Porcelain Chapter 1: The Unholy Things

The flames engulfed the various books and relics within the large fire pit, dancing around, and turning the items within into mere ash, sparking it’s embers in the grasses. The mission was to burn all that is unholy, and Isabelle followed obediently. The clouds were already turning grey, gathering together. Soon, trickles of rain will begin to pour from it’s flesh, and the grey wind began to reach her, seeping through her black coat with great ease.

Isabelle stared at some of the relics she burned. She burned one of her favorite books and some toys as well. There was a innocent wooden doll which she had grown up with. She is eleven now, but she still has nostalgic memories of it which still haunt her with the joy of her past youth. She stood, overlooking the large fire pit, along with her friend Jacob.

“Wow! Look at how the fire crackles and burns!” Said Jacob as he stared at the flames, stretching his hands near the smoke to warm them from the incoming cold. He then looked at Isabelle, who had a slightly crestfallen face. “What’s wrongs Izzy?”

Isabelle was spacing out, and quickly snapped out of it, and nodded.

“Yeah… i know what you mean,” Jacob said in an understanding, yet jokingly fashion. “you’ve had that doll since you were a little baby” He giggled a little. “I burned all of my toys! Because the Father said they were unholy!”

Isabelle looked at his pile of toys within the pit, the toys resembled iconic monsters.

“Yeah, I can tell why.” Isabelle responded.

“Don’t you just love it how the flames dance! So pretty! And so comfy. Good for the fingers!” Jacob stretched his arms further into the smoke.

Isabelle smiled, “Yeah, it’s heat makes everywhere feel like home.”

Jacob has always been a weirdo. He’s the youngest of all the orphans, but his presence made gloomy days gleeful. He always knew what to say, even the weird things that came out of his mouth made Isabelle chuckle.

“When is the storm coming Izzy?” He asked.

“In a few hours I trust,” Isabelle responded,“the Father didn’t say much. But look the sky is darkening. it will come soon.”

“What can a mere storm do to us! We have been through many storms, and we are still here without a scratch!”

“I don’t think that should ease you, have you heard of what happened to New Hazeline? A storm ate the township whole!”

“Not true, Storms cannot eat anything.”

“I meant destroy! The entire town was destroyed by the storm!”

“That can’t happen! It’s just a few lightning strikes and a little rain, how can that destroy an entire town?”

“It was in the papers too,” Isabelle sighed, “Jacob don’t be so stubborn. It wasn’t just thunder and lightning, there were violent winds too! Why else would we be boarding up our windows and refixing all of the walls?”

“Hmm, well we would have to wait a see,” Jacob said with a chuckle.

“I think you’ll need by guidance. Clearly you are not fit to be alone during the storm.”

“In your dreams Izzy!” Jacob hissed!

“Children! Children of God!” A deep voice yelled from afar, followed by the constant clanging of a small bell.

“Father.” Both Isabelle and Jacob said simultaneously, and the other orphans’ voices can be heard slightly from the distance speaking the same.  

“Come inside! Time for supper!” He was waving a bell around outside of the ajar door of his house.

The orphans entered the large house, which was stationed a walk away from the church. The township of Queensfield have always been a quiet place. So when news breaks out about a storm or some kind of natural disaster, it is much more impactful. Queensfield is well known around the region, but very lost in place. The train is about a mile from the gates.

Bowls of mashed potatoes, bread, chicken breasts, lamb meat, cheese, and salad swarmed the long table. The maids, who cooked the food, gave all of the children their utensils and napkins. The children gleefully ate the food. Before they knew it, the sky was darkened completely. The Storm was near.

“My children, the storm is near, you know what to do. We will finish this mission and may god bless us with his karmic charm.”

“I’ve burned my entire pile father!” Elizabeth said with an annoyed tone, “Leonard hasn’t done his part!”

“Leonard! You must do your part. The more unholiness we burn, the more we are worthy of God’s assistance. He will help us get through the storm, unscathed.”

“Yes, Father… I understand.” Leonard responded.

“Children, you know what to do! Come on! Trot along!” The children ran around and grabbed artifacts to feed the fire pits.

“Are you sure this will save us?” Isabelle asked.

