Horror and Thriller Fiction posted November 27, 2014


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The gateway to hell has been opened...

The Sentinel Stone

by Dean Kuch


The Sentinel Stone




Altum Hall, Vandalee University 10:59 PM


 


“Oh, thank God you're here. It gets quite lonely here, my dear friend.  In the night...in the darkness.

You may want to reconsider...about your decision to come here and assist me, I mean. It's an extremely dangerous artifact; it isn't just some ancient, crumbing tombstone. The fate of all mankind may be in grave jeopardy.

Oh, pardon my manners, how rude of me. My name is Professor Robert Baltmann, and I've been assigned to this case. I'm the chief anthropologist at Vandalee University, and have been for the past seventeen years, give or take an errant second or two. I'm happy they've finally sent an intern who's prepared to assist me for such a lengthy duration, especially with the hours we'll be keeping.”

 

I take in this disheveled specimen of a human being standing before me as he hands over several grainy photos. I quickly find myself wondering how such a disorganized looking creature has come to such regard in his chosen field of expertise. He looks incapable of weaseling his way out of a damp potato sack, much less of discovering the riddles of an ancient relic. I glance only briefly at the photographs, then hand them back to him. They appear authentic. But, how could this little troll of a man have found such a valuable and priceless artifact like the Sentinel Stone, one which could quite possibly alter the course of humanity's destiny?

 

“Oh, I see that look of bewilderment on your face, my dear boy. But, it's true, let me assure you. We have finally found the gateway to Hell, the threshold to the Dark Lord himself...and I'm about to prove it.”

 

With much grandeur, the professor removes a large sheet draped over his prized discovery with a dramatic swoosh. He's right, they've found it. 'Greenwood Cemetery Expedition, Highland Falls, Michigan, 2014', the placard reads as I retrieve it from the floor. I take a step back, blinking in astonishment.

 

We thought we'd hidden it so well...

 

“Now... all that's left to do now is set up the camera, sit back...and wait. It's precisely 11:20 PM. It shouldn't be long now. Watch carefully now, my boy... and observe.”
 

He dims the lights then switches the camera to record. A solitary spotlight now rests on the Sentinel Stone. I know what is about to happen, yet, he's smiling — rubbing his hands together like some mad magician about to perform his latest trick.

 

The stone then begins to shift...

 

“You see! Look look there, dear boy, do you see it? It's moving, just as the ancient parchment they discovered with it said it would be!”

 

He hops up and down like a delighted child standing before the family tree on Christmas morning. His smile is almost infectious.

 

11:24 PM
 

The room quickly fills with smoke and snow. I can tell by the astonished expression on the professor's face he has not expected this. The temperature has dropped considerably, as ancient, unearthly ions clash with those in the earthly realm. The scent of ozone is strong within the chamber, and there is another odor, a scent I am all too familiar with. It is the smell of smoldering brimstone.

The Sentinel Stone undulates... ripples... then takes a stiff and shaky step forward...


 photo 5x04-Time-of-Angels-doctor-who-11744272-1280-720_zpscc9b4a58.jpg

 

11:25 PM

“Ah-ha! Let them scoff at me now, the fools. Imbeciles, every one! It lives — the stone live-s-s-s-s-s!

The final word comes exuberantly from his mouth in a serpent-like hiss. I grin at the implication.

 

The Sentinel inches forward. The countenance etched upon it's crumbling granite face is truly horrific now...even to one like me. It is hyena-like...expectant...hungry. The professor begins to clap.

 

Clap...clap...clap.
 

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11:26 PM

 

I hear the Christ child now, enraged and crying from the heavens, and I smile. The obelisk begins to do what it was created and designed to do. Opening its eyes, it reaches out and touches the professor gently atop his head. Perspiration has begun to drip from the man's brow in torrents, as the ebony darkness in the room deepens. Professor Baltmann whirls around to glare at me as the realization of who and what I am begins to creep across his gaunt face like a pox.

“You...I know you! he screams. “You're no intern, no student of this university. Damnable creature, go back to the depths of hell where you belong."

I have many names, and contact with the Sentinel has made the Professor fully aware of each terrifying one of them.

I am the Beast of Prophecy, the Prince, who has come, the Lawless One, and the King of Fierce Countenance from the book of Daniel.

I am the Antichrist, and I will reign over all the Earth for a thousand years. My time has finally come. Mankind has seen to it.

The doomed man manages to gasp out a final, “May God be with us all," while the meat and skin of his body is consumed. Gradually, it melts away from his bones like flesh-colored candle wax.

In moments he is absorbed into the stone.

He manages one last, abrupt, terror-filled plea to God for help... then he is gone forever.

 

 photo eGQyb2Z4MTI_o_doctor-who---the-time-of-angels---next-time_zpsbf75c90d.jpg

 

The Sentinel Stone stands before me now, in all of it's splendorous glory and wonderment. Its outstretched arms beckon for me to come to it like a long-lost child, and I gladly go. I have been in purgatory far too long, and I have delivered yet another soul to the netherworld.

Just a thousand more years to go before I can get to where I truly belong.

This professor and his team's archaeological find should help me achieve my goals considerably faster than I would have under far different circumstances. As word leaks out and the media gets word of the Sentinel, it is only a matter of time before the remainder of mankind will quickly follow. Politicians will clamor for its power. I, however, will have been long gone by then. I will die to his realm one day, but not before I do my damage, evoke my terror over all humanity.

The snows subside, as faint light begins to creep back towards the darkness. I smile as the stone returns to the pedestal from whence it came.

'May God be with us all,' were the professor's dying words. He'd better be. All of humanity is going to need Him.

 

Soon, there will be hell to pay...



Final Words writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
You know you (or your character) is going to die within moments. What are your final words? Describing the circumstances of your pending death, to whom you are speaking, who you are, etc. are all optional.

Recognized


Revelation Chapter 13 - 1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

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Mankind has led expeditions to the ends of the earth in hopes of locating the gates to Hell. There have been movies created about it, documentations chronicling their every move, and still... the search continues.

I'm not so sure we will like the results once we do.

As always, thanks for reading!
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