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Bread and Blood


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Deep within the hills lays a quaint town that has continued its existence of its isolated struggle for survival. The quiet little village has been cut off from modern civilization for what seemed like centuries, and as a result, the population and the general intellectual level had been steadily decaying from inbreeding. The traditions that had inhabited the village that the world had forgotten about continued on, inebriating the township all the way up to the present day.

The time had come close now and the degenerate population of the town prepared themselves for the ceremony. Across the residential buildings, families donned their best clothing; clothes handed down from what seemed like aeons ago. The state of the clothing had been reduced down to near-rags, but even those rags were considered high class for the township. Thus, the denizens of the town continued their routines, ensuring that their, by any outside standard horrible, clothing was in order and that their offerings were correct.

The leader of the town, the one that had the most intellectual activity to offer, Harold Pegin, began the initiation of the ceremony that accompanied the tradition. Harold was comprised of a pallid complexion, and large opaque eyes. His body stature was quite large, a giant among the decaying citizens. While only the oldest person in town, Kara Leer, whom was over four hundred years old, even remembered the stories about the beginning of the tradition, everyone in town knew that the ceremony called upon dark rites. They took comfort in that information, knowing that it protected them from the outside and granted them longevity within their lives. Pegin, while of the younger generation at two hundred years old, had prepared a small box that contained the names of all the families that lived in the shadow of Yumaggum, the Malignant.

The box itself was of proposed terrible origins. Rumors amongst the citizens insisted that it had been bound by the flesh of those that had first traversed through the ageless hills. Other insisted that it had been a gift from Yumaggum, bestowed to the people as a way of ensuring their cooperation, as the box seemed to be indestructible. The color of the box was a brilliant white, said only to be able to see its true color if you were part of Yumaggum’s chosen ones. The people viewed themselves as forgotten by it, as only once in their entire existence there had only been one person to ever see its true color. The man, who shortly disappeared after that, had also been one of the intellectual elite, even among the outside world’s standards. It was still unknown as to how he had been gifted with such intelligence when he came from the town. The man described the box as radiating a purplish light that shone all around. Anyone near the box was silhouetted against the purple light since it was so bright. The man was very adamant about not opening the box until the time was right for the ceremony – he had attempted it once; everyone else saw nothing but he was driven insane by the sight of something that was inside, for two full days. Upon his recovery, he insisted that the box had opened up until an infinite vastness that had defied the perceptions of reality. The cosmic entities that existed surpassed that of anything he, or anyone else, could ever hope to cope with rationally. Nonetheless, as no one else had seen what he had seen, or could fully comprehend what he had elaborated on, the rituals continued, unimpeded.

Thus, the families would rise, one by one, with the head of the household reaching their hand into the white box whereupon they would draw out a slip of paper that was folded up. They would then recede back into the crowd, and let a new family head draw out a sheet of paper. The procession happened within a few hours as the town was not very large. Soon enough, it was time to begin the ritual. A person would be selected by Harold Pagin, who would begin chanting the incantation for the initiation. They would open their piece of paper, and, if it was empty, them and their family would kneel down and begin chanting with Harold. The Dunley’s were first, whom immediately fell to the floor as their father, Shane, did.

Yumaggum aw’thik…Rign’makirim kunrew vigathoth…

The next family, the Watson’s, having been pre-selected upon the end of the ritual last year, dropped to their knees when their household head did, Markus, add their voices to the increasing staccato of the chant.

Yumaggum aw’thik…. Rign’makirim kunrew vigathoth…

And so it went, as family after family dropped to their knees and continued on with the chant, uttering syllables that would be inarticulate to those outside of the village. The chanting began to grow louder, and louder, drowning out any other sort of noise, as a family still had not been selected.


It grew louder still, transforming into a droning buzz, not of this earth. The vast reaches of the infinite planes could not replicate a sound as wholly horrible as the ones that were being chanted by the villagers.