“It most certainly will. Hazeline was filled with unholiness, there have even been reports of witches within the town. And because of this, the township was destroyed by God’s wrath. Judgement day is near, my child, and God is already picking names.”

“I have my faith in you Father!” Isabelle answered.

She sprinted towards the pile of books nearby, and threw them into the fire one by one. It was the right thing to do. The Father has raised the orphans for years as a legacy to his father before him. He treated the orphans as if they were of his own blood. A good man, and revered in the town. The orphans are raised on good conditions, with a surplus of food, most which are donated by the locals, who weekly attend to the church. After a long hour of burning artifacts, there was barely anything to burn. But there was one object which struck Isabelle.

It was a large painting which was lying in the dirt, and yet, it had no smudge, or no stain. It was large in size, measuring up to Isabelle’s ribs. The image was quite peculiar. It was a being with many eyes, which sat in a throne and stared. Though it was just a painting, it’s pink eyes were bright and lively, seemingly staring at her. She felt paranoid looking at it. Another peculiar thing was the frame itself, which was very thick and blocky, and it had intricate chiselled designs on every surface. The designs resembled swirl markings, which twisted as if it writhed, with an occasional eye design on it. The Copper of the frame had already turned green as well, and was slightly rusted. Even though it is considered an unholy artifact, it was uncannily beautiful. It was shame such thing must be burned for the greater good. Isabelle dragged the painting and threw it into the fire pit. After a while a droplet of rain trickled on her dark-skin cheek. And a slight rumbling was heard from a distance, followed by a gush of wind which struck her.

“Children! Come inside! The storm is starting!” The Father said. As he dragged several barrels inside the house. The children went inside, and stationed themselves. And waited patiently. Some of them cuddled together with blankets in the furniture, wearing their pajamas and nightgowns.

It came to a point when the wind’s whispers violently echoed about the house. Nearly shattering the boarded up glass. Lightning struck and the thunder made everybody jump. Jacob however was laughing. The orphans hid inside closets and under the table. Suddenly a glass window shattered and it’s glass launched all over the room, one of them seering Isabelle’s hair.

All of the children began to panic as the other windows began to shatter. The old tree outside of the house began to bend from the harsh wind it’s loose roots began to tear,  and suddenly, in a snap, the tree crashed within the house crushing an entire room, with orphans within. Everybody screamed, while the Father crawled and prayed. The tree left a crack on the wall, which traveled its way towards the ceiling, and a gash became exposed, rain pouring inside the house. The upper floor began to crumble as well, falling atop of a maid, severely wounding her, and fatally wounding an orphan. Isabelle ran towards a wardrobe, and stayed there. Other orphans ran inside, and hid.

“Stay inside, and don’t come out!” Yelled the Father as his coat was being pulled backwards by the strong winds which penetrating within the house. He then gave Jacob a lantern which it’s flickered from the candle inside. Isabelle cuddled up beside Jacob, embracing him with her arms, and closed her eyes, and waited patiently. She heard the other Orphans crying and silently sobbing, of course accompanied by the violent wind’s song. It didn’t feel real for her, why would God, the creator, and lover of mankind allow this to happen? It wasn’t fair. Any of it. But Isabelle felt safe within the wardrobe with clothes, and the soothing warmth of Jacob’s lantern.The mere reverie ended when the wardrobe tipped over, and the lantern nearly crashed, potentially causing a fire. The thunder was roaring beyond the wardrobe, and Isabelle began to cry as well.

“Children, keep calm, stay inside!!” The father’s voice said, “God’s blessing will not fail us.”

“Isabelle… are we going to die?” Asked Jacob.

“Don’t ask me that!” Isabelle responded hesitantly, her voice heavy. “Never think like that, That’s how weak people think-Father taught us better.” They were but mere words, but judging from the house’s destruction, her faith in her survival was gradually vanishing.

“I don’t understand,” an Orphan inside the wardrobe began, “W-we burned the sinful relics… why would this be happening to us?”

