The Ghosts of Herak Part 7
Orcus began to change. He became taller and his robe seemed to flap like wings. His handsome face turned into something else, more regal but more horrific. Two horns appeared on the sides of his head, but despite this, he had this terrible beauty; his face was like a smooth-faced minotaur. He was even taller than before. His robe flapped around him as if they were alive.
Desire stood by all this while let out a cackling laugh and we turned our attention at her. She was still as terribly beautiful as before but she looked almost reptilian.
“Come let us face your ghosts and demons!” Orcus cried, and gestured in the air. The cave was gone immediately and we were caught in a whirlwind that seemed to grip us as it moved. The fiery Guardian held all three of us together in his mighty arms to make sure that we were not thrown hither and tither.
There was a big boom after a moment and we fell to the ground. We scrambled up immediately, grabbing the guardian’s mighty arms and looking in terrified wonder around us.
We were in Herak…but it was not as it was.
Pandora let out a wail and I heard Ameria, my tall statuesque cousin gasped in horror.
For before us was the village Herak, but the inhabitants, all casually seated on verandahs’ and porticos, and on benches in gazebos looked slightly green. They seemed frozen in awkward postures as if they were not used to doing it.
They all cringed and staggered back when they saw Orcus appear before them. For the man god and high priest was awful in his majesty. He exuded arrogance and menace that only he could achieve.
I saw Julius the elder, standing still at the door of our common hall and met his eyes. Despite the green aura around him, he looked desperate and fearful. I knew that the minions of Remus had possessed the body of the people of Herak, but some had stronger spirits than others.
The villagers in their new spirit converged and moved in a mass towards Orcus. I knew they were ready to mow him down with their pitchforks and scythes. The three of us and the guardian drew our swords. Desire laughed gleefully, she must be anticipating the flow of blood, I thought. The enchantress was also a shape changer and a vampire who loves blood.
The clangs and clashes of iron distracted me and I saw Orcus being swarmed by the hordes in the body of the villagers of Herak. He was totally covered with the mass of possessed bodies. We stood there rooted in shock at his seemingly meek demeanour.
Suddenly bright green light sprung from within the squirming wriggling mass. There was a clap of thunder and the people fell on their back. Orcus emerged, with wriggling green forms clutched in his hands.
He shouted ‘Vade Retro…exorcizamus te…’ and words we could not really catch, but there were screams of anger and despair from the green forms in his hands. And then we heard the thunder of hooves and dark hooded riders appeared from everywhere.
They thundered towards Orcus and for a moment we lost sight of him and then the horsemen disappeared. The green things in Orcus hands were gone. The people were still on the ground, women, men and children lying down dazed.
“Your ghosts are gone, women, and now for the price…” Orcus said, smiling at us. He was again a normal good looking man, rather tall and pale but still normal looking. Desire stood by him, smiling too.
“What do you want?” I asked.
“Her…for she is young and beautiful. She will serve us for her years are yet plenty. You see, we add up the years of our price to ours, allowing us youth eternal…” Orcus said, touching Pandora on her shoulder and tipping her chin up.
“No!” I shouted and Ameria stepped up and unsheathed her sword. And that was all we were able to do. For we became rooted to the ground…Desire had put a spell on us.
Desire and Orcus held my beautiful sister to their bosoms, like a group embrace. Pandora looked dazed as the two non-human sucked in her youth. I cried silently as I saw the veins stood out in her porcelain-like white skin.
To be continued…
Written by Grace
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