AdSense Page Ads

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Night of One Thousand Demons

Far out, the cry of the drunken men could be heard. The light from the torches can be seen from afar, glowing like little spirit fire, bobbing through the night. The smell of the burned papier-mache effigies lingered in the air, and smoke still rose from some of the burned effigies. The woman shuddered. Her young face was almost unrecognizable in the depth of the night, her dark brown skin blended perfectly with the darkness around her. It's coming, she thought frantically, it's coming.

She dreaded that day. She always does. The day always scared the living sh*t out of her. It was the one day where everyone was to stay at home, all silent. The silence will go all the way through the next morning, and she will stay up in terror throughout the lightless night, waiting for the dawn to finally come. Even far away from her hometown she would not feel safe, and the moment the clock strikes midnight she'll darted to turn on the lamp, arguing that the silence day is over. Here in her hometown, she was scared witless.

The demons are all out, they say. The demons and the witches and the shapeshifter. They'll have epic duels and whoever mortal saw it will die within days. The night of the dead moon will give unprecedented power, another one said. So many tales about people getting attacked and harassed during the night of the silent day, all in the comfort of their own house. One of her uncles woke up one morning with choke mark around his neck. A couple others reported disturbing dreams, and their wives corroborated the stories. Rooster that crows out of nowhere, some say, and shadow without body, other say. What if they come and get her this time?

"Why would we?" growled a voice amusedly from behind her. Her skin prickled. She went stiff. The energy, the smell, the voice, it was one of them. Her legs ached to flee, but she knew she couldn't outrun them. Her brain went into a total chaos, her stomach turned to water. "To be precise," another voice growled, this time with a sing song tone, "Why wouldn't we?" Two, no, more. She was surrounded by them. The energy was maddening. What would they do to her? What would her family think? She shouldn't have come back for the celebration. But it was too late now. This was it, her time had come. 

"You are right," growled a different voice. She felt a hand on her shoulder, gently turned her to where they were standing behind her. The long nails felt sharp on her soft cheek, but it didn't break her skin. And there they was: tall, short, big, small, females with breasts drooping to the waist, male with long tongues, four headed ones, multiple limbs, tusks and fangs everywhere, all around her. The smell of incense and flowers and an underlying waft of decaying flesh hung thick around them. "You are right," the demon said again, "Your time has come." The demon pulled her closer to them, smiled a gruesome and terrifying smile, baring teeth and tusks. She closed her eyes in defeat and despair. The demon put both hands on her cheek and pulled her face even closer, baring her neck for all to see. Or to devour. She could feel the demon putting her face next to her own, and whispered: "Welcome home."

In an instant the world explode, or it seemed so to her. The cheers erupted was deafening, and the laughter and screams and shouts afterwards was even more so. Everywhere seemed to burst in color, and the night looked as bright as the day. But it was nothing, completely nothing compared to what's happening in her mind. Streams of memories, locked for so many years, flooding through her mind. Her strength, her power, her magic, all returned and she could feel it running through her veins. The hair band that tied her hair into pig tail broke loose, and her hair fell in a curtain around her face. Her eyes lit with fire as she looked at her capturer, nay, her friends. No, more than that. Her family.

The demon who woke her smiled even wider, and she couldn't stop admiring how pretty the demon look. The evil ones, people called them, the horrible ones. But are they really? In her mind, she saw the structure, she saw the rules, she saw the system. Are human really are better than them? Or is just a different kind of beauty, a different kind of system that human failed to understand? It didn't matter. What matter was for now, for a full day to come and a full night after they can roam the land freely. For one cycle of day the land is theirs again. She smiled happily. Their ecstatic happiness rubbed on her, and soon she was dancing on the street with them. She was home, and this was the night of one thousand demons.

Note: this short story was made by combining the concept of Balinese New Year (Silent Day) celebration and the Japanes lore of The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons (Hyakki Yako). Happy Caka New Year, Hindu Balinese!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog