Tag Archives: souls

The Cha Forest: Part Three

He left, leaving the corpse in the company of those who knew not of what was happening yet. Pestorus didn’t know he was heading to her house until he was in front of it. The slanted shingles falling off a rusted tin roof, the door barely able to close as its swelled wood expanded from the heat of hot summers. He took a deep breath and went to knock but the door was already open when he reached the top step, the fresh face of Soun standing there holding a cloth in her hand as it lazily dried out the china cup in the other hand. Her smile was thin, but otherwise welcoming in his presence. She had barely aged since their last encounter and he grimaced at the thought of how long ago that was.

“Well, if it isn’t Pestorus. How long has it been…twenty? Thirty years?” she said as if she’d read his mind but her smile never faltered, “come. I’ve prepared tea.”

She stood there still, holding the door open and as he passed her he couldn’t help but take in her intoxicating smell of beauty and fresh summer wind. Her house was the same as it had always been, slightly cluttered but in a pleasing homey feel. Cabinets lined the walls with trinkets of every sort, and books marked with hundreds of assorted bookmarks claimed couch cushions and fancy oak chairs. He knew his way to the kitchen and by the time he entered the little cooking area, she was already pouring tea into the freshly washed cup. She handed it to him and sat down on a stool, gazing at him lovingly like she always used to.

“To what do I owe such a pleasant surprise?” she asked in that sing song voice of hers.

“There’s been a murder,” he said choosing his words wisely.

“And you suspect me? The honor I must be feeling right now,” she said in mock entertainment.

“No, Soun. I don’t suspect you. It was…dark,” he said looking away.

“Drink your tea. I promise there isn’t any poison in it this time,” she smirked.

“A boy was found with no face,” he said. Soun’s smile disappeared rapidly.

“You know we’ve seen this before. And you know I cannot help you this time. Pestorus, I may love you still but there are some things that even I cannot change, I pray you understand that. That kind of power exceeds my own.”

“I just wanted you to look at the body. To confirm my suspicions,” he said. Soun looked fretful, but she stretched her fingers across the table and clasped his worn hand.

She was cold, but then again she always was. Her eyes were ice blue, so chilling but mesmerizing, mimicking the coolness of her skin. He longed to stroke her cheek, to feel her smooth skin under his rough hands once more but he settled for a gentle squeeze instead.

“Fine. To make you happy once more, I shall do as you request.”

“Thank you Soun,” he said huskily, breaking contact with her.

“Don’t thank me yet, love. If this is what you think, our sorrows are only just beginning.”

.  .  .  .  .

Darmi’s hand shook violently as she tried to stick the thread through the eye of the needle. The thread shivered violently in her hand before missing once more and she cursed, tossing the needle on the table. Arthritis was a bugger, and in her old age she couldn’t seem to have a moments rest from the crippling condition.

“Terei? Can you bring me some of those herbs from the cellar? Unless you want your pants done and sewn proper, I’m going to need a tea for my fingers.”

“Maybe I don’ wanna wear pants,” he grumpily called from the kitchen.

“Shut your damn mouth and get the herbs. You’ll wear pants and you’ll like it,” she fired back at him.

She could hear him grumbling as the chair legs squeaked against the rough tile floor. She added a second log to the spitting fire and checked the pot, making sure there was enough water in it to sustain enough tea for the rest of the day. She made a mental note to pick up more of the herbs from Soun. It had been well over three weeks since her last medical resupply. The village had grown quiet over the early hours of the morning since the death of the small child. She had not a single clue where the children came from but she felt it had been her motherly duty to calm and claim them as her own until their parents showed up. The young girl, Sierra, sat on the patched couch sipping a cup of tepid water quietly. She hadn’t said a single word since leaving the inn but it was not Darmi’s place to question her after such an ordeal—some things were better left unasked. Darmi offered a cookie to Sierra but she merely shook her head and continued to stare at the back wall. There was a loud crash from the cellar door and Darmi dropped the platter of cookies to the floor and rushed as fast as she could.

“Terei? Are you okay?” Darmi flicked the light but the bulb flickered and burst.

“Terei? Sierra dear, please go fetch the neighbours. I think Terei fell down and my old legs can’t get down the stairs,” but when Darmi looked back at the couch, Sierra was gone. She narrowed her eyes.

“Darmi? I fell. Blasted shelves fell on ma’ head,” he called from the darkness of the basement, “I think I broke my hip.”

“Shit,” Darmi said taking the steps one at a time as slow as possible, “Hold on you old idiot, I’ll be there in a minute.” When she reached the dirt floor, she scanned the darkness for any sign of Terei. A few spilled jars littered the floor in the immediate circle of light but Terei was not among them.

“Alright where are you?” But he didn’t answer. In fact the only answer she received was a child’s giggle.

“Sierra? Did you come down to help Terei?” Darmi said smiling.

“I came down here to eat his face,” said the child’s voice and Darmi stopped advancing into the cellar, goose bumps riddling her arms.

The voice was human, but it had a supernaturally charged demonic quality to it that chilled Darmi’s spine to the core. When Sierra came into view she was not alone. In her hands was a young boy. Neither children had a face but she had the strange sickly feeling that this boy was the same murdered boy from the front gate. Darmi backed up and fell, tripping over a glass jar and landing hard on her hip.

