This is the eighth chapter of the series about The Undertaker from Mokvas. If you haven’t done it yet, read the previous chapters first:
The vast northern and southern marshes had been, for ages, the territory of the dead and not of the demons. Perhaps this fooled the gravedigger, he hasn’t been expecting any of them. Also the yelling was a trick. While it echoed ahead of him, the strike followed from behind.
A biting whip wrapped around his feet. Brute force pulled it and soon the Undertaker’s face ploughed the rough earth. His hands attempted to grasp hold of bushes, canes or roots. In vain. Soon he was lifted into the air, his head swung upside down. The demon tied his whip to a strong branch and watched with delight as his victim helplessly wiggled in the moonlight.
The gravedigger knew this creature. Once, many years lost in his past, he had stood eye to eye with him. That time he had barely survived. Together with other young peasant fools he was hunting a monster which terrorized lone settlements and farms bordered with deep and dense forests. They knew whom they were after. A fiend, well known for centuries from tales and legends, every time returning for fresh meat in the form of a virgin left home alone. That time it was a farmer’s daughter, a blossoming teenage beauty. Parents and kinsfolk went to the fields when she had to stay her own watch with the body of the deceased grandmother which had to be mourned for seven days. And the demon had patiently waited for her. He was feared under the name Loktibrada – the Torturer.
Loktibrada first knocked and hammered against the locked door to give his victim the illusion of a relative safety behind the house walls. Then he easily crashed in, pulling the frightened girl from behind the stove. At first he played with her. Ripped her clothes, thumbing her naked skin. Finally he grasped her solid breasts and with a move known only to his kind he skinned her alive in seconds. He chewed the flesh from her bones and after the feast he displayed her severed flayed head in the window for the family returning from the fields. He stuffed the skin with straw and hung it from the ceiling. All Loktibrada’s victims ended like this. Dozens. Hundreds.
On the same day the young peasants hunted the demon with their scythes and hayforks. Loktibrada was cornered within an abandoned brick bakery. He could shred them all into pieces. Sated and in a good mood he instead chose to disappear beneath the earth leaving behind a frightening echo of his diabolic laughter. The Undertaker realized only much later that it was the flame of some already lit torches that saved them. Because there are only two things in the whole world which demons and the dead utterly fear and which can protect the living: and fire is one of them.
Now Loktibrada was facing him again, hardly remembering the young stupid lad he had met ages before. And again it was the demon who was supposed to have fun. The horned creature with long beard manifested itself in all its distastefulness. Bare as it was it started to jump swiftly around the trapped gravedigger, exhibiting its huge erect penis. The demon punched him with his phallus several times in the head while the angry Undertaker’s hands futilely tried to get hold of the beast. This game drove the yelling Loktibrada into further rapture and he began to masturbate.
When the gravedigger thought it couldn’t become more disgusting, the fiend released a seemingly endless pollution of semen and urine onto his face, humiliating his victim to the bone. Attempting to cover himself with his palms, the Undertaker knew this was just the beginning. The torture demons loved to toy with their prey and this could take days or even weeks. Therefore he twitched and swayed, offering his captor a satisfying impression of his despair. In fact he tried to get nearer to the tree stem so he could rip off one of the smaller branches. He needed it to reach his leather bag lying on the ground just under his head.
At one moment Loktibrada seized the Undertaker from behind. One of his hands clenched the captive’s throat and the other started to hug his face. The gravedigger was aware that his strength couldn’t compete with that of the demon. Despite this, he fiercely struggled with the satyr’s little finger, mercilessly entering one of his nose holes.
“I can’t kill you, ill mortal,” the demon whispered with impatient joy in his ear, “but I can hurt you. I will drive you insane.”
The fingernail began to grope. It perforated its way through mucous and gristle, painfully scratching on the inside of the skull, until it eventually drilled into the gravedigger’s brain. The Undertaker now sensed Loktibrada’s presence in his head, he felt how the demon trampled over his memories, searching for a spot of weakness. It didn’t take him long to find one.
“There’s a room of musical tunes… Some rhyme, some clang, most
of them are clockwork.
Let’s go into the other room and make them work.”
Loktibrada sang with his twisted voice and the words bounced inside the Undertaker’s head with tenacious animosity.
“Now I’ve found your secret room. Now I’ll drive you insane.”
The demon pulled his finger out of the gravedigger’s nose and licked the remains of brain and mucus luxuriantly from the long grown nail. Then he sat in dry faded grass in front of his victim and poked around in his pouches attached to the rope around his hips. Until he conjured forth a harmonica.
“No…,” the Undertaker growled angrily, “Not this. No…!”
Loktibrada laughed in deep satisfaction and began to play. Play… The escaping noise resembled a staccato of the most derailed tunes ever imaginable. The gravedigger first sensed blood leaking out of his nose. Followed by a dire pain as if something was chopping the teeth in his mouth into thousands of carefully crafted shreds. The agony gradually intensified. Pesky absurd masquerades started to roam around in his head setting every single cell on fire. Until his whole body burned, roasted and sizzled from inside and bloated from outside as well.
The Undertaker, helplessly hanging upside down, felt as if he should count his last seconds while he still could.
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