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Elador of the Western Fens [Pic2016]

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posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 07:26 PM
Barnaby straightened his tie and brushed himself off. He had visitors to show around and wanted to look his best. He had a quick look round the crypt which looked less than spic and span - just right to provide the air of desolation that was required to further tug at the visitors' heartstrings. As if a weeping statue wasn't enough to do that.

Satisfied with himself he went outside, rubbing his hands. There was a bit of a bite to the Autumn air and a smell of smoke caused by the gardener burning leaves from the now barren trees. He didn't burn any of the leaves surrounding the crypt though, they were required for 'atmosphere'. Barnaby really was rather more theatrical than one might expect from a tweedy curator.

Hearing some hushed and excited chatter he looked along the path to see today's group of punters. The usual mix of schoolkids, culture-vultures, ghouls and little old ladies. The ghouls, or to be kind, kids of the Gothic persuasion were loudly proclaiming their intention to hide after the guided tour so they could spend the night in the crypt 'to see what would happen'. Barnaby sighed, all par for the course.

He fixed a smile on his face and, greeting everybody, ushered them into the crypt preparing to see them marvel at the very imposing statue contained therein.

The statue was of an extremely handsome man seated somewhat painfully on an ornate throne. The man was Elador, Earl of the Western Fens who had been a legend even in his own lifetime. Barnaby readied himself to regale his audience with tales from the legend.

The audience readied themselves to be entertained:

Elador had a reputation for excess in all things. People just didn't understand that he loved, perhaps, a little too passionately. Under his stewardship the castle became evermore extravagantly furnished, the surrounding villages evermore prosperous, the scandals evermore, well, scandalous.

Elador liked women and found that they liked him. He was charming and had a way of treating them as if they were the only thing that mattered in his life for the entire time he was with them. Surrounded by silks and velvets and an attentive host several were persuaded to stay. All of them were beautiful, many were talented, and a couple of them loved Elador for himself not just the sumptuous settings they found him in.

But, for all his extravagance and open charm, Elador had a rather darker side. And it was this darker side that had led him down some rather dark avenues in the realms of the occult. He'd wanted nothing for himself when he'd embarked on his studies but had decided to be a warrior for the Light, taking on foul denizens of the lower Astral planes and putting a stop to their plaguing of humanity.

Having something of the darkness about him he'd been rather good at putting some lesser demons and bogeymen out of commission to the point that he'd attracted the attention of a demon of a much higher order. A demon who didn't much appreciate losing so many of its minions.

The two had engaged in many battles but had never reached a point where a loser or winner could be declared. That is, for as long as the battles were fought in the inner realms. Elador found himself at an enormous disadvantage when the demon started to manifest in the physical realm, targeting what was most dear to him.

At first it was small things – a strange and distant whispering, shadows flitting just past the corner of an eye. Perhaps a thud coming from 'somewhere'. Just enough to let everyone know that Elador had incurred the wrath of something very nasty indeed. Something that he was powerless to do anything about.

Gradually the 'harem' started to dwindle. Even some of his favourites had left and Elador was left with a small coterie of loyal but terrified women.

He redoubled his efforts on the inner plains but nothing could make so much as a dent in his adversary. Day after day he'd come back to the physical realm unsuccessful, exhausted and less able to protect his loved ones even as they started to become sick.

One day, in despair, he consulted one of his forbidden books. One that came with dire warnings that under no circumstances should the spells therein ever be used. And that the unholy beings described should never be contacted.

Elador barely hesitated and set about conjuring up the unholiest of the lot. He sat in front of an antique mirror and, after brushing off a huge web and annoying a huge spider into the bargain, began the incantation. Before he'd even finished he felt a rush of air, and clouds gathered and lifted from the surface of the mirror. Elador found himself looking at a reflection of himself. He was just about to give up in disgust when it spoke, demanding to know what he wanted.

