Subcutaneous Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 96

Sacraments of the Flesh by Anthony Crowley It didn't take long for the Saul Bros Construction company to reconstruct the disused Kahluan Library. The local Turkish street traders protested for many months to get rid of that forsaken building. They said it held something evil within those walls. Once, it was used as a political safe house during the Holy Wars. Condemned religious men and woman were secretly taken there during those dark days. Sadistic inscriptions appeared in a legendary status on the flaked brickwork. Banshee screams from the once withering wives sent many shivers to property developers that tried to demolish the library. They didn’t succeed in the destruction. The Kahluan clan were the visionary disciples of the Egyptian god, Azuerath. This god believed that human existence had a special key of known mystical knowledge to assist the completion of the last pyramid. Depictions of the soldiers who failed to acquire that knowledge were viciously exposed, and their souls were etched upon those walls. Something sacred was hidden after that despicable time. The Clans people were finally discovered and executed after a quick trial delivered by Queen Cleopatra. Azuerath was brutally disemboweled and made to repent for his evil acts against his fellow people. The construction of the pyramid didn’t see the final result. Since that devastating period the souls of the wicked were mysteriously sent into a realm for the unforgiven. A cesspit of misfortune lay before them; a gathering of betrayed immortals began to admire their deceit. A lost world was about to be awoken. A world without heroes and heroines. The underworld had other plans. Dust swollen catacombs were constructed from the bones of the deceased holy fathers which formed a sacred atmospheric prism around the entire newcomers of the abyss. The cries of enslaved children could be heard within the underground pillared temple. They were called ‘Tomorrow’s Children.' They were the lost infants of the fallen ones, and they were regularly seen scavenging the earth for survival like hungry vermin, but they didn’t have a way out. The children were innocently damned and left alone to wither with only the suffering of their thoughts and pain. The last surviving children were eventually slain, their blood spilled upon the sacred walls. Present day... A street party was being organized by the local refugee centre. Suddenly, a truck appeared along the dirt road adjacent to the library. The weather forecasted a sudden heat wave transmitted from the radio in an oncoming vehicle. It was still early morning and plenty of work had to be done before the forthcoming event. Jasmal was a popular leader from the centre. He trained for many years since graduation to help others who were less fortunate than himself. He came from a strict household with deeply religious parents. He was a lonely child and he always wanted a younger brother or sister to take care of. His mother and father never wanted a daughter. Their beliefs disallowed them to have female offspring. Jasmal worked amongst three staff members. They came from wealthy families that owned the latest sports cars, biggest properties and fashions. He never took any- anything for granted and he was always open to new opportunities if they came through. Every day since he was a child, Jasmal would pray for something better to happen in his life. Maybe an angel would shine above him and grant him special guidance. A small broken down car appeared outside the centre. Somebody was screaming and a repetitive vehicle horn could also be heard. Jasmal immediately stopped fiddling around with the clerical paperwork and dashed towards the entrance only yards away. He was lucky he didn’t faint or collapse in the hot weather. The truck, which was parked earlier, had run out of fuel. The driver was unconscious and was covered in scattered and showered blood. Passed out, he was trapped within his small truck; thankfully he wasn’t driving an oil tanker. The screaming came from a car which was wedged into the side of this truck. Two women were crying themselves into a panicking storm, but they weren't physically injured. A hissing sound signaled from the wreckage and Jasmal rotated his head. Wisps of rising smoke rose from the engine. He knew he had to act and move quickly. First, he asked the two terrified females to head into the centre to avoid any possible disaster. They listened and bowed their timid salutations in front of him and hobbled into the building. They closed the door behind them to avoid deadly smoke and noise. Jasmal dashed over to the truck to free the driver from the wreckage, but he couldn’t free the door open to pull the driver out of the smashed truck. He was still unconscious. Dried blood caked his nostrils. The driver's head was pressed firmly against the steering wheel. Jasmal looked around to see if there was something he could use to force the vehicle door open. He noticed a disused building across the street and he immediately thought it would be a perfect idea to head over to the building and find a tool. The construction workers were working on the side of the building. He needed to make a quick getaway and try to find a strong, forceful item. He looked back while running to the building. The driver was coming around from the crash. He had to act quickly to get him out of the truck. Jasmal reached the old structure and recalled a memory from his childhood. It suddenly dawned on him that the building was the former Kahluan library. Many people feared this place when it was open to the visiting public. A strong scent came from across the street and he realized it was the oil from the truck. 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