The orphans within the wardrobe tried to stay quiet and stay calm, despite the heart-wrenching roars of the angry clouds, which prevented them so. Water began to leak from the gaps within the wardrobe’s doors. Isabelle couldn’t take it anymore, and bursted them open, and got out. Immediately she was overwhelmed with the rain which entered from the ceiling’s cracks, and the wind which harshly pulled her into unwanted directions. The Father was moving the saving some of the kids, which cried, and tried to save the ones within the crushed room. He tried. Isabelle hesitantly looked around, trying to find some sort of escape for such an unforgiving reality.

“Isabelle… stay still!” The Father spoke, his usually light skin, now red with despair, anger, and blame.

Isabelle just nodded. And stayed back. She curled up in a ball on the floor with a face of shock. And next to her… she heard a murmur.

“I…it’s cold…” said Leonard, as he laid in the ground, his skin completely pale, and his clothes overwhelmed by the frigid rain. Life was slowly fading from his eyes, and all Isabelle could do was stare.

After a few hours, the storm gradually calmed down. The light returned, streaks of light gleaming from the gashes in the grey clouds. The rain faded, and the strong winds lessened. Isabelle awoke from her painstaking slumber. The Father laid crestfallen on the floor. He looked defeated, tired, but all the more, heartbroken. The house was almost completely destroyed. The ceiling, with a large gash, the door shattered to pieces.

Isabelle tiredly stood, and noticed  several burials with makeshift crosses buried atop of each. There were eight, each with names of the children engraved into the wood. Jacob was one of them, and the two maids died as well.

“Jacob is dead?” Isabelle asked aloud, bemused.

“Yes… only four of us made it, even… the maids… they” He didn’t finish his sentence and started weeping. “Perhaps our sacrifices weren’t enough. God’s wrath has already been unleashed onto us.”

An gradual anger spawned within the girl. She clenched her fist.

“Was it really God?” Isabelle screamed, “I burned everything that I had! You did the same! Was it all for nothing then? Why would he allow this to happen?”

“I already told you, the end times are near, but perhaps… God has allowed us to live… for a little longer”

“NO!” Isabelle screamed, “I will not hear it!” She walked backwards as she spoke, gradually beginning to sob again.

“Isabelle… come,” He aimed his hand and the girl, attempting to lure her, and console her. “we can make it all better.”

“Is it true… Are the end times really coming?”

“Isabelle… please, a paradise awaits-”

“Then God is evil!”

Isabelle  turned and ran as fast as she could.
“Isabelle!” The Father screamed as she ran, “Don’t let the demons consume you!”

Isabelle had given up. Why should she trust the Father. There was no way the end times were near. It wasn’t fair, it was cruel. She felt little with such words. A God that controls everything in the universe, and allows pain to pierce into the hearts of men. It wasn’t true! It wasn’t true! It wasn’t true! She repeated the thought in her mind, while continued sprinting. She stopped to catch her breath. Suddenly she began to cough. It was still cold in the wooded areas, the air, humid from the rain. She felt weak, and sick. Every breath emitting steam from her mouth. The smell of ashes plagued the region. And she noticed some burnt paper in the floor. She came to a full stop, upon noticing ashen logs and sticks, as well and charred relics. They must’ve been the very relics they burned at the fire pit, now corroded into unidentifiable ruin.

A meaningless sacrifice it was. Nothing good came from it. She walked atop of the ruin, where charred paper crackled upon every step like dry leaves. Looking around, she gasped, and her heart skipped a beat, upon a sudden revelation.

It was that same peculiar painting, an entity with a multitude of pink eyes, staring.

Below the Hand of Algaboath

Veronica and I have been a couple for quite a long time. However Veronica had a strange obsession with a being… a being that might only exist in her mind. It’s name, Algaboath.

It all started one day, when I was working in my office. Veronika was working in the desk in front of me. I was often mesmerized by her beauty, so I decided to make my move. I asked if she had any plans, and she declined. So it was a date! As we walked home it began to rain hard. The thunder started to roar about the skies. Since her house was closer to mine, we decided to go there. We laughed with relief when we entered the house. “Looks like Algaboath is angry,” she told me. I asked what she spoke of, and she said it was her friend, which you can see in the skies. I told there was nothing in the sky, and she told me, “You cannot see him because you do not have the eyes to see him.”