Elador gathered himself and, sparing no detail, poured out the story of his fight and probable soon-to-be-defeat at the hands of an evil adversary. His reflection looked back at him thoughtfully 'There's always a way' it whispered 'but it's dangerous. Very dangerous'.

'I'll take it' Elador cried recklessly 'it's only a matter of time before everyone I love and everything I hold dear is utterly destroyed'.

A grim smirk crossed the face of his reflection 'Listen very carefully...'

After the reflection had finished speaking a horror-struck Elador asked the only question that could possibly be asked 'Are you sure that'll work?'

'Oh, yes' said the reflection 'but be warned, if anything does go wrong the consequences will be dire. And to you more than to them.'

'I'll have to risk it' sighed Elador 'he'll have their very Souls if I don't'.

'Oh, yes' agreed the refection 'there's no doubt about that. Now you can dismiss me and don't call on me again.'

'If I may, before you go... why do you look like me?' asked Elador.

'Because' said the reflection 'I had to delve into the very furthest reaches of your Soul to find a solution exactly tailored to you'.

A shocked-to-the-core Elador dismissed the 'reflection'. He sat quietly and did indeed feel rummaged-about in.

With a sinking feeling he went off to gather his ladies to explain how much danger they were all in and what he intended to do about it. Every last one of them was horrified but they all knew that if this was the solution that Elador was proposing then it must be the only solution that would save them from a possible eternity as prisoners of an unconscionable demon.

So it was that Elador made lavish, if somewhat hasty, refurbishments to the family crypt and had new and comfortable coffins installed there for each of his ladies. Inside every coffin was a doll bearing a slight resemblance to the future occupant.

As soon as all was ready the ladies and Elador took themselves to the crypt and sadly said their farewells. 'Chin up everybody' said Elador 'it won't be forever. Just until I can defeat... him. I'll find a way'.

One by one the women lay in their designated coffins and held tightly to their dolls. Elador began the spell and, one by one, the Souls of his ladies entered their dolls.

After he'd finished the spell Elador gathered the dolls and closed the coffins. He locked them away in their individual vaults and, barely holding back the tears, headed down to the village.

A requirement of the spell was that the dolls should be hidden amongst those who would love them. As long as they were loved they'd be safe and the spell would stay intact.


posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 07:26 PM
Elador knew that he was admired and respected by most in the village so a gift from him would be eagerly accepted and treasured. He went to the homes where he knew he'd find young girls and handed out the dolls impressing on everyone how precious they were.

There wasn't much need to explain that to the bemused recipients who could see quite well enough that the dolls were extravagant and expensive. Everyone promised that they would cherish their doll.

And so they did, although in some ways that Elador couldn't envisage. These were village children after all and not used to owning anything that needed to be taken care with. And so the dolls got taken out to play in the garden and snuggled up in rather grubby beds at night. Taken care of in the only way the children knew how.

Elador meanwhile continued his fight with the demon who had noticed the absence of the women which was enraging him. Try as he might he couldn't find them and it strengthened his desire to defeat Elador once and for all.

Wanting his loved ones back and able to live in safety strengthened Elador's resolve to defeat his foe once and for all.

Years passed and Elador and the demon spared no effort in their battle but Elador was getting old and feared for the safety of the women. If he became too feeble or died all could be lost for them. He'd taken a gamble tying their Souls to the dolls but it had seemed worth the risk after looking at the alternative. Now older, wiser, tireder he wished he had thought of another way.

And so he made his way to the village with the intention of asking for the dolls back.
What he didn't take into account was quite how much time had passed since he'd given them out.

He searched the village vainly for the little girls who had received the dolls but found no sign of them. The village was full of strange and unknown children.

Eventually he approached a careworn creature who had two small children hanging from her skirts. He asked where were the girls who had been given the dolls.

'Oh Sir' she tried to smile but looked rather guilty instead 'I had one. I remember the day you gave it to me'.

'Well, where is it?' demanded Elador, too impatient and excited to be kind or courteous.

