The Seventh (short story)

Beth Caunce By Beth Caunce, 12th Jul 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

A short, gothic story about a psychotic priest who murders based on the seven deadly sins

The Seventh

“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”, he chanted, lifting his arms and throwing his shaven head backwards to stare with wild eyes into the darkness above. His words reverberated off the stone, creating eerie echoes around the cave. He threw himself forwards violently, lying arms and legs apart on the stone. Once his frantic breathing had subsided, he rose steadily to his feet, the steely determination having returned to his dark eyes. He pulled a simple, gold cross from his robe, and pressed the cold metal to his lips, bowing his head slightly as he did so. He inhaled deeply, and dropped the chain leaving it swaying against his chest as he strode forwards. He clasped a flaming torch and threw it into a pool of liquid, sending huge flames billowing towards the top of the chasm. As the fire subsided the cavern was lit in a red glow, casting huge, menacing shadows on the looming cavern walls.
Cupiditas clasped his hands together firmly, and strode towards a huge, cauldron-like structure. He climbed the steps which wound their way around the circumference, until he stood on the lip of the container. He peered cautiously over the rim, yet relaxed as he saw the lifeless body in the water. The corpse was at the bottom of the pool, obscured by the ripples and reflections of the swelling water. Cupiditas reached for a staff, and, gripping it tightly, he manoeuvred the woman’s body to the surface of the pool. He slowly unravelled the rope from his waist, and wrapped it tightly around the woman’s feet. Having pulled her from the pool, he dragged the body across the cavern floor and onto a long table.
He placed his hand across her face, closing his eyes and muttering incantations under his breath. Lifting his hand and exposing her eyes, he tilted his head slowly to the side, contemplating her decaying flesh. His gaze lifted to the stone wall, and he ran his fingers along the collection of sharpened knives and metallic instruments. He selected a curved scalpel, and bent over the girl’s body. His eyes ran up her legs and over her torso, until he allowed his gaze to lock on her sealed eyelids. He placed his fingers carefully on her face, stretching the delicate skin to expose vivid, green eyes. He moved the scalpel slowly, assuredly, towards her face, and buried the metal beneath her eye….
He emerged from the tunnel at a brisk pace, carrying a small leather pouch. He hastened towards a large, wooden door which was deftly concealed behind the bulging wall. Once again he removed the chain from his robe, yet, instead of reaching for his crucifix, he selected a small key which he slotted into the lock of the door. Pulling it open, he was hit by a wave of freezing air; so cold it blew from the room like a biting wind.
He made his way towards a table in the corner of the room, which bore a beaker containing a translucent liquid. He stopped before the table, and gently pulled the cords of the pouch apart. He emptied the contents into the beaker, the liquid sloshing as he did so. He raised the beaker to his face, staring into the pupils of the two, magnified green eyes. Laying the beaker upon the table, he turned to a set of closed doors. He grasped the two handles, and pulled towards him.
A smile spread across his face as he surveyed his trophies. He reached for the girls’ eyes and placed them carefully beside the remnants of his previous victim; a tongue. He smiled, as he remembered the punishments which he, Cupiditas, had inflicted upon this gluttonous individual. Their tongue was now stained with the blood of the rats which they would feast on for all eternity; thanks to Cupiditas’ successful efforts to rid the world of sinful servants in the name of the Almighty. He had done the same to four others, increasing his total to six, now the jealous one had been dealt with. His first had been the angry one, the wife-beater, whom he now remembered through the heart which he had kept as his own. He recalled how he had torn the still beating heart from his mutilated chest, and thrown it into the pile of the discarded limbs of the sinner. Then he had dealt with the girl obsessed with her looks; loving herself more than she loved God. Her skin was spread across the shelf, contorted and decaying to forever scar her beauty. Next to this lay the burnt, shrivelled remains of male genitalia, so the lustful one could redeem his love only for God in the place of everlasting destruction.
There was but one empty space on the shelf, awaiting the remains of his final victim. He would remove the brain of the greedy one so they could never want for anything more, and so better serve the Almighty. And then he, Cupiditas, would be called to Heaven by God to be deservedly praised and recognised. He could see himself by God’s side; the great Saint Cupiditas who had so successfully fulfilled the wishes and commands of the Almighty. He would be considered the greatest of all God’s workers, for in his quest he had rid the world of all sin. The wife-beater should have been the sole victim, but when God did not welcome his faithful servant into Heaven, Cupiditas had known he must do more. And when he did, he would receive the highest praise from the Almighty.
He could feel God calling him, and knew he must act swiftly. He had already obtained the sinner; all that was left was to punish him and take his trophy. He could then offer himself to the Almighty, and be welcomed into Heaven as the greatest of all God’s servants. Making his way through the tunnel once more, he began his prayers, reluctant to waste further time once he entered the cavern. Emerging from the tunnel opening his robes billowed behind him as he hurried towards the back of the cave. He slowed as he reached a huge chasm below, peering over the edge into the dark, bubbling liquid. How apt, he thought, that all of his victims had been punished in the way God had deemed fitting, and as a prelude to their eternal torture in the place of hopelessness and suffering.
The greedy one was suspended above the boiling oil; weak, but alive, from days of staring into the thick, bubbling liquid just a few metres below him. Cupiditas smiled as the victim struggled to raise his head, whilst the rest of his naked body hung limply with fatigue. ‘This is it’, he thought, ‘the moment for which I will be remembered for all eternity’. His breathing accelerated, his heart rate increased, he felt a swell of excitement in his body which grew until he felt he would explode. He let out a triumphant scream, which echoed around the stone walls. He could wait no longer; he must be with the Almighty now. He yearned for God’s praise, desperate for the moment when all of Heaven would bow to Cupiditas. He looked at the greedy one, realising how long it would take him to lever his body into the oil, and then perform his sacrificial ritual on the corrupted body. He could not wait; the almighty Cupiditas would not wait for his glory. He peered into the boiling oil, closed his eyes, and jumped into the fiery pit.

Tags

Gothic, Gothic Horror, Murder, Religion, Seven, Sins

Meet the author

author avatar Beth Caunce
A student from Lancashire, I have several interests including history, languages and sport.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
13th Jul 2012 (#)

Great share Beth and i enjoyed all throughout the post and i am going to bookmark this post for reading at a later time too. thank you very much for sharing.

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