March 10, 2011 in H
The silence was broken by the intolerable sound of bells at all three of the nearby churches going off at the same time – apparently it was morning again, at least according to these cretins. With a sigh he rolled over, a pillow over his ears, trying to ignore the morning wake-up call he really couldn’t give a damn about after a full night of study.
Minutes past and the bells were still ringing, few minutes became ten, ten became twenty – by this point he was a shaking wreck. The final desperation of earphones and loud music weren’t doing anything; the bells just wouldn’t stop and couldn’t be drowned out.
He crawled out of bed, to the window – nobody was in the street and there didn’t seem to be any event causing the abhorrent chiming, ringing – it now sounded no kinder than screaming – of the bells. Venturing down the stairs, he pushed open the wooden door to the street to see if he could find meaning behind the endless ringing. He was outside a coffee shop now, thirty minutes in now and it wasn’t stopping.
Nobody was inside. Nobody was outside.
He looked towards the nearest cathedral, emitting the endless chorus of ear-melting pain, and ventured towards it. The aged wooden door creaked open, he slipped inside. It was empty and cold – where the fuck was the bell in this massive place? A touch to his shoulder, nerves already on edge from the half-hour of noise he spun around.
A nun. Cold, empty eyes looking up at him, cold, gnarled hands reaching up to him.
Hands. Wrinkled hands all around him. Pulling him down below the stones as he suffocated in aged flesh and dirt. Fingers crawling down his throat, pulling at his mouth.
She was gone and he was lying on the cold stone floor of the cathedral – naked – whilst finely dressed citizens shuffled past, all of them staring.
He saw her – another nun – smirking from the distant entry to the cathedral crypt, beckoning him near. There was nowhere else to run; the cathedral door was filled with an endless stream of formally dressed churchgoers, faces filled with looks of horror.
Horror. Darkness. Bells. Cold-sweat. He awoke.
The bells had stopped. He was back in bed – the smell of croissants in the air.
Naked. Wrinkled. Covered in dirt.