A night above Turre

Sorry, I spent the lockdown reading the collected works of HP Lovecraft and got carried away.

David, August 2020, shortly before he was never heard from again – spell from Clem 849.

Tonight was a night of music, not magic. Yet the full moon floated overhead. Silence, cut only by distant lorries and the sudden scream of a vixen. I put on my earphones and staggered through the night.

The dead rosemary whipped at my legs, the gorse cut deep. I swore as I fell again, my bad foot cutting into the night. The full moon floated overhead. Twenty year ago, I would have danced through this brush, a quagmire as deep as any Irish bog, yet dry as the desert, laughing as I went, with eyes young and feet sharp.

Eine Schönheit im schlichten Kleid, Sie war elfengleich, Ich begrüsse euch

sang Deezer in my ears as I staggered, bleeding and shouting towards the moon, ever upwards.

What drove me? I still cannot tell. Demons whipped me, Angels called me. The moon lit my way, dark except for the single track in front of me, as I went ever upwards.

My legs bled, my foot ached, my knees cracked from the falling upon the stones. There was no light but that of the moon, and, as the clouds passed by, the occasional planet. But the moon was stronger than any cloud, and drove me on.

In the distance, the lights of distant villages twittered, civilisation beckoned. I turned my back, I went upwards, I was called and I went. Ever upwards.

Die Tränen sind salzig und tief wie das Meer, Doch mein Seemansherz brennt lichterloh….

¡Volle fahrt Santiano!

There were eyes. Eyes! In the bushes. I struck at them with a brush stolen from the bushes and they fled.

“Docimedis perdidit manicilia dua qui illas involavit ut mentes suas perdat et oculos suos in fano ubi destinat” I screamed and they came back no more.

Was it my voice? Was it the curse? Was it the stick? I cannot tell and nor can they. I would not venture to say. Nay, it was nothing more than my modern voice, shocking and sudden in the silence. The creatures of the night want it not.

All I can say is that suddenly, oh so suddenly, the moonlit path was deserted to the top. Up I went. The moon swung overhead, changing her light as she passed overhead. How long had the ascent taken?

Below me sat the valley. The far off village on the hill sat twinkling, encouraging fat tourists to the traps that wait within like the tarantulas that sit in the plains calling to the wandering beetles.

In the distance. A far off town. Between it and me, small villages sit like toads on the plain, extending their presence over the ground and letting themselves be known by the lights of their streets. I closed my eyes and thought, as the great full moon swung overhead. As the traffic roared on the distant motorway and the vixens called.

And then I was there, on top the mountain. Below me the hill fell away in the moonlight, uncountable distances to the bottom. A mountain ranger road was the only thing to gleam in the moonlight, a beacon of safety to the bottom. I turned my back and forced my way up the scree to the top, slipping and cursing to myself.

Yet I noticed that no accursed animal of the night ventured close, my curse still lingered in the air and gave me protection. I cast my head back and laughed into the night.

Ich komm hinauf für einen Kuss von dir,
Einen Kuss von dir, ja den wünsch’ ich mir

screamed the headphones into my head as I scrambled up the last few feet to the top, in the cold light of the luna llena.

Sweating, trembling, I pulled out the candle from my pocket, and struck a match to light it. No ordinary candle this, but one created by my own hand from pig fat from last year’s matanza and carefully kept for the propitious moment.

I carefully pulled out the precious book from inside the pocket of my shorts. Wrapped in a bag to protect it from my sweat and the ripping of the plants, a ripping I felt now that were directed towards the book rather than my legs. Could the very vegetation be against me now?

The wind whipped at me, a sudden gust causing me to cool and relax. My candle whipped and I hid it in a corner of a nearby boulder.

Candles are necessary, but crap. I pulled out my mobile and directed the torch towards the book.

Ah, the book. For a handful of euros, purchased from Ebay, from some fool who knew not what it meant.

Twenty years ago, I could have danced up this hill, but I could not have read this book.

My fingers parted the vellum. Handwriting, four hundred years old, looked back at me. I fought the book, the very pages wishing to defy me as the candle guttered and the modern post-it, ejected by the force of the words, fluttered to the ground.

By sheer force of will I forced it open to the page I wanted. There was no need, for I knew it well enough, it was for the effect that I bought the manuscript close to the candle and read, half from the guttering light, half from memory.

Per invocacionem domini nostri Ihesu Christi, imperatoris et agni inmaculati, quod inde arguant te angeli et archangeli: arguant te Michael et Gabriel et Raphahel; arguanle les tres patriarche Abraham, Ysaac et Jacobi, et prophete…

The wind whipped the candle, but the names of the Prophets must be spoken.

And they were. The lights of Turre flickered underneath my dangling feet, as I sat there, hundreds of metres up in the air in the night under the moon, lit only by the homemade candle.

A sudden blast, demonic in its ferocity, blew the candle out and almost sent me to my doom. Struggling against the panic – what panic? I was the only master around, all animals would flee upon sensing me – I relit the candle to continue.

The ancient parchment was difficult to read, but I persevered.

Item conjuro te par hec que supradicta sunt, ut facias michi veniri unum spiritum qui portent…….

I screamed, but what that spirit was to carry will be lost forever, for a wind whipped around me, blowing out the candle and moving the very rocks I was under.

I scrambled up, forcing the book back into my pocket, against the tumble of rocks and the guttering of the candle. I screamed as I climbed, as my previously secure foothold became a thing of wind, vanishing under me as I grabbed bushes to prevent my fall.

At the top, I threw myself down and laughed at my foolishness. And then I commenced to jog down the ranger track to the village.

Nothing happened as I raced down the track. The moon descended from its crescendo, which foolishness had prevented me from noticing as I uttered my demonic orders upon the top of the mountain.

The moon had set as I reached Turre, and only the intermittent streetlights illuminated my way as I raced, with little breath and much pain in my foot, into town.

And then it happened.

A creature in the dark turned to bark, I could not stop, I raised my hand but was hit in the chest by something that looked like a fox but moved from a creature from the very depths of Hell.

I crashed sideways, into the steps built into the hill so that children can reach the school from the hill above. In the pathway to this place of learning, as I crashed down the stairs, as my head cracked against the sides and the creature that was sent to send me to my doom leapt over me to vanish into the early dawn, I groggily raised my head to see that my hand was clasping that accursed book.

A hand that was dripping blood.

“Ah ha” I muttered, staring at my hand and the manuscript, a book I did not even remember pulling from my pocket, a book held in a hand stained with my own blood from the fall.

Cave sanguis I muttered as I stared at a hand I did not even recognise as my own. But, for some reason, I realised what was missing from my Spell upon the mountain top. I realised what had been needed.

I slowly walked into Turre. As I reached my house, the darkness fell. The moon glimmered as it vanished behind the mountains. For a single second, the light of the far off windmills glimmered. All was silence. And then the first rays of the sun fell upon me, as I stood in the street with my house key in my hand.

Yes, I was still groggy. But as I stood there in the first rays of the sun, as I heard the last scream of the vixen in the far off mountain valley, as the Book sat heavily in my pocket and the blood dripped from my arm, I knew what to do for the next Full Moon.

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