Domain of the Veiled
Story by Wolvun
Across the field where corpses lay,
Gaunt and hollow, they rot and decay,
The reaper’s gaze reach not within,
Domain of the Veiled, do not come in.
Broken stone cuts into Michelle’s feet as she runs. Her half naked body freezing in the open autumn air yet it will not let her slow down.
Not with the crackling of flames from behind nor the dread of the burning warmth she feels over her shoulders. Sore blisters already bubbling upon her skin from what she had escaped from.
A cloaked figure had slipped in and loosened the bolt before whispering something. In her panic, Michelle could not remember what it was she had been told. Directions? Someplace with windows? By the time she had pulled herself free, the two tormentors had found her. Causing her to flee in a panic. Running for windows. Forcing them open and scrambling out into the open air.
It could have been a worse drop. Certainly could have been. Every bit of her body demanded she go. To run! Lifting herself, gripping her side and wincing at the burns there. She began to hobble. Not caring where, just away from the Manor, across the field ahead.
A floor up, her tormentors appeared at the window, laughing with each other, promising warmth but not comfort.
Michelle’s progress came in spurts. Each time forcing herself to move on. Walking onward. Biting into her lip to keep from crying out. They might hear her. Anyone, everyone, in the mad house was bad news. She had to…she had to…
Around and around her thoughts circled. Only faintly aware of the headstones she passed. What had been written on them worn away. Chunks chipped and broken with age.
That is where they had caught her. She would never be able to outrun them. They wanted her. They had plans. Fiery hot plans.
“Well well, you gave us quite a run.” The first witch said, her smile ears-wide.
“But this break has gone on long enough. Isn’t it unfair to the others?” The other witch said, eyes as bright as the flame on her finger tip.
“It really is. Maybe if she comes back looking properly sorry and offers something to show she means it, we might forgive her?” The first witch said. Bigger flames atop her own finger, her whole hand beginning to engulf itself in flame whose heat radiated outwards, but not burning the witch.
“When we get you back, we’ll be sure to let the other bitches know that they’ll be getting extra punishment tonight because of this adventure of yours!” the witches laughed in unison, starting to taunt and threaten what would happen to Michelle and the others when they return to the Manor.
If it hadn’t been for these increasingly intense flames. For the attention the torturers had on their victim and their sadistic plans, they may have felt it first. Cold is not often used in the Manor. Not many witches derive enjoyment from simply chilling a victim into a shivering miserable mess. So the two witches could not feel the grave cold ebbing around them.
Fog, like dry ice, rising from the worn stone.
Michelle’s screams could be heard across the fields. Gripping her face. Clutching where the burning flame had been pressed against. Eyes watering. Tears running over the cracked, blistered skin. The witches cackling hideously, one grasping Michelle.
“Tsk, hold her still. I’ll need to do the other side just to even her out.” another flaming hand approaching Michelle’s face.
Atop the worn stone, frost gathers. Not uncommon for Autumn but the tendrils creeping down over the stone visceraly. Fracturing and splitting the stone. The fog beginning to form figures, moving without weight. Without presence. Only the chill marking their approach. Each clad in wispy white. Each of their forming bodies exposed yet deathly grey. Chill fluttering the Veils covering what can only be assumed to be faces.
“What the fuck?” One of the witches had hardly a moment to speak as she saw her comrade touched by the gathering frost, forming into a pale hand.
The ghostly hand sinking into the flesh. Blackening the shoulder as though a block of dry ice had encased it. That arm drops limply, the flames puffing out as the magic fades from her arm, as effectively as though it had been severed.
The other witch stood in shock, her hand still blazing in flames, showing the dozen ghostly figures surrounding them from the fog.
The frostbitten witch, being dragged back by the deadened shoulder. Into at least two other Veiled figures. Their chilling touch grasping and spreading further frostbite across the body, locking the witch in a frozen, panicked state, the magic and malice both draining out of her.
Pulling the helpless witch back and back and back into the darkness. At the edge of the light, they can be seen sinking to the ground. The Veiled wraiths sailing smoothly down through the grave dirt. The struggling witch being pulled heavily into the ground, unable to move or struggle, but feeling the soil parting around her, making space for her. Until the dirt opens to accept her until there remained muffled screams and soil pouring around her to fill in the space in the ground.
Three wraiths gone, leaving nine others for the solitary witch to confront alone.
She would not go down fighting. First dragging Michelle upward. Tossing her forward into the ghostly fog. Michelle only able to bring her arms up in a vain attempt to save herself. She could feel the chill on them. Terrified completely that she too would be blackened in frostbite and taken into an early grave.
Yet they did not.
The chill felt good on the burns on her face and body, refreshing her pain briefly as she passed through them unharmed. The Veiled Wraiths did not seem to notice.
Flames erupt from the witch’s hand. She was not going to go so quietly. Throwing blistering flames at the ghostly Wraiths. Each attack erupting around their bodies, vanquishing them quickly as the furious flames scattered the fog into nothing. Yet more appeared outside of the flame light, raising up from the ground and the heavy chill. Floating calmly towards the witch.
Throw as she might, she still only had two hands in which to fling before an endless silently precession. She could have run, but wouldn’t face the humiliation of fleeing in front of her victim. She fought, vanquishing the Veiled Wraiths repeatedly.
Until they two lay hands upon her struggling, cursing form. Her skin blackening, and her fury chilling to terror, her struggle ending. Dragged down to the dirt as gouts of flames continue to spew out of her struggling hands. Until the very dirt glows with heat. Even as she is pulled down. Until the dirt parts ways for her. And fills on top again.
It is dark.
Michelle is alone, she hadn’t moved this whole time.
They have circled her. Their veils as one looking down upon her. She could feel the tears on her face clinging to her face as frozen droplets.
“Please…I…I…” She grabbed her burnt face, wishing she had stayed in the Manor to be burned alive, rather than buried.
Each of the figures raise a hand. A blue flame ignites from their palms yet shared none of the heat that the witches displayed.
Each orb lifting up. Floating and splitting the thick fog. A singular long path leading into the distance, a clear path out of the graveyard to the edge of the forest.
Michelle did not question this.
She staggered up. Eased somewhat from the cold on her body and began running to the forest. She would take her chances there.
Leaving the Veiled Wraiths to their domain.