'Er... it was a long time ago Sir, you understand. And I did love that doll, honestly I did. But, well, I don't have it any more. When it got old and raggedy my Mam told me to take it to the doll hospital where they could er... find a use for the parts'.

Elador paled and felt his knees buckle. 'What about the others?'

'I don't know Sir. Probably ended up in the same place. Nobody expected you to come back for them, Sir. But they were all loved, all through our childhoods... we treasured them just like you asked'

Elador staggered away, he'd never imagined this outcome. Slowly it started to dawn on him how much his fight with the demon had taken out of him, how much of his time it had consumed. To the point where he'd condemned the most precious people in the world to... to what? He didn't know and hardly dared to think about it.

He wandered through the village and eventually found the toymaker's workshop. The old man didn't look any too happy to see him. Elador wondered why, but asked about the dolls anyway.

'Oh those' snorted the toymaker. 'Yes, I've got lots of their parts somewhere – boxes of them. Shoddily made if you ask me. If you'd wanted dolls, Sir, you could have asked me to make you some. They'd have lasted longer and better than that imported stuff'.

Irritated by the man's attitude Elador haughtily asked if he could have whatever of the dolls was available. He put up with the old man's huffing and grumbling, barely. At last all the bits had been found. Bits of dolls that had been, almost literally, loved to death.

But no-one had loved them for many years and the spell had demanded that they always be loved. Elador shuddered as he looked at the grotesque remains and tried his best to start loving them, not noticing the small traces of magic emanating from them.

Slowly he started to trudge home, arms full of boxes. He picked up his pace a bit as he started to feel as if he was being followed. He had to get to the crypt and the dash to get there along an obscure forest footpath became frantic. With every step he felt something gaining on him, then holding back, then gaining again.

The crypt was the end of the path and Elador kept on going. He just needed to get in there, close the door and renew the protection ritual which, now that he thought of it, he might have neglected to do lately.

He entered and found the early evening light shining onto a throne. A throne that he hadn't put there. He heard a whisper echoing around the crypt 'Welcome, Elador. You've been neglectful in your duties. Time to pay the price I think'.

He looked at the throne, it would be just like a demon to manifest a throne along with itself. He expected it to appear at any moment, to sit there and gloat at him. But it didn't. It satisfied itself with being an invisible presence and took exquisite pleasure in opening, one by one, the vaults containing the coffins of Elador's ladies. And opening one by one each of the coffins.

Elador gasped as he looked into the nearest one which contained a woman who truly loved him. Thankfully she was still in one piece but had come to resemble her doll. Her clothes were ragged and her hair had fallen away. She had a look of neglect and Elador knew that if she opened her eyes they would be dull and accusatory.

He couldn't bear to look at any of the others. He knew they'd all be the same.

'Time for a deal, I think' whispered a voice just behind him. Elador had no choice if he wanted to save them. Even at the expense of himself.

'Name your terms' he whispered back.

'Well, I don't want them for eternity. I'm far too busy to bother myself with torturing your paramours forever. I won't even ask for their Souls, not even for a day'.

'What then?'

'Just put their souls back in their bodies and I'll let them live. They'll be free as a bird when they die'.

'In return for what?'

'Just sit in my throne for the duration of their lives. When they're all dead you'll be free to go, too'.

'That's it?'

'Yes, that's it. Just say you agree'.

And even though it sounded too good to be true, Elador agreed.

He performed the necessary ritual and watched as his women came back to life. He tried in vain not to hear their lamenting and wailing or see their distress at the sight of themselves.

It was almost a relief to climb onto the throne and await his fate. The demon didn't waste any time and, to his absolute horror, Elador found himself turned into stone. Well, the most exquisite marble to be exact. 'Only the best for you' chuckled the demon.

With mounting horror Elador realised that not only would he be a stone statue until the end of the women's lives but he'd be fully conscious, too.
The demon whispered again 'Now ladies, you'd better get back to your lives. But take good care of yourselves, they're going to be long ones. Very long ones...'

