Iyrico Part Four

Monday, Monday, Monday! Part Four of Iyrico is here.

But first, Pestilence Rising is now available for Nook HERE.

If you’re new to the Iyrico party, links to the previous posts are below.

Link to Part One

Link to Part Two

Link to Part Three

If you aren’t the patient sort, you can access the story in its entirety at:

Scribd

Wattpad website and the app

iyrico cover2

“The Iyrico supposedly began with a curse, brought from the old country by a woman called Esma. Legend says the family she lived with, her parents and her siblings, were lazy, horrible people who lived off family money. She, on the other hand, was hardworking. One night, she grew tired of keeping the house clean.”

“Like Cinderella, Daddy?” Nessa interjected with a bat of her eyelashes.

Levi glared at her and shook his head in disgust. She stuck her tongue out at him.

“Yes, Pumpkin. A blizzard had them all in the house for days. They kept her running just as long. She lost her temper at dinner, tossing dishes at them and food, and telling them exactly what they were. The father grabbed her by the collar and tossed her out into the driving snow with nothing but the clothes she wore.

When she rapped on the window, they shut the curtains. They had no nearby neighbors. Esma had no way to make a fire.

She huddled in a corner of the porch and slowly froze to death, but as she did, she devoted all of her thought and will to revenge.”

“They left her to die? How cruel.” Nessa feigned sympathy.

“Don’t get any ideas.” Levi couldn’t stop himself from snapping.

“Levi!” His mother was both shocked and appalled.

Dean continued, too engrossed in the tale to notice, “She remembered a book she’d found in a trunk when they moved.

It contained ancient poems and riddles and the like and one in particular had grabbed her attention.”

“About the Iyrico.”

He nodded, “A poem about disease and famine brought by a malicious spirit. She had always thought her piggish family could use some misfortune. They’d had it too easy. She recited the poem over and over as the snow blew around her and the others extinguished the lights. Her hatred gave the Iyrico the life it needed to terrorize not only her family but an entire village a mile away. The spirit traveled from house to house, killing a man here and a woman there.
Then, it made the mistake of entering the church.”

“You’re scaring the kids.” Levi’s mother protested as she set down her fork.

“Nonsense. Am I scaring you?” Dean asked Levi.

Levi shook his head no. Nessa concurred, and the story went on.

“The priest, being close to God, saw what the thing truly was, and he came up with the plan to trap it.”

“Grandma Mola said they put it in the ground.” Levi said.

“Yes, they did. They lured it up to this very cliff and the priest prayed it into the ground and sealed the hole with a blessed medallion.”

“Have you seen it?” Nessa asked. “The hole in the ground?”

“It isn’t real.” He stuffed the last piece of bread in his mouth and headed for the living room. “If you will excuse me, I’m going to watch television for awhile.”

Nessa followed Dean to the living room located just around the corner. Levi’s mother returned to Grandma Mola’s room.

Levi had no desire to be with any of them. He returned to his room to read.

Back in the quiet, he relaxed. While he closed the blinds, Hound took up his usual post on the braided rug. Levi spotted an object in the shadow of the bed. He dropped to the floor to retrieve it.

The top his grandmother had made him dig out of her collection room had withered to an even greater state of decay than when last he saw it. The chipping paint was almost completely gone, the metal beneath dented and pitted and scratched in places, as if someone had beaten it against the stone repeatedly in a fit of rage. He inspected it, listening to the ocean rush against the cliff and Hound begin to snore. A sensation of being watched swept over him, much like he’d felt with the dogs stalking him from the woods.

No one had opened the door. He’d seen Nessa follow her father to the living room to watch television.

Levi’s room was small, with nowhere to really hide. It had no closet, no other doors. He looked up to the brass air register grate near the ceiling. It was too small for any person to fit in but not too small for a rodent.

The general, primitive disposition of the house allowed the entry of some of the smaller members of the local wildlife to come in. He’d seen Grandma Mola catch errant bats with pots and set them free. She’d talked about having mice and how they chewed through boxes. Anything small enough to fit into the vent probably couldn’t hurt him.

He let that idea ease his mind, and he went on about his business, reading, coming out only when his mother told him to shower.

He locked the bathroom door to keep his cousin out, which seemed the best idea, especially when he heard someone rattle the doorknob. He smiled to himself as he rinsed his hair. When he was finished, he dressed himself behind the locked door and headed back for blessed solitude.

Hound stood in the hall, which was strange because Levi had left the dog sleeping on the braided rug. He faced the direction of the front door, growling a low sound deep in his throat. The hall appeared empty, except for moonbeams reaching through the windows.

“What’s the matter, boy?” Levi touched the bristling hackles on Hound’s back.

The dog almost never got worked up. He rarely barked, never chased squirrels or cats. He didn’t care for other dogs.

Guests at their front door received little concern from him. Yet there, in the night, with death so close, the old boy was on edge about something.

Grandma Mola’s door stood open. Levi didn’t want to be any closer to that situation than he had to. He coaxed Hound back into his room. Nessa appeared behind him, from the direction of the bathroom and her room.

“Cousin.”

He nearly jumped out of his skin at the sound of her voice. He said, “I’m not interested in talking to you.”

He stepped inside his room and began to close the door. She stopped it.

“Not even about the Iyrico?”

“No.” He closed the door the rest of the way and waited there in case she attempted to follow him.

She spoke from the hallway, “It’s real, you know. I found the hole. I know where it is.”

Liar. He restrained himself from stating the accusation aloud because he didn’t want to invite further conversation.

“I’ll show you tomorrow.”

Her footsteps receded in the direction of Grandma Mola’s bedroom. He let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.

He hung out in his room for the remainder of the evening, and when he was ready to go to sleep, he did one final check of the room – under the bed and the dresser. Again, he evaluated the darkness in the vent. Unable to escape that nagging feeling that he was being watched, he continued to keep an eye on it as he pulled the covers up tight.

“Iyrico, Iyrico.”

He dreamed of the door, alone in a sea of darkness with his dying grandmother’s voice warning him from the shaft of light spilling from the room beyond. If his room was an island, hers was the ocean of death lashing its beaches with waves of eternity. He didn’t want to be so close.

“Iyrico flies
On wings of hate
Curse thick as shadow,
Pools as blood
The strike is slow,
Progression pained
Suffer the demon
Serve your penance”

Esma recited, no – chanted, this poem on the porch as snowflakes clung to her hair and frost sprouted from her mouth and tears froze to her cheeks. Her skin had gone blue, her eyes faraway, but she still found the words.

“Iyrico flies
On wings of hate
Curse thick as shadow,
Pools as blood
The strike is slow,
Progression pained
Suffer the demon
Serve your penance”

Levi sat up in bed, gasping for air, broken from the dream that had him spiraling away from everything warm and good. It had dragged him away from the light, into the depths of despair where lost souls roamed. He wiped the sweat from his brow. Again came that disturbing sensation of being watched, only now the invisible eyes had moved closer.

His skin prickled with goose flesh, and he swore he detected an odd smell, a kind of metallic odor, akin to blood but not blood, exactly.

His curtains, which he had earlier closed, were wide open to let in the full light of the moon. Tentatively, he rose from the bed, checking the floor to be sure no rodents scampered there. Hound kept on sleeping. Ocean waves kept rushing. The only disturbance to the quiet was his. He crept silently to the window, grasped the curtains to close them but hesitated.

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