“W-where are your parents?” she asked.

“Dead.”

“Wh-who are you?”

“Cha…cha…cha. Only the Nell of the Cha can save you…Darmi,” said the little girl tilting her head.

Darmi screamed and in the corner of the cellar her husband huddled unseen, afraid to move as the demonic children ascended onto his wife. He held back his silent tears as Darmi’s screams escalated and then stopped altogether.

.  .  .  .  .

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The Merchant Devil Part 1

Alright folks, this is my first story I’m posting. It’s about a young girl who goes through some strange periods of time in her new life and she is living to regret every choice she ever made. Enjoy!

The Merchant Devil

By Terrin Jarrell

Valerie Dalton knew she was going to die. It was an inevitable fact that she could not escape. But that did not stop her from lying to herself that it was going to be alright. She thought she had led a good life, but in her final days, it was becoming more apparent that wasn’t entirely true. At the underwhelming grand age of twenty-four she’d accomplished absolutely nothing in life and the only thing she understood was being a terrible daughter and a worse girlfriend. Thinking of Jack sent a wave of nausea and upset ripping through her stomach. Watching a stream of blood flow out of her nose, she picked up a filthy blue rag off the dirty motel room floor and dabbed dully. She was dying of course, and it was all due to that man. That dreadful man with the too-wide smile that seemed to know everything yet revealed nothing. Wearing a black suit and white tie, he managed a rather old time respectable and almost handsome look if not for that smile, that seemed to be plastered to his face like drywall.

“Excuse me ma’am, I believe you dropped this,” he had said to her with a smile.

So charming at the time but she had felt a stir of unease and an almost urge to flee the scene, flee his smile. Instead she returned a flashy array of white teeth with what she’d hoped was her most pleasant waitress smile and said,

“Thank you.”

“My pleasure.”

Accepting her napkin back that day, Valerie knew she had sealed her doom. He almost seemed to be saying, “Excuse me ma’am, you’ve dropped your life and I’m here to pick up your pieces.”  She remembered leaving work, the time was 8:14 pm and upon looking up from locking the door and leaving behind memories of a horrific day of ungrateful guests and screaming babies, she’d noticed the man from lunch hour standing under the street lamp outside the Whispering Eva Café. The night had fallen quickly, with only a sliver of the sun exposed. The shadows of the evening caressed the street with long greedy, dark fingers. A chilled breeze sprang up from nowhere momentarily feeling like an autumn afternoon and Valerie had found her arms covered in goose bumps. Early fall leaves swirled through a densely thick fog that started rolling in and got stuck a midst her loose auburn hair. Remarkably he was still smiling and had raised his hand in her direction. He looked like a black specter risen from the deathly fog. With a confused smile, she waved back and returned to locking the door unsuccessfully.

“Dammit,” she’d muttered and behind her in just the same smooth fashion he had presented himself with earlier, he said from behind her, “Are you having some trouble? Allow me.”

He’d reached his hand around her and she became rigid with fear and unknowing. He was very close to her, almost a hairs breath away from kissing the back of her neck and she’d felt his hand embrace hers. And then their hands turned slightly, feeling the click of the door lock. He’d removed his hand just as quickly as he had grabbed it. She faced the door still trying to catch her breath, still trying to understand and form some kind of thank you around her lips. Regaining composer with little ease, she’d turned around to find him nowhere in sight. Sweat had dotted her forehead and she’d become aware at how warm it had become. She’d laughed out loud at the absurdity of the situation and walked home through a remaining fogless night.

Looking back at that day, months ago, she realized that was the same day she’d broken up with Jack. Rushing to the bathroom toilet to vomit what she felt was surely her rotten insides trying to snake their way out of her mouth, she tried to recoil to a happier memory. The memory helped, a vision of her mother rubbing her back and expressing concern. She could almost feel the soft touch of her mother’s hand, always smelling of sweet scented creams, feeling the slow, rhythmic circles up and down her upper back as she continued to heave into the toilet.

When she turned seven her mother had fallen horribly ill and at the age of nine, her mother passed away leaving her alone in the world with nothing but a drunkard of a father with no job and no steady income.

“She went. Dead. W’rms prob’ eatin her body or sumthin’,” he’d said in a slurred drunken tone. He’d glared at the little girl before him that so constantly reminded him of his lost beloved. He’d raised the remaining bottle of Jack to his mouth again and a dribble spilled down his chin.

“Git to yur room, dammit! I dun wanna see any tears fer that slut. She left us, she left you! Left us to rot, the bitch!”

Valerie had flown to her room. Her pillow was her new solace now, her new warm hug at night. Now curled up, propped up against the bathtub squeezing that same dirty yellow stained pillow, she realized seeing her mother again was never going to happen. Especially with what she had agreed too. She was back on the walkway outside her work, laughing obnoxiously again, warmed by the night. She’d rubbed her neck, remembering the tickle of his breath like a lover might and she’d realized she had liked the sultry, sexy feel of his breath. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced, even with Jack. Jack. The fight was about nothing, as usual yet that time it felt like everything was different. She was different and it had showed.

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