Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Apprentice and the Loom (Relics Fanfic)


Deep within the palace of King Jorje resides the Loom, an arcane artefact fashioned from the abyss of the mad monarch’s insanity, forever weaving the departed souls of the Britanan populace into the eternal torment of existence as a Voodoo doll.  

The room is empty but for a single trainee Puppeteer and a line of ten rudimentary cots, he will remain until the cots are filled. He is alone with only horrific sounds for company; the slow click clack of the Loom’s shuttle countermanded by ethereal screams and muffled mewling.  With trembling fingers the apprentice Puppeteer adds stitches to the coarse fabric, moulding the trembling material around wool stuffing into a semblance of human head and torso before wrapping the excess material around as one would swaddle a baby. 

The knife wavers as hovers above the face of the latest construct; he is unsure which horror to subject himself to this time.  

The first construct had screamed as the knife split the weave, the sound only rising to a crescendo as the ragged line was completed and didn’t stop as he dutifully stitched on its button eyes.  The second he stitched the eyes on first, but the buttons swivelling to watch as the knife quickly released its screams was equally disturbing.

It was now his third day and the sixth construct lay squirming in his arms, the knife once again poised to cut the mouth. The blade nicks the first thread and the construct’s muted screaming joins the cacophony of the previous five but this time it sounds different, higher pitched, more… childlike.  The Puppeteers eyes widen and fill with tears as he realises the true horror of the Loom and the knife descends again and again in a desperate attempt to liberate the poor soul from its eternal prison.

Exhausted he collapses to the floor and realises his actions have been in vain, the tattered remains still twitch with the false life of the ensouled.  As he reaches for needle and thread barely seen through blurred eyes, a coughing yelp makes its way out of his throat quickly followed by another.  Before long he sits cross-legged on the cold stone floor, rocking gently and laughing hysterically as he repairs the mewling doll…

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The appearance of the door gives the impression that it should creak, but it opens with barely a whisper as the Royal Arcanum Guard enters and approaches the sleeping form of the apprentice Puppeteer.  With unexpected care, the doll wraps the apprentice’s self-inflicted wounds and gently strokes the human’s hair then, with an exasperated sigh, its eyes slowly rise to the sixth cot and the terrified screams it emits.  The doll approaches, drawing a knife and quickly slices the button eyes from the mutilated construct, before cradling it tenderly in its arms as it leaves the room.  It hopes that with luck the apprentice Puppeteer won’t be completely broken by the experience as it makes solemn progress towards the incineration room…

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