My contribution for the Halloween Story contest.
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There are levels of Hell that even Dante did not know.
Hells that are not bright and hot but with an icy cold that freezes thought itself.
Hells of place, of emotion, of mind, of other people.
And there are places on earth where these Hells break to the surface and there manifest.
There are types of the undead that have never been written of
We know of vampires and werewolves and poltergeists
but there are those unrecorded, unmanifested, unseeable.
There are those whose thirsts for things both bodily and emotionally
can never be satiated, who will wander forever in painful need
of something that their ghostly hands… and teeth, can never grasp.
We have people, institutions, organizations
who in their day to day workings present themselves on the surface
but on another level, a level vital to their interests, to their survival,
they deal with facts of life, of our society of our being
that are sordid
perverse in their selfish preservation of life,
maligned and malignant.
They involve lusts that are damned
unnatural lusts that know no satisfaction, only a prolonging of want.
These things are kept secret from us
for it will spread fear and that fear is better kept contained….and manipulable.
There was a man who needed a heart
his had become corrupted, the acids of hate and greed had eaten holes in it
to the point where Death began to enter into it.
But he was still on the side of the living.
For he clung to the things of the living; of the material side of life
and his lusts for these things were without end.
So much so that he demanded another heart
a healthy heart
a heart that was strong, young, with endurance, with power.
A heart that would power his body in its continued drive for lust, and power, and gain.
He must have this heart. Nothing should block the way of his having this heart.
Dick Cheney always got what he wanted.
The people who attended to his dying body would rather not do the dark deed necessary for his satisfaction.
But they had families that the man knew, jobs that the man controlled, reputations that the man could shatter.
And they knew they must do his bidding.
They searched for a heart
They searched widely.
And soon they found one.
One still beating in the chest of one young, strong, hearty, unknowing.
In a careful plan, the sort of plan the man in his career had specialized in
and, with as little physical damage as possible, they took him
They held him down, they cut the still beating heart from his chest.
And they implanted it in the chest of the man who had wasted his own
and whose original heart held none of the normal human emotions that one should find therein housed
those of compassion, romance, love, tenderness, understanding,
but his instead was a mausoleum that sheltered cruelty, avarice and arrogance.
With his new heart in his sunken chest
Cheney again grew strong and again the grabbing and the cheating radiated out to his hands
and the malevolence again flowed from his mouth.
His new heart soon allowed him the resolve to return to his evil ways.
The emptied body of the young man was hastened to an unmarked grave,
where no one would find it
and no one would know of its identity
But those who die before their allotted time cannot abide the anonymity
that marks their untimely death
and rise from what should be their deserved sleep
Knowing that they are wanting of something vital that was once theirs
they go out in search of it.
Those who live by the heart and then have it ripped from them unjustly
cannot go easy into the next world that awaits them,
but rather return to this barren earth to make themselves whole again.
This form of the undead is the worst
for their cause is just and their need great
They are fueled by the passion of their loss
and the unholy tear that it makes in their psyches and their emotions.
They are restless, determined and powered by an unlimited spectral energy
that only the damned can possess.
The buried grave did not stop him from rising
Nor would any bullet, blade or truncheon.
He would not stop his quest
until his heart is returned to his chest.
Cheney now sleeps with a silvered stake and a mallet by his bed
and one eye and ear always aloof
but it will not be enough.
Already his received heart is burdened with a new emotion,
one the Dark One had not expected
but that will never leave him peace.
He knows some night he will awake with a skeletal hand preventing his throat from screaming
All his talent for control and corruption will not be able to help him then.
His talents are all derived from manipulating the living.
He has never before had to deal with the dead
who operate by a vastly different set of rules.
And a stake for the undead only works when they still have a heart……