Amelia and I are wondering about trying our hand at horror. Here’s a prolog. We’ll see how it goes, but 7000 words are in the can right now.
Londinium, Roman Britain 400 AD.
“Horatius,” Marcus said, “It’s in there.”
Horatius nodded, “Yes. Those druids, that mistletoe drink. It’s powerful stuff. Remind me never to accept anything eat or drink from them.”
Behind them slaves pounded the damp sandy mortar mix of the coffin into a solid box. A coffer to contain the thing, the unspeakable thing. Only the druid’s magic had contained it and that barely.
Horatius continued, “If it wakes, it’s trapped.”
Marcus laughed, nervous, “I pray Lord Mithras sees it that way.” Then he offered his hand to Horatius, in a gesture of trust, one devotee of Mithras to another.
Horatius politely shook hands; then he crossed himself. “Lord Isus willing.”
After giving him a sharp look, “You’re one of them, Christians, aren’t you?” Marcus pushed the slaves away, “It’s done.” He took a stylus and scraped words into the top of the coffer. In Latin, Pictish, and Greek, he warned everyone to leave the unspeakable thing inside; let it rot for all time in its concrete tomb. “That will do. The language of the empire will never die.”
“Are you sure Marcus?”
“Should we leave a man to watch?”
The slaves looked nervously at each other. The phrase ‘a man to watch’ meant one of them, buried alongside the concrete block to keep it company through the ages.
“No. It ate enough men.” Marcus paused; then shouted at the slaves, “Bury it. Bury it deep.”
Horatius said, “Wait.” Then he scribed a cross and a fish into the side of the block.
Marcus followed with the bull, reborn, the sign of Mithras.
A slave said, “Sire, may I?”
“Add the eye of Woden.”
Marcus, followed by Horatius, agreed. “We need all the God’s on our side.”
That slave, and then the others, scribed the holy seals of their faiths. They added symbols ranging from the falcon and eye of Horus to the horned man of Cernunnos to the block.
Horatius said, “It looks like a bloody temple.” Then he turned to the head slave. “Get this damned thing buried … before night falls.”