‘The Last Will and Testament of Albertus M. Sigil’ by Andrew Piontkovsky

sc june 18

My name is Dr. Albertus M . Sigil.

I understand that in all probability this will never be read. At least not by human eyes.

But, I will record these thoughts in the hope that, although unlikely, it is at least possible that living eyes may yet gaze upon them.

For so long I have hunted it. I chased it across the world, but always it escaped my grasp.

And now that I shall indeed come face to face with it, oh the horrible irony, I want only to be home, home in my bed, never having known of its terrible existence.

I hunted it across the world. The chase led me to stand, trembling, before the burrowing terrors of  the Mongolian wastelands.

In its pursuit, I have looked upon the black iron walls of , forbidden demon haunted Tarth, and yet still, I walk with a straight back and a sound mind

.

On its path, I have ventured in awe through the pleasure houses and domed gardens of Kush.

In preparation for this task, I practised the esoteric  mysteries of mind and body mastered by saffron robed monks  abiding in the cliff side temples that exist only in the deepest reaches of the world.

I  wandered half dead from thirst, through places  whose names were ancient and decadent, before Western Men first raised their eyes to the sky,  and in hubris declared themselves “Masters.

I have looked upon these things and more and returned.  I tried to tell the tale, only to endure the scoffing of fools who called me a madman, and worse.

Having done all these things, yet still, I heard the insatiable call, and God forgive me, I followed it. I deserted my wife, abandoned my very children, just to return to the test.

I left the warmth and security of my own home, in full knowledge that in all probability, at the end of my journey I would find myself standing alone, in some distant portal, only to find that that I have been met by the grim shade of Death, who has been standing, just there, waiting for me to arrive.

Now my time is nearing and I know that I am  not mourned.

Oh, the irony, that I have chased It across the world, but always It escaped my grasp. And now that I shall indeed finally come face to face with It, I want only to be home. Home in my bed, never having heard of Its terrible existence.

As I write this, it is late in the afternoon of the 17th day of August. The year is 1825 Anno Domini.

I will  now say my final words. Although I have faithfully maintained this journal for many years, I fear I shall not write in these pages again.

Father, my time is near and I commit my soul to your care. I am alone at the end. I have failed and my long quest will soon be over. Have mercy on my soul.

Now I have taken the bait, have been lured here, to this remote fastness.

I half expected that Death would be waiting, just here, for me to arrive. But I shall not have that gift. It seems that although I do fervently pray it shall not be the case, I too am destined to suffer the ignominious fate of the wretch Mr. Renfield. I too shall exist, half alive, under Its sway, a conscious shadow with no substance, and no hope. Never to know the quieting embrace of death.

It is too late and too far to flee now. The swiftest horse could not evade what is coming to claim me. I no longer have any weapon to suffice to the task I came here to perform.

The surrounding hills tower above me. The first shades of evening are already creeping into the valley. Fleeing to the brilliant sun remaining on the snowy mountain peaks surrounding me will only briefly delay the inevitable.

The shadows are growing longer and my courage is growing shorter. It is better that I should wait where I am.

I feel a dampness now, there is a bone freezing chill in the air. This is the damp of a crypt. It is a thing that should not exist, that should not be allowed to exist.

It is mocking me. I hear the music of Beethoven, The Moonlight  Sonata shrieking through the valley, as though a galaxy of orchestras were hidden in the trees of these darkening hills.

Alas! The sun has set.

IT IS  COMING

Archivists notes:

  • Catalogue no. 754, item no. 778-A
  • Item was donated by a man who claims to have found it atop the trunk of a fallen tree while hunting in a remote valley, deep in the Carpathian mountains.
  • The donor reported that a small pebble had been placed on it to keep the breeze from blowing the pages away and that there was a small stain of what appeared to be blood still drying on the second page.
  • The edges of the sheet have been examined and appear to have been neatly torn from the binding of a larger book.
  • Origin and whereabouts of the original book are unknown.
  • The small brown stain on the corner of the second page has been chemically analysed and is confirmed to be blood.
  • Beyond this point, provenance is unclear.
  • No further evidence or information is available for this item.

Contact Andrew Piontkovsky: piontkovsky1@gmail.com

‘Waking’ by Andrew Piontkovsky

sc june 18

Waking can be wonderful.

The way your pillow  has quietly scrunched itself up to match the shape of your face, the curve of your nose. The quiet rustling of sheets, clean and fresh. Early light creeping in through your windows smuggling a perfume of cherry blossoms.

That wonderful smell. They smell like the dawn. Like spring time. Like life.

But then, The Remembering comes to you. Whispering of tragedy.

 

Like a burning plane, full of shrieking, dying people.  It is a crashing, a screaming rush of every fear you have ever had. And yet, by some horrible miracle, the memory, the terrible unstoppable knowing,  slowly, gently, unfurls its flat dead petals in your mind, like a grave flower.  Quietly revealing the full grey horror of its inevitable, implacable, arrival.

When did happiness die? A month ago? A day? An hour?

Was happiness ever really a real thing? Can that have ever really existed in a world like this one?

Then the last petal uncurls and reveals the final extent of its dull despair.

Yes. there was happiness here once. But then it went away.

Memories come flooding in. Breakfast at Joe’s on 4th. We Got breakfast there every Sunday. Always the same. Eggs over easy, bacon, sourdough toast, and inevitably, those hash browns. He always hated them.  Called them “Shredded, potato like, food substance wafers”. Tom would always laugh and you would say that he was “mental” and  then he would stare in mock horror, showing his beautiful lopsided grin, trying not to laugh as you tucked in to them.

And you had loved him for that.

But that was before. Before happiness fled from you. Over a plate of scrambled eggs and lovely, crisp bacon nestled  alongside a slab of those weird shredded potatoes they insisted on putting on every plate,

“I’m sorry that it came to this, Peach, but I know you understand. We both know this has been coming a long time.  This hasn’t been working for a long time now. I know you understand.”

He paused looking like a man who wants to get this over with.

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