Otherworldly Short Stories by Aximili Chaosmembrane

1. Torn Paper

Torn Paper

It was a late, cold December night in a small town. Most people are already relaxing inside their homes with their family, most likely preparing for noche buena. The streets and houses sparkle with Christmas lights, and chilling evening breeze erases any doubt about the season. But the street is empty, with no one to feel the wind. Empty, that is, except for one boy.

The little boy walked the empty, cold streets alone that night. He didn't seem lost, nor did he seem to be in a hurry. On the other hand, his ragged clothing suggested that he's used to life outdoors.

He shivered, and looked cold, but he calmly walked that evening. He seemed to have a purpose, a goal. He continued walking, reaching the edge of the town, where there are fewer houses, and even fewer lights.

He's nearing the gates of the cemetery. He entered without fear, and with the same determination that brought him there that cold evening.

He kept walking, until he reached a freshly dug grave. It was small, fit for a child his age. He stopped in front of the grave, and pulled out some stuff out of his pocket.

The first thing he brought out and put on the ground was a spherical candle. It was black, and obviously poorly made. It gave the impression that someone made it by mixing melted candles together and adding the color black into the mix. The wick is poorly placed, and the bottom is virtually non-existent. But on the dirt, the candle stood well.

Next is a match box and a small piece of chalk. He opened the box to check it, and saw that there were only three matches inside it. The boy knew he should not mess it up. He put the two on the ground.

Lastly, he pulled out a crumpled piece of paper that looked like he tore it out of a book. He tried to read the writing, but it was too dark, and the moon is not out. The stars are not enough to shed light to the words.

The boy sighed, silently cursing his lack of foresight. He should have brought an extra candle for reading, he thought.

He hesitated for a bit, then finally decided to take one match, kneel down, and light the black candle. The chilling wind is not strong, but small flame wavered and died out before it reached the wick of the candle. The boy tried again, this time making sure to shield the lighted match with his hand from the breeze, until it was close enough to light the wick, slowly at first, but surely.

The child looked contented, confident that he still had one more match in reserve.

Deciding kneeling is too uncomfortable, he sat down on the dirt, and used the light of the candle to try and read the notes on the piece of paper.

The light showed occult symbols, and words that are clearly not English. The boy still looked determined, and used the chalk to draw a circle on the ground around himself and the grave. It wasn't very clear, not only because it was too dark, but because the dirt is too loose for the chalk. Still, the boy looked satisfied as he closed the circle.

Next, reading the paper with the help of the candle light, he drew a few symbols on the grave, intoning some foreign words as he did.

Once done, he recited something off the page with the help of the candle light. Despite most of the page being in a foreign language, the last word the boy uttered is familiar enough.

Amen, he said.

Immediately after, he wind grew stronger, snuffing out the flame of the candle, and casting an eerie darkness. The cemetery seems a lot darker than before. Moans can be heared, which might have been the wind, but could have been something a lot more sinister. The little boy started to look afraid and unsure.

Then, a light appeared, as if glowing out of the grave. The light felt warm, and the boy decided to move closer to the comforting light.

Soon after, he saw a face emerge out of the light. And then the torso, the arms, and the rest of the body. It took the form of a glowing boy of about his age. The boy's mouth hung open in awe and wonder, and as the features of the glowing boy became clearer and familiar, his mouth formed a grinning, happy smile. The glowing boy smiled back.

He ran to the glowing boy and hugged him, feeling the warmth emanating from him. The figure hugged him back warmly. Glowing boy whispered something to him and kissed him on his cheek. He smiled. He whispered something back. His lips formed the words, Don't ever leave me alone again.

The glow intensified, reaching beyond the circle, and instantly disappeared, together with the two boys.

The wind settled down. The torn paper floated away into the night...