At heart, I'm a tortured artist.
For a fortnight, I have sequestered myself in my townhome, stewing in my thoughts, and preparing my final, most masterfully made piece, by far.
Only breaching from my burrow for sustenance, I did not see the light of day for many nights. Admittedly, it is a lowly way to live life, but it is the life of a tortured artist, such as myself.
In an idyllic world, I would not live in this accursed colony, but in a principled community, where senseless murder is the last priority.
As benign as that sounds, it could not and would not ever happen. Even when they were alive, this commune-this town of ponces and brigands-never knew what it meant to be an artist.
They didn't see me and my brilliance. Well, it doesn't matter what they think anymore. They're resting with the fishes, as is deservedly so.
I don't rue any of it. It was cathartic, so to say. I've done this sorry town a kindness.
Through the strike of my sickle, their sins have been expiated and repurposed toward the release of my Master--a worthwhile cause. My seminal art career has only begun.
He has promised me something much better than communal approval: godhood. But this opportunity, although very promising, does come at a careful expense, and I must take it as such.
He said this to me in a dream, "Oh, Ospeus, I am trapped in the body of a ewe.
I implore you to free me! Please, I ask you kindly to slather the blood of the chained girl in your guest room at the Ram's Crypt three days from now. It is my only bidding.
" And so I will free my immured Master from the clutches of the Lamb, and he will bestow what is owed to me.
The Lamb is a meagre one; she does eat or talk to me much during supper. I surmise it may have something to do with her father being turned into a tailcoat.
Which, wholeheartedly, I can't say that I regret doing it.
But for the transient time I knew the Lamb's father, he had some semblance of being a nice man, with a respectable profession-- an oilman or prospector, of the sort.
As kind of a man he was, he had the demeanour of a bull, he did.
I hacked that glabrous head off that giraffe neck of his with the weapon he assailed me with--my sickle, which is an unspoken rule. Hence, forbidden.
Anyhow, this coat made from the skin and hair of the Lamb's father does make for some awkward discourse during supper.
When bringing up what little I know of the Lamb's interests, she ends up ignoring me. Well, we did have one discussion, and it was, "I don't want to be in the same room as you.
" So the ewe has chosen to stay manacled to her bedside, waiting for the day I drag her to the Ram's Crypt. It is a pitiful way to live your last minutes.
All feelings-the ones that make her human-have departed and said their goodbyes. She lies in her dishevelled bed, still as the placated ocean: no more dissent, only silence.
Night and day, from the limited view of her chamber, she looks to the only source of light that has welcomed itself into the room.
There is no sense of fear anymore--only a longing to see the outside.
Tonight's the night. At dusk, we will ride outward from this barren town to make one final sacrifice. As I'm preparing my supplies, I hear a loud thump coming from the upstairs.
Particles of dust rain onto my head, leaving me with one, and only one superstition: the Lamb is trying to escape. I drop my tools and traipse up the stairs.
At the top of the staircase, I open the paint-chipped door and make my way through the halls of my ancestral home.
The floor, old as earth and time itself, squalls beneath my feet as I make my way toward the third door of the hallway.
I stopped at the door, and placed my perspiring hand on the brass knob and wearily turned it. I peek into the room, and as suspected, there was the Lamb. Who fell from grace, and unto the floor.
I swing the door open and cast my curious eyes upon the fettered maiden.
She returned my ogling gaze with a woeful look and laid back down in her bed. Before I left, I took a moment to study the room and make sure there haven't been any attempts to escape.
The windows, still barred, remained untampered and pristine. Good. I look under the bed to check for any displaced boards, and there is to be nothing but darkness. Good.
Still dubious there hasn't been some effort to part from this room, I went to the left side of the room and inspected the wall from where the manacles are installed.
After a thorough inspection, it's evident that the left one has been exerted on, as it is starting to sever from the wall.
And beneath my feet, I see a screw just about to fall beneath the floorboards, which confirmed my theory.
I turn to the Lamb, holding the screw, and shake my head at her. "Oh, little Lamb, even in all your mother wit, you still haven't realised I'm trying to free you. Not harm you.
After everything I've given you, why do you choose to stay bound to this room?"
She looks to the window, somehow hoping she can transcend from the room.
"Hello, are you there? I don't recall speaking to the wall."
She moves her fiery eyes from the window and to me, "Go to hell."
"Well, I just want to let you know, in light of your recent endeavour to escape from my home, that you're not shackled to this room, little Lamb."
"Please stop calling me that. I have a name," she ordered.
"Okay, what is your name?"
"Oh, Mecerthe, what a nice name. Well, Mecerthe, would you like to join me for your last dinner tonight, or will you continue as a leper?"
"No," she replied, her voice bitter and contemptuous. "What makes you assume I like you, let alone want to be at the same dinner table as you.
I've accepted and tolerated what you've put me through, but you will never, ever make acquaintance with a normal person. I've said it before, and I'll repeat it. Rot in hell, y-you, you wretch!"
I closed my eyes and took several inhalations before responding. "Very well... I'll come to get you at least... three hours from now. Is there anything you need before I return to the cellar?"
I then left and locked the room, to leave the Lamb to her thoughts. It took everything in me to not lunge and strangle her to a purple complexion.
I know this is another one of the Master's trials. A final test. Well, I see right through your tricks, Master, you won't delude me.
Moreover, this was the longest conversation I've had with the Lamb since I've brought her to my abode. As naive as she is, it's not in her being to understand the good I'm doing.
This is but a culling of the evil in the world, nothing more. Beautification of the ugly in the world, if you will.
And when there is a need for a slaughter, which there undoubtedly is on Cymhurron, I follow it as ordered by Him.
In the hours to come, I prepared a light meal for the Lamb and me right before our departure, a week-old brisket with a side of greens.
It damn well wasn't the best supper I've had in my lifetime, but it sufficed. We left just before the sky began to dusk, on the back of my dearest mule, Amnesty.
She's a real skittish one, I was worried about her and the Lamb not getting along, but all's gone well from what I can tell.
Upon mounting my steed, I take one last look at the barren town and shed a tear at the peacefulness of it all. This was my work; I did it.
I alone proclaimed law in this ne'er-do-well town, no one else.
It's because of this divine culling that someday, somewhere, a new group of well-behaved settlers will come to this godforsaken town and wonder what will be.
There will be no murder, no shoot-outs will ensue, and no one will be dead or dying from some horrible murrain. My vision of Cymhurron is something almost beyond art; the results show themselves.
The farther we drove, the more anxious the Lamb let on. She knew her hours were down to minutes.
Mecerthe looked up from her place on the hind of Amnesty and silently said her final words before we reached the hillside of where the monolith lies.
She writhes around, in some pitiful attempt to break away and free from my release. I won't let it happen. I must be rewarded for the work I've done.
Miles from where we began, on the hill that overlooks the crypt, the assuaged feelings of delirium overcame me as I stared into what was left of the foregone city of Mehradame.
Many have been sacrificed here, and many there will continue to be. On this wicked trail, we continued to ride; my salvation is ever so closer.
As we trotted on through the ruins, I spotted a cloaked yellow man with a pointed hood standing next to the tomb.
He stood decrepit, waiting for the man that would awaken what sleeps in the crypt below. Well, there is no need to wait anymore. The sacrament may begin.
From his post, the yellow-cloaked man rose and looked at me in blank judgment. He did not move, nor did he dare draw his dagger.
Closer now, I saw the glint of two ornaments on the garbed man's chest, as if he belonged to some creed. No more than fifteen paces away, I stood in silence and waited.
It wasn't until he lowered his hood and revealed his hairless scalp and opaque eyes, did I see who he was. His skin was pruned, and his teeth were near to none.
He was a Sun Priest, a devout follower of Ceveros, the Creator of Cymhurron. I stepped closer and asked him, "Is this the Ram's Crypt?"
"Yes," the priest answered in a guttural voice. "I have waited long for you, Seeker. Have you brought the Lamb?"
I whistled for Amnesty to bring forth the Lamb. She took her sweet time, as she does, and trotted over to the tomb with no haste or care.
When she finally arrived, I took the bound maiden and dropped her to the ground. The clergyman warily came over and ran his frail hands through the dark locks of the Lamb.
He took his bony hand all the way down to her chest. "Yes, this is him, alright," he said expectantly. "I can feel him.
You have done good work, Seeker; this will take you far in Arluithe, I swear my life on it."