And then it stopped. The family had been selected; the McKinley’s. “A good sized family,” remarked Harold, noting the nine members of the family including the father and mother, Roger and Hariett. He walked towards them relinquishing the paper from the grasp of Roger McKinley. Their complexions, while of the darker nature, had permanently turned to the shade of Harold’s, pallid and lifeless.

“Onwards, to bring Glory to the Shadow of Yumaggum!” screamed Harold, and the villagers shouted in ecstasy. They grabbed the family, restraining them, escorting them away as they attempted to kick and scream their way free.

The tradition had begun centuries ago when the Church of Christ had been apart of the village. Sermons had been held regularly, and the then intellectual people of the town had not only attended but comprehended them, and as a result everyone embraced the Church. Soon however, as the ageless hills before them, a taint began to appear. The church officials were soon killed off, one by one by a horrible disease. The disease caused them to bleed from every orifice imaginable and horrible pustules formed all along their body. Numerous attempts were made by outside officials to stop the spread of the disease. Medical and intellectual minds alike, including those from the village, were mind boggled by the intensity and swiftness in which the disease struck. A person showing symptoms would be expected to have left the world in a matter of twelve hours. In the end, the outside did the only thing that they could: they quarantined the city and erased all records of it. The city was blotted out of existence, stricken from all public records, isolated and locked away from the rest of modern humanity. It was only after their seclusion that the inbreeding began and the population became decayed and degenerate, and with them, the dark rites soon followed. The people became ardent followers of It, but even old Kara Leer did not know when or where the Darkness had come from; by the time she had been born, the village had already been converted.

That night, a glorious feast was had by the entire village, as was part of the tradition. Meat and drink were plentiful, and everyone had eaten to the brim of their capacity. The tradition itself, of the magnificent feast of massive magnitudes, bore a strange resemblance to a biblical feast that was, ironically, one of the last few pages that still resided within the Catholic bible that lay in the abandoned church house, on the outskirts of the village. The feast was magnificent, having been provided by the McKinley’s.

The old abandoned church, with the Catholic bible that barely lay complete, underneath the lectern that Father Chadwick used to use for his sermons, there was a final page left in the old bible – the only page that the villagers had ever found useful since they had turned to the dark occult for wisdom and strength. If anyone were to go and visit the church, and read through that last page still retained within the bible, and the last few words that were legible, they would find a scene detailing a vivid supper, where a man was sharing his last moments with them. Some of the words were blotted out, but the most important part, the part that the village had terraformed for their occult rituals. It read along the lines of…”I now give you….the body, and blood…”

Edited by Biohazard
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OK, a couple of pieces of criticism, I'm going to try and be as constructive as possible:

1) you need to work on your sentence structure and be a little more careful with verb choice. "Deep within the hills lays a quaint town" doesn't work as a sentence. Use "lies" if you're in the present tense, and "lay" if you're using past tense. Try reading the sentences out loud when you've written them. Feel them on your tongue, and gauge if they feel right. At the moment your descriptions take me out of the story because I have to wrangle with the narrative.
2) It feels at the start like you're summing up a story you didn't have time to write, rather than writing the story, kind of like you're rushing through this bit because it doesn't really interest you. Take your time, let the description breathe, let the reader feel the town around them. Rather than telling us the town is quaint, describe the town in a way that shows how quaint it is. Show usually works better than tell.
3) Here's the main problem: you laid your cards at the table from the start. Partly because you told me it was going to be a combination of The Lottery and The Dunwich Horror, partly because unlike The Lottery you really didn't have a twist or an arc. The town started as an eerie horrible place where it felt like nasty things were going to happen, and ended the same way. It didn't go anywhere, so I felt like my journey with the story took me back to where I started.
4) this isn't to say you don't have the elements of what could be a good story, just that you need to play around with them a little. Maybe start with the trappings of christianity you bring in at the end. Start with a pleasant, cheerful church service with a slight twist. Have a ceremony everyone takes part in with a prayer that goes on until a family is selected... THEN have them restrained and taken for the feast. That way, you subvert the audience's expectations, rather than confirming them.

Basically, what I'm saying is that you've got the ingredients, you just need to practice your cooking, and maybe change up the recipe.

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