This is a short story i wrote for a competition on BL bolthole, I have done a little revision on it and was hoping to get some comments and criticism for you esteemed heretics. Thanks for reading
There is a line in the sand. Beyond it, a luring, leering mass of disgust and disapproval, spurn and scorn emanates from those that once clasped you in a loving embrace.
Yet… amidst the distaste and rejection, brotherhood, a new set of brothers, open armed and eager, their own warped opinions beckoning me, they want me to join them. Yet they revolt me, they are sanctioned heretics, a canker that ruins the purity of our order, I despise them.
My heart desires nothing more than to cast them into their self created abyss, yet I am drawn to them. I am so close to them, their outstretched fingers a transparent veil of reason, so thin, so fragile, yet it holds them from clamping around my very soul.
The book sits there, a toad of temptation.
It is a place from which there is no return, a label that cannot be discarded, there is no subtlety, you may not place a toe across this line. Nay… you will be thrust over this line, stumble across it in a blinding sense of dawning realisation, your mind clouded by the horror of what you have become.
I have not crossed this line, yet even I know I am close. My actions have shuffled me towards it like a blind man towards the edge of a cliff. I have shambled towards it arms catching upon empty air, I sense the danger and stop, my foot dangling perilously in empty space.
The book sits there, the flamer in my left hand is paralysed, unable to move, possibilities shriek, an echoing cry of beautiful truth that resounds, echoing through my thoughts.
Old Varquist believes I have already crossed this line, often retells the tale of how I aided the Eldar Farseer, rather than culling him; how I used his knowledge and his aid to destroy the threat of chaos upon the world of Ein. He condemns my actions openly, yet the crooked old bastard only tells half the story, desperate to warp others against me, to destroy my reputation, to have me cast over the edge. I can see him in my minds eye, lies riddle his augmented bionic frame, his twisted hands are gnarled with deceit, his flesh is riddled, lifeless and crinkled by his spite.
Jealousy warps his paradigms; I have not crossed the line.
The book sits there, a fountain of knowledge, I thirst… oh my parched soul.
I step forward.
The book sits there, the symbols upon its hard cover glowing blood red with a translucent light. It calls to me, tempting whispers of glory, of powers unknown. Yes I see it, can picture it now, the power to destroy chaos lies within those bloodstained pages. It is a perfect image, a world clean of chaotic mutation, a world pure, and me its leader, presