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Night's Sweet Caress

Night's Sweet Caress

Posts : 46
Join date : 2009-10-13
Age : 56
Location : North Carolina

PostSubject: Kinship of Blood   Wed 25 Nov 2009, 12:23 pm

Author - Night's Sweet Caress

Rating - 'R' for language and violence.

Disclaimer - The places are real, the characters are not. This is a work of fiction, and any resemblance or simliarity to persons living is purely coincidental.

Summary - The curse of the Young's ended over a century ago when Josiah Young was buried in an unmarked grave and a stake driven through his heart. But tonight, his ancestors have awakened their dear old Great-Grandpa Young. They're planning a party in the backwoods of Tennessee. And the folks of Hunter's Hollow are in for the night of their lives. The last night of their lives.....


March 1898

The child reached for the piece of wood jutting from her father’s chest. “No Mary,” said Elizabeth Young, gently pushing her hand aside.

The girl, perhaps thirteen years of age, stared at her mother, eyes questioning. “But why not, Mother?”

The old woman’s face was stern. “Because I said so.”

The other girls who stood around the kitchen table swapped uneasy glances, then went back to the task of bathing their father’s body.

After it was done, they dressed in a white cotton shirt and his finest Sunday suit of black broadcloth. Even in death, Josiah Young was an impressive and intimidating man. He was well over six feet tall and thin as a cadaver, but it was his face that had once been his most powerful tool. The firm jaw, the head of iron-gray hair, the thick mustache and bushy eyebrows—all had stood out starkly during the many fire-and-brimstone sermons he’d given at the helm of a pulpit. But it was his eyes—bluish-gray and as fiery as the noonday sun—that had scared countless souls into salvation…as well as damnation. Those eyes were hidden now, beneath still lids, but the memory of them remained in the minds of those who stood there, his wife most of all.

A knock came at the back door. Elizabeth turned to find her eldest son, Thomas, standing there. “The pastor’s here, Mother,” he said. “He’d like to speak with you.”

The woman nodded solemnly. She studied the face of the boy. He stared at the lifeless body of his father, showing nary a sign of emotion. Usually a mixture of respect and dread would gleam in his eyes in the presence of the man. But his father was gone now, and so was the fear Thomas had endured for the eighteen years of his life.

“Have you and your brothers finished your work?” she asked. The sound of saws and hammers had grown quiet a half hour before.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said, unable to hide the satisfaction in his voice. “The casket is ready.”

“Did you build it the way I said?”

The boy nodded. “The heaviest of oak and the sturdiest of nails. “It’ll last a thousand years. Maybe more.”

His mother blessed whim with a smile. “You’ve done well. Bring it here to the house and help the girls finish up.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied, then headed back to the barn, where his brothers were waiting.

Elizabeth Young pulled her black shawl closer around her shoulders and stepped outside. The evening shadows thickened as that spring day of 1898 drew to a close. In the gloom, she could make out horse-drawn buggies and buckboard wagons parked along the mountain road. Beneath the bog oak at the side of the Young house stood a crowd of folks dressed in black suits and mourning veils: the members of her husband’s congregation. The very thought disgusted her. They had come out of tribute and grief, unaware that the man who had guided them, even baptized them into the glory of God, had been their worst enemy all along.

One man—a portly, balding fellow in a black suit and straight-brimmed hat—left the crowd and approached her. She knew him at once. He was Horace Massey, the pastor of Hunter’s Hollow, way down in the valley. She had not invited him, but he had come anyway, out of sense of duty and in Elizabeth’s opinion, meddlesomeness. His face was unsympathetic as he respectfully removed his hat and stood before her. Confrontation was on his mind, she could see it in his eyes. The old woman matched his glare with one of her own. Her mind was set and there was no changing it.

“What do you want to talk to me about, Pastor?” she asked.

“The injustice of your husband’s burial, Mrs. Young,” he said. She could detect a hint of fury in his muddy brown eyes. “Reverend Young’s congregation, they’re upset. They’ve called upon me to voice their outrage.”

“And why should they feel such a way?” countered Elizabeth. “My husband’s dead, and he is to be buried. It’s that simple.”

“But the way he is to be interred,” protested Massey. “That is what’s so disturbing to them. To be buried in the dead of night without so much as the benefit of a wake or even a period of mourning. And your denial of a blessing over his grave—well, frankly, Mrs. Young, it isn’t fitting. Your husband was a devout servant of the Lord Almighty and shepherd of these god-fearing people. I can’t help but believe that you are ignoring his wishes for a decent burial.”

