Bogleech.com's 2020 Horror Write-off:
Submitted by Anonymous
He was one of the youngest to be chosen. A boy of 17. Old enough to know what he was chosen for, but not quite mature enough to understand why. He was nervous, skittish, not sure what to do with his hands. He’d been training for this moment, ever since the mark had shown up on the back of his neck a few months ago. His parents had been terrified. They considered trying to hide him. But the candlemen know when someone has been chosen, and they stop at nothing to find the marked. “Your parents know how important this is,” the high priest had told him. “They’re going to be so proud of you.” Deep down he knew his parents didn’t want this, but it was one of the highest honors a person could receive. He had been chosen by God for an important purpose, and it was his duty to fulfill his destiny.
The priests were all staring at him intently. It was time for him to begin the ritual. He grabbed the scepter and the large, ornate candle that was laying on the altar, gripping them both with white knuckles.
“Great f-Father, lighter of candles, br-bringer of light;”
The high priest nodded approvingly.
“I entreat th-thee to accept my offering, to use me as your ves-“
He was stopped mid sentence by a sudden pain in his stomach.
“M-my stomach, it’s getting h-hot. It’s starting to hur-retch”
His sentence was stopped once again as he regurgitated something onto the altar- it was wax. The boy clapped his hand onto his mouth in horror, and stared wild-eyed at the priests. They simply watched, silent and calm. The head priest nodded and said “Continue the ceremony to the best of your ability.”
The pain in the boy’s stomach was getting worse, and his head was starting to swim. “... to use me as your v-vessel. My body is yours to mold, to shift, to… to…” More wax spilled onto the altar, forming small spires as it cooled.
The boy stared at his wax covered hands, and watched as his fingers turned an ivory white, the color creeping slowly across his hands and down his arms. An eye opened on one of his palms, and he stared through it at his face, which had turned that same ghostly white, and was covered in yet more eyes.
The priests began chanting, their holy words filling the air and trying their hardest to drown out the screams of the fledgling angel.
A ripping sound adds itself to the cacophony of noise as four feathery wings sprout from the boy’s back, covered in the wax that seems to have replaced his blood. The waxy flesh of his stomach burns away, revealing a flaming ball not unlike a small sun, and leaving his spine as the only thing connecting his torso to his lower body. The screams stop as his lungs disappear, replaced by more warm globes of light. The boy slowly stops his panicked movements as his hair goes up in flames, forming a sustained inferno on his scalp. A golden ring dotted with eyes forms around his head as he slumps down into a heap on the floor of the cathedral.
Minutes pass. The priests patiently await the final stage of the ritual. The body of the new angel stirs and rises into the air, held aloft by some unknown force. Light shines down through the stained glass as a new voice rings out through the cathedral, similar to the boy’s yet different in a profound and alien way.
“THE OFFERING HAS BEEN RECEIVED. THIS ONE HAS BEEN ACCEPTED AS A VESSEL FOR THE GREAT FATHER, LIGHTER OF CANDLES, BRINGER OF LIGHT.”
The chorus of priests bow their heads in reverence. Then, they begin to sing.