She noticed that I was confused, so she told me to follow her to the basement. There were these strange paintings scattered about. They depicted of a strange celestial beings with my appendages, floating uncannily in the skies. They had many eyes. I asked Veronica what they were. She said they were Algaboath. As she showed me the other paintings, there was one hidden that caught my eye. It depicted a infant looking being, with a deformed head, I stared at it for minutes, which felt like hours. It was incredibly disturbing. Especially its eyes, which had spiralling pupils, and tentacular eyelashes. Even though it was disturbing, her artstyle was beautiful, but she definitely had a sinister obsession with the creature.

Several months later, she was pregnant, and we were married. That night, I woke up, and Veronika wasn’t in the bed. I had to go eat something quick. As I went downstairs, light emitted from the basement. I descended to find Veronica painting in the middle of the night. I was very uncanny, her face looked like she hadn’t been sleeping. Her face was very pale, her eyes heavy, with bags under her eyes. I urged her to get some sleep, and she went upstairs after I constantly told her to. When I looked at the painting she painted, I stopped, and nearly vomited. It was nauseating. It was a painting of a nearly anorexic being with a swollen head. It had many eyes with spiraling pupils, and tentacular eyelashes. It was eating a rotten apple with its nearly mangled mouth. It sat atop of several human bodies with distorted faces as well. I ran away from the horrible room, and fell to blank out.

I woke up on my bed with Veronica next to me. Could it have been a dream? No… It felt too real. I Backed away from Veronika’s radius, and thought to myself, how can such luxury contain such a sinister interior. The next day I had to pick up something. The traffic was incredible, but I managed to go to the market at last. But there was something strange in my vision. Everywhere I looked, I saw that damn eye. I tried to ignore it, but the more I did the more it intensified. I crashed in someone’s car distracted by the eye. I quickly rushed out to see if the guy was harmed. But his face, so horrible, so disfigured! It was horrible, and I turned and ran back home.

After running a mile, I finally reached home, I stopped to catch my breathe, but noticed a strange black fluid trickle in the floor. I looked up, and there he was. Great Algaboath stared down at me, with his amorphous body, and mangled face. It had many eyes, and its arms stretched from the horizon. It was large, so large.

“What is it you want from us!” I screamed aloud, but no response came from the mighty creature. I had to go get veronika! I had to get her. I entered my house and went upstairs, and stopped, to find my wife engulfed in blood. There was a strange sign in the floor, surrounded by candles.

“It is done Great Algaboath, It is done,” she said, only to repeat it several times. Her hands were covering her stomach which was impaled with a knife. The baby…

“What is done?! What have you done?!” I asked her.

“The seeds are planted…” She said, with a crazed smile. She began to laugh maniacally, and my eyes were filled with deception. I was flabbergasted, but as she opened her eyes, they were those horrible spiraling eyes with tentacular eyelashes. I screamed, and snapped, I grabbed the knife and stabbed her to death. I just sat there covered in her blood, staring at her lifeless corpse. But then she started to move. She stood up with an expressionless face and pointed toward the bathroom door. I had no words, my mind, blank. But I followed her gesture. She then collapsed to the ground like a puppet. I slowly approached the bathroom, to see a baby carriage. I looked into it… but I regretted it greatly.

I stopped and vomited again. I never seen such a horrible creature in my life. It looked like an infant, with a mangled face, with several appendages and tentacles, it slithered uncannily, until I couldn’t look anymore. But it was our baby.

But then, its face morphed into a more humanoid face, and it spoke,

“Why? Why must you kill mother… she was the key, to become one with Algaboath. Mother was so caring for him and for you.”

“Shup up!” I cried, it filled my mind with regret and grief.

“Look in the mirror, what do you see?” It said, “A simple human? So dumb, so insignificant. Mother was your change to ascend, But you slayed her, and you  will stay here forever in this prison of a world, and you will suffer. Especially now that your eyes are open. Now that you see the truth, you will be surrounded by lies.”

I looked in the mirror, and I saw my face, it had Spiraling eyes with tentacular eyelashes. In the reflection I saw Algaboath in the window, staring at me, with his beautiful mesmerizing eyes. And now I wake, in an asylum, painting a painting of Algaboath’s past victims.