- Jul 26, 2009
Pages of long-faded books pinned to each piece of thread, each line. Words written upon words written upon words. Crossed out. Possibilities discarded and written anew and discarded again. Perhaps this time it'd be right. A small lockbox laying underneath the centre of the map. Swore to never open it. Opened it anyway. Should have kept it closed. He takes a piece of thread and rearranges it. Connect it here. Not there. Here. Or maybe over here. Impossible. Maybe that's why. So many variables. He flips open a book. Slams it shut again. He can't read the pages anyway, too old, too faded away. But perhaps he can find something. ''He must be here'' he murmurs. He cuts a thread with his dagger. Picks up the pieces and rearranges them. Maybe this time. A script detailing mythical creatures. A painting on the insides of a man dead of plague. A page from a holy book. He finds connections. He forgets them, discards them. Laughs at his own idiocy. Laughs to suppress anger. Another thread he cuts. Pins another to the paper's representation of a country, coloured in blue. Rips it out again, a small piece of paper following the thread. A maggot crawls on the wall, bringing with it the stench of death. Rain pounds against the wooden roof, drops of water leaking through and hitting the floor. Forbidden books, forbidden pages, forbidden words. All is available to the Inquisitor. A butcher's knife impales a wanted poster to the wall. The posters were removed carefully from each town, each village. That man was not going to be found. A murderer. That man was more useful free. The victims' families would disagree. They always did. No vision, no, no vision at all. Sacrifices must be made, sacrifices must be made. A cut across his thumb, he imprints a mark of blood on the wall. Rearranges the threads. All things come from blood. Sacrifices must be made.
A young man knocks on the door before slowly leaning it open. To clean. To refill the stocks of burning coals. He asks for permission in a fearful voice. He has heard the rumours of the madman. Who hasn't. No voice returns his question. A simple, slow nod from the Inquisitor. The servant walks slowly, carefully. As if every step could trigger a trap. The boy silently begins his duties. Hoping to leave as soon as possible. The man brings a hand to his chin. The window lies open, the sky spitting drops of water into the room. He ponders. All things come from blood. Sacrifices must be made. Each piece of coal is dropped with the greatest care, producing a sound of constant, regular pounding. Sacrifices must be made. The man turns around. The flash of a sickle flows through the air, reflecting tiny slivers of light. The servant's throat bleeds. He tries to scream. He tries to cry. He tries to whisper ''Why?''. Silence. No more pounding. No more words. Torches flicker in the cold wind. Sacrifices must be made. All must be made to bleed. The rain keeps pounding. The maggots crawl with renewed vigour. Blood paints the darkened maps again. In the distance, birds begin to sing the songs of morning. All has been made clear.