The women all looked at each other and then at Elador. Truth to tell it was a bit hard for any of them to feel sorry for him. Not after over a decade of being dolls. He'd just have to cope for the next few decades, even if any one of them lived to be a hundred.

edit on 25-4-2016 by berenike because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 07:27 PM
a reply to: berenike

Sadly for Elador, they all lived to be a hundred, then another hundred and another after that, their lifespan being expanded at the whim of the demon. And each year getting physically frailer but not so frail that they couldn't carry on functioning perfectly normally. Just frail enough for it to matter and make life difficult for them. Mentally they weren't impaired at all and were fully aware that they could not die except at the whim of an extremely malevolent demon.

And, as he said that last bit, Barnaby looked rather pointedly at the two old ladies in his audience who were holding each other up as they gazed adoringly at Elador.

'When are you ever going to let us go?' hissed one of them.

'Oh not yet awhile' smiled Barnaby 'You've no idea how his sorrow feeds me every time I recount his story. I've even been thinking of having an extra tour each week'.

'Oh look' shouted one of the kids 'it's doing it'

And they all peered at the statue as, unable to do anything else in its agony and grief, it wept.

edit on 25-4-2016 by berenike because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 07:27 PM
a reply to: berenike

Sorry - way too many posts here.

edit on 25-4-2016 by berenike because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 07:27 PM
a reply to: berenike

Spare post - didn't need this one

edit on 25-4-2016 by berenike because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 07:27 PM
More apologies

edit on 25-4-2016 by berenike because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 07:27 PM
I'm blushing...

edit on 25-4-2016 by berenike because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 07:42 PM
a reply to: berenike

I loved that!

I felt sorry for Elador, in the end, kind of.

Great story!

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 08:47 PM
Fantastic! I always brace myself for a great shock at the end of one of your stories,(You love those dark and twisty endings) but you got me again! Beautifully written and engaging as always - right up to the painful ending. : )

Damn those little girls for not taking better care of those dolls! I have my first doll in a box in my closet, still. (Haven't looked at it in decades, it probably has no hair and peeling skin too.) But still!

Are you familiar with "Those Who Must Be Kept"???? Spending centuries as a statue sorta brought that to mind. Creepy creepy.

Anyway, great writing, great story.
My best,

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 08:54 PM
You're so funny about the posts! The story is not too long at all. That's all that matters. : P

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 08:54 PM
a reply to: TNMockingbird

Thank you very much.

Yes, poor Elador.I think his heart was in the right place

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 09:00 PM
a reply to: ladyinwaiting

Thank you. I haven't heard of 'Those Who Must Be Kept' but as I was writing I was hoping I had enough original ideas in there. This sort of thing has been pretty much been done to death but it's my comfort zone

Actually, the story is not as long as I thought it was. I expected to have about one spare 'saved' post, not four. I'm gonna say double posts due to me being on an unfamiliar computer. Best excuse I got.

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 09:26 PM
a reply to: berenike

You don't need no stinkin' excuses! "Those Who Must Be Kept" were vampires.... Anne Rices. But other than statues, there is no similarity at all. Your stories are original, and a lovely cup of tea.

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 09:34 PM
a reply to: berenike

Wow amazing writing and great story!!!

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 09:43 PM
a reply to: Quantum12

Thank you

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 09:49 PM
a reply to: berenike

Your welcome. If I could flag and star your story 100 times I would!!!

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 11:15 PM
Since Quantum said your story was good I read it, and guess what? Its not just good, its great. Well done! Stars and flag.

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 11:18 PM
a reply to: visitedbythem

LOL, I made your chicken and it was not bad it was great. Thank you

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 11:28 PM
a reply to: berenike
That was good! Thanks for the entry.

posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 06:07 AM
a reply to: berenike
Absolutely superb. You held me utterly captivated all the way through. You are a wonderful writer!

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