- - - My Very Own Fiends - - -

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Andrew Fouché

There once was a time where I was an exceedingly lonely and withdrawn soul––for I had no fiends.  And indeed, the words of which I just articulated are unerring––I had no fiends.  It was a period in my life that I loathed so greatly––but conceivably, it was because of my rather reclusive and deplorable tendencies.  So desolately lost was I––and alas, I did not know what my reasons for existence were.  However, within the depths of my warm and caring heart, I could slightly envision that I was destined to uncover something that would bring an end to my irredeemable downheartedness.  It all occurred on a lull, autumn evening, while I was taking a stroll through a lovely cemetery in rural Vermont, near my home.

There was no draught to disrupt the resting leaves that had dwindled down from the limbs of the lofty, barren maples––only the deadest of silence; just as there should always be on the grounds where the deceased are put to rest.  While I continued my stride, I stumbled upon something that so vastly fascinated me––a coffin.  Moreover, unlike most, this was a delicately crafted coffin. The carpentry was quite exquisite and each of its six sides were carved so beautifully.  I wondered how one could merely bury such a lovely thing beneath the filthy soil of the earth.  And during that precise moment, I suddenly decided that I was not going to permit such a reprehensible thing to happen to such wondrous work of art.  

As I opened the lid to inspect it, I was instantly disturbed at the hideous sight of which my very eyes beheld––this was not going to do––its position seemed a bit too, unnatural.  I took the corpse out and placed it on the ground.  I gazed upon it for a few moments and then became enlightened––after what seemed to be centuries, I now indeed had a fiend.  Yet, its position was still too intolerable to look upon––hence, I placed the cadaver back in its coffin.  The lovely piece was dragged all the way back to my abode.  I hauled it in through my front door––then up many flights of stairs––and finally, into my attic.

I had to fix my fiend's perturbing posture that remarkably disgusted me, or else, I would not be able to converse with it.  Slowly and steadily opening the lid of the coffin, I cringed; its arms were so perfectly crossed, and its neck––so perfectly straight.  I was immediately sickened once again by the dismaying pose of which my fiend reposed in.  The arms, legs and neck had to be repositioned so that it would appear all the more seemingly peaceful. Therefore, I began my passionate work.  I grabbed and I gnarled, it cracked and it crunched––but lastly, after each seemingly unending hour, I had concluded my masterpiece.

Resting my new fiend in one of my spindled chairs, I placed a candle within its long, twisted and emaciated fingers.  I lit the wick and a luminous flame emitted a dim glow upon its face.  I grinned happily as I saw its skeletal smile––and in my fiend’s black hollowed eyes, I saw divine contentment.  But alas, it was suddenly quite apparent that something else was very wrong––it never spoke once.  I thought surely it would have to, at the least, say a mere thank you––but no––it just sat there saying absolutely nothing to me.  I was not going to put up with this nonsense––no––I deserved better than such unmerited treatment. 

Desperately rushing back to the boneyard with a shovel, I excavated as many graves as I possibly could––I opened the deteriorated coffins and snatched the fiends from which so soundly slept inside them––and yet, not a single word was expressed from any of them.  This infuriated me to no end.  I brought them all to my house over the passing weeks and fixed their abhorrent postures––still––there was not an utterance of thanks from any of them.  It was by mid-November that my attic's space was becoming extraordinarily scarce.  And now, I had to begin posing my fiends throughout the other rooms of my dwelling. 

Notwithstanding, even the ones unearthed from the grandest of gravestones did not speak to me.  It was December, a month later, when I decided to give up my hopeless endeavors.  While despair fell upon me, I began to awaken and see things the way they ought to been seen.  I ended my work one evening and sat in my chair that faced the hearth of the fireplace.  Deep in my remorseless thoughts, I rested my heavy eyes, reflecting upon what I had done––a waste of time is what it had been––and nothing more.

But all at once, I suddenly heard several vague voices.  And realizing that they were emanating from the upstairs, I leapt out of my chair with such astonishment and dashed up the stairway. They all eyed me––every single one of them.  And they began telling me things––remarkable things!––Only such things that few mortals can comprehend.  To this night I continue to sit patiently and listen to them in awe.  They possess a pronounced wisdom that intrigues me––and now, at long last, I have uncovered something splendid––I have discovered the immense love and splendor of having my very own fiends.

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