(This is something that bled out of me one sleepless night around three a.m. about two years ago. The actual story of Mikhail and the others have been in my head, and on several papers for almost two decades. Forgive the heavy influence of some rather old, if well known writers. I had gone through a severe few months of emotional turmoil during this writing stage. This will never be published, unless I re-work it a bit. Enjoy, and please feel free to leave comments.)
The midnight ramblings of insanity leaked from the very mortar between the ancient bricks that made up the long, narrow and dank corridor the lone figure was faced with. Sinuous trappings of filth infested water made rivulets of moisture that slowly bled from the arched ceiling to add to the already dampened air, thickening it with the ripe taste of waste that have had innumerable years to accumulate. The disquieting odors and evidences of unnatural presences, sounds of the dripping and whispered ramblings blended into a melody that would taint even the purest of minds. Taunting one into the deepest pits of despair and longing right along with whatever souls were still behind each of the equally ancient and heavy doors along the corridor’s span.
The slow breath taken into lungs brought the tainted air deeply within, held for a moment before the release rivaled the speed in which the intake had been given. The faintest of curl to lips came at its end even as the near silent foot falls began. A lone fingertip gave a reach, a near lover’s caress, to the dampness that clung to mortar and brick alike while the measured stride continued. Where others found insanity, horror, and nightmares incomparable to any sane soul’s imaginings-The lone figure found solace, contentment; here was home.
The encompassing darkness that held the corridor with a fierce suggestion of grotesque sentience near wailed in protest while the sputtering of oilcloth-topped torches burst into life with the figure’s passing, static-sparks that flared to life died before even kissing the worn and weary looking stone of the walk-way below. Much like the sizzling of flesh and fat within a pan over a fire, the sounds of each torch-top as fire gave light to the surrounding area mingled and almost overtook the already melodious lament of water and pain.
The first, second, and the next four ancient and heavy doors were passed by the still shadowed figure within the slow growing light of flickering and sputtering torches. Another sound; a near delicate thing of scraping as glass-like nails drug against oiled, hardened oak before finding the stone and mortar once again. As each door was passed, the shift from stone and mortar to oiled oak would be heard. The action a seeming taunt to the shattered and fragmented bits of minds of the souls behind each, an action that brought about more of the vocalized agonies replete with spectral fear suffered for the enjoyment of the One. Some of the moaned screams seemed hardly human at all, but rather studies in elusive impressions and half-remembered snatches of nightmares from Hell itself.
The door chosen came upon a cryptic and banefully beautiful thing in the midst of the lessening darkness, who gave a silent consideration while the set of fingertips left off of the torment of stone and wood. Instead the trail of four would begin a path at the pale span of throat to linger over the intricate knot-work of a cravat of the purest white, pinned with a rather extravagant bloodstone set within silver. A peculiar assortment of attire for such an endeavor, however one must place propriety in one’s life. Unexcelled, supreme in the creation of a gorgeous and languorous world of iridescently exotic visions, and pledged to eternal warfare against the coarseness and ugliness of diurnal reality, the One shall ever be vigilant. Whenever visitations occur- even within these walls- the impeccable nature of dressing would be had.
From the cravat the near slender boned hand lifted, a graceful gesture of intrinsic beauty, uncurled the set of long fingers away from the column of throat towards the ancient oaken door and gave a clear indication of how dangerous those glass-like nails were. Curved, shaped very much as a great feline’s claws, they easily and often drew blood and screams from various if numerous victims; a thing that may suggest to the mind a hideous connection and a condition revolting to any friend and respecter of the human race.
The great door gave a protestation of sound, reverberating within the putridity of the damp, clogging stench that rushed to its freedom as surely as the sounds that overflowed with the agonies that had been forced upon the owner of such. With such time that had been occupied in the ruination of flesh, mind, and soul-the release of torment that met the One with the now silent foot falls over stone as the threshold was crossed brought yet another beatific curl to full, pale and perfectly sculpted lips.
There in the black aperture, exhaling noxious fumes from parted, cracked and withered lips was a human figure. His forehead, high beyond the usual dimensions; his cheeks, deep-sunken and heavily lined with wrinkles and shadowed with the remnants of bearded growth; and his hands, long, claw-like, and gnarled, were of such a painfully skeletal appearance never elsewhere seen in a living man. His figure, lean to the proportions past that of a skeleton was strangely bent and almost lost within the contraption he was forced within. But what the One enjoyed most of all were his eyes, twin caves of abysmal blackness, profound in expression of understanding, yet inhuman in the degree of the agony that screamed freely from their depths. These were now fixed upon the One, pleading for the chance to pierce the One’s soul with their hatred, making an attempt at rooting the fixture of such hellish pain and suffering to the spot whereon the One stood.
The shriek of sheer fright and impotent malice emitted by the would-be assassin shook the very foundation of the near encompassing contraption, given freedom by the resurgence of motion from his tormentor; slowly nearing the steel, wood, and flesh entangled conglomeration of engineering while the diminutive nature of the near angelic curl of a smile that graced the pale perfection of face gave a widening. Where angelic nature reigned, the shift of polar opposites began. Wickedness tainted, overturned and overtook the façade worn by the One, giving a strong glimpse of the demonic undertones of the mind’s working beneath.
“Shhhh, Mon Dieu, mon ami. One would believe you to not be appreciative of my hospitality with such commotion coming from your suite.”
The words slithered through the tumultuous sounds of the man’s agonies, the ringing and almost rhythmic dance of seemingly delicate wires that were interwoven amongst the monstrosity that kept flesh in place. Soft, melodious sounds were those words; black velvet that whispered warmly against the skin to tantalize nerves, haunt dreams and insinuate within the mind’s deepest corridors to places best left unknown-even to oneself. The screams of protest bled into a whimpering that would only continue whist the silent tred of boot over stone would bring the One into the scope of light and color with a caress of a hand over suspension wiring along the way.
The lover’s caress led to the shuddered tightening of gleaming, delicately woven metal strings; a bare hum of a sound, a whisper of a near mellifluous choriambics in response to their swayed release. From whence the numerous, if beautiful, strands of metallic radiance came would remain unknown to the now desolate and pitiable creature they were summarily attached to. The corpselike morass of ruin and loathsome decay hissed through broken, shattered shards of pale and deadened remains of harshly gritted teeth; a seeming protestation to the partially revealed, exquisite vision.
(Here is where this bit ends!)