and this affecting must have a history of some kind. I have access to the upstairs University Library. I will begin my search there.

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