The woman’s face held rock steady. “Josiah’s wishes were never my own,” she said.

The pastor’s round face reddened with anger. “What you are doing here is blasphemy, Mrs. Young. Blasphemy, pure and simple!”

Elizabeth’s eyes flared. “Don’t talk to me of blasphemy, Horace Massy! If anyone knew of blasphemy in the name of the Lord, it was my husband. He was adept at it, in fact. He would preach of the rewards of heaven and the tortures of hell bright and early on Sunday morning, while every other night of the week he was indulging in sins of the flesh, fornicating with half the women in these here Smokies. And I can’t count the times I’ve chased him from the beds of his own daughters.”

“You can’t expect me to believe such lies,” said the pastor, looking a little uncomfortable.

“Believe it, Massey,” she told him. “He had Satan in his heart…even more so recently.”

The preacher grew silent for a moment. He thought of how Josiah Young had been found: lying dead on the earthen floor of his own barn, the broken stalk of a bean pole through his heart. The story was that he had been forking hay to his cattle from the loft above when he’d lost his footing and been impaled by the pole. But there’d been some speculation in the village as to whether or not he had actually perished in such a manner.

“Tell me the truth, Mrs. Young,” said Pastor Massey. “It’s been said that you are allowing Josiah to be buried along with the cause of his death, the very thing that killed him.”

“That’s correct,” she replied.

“But why?” he asked

“That’s of my own affair,” she told him firmly. “If you and the others wish to accompany us to the grave, Pastor, you are more than welcome. But if you insist on making my husband a martyr and protesting the way he is to be buried, then I must deny your invitation. It makes no difference to me.”

“We’ll be there,” said the minister. “But only because he deserves someone to mourn his passing. It’s apparent that such a grievous loss fails to touch your heart, or even the hearts of your children.”

Elizabeth smiled coldly. “Amen to that” was all she said before turning and walking back into the house.

It was nearly midnight. Elizabeth Young stood on a grassy slope, her face illuminated by the soft glow of a coal-oil lantern. The peaks of the Tennessee Smokies were cloaked in shadow. From out of the darkness echoed the chirring of crickets and the occasional call of a whippoorwill. Elizabeth had grown up all her life among such sounds, had even taken comfort in them. But that night, she felt no such comfort.

The light of the lamp washed across the mound of earth that was her dead husband’s grave. As she’d proclaimed, Josiah had been buried not in the sacred plot of their family’s cemetery, but on the far side of Young’s Mountain, in a grassy meadow. The burial had been unceremonious. There had been no eulogy, no flowers, no prayers said over the body. After the last shovelful of earth had been tamped in place, the grave had been left barren, unadorned by so much as a marker or headstone. It was Elizabeth’s intention that the resting place of her husband be forgotten, that its whereabouts be erased from the minds of his family and friends.

Elizabeth stood there at the foot of the mound, her face bearing no tenderness, nary a trace of spousal love. She stared down off the slope of the mountain to where the town of Hunter’s Hollow lay nestled in the valley. She found herself thinking about events of the past month. Of how Josiah had returned from a traveling revival in the dead of night and how he had taken to spending his days in the darkness of the barn, the doors locked and chained.

She also recalled the trouble that had plagued the village: infants stolen from their cribs and young girls who had simply wasted away and died. And there had been rumors of those same girls having been spotted roaming the dark woods shortly after their burials, their faces pale, and their eyes glowing like foxfire in the night.

Tall tales, some claimed. Ghost stories. But she knew better.

Elizabeth turned her eyes from the valley, focusing them on the earth at her feet. “Damn you Josiah,” she whispered. “Damn you for the evil you’ve brought!”

Then, from the pocket of her apron, she produced a handful of grass seed. She sowed the grains liberally over the bare earth, praying for rain and the blooming of young sprouts, hoping that the memory of her husband would be sealed forever beneath a blanket of tall grass and wildflowers, never to be revealed again.
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Cupid's Crooked Arrow

Cupid's Crooked Arrow

Posts : 42
Join date : 2009-10-13
Age : 26
Location : North Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Kinship of Blood   Mon 11 Jan 2010, 7:14 pm

I love vampire stories! I cannot wait to see what will happen and to whom! yourock reading study
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