Don't Read This...
Feel free to read this. I’d advise you not to, as you won’t like the ending...you won’t like it at all. You might not enjoy the beginning, either....or even the middle.
Grief. Horror. Blood.
Those are the contents of this tale.
My life is Hell. It may sound dramatic to you now, but you will understand in time. I was condemned the moment I met my betrothed. It sounds contradictory, correct? But it is regretfully true. My brother Oliver had always been rather jealous of my abilities, and he strove to surpass me in everything I pursued. From my mussed blond hair and celery green eyes and pale face to the tips of my deer-hide boots, he loathed me. Our parents had died many years before, even though we were only seventeen. He was much taller than me, and had hair darker than moleskin and bright, keen gray eyes. How could I have known, though, that he was, in a sense, the incarnation of pure evil?
At the bottom of the cover, the author’s name was written in bold ink: Cain Thoreau. “An odd name,” Sophie murmured as she tentatively stroked the silver script on the leather-bound cover that read Cursed. The yellowed parchment pages didn’t seem to have been browsed since a century ago or more, and the volume had been covered with numerous layers of dust and shelled with cobwebs when she had first plucked it from an obscure shelf in the ill-omened occult section. She never really enjoyed such macabre works, but it seemed interesting. Rain pelted the deserted library’s window as ominous dark thunderclouds swirled above and branch-like ashen lightning streaked the sky. Sophie shivered: it felt eerie being alone in such a public place. However, she shrugged off the sensation and sipped her cappuccino once more before continuing.
The book described further a sorrowful, heated tale of revenge, including the telling of how Cain’s older brother, Oliver, had come to join the wrong side of the all-too-crossable line that separated good from evil. He swore to kill Cain, and reclaim his beloved, the very woman Cain was set to wed. In his mind, Oliver believed Cain had stolen his lover. Her name had not yet been mentioned. It also told that Cain belonged to a family of sorcerers, practitioners of good magic...besides the older brother, who had tuned to the darker arts. Oliver had continued on and murdered the remainder of Cain’s family save himself around the time that the latter had been betrothed to his brother’s former lover. It was at this point that she was finally portrayed.
She had the loveliest, mahogany colored eyes that lit up so easily when she laughed, and short dirty blond hair that she would always chew on when she was thinking particularly hard. I had known her since I was five years old, and I’d fallen head over feet. Isabelle Voltaire. That was her name.
Sophie choked on her coffee. Sophia Amelia Voltaire. That was her full name.
This was alarming and eerie...she wanted to stop. However hard she tried, though, she couldn’t tear her eyes from the page or its contents. Her heart raced, and the din of the outside thunder was distant compared to the pulse pounding in her ears.
At first, all seemed well. We were engaged in a year’s time, and I was blinded by my love for her. So blinded that I neglected the truth. Before our betrothal and marriage, the houses of Voltaire and Thoreau had been at war. I suppose we were an accord to end the fighting in return for more heirs to continue both covens. Our wedding day came and went, and nothing of event happened. However high our hopes had been, Isabelle bore no child. Some say she was cursed by an old and powerful witch but, I knew, somehow, my brother was to blame. Arguments arose, and I was anxious. Then, one night, the most horrible, unspeakable thing happened...
Sophie paused in her captivated reading. Not because she was so terrified of continuing, (though that was a contributing factor), but because a teenage boy, almost translucent with his pale skin and gray eyes, stood at the entrance to the occult section across the room. Neither spoke for a long moment, until something clicked in Sophie’s brain...
“Oliver,” she breathed, barely able to say the word. He nodded, his brow knitted tightly in worry. “Isabelle...I must warn you...Cain...he will...” His body flickered for an instant, as though he was on a television with bad reception. “...Cain...will...my love...he will...kill...” His mouth moved, but no sound came out for that word, “steal...you...please...Isabelle...stop...reading...Isabelle...he means...to...slay...us...” He stepped closer to her, and his ghostly eyes pleading and desperate. She wanted desperately to cease reading yet, no matter how strongly she willed them not to, her russet eyes were drawn back to the page.
Isabelle betrayed me. I awoke one night barely a month after our marriage, the darkness revealing nothing other than the raging flames that engulfed the room. I heard screams throughout the stone-wrought castle, and the clash of swords. In the standstill, her coven had stuck first. She stood before my bed, not the slightest regret in her eyes as she turned to run and leave me to burn. Moreover, my brother stood beside her. Oliver whispered unintelligible words to her in rapid French, and pulled her along. “Isabelle...please...we must leave.” Upon seeing me awake, he drew his own jeweled sword.
“Cain, you traitorous bastard, you tried to assassinate me!” he snarled lividly, his gray eyes cold. “You stole my Isabelle, you stole my title, you stole my life! Now I shall return the favor, brother dear...” He raised his sword to slay me, one strike would have been sufficient, but she stopped him. “No, Oliver! If you slaughter Cain, you will be no better than he is. Come, we shall let the flames devour him, but I will not have him die by my love’s hand...he deserves his fate for the lives my kin will lose for this treachery.” He begrudgingly laid aside his sword, and grasped her arm. “Very well, let us leave.”
I, however, was not as merciful. I retrieved my own blade and, in a single swift strike, decapitated my own brother. Blood flew through the air, splattering his body, my own, and dear Isabelle's. I had added more bloodshed to the impressive death toll of the massacre. She screamed his name shrilly, collapsing beside him, her tears gleaming golden red in the firelight. She turned to me, her angelic face livid in a bloodcurdling way I had never seen.
“Cain Thoreau, I place a black curse upon your soul. I condemn you to walk this earth forevermore, able to do nothing but cause pain and receive pain in return. As I cast this spell, let the shadows take hold,” she hissed in vengeance, her voice cutting through me like daggers. As the last of the words left her mouth, I felt a searing, scorching pain, and I was unable to do anything but scream and fall to the floor. I writhed in anguish, my cries unmoving to Isabelle as she clutched the body of her lover, and she simply looked upon me with content as my skin paled and my eyes reddened, and my blond hair turned white. I was human no more-a monster.
Oliver began to fade away, obviously fighting it, his face a mask of horror. “Isabelle, don’t continue! Don’t read from the book! ISABELLE!” He faded away completely, back within the pages of that terrifying book. Sophie shook with frigt, her eyes dilated and her heart racing in her chest. Despite the warnings of her lover from a past life, she perused it once more...more words had been added where a blank page had stood.
It was two months after the treachery of my wife that I wrote this book. Until now I have wandered the world in ire, awaiting the day where I could take my revenge.
That is my story. I told you that you would not like the tale, Sophia Lillian Voltaire. Yes, I know who you are. I meant for you to find this book so that my centuries of tormented wondering could cease. I know that you are eighteen. I know that your favorite color is green, and that you prefer love novels to ‘macabre works’ such as this. I also know that you are in a library in Roxborough, Philadelphia at this very moment, and that you are drinking coffee. Look behind you.
Sophie froze, her blood going cold in her veins. As she twisted around, she faced soulless crimson eyes staring back. His ruffled, alabaster hair swayed slightly as he approached her, her heart nearly stopping as she noticed the bloodstained rapier in his hands.
"Read the last line,” he ordered, his voice a dead, petrifying whisper.
This is the point at which you scream like the worthless worm you are, and I exact my revenge with your life. Au revoir.
A strangled cry escaped her throat, her mind blank and senses numb. Cain raised the deadly sword, and blood once more spattered the tempest-tossed night as it did over four hundred years ago.
You have read the story...you shall pay the price.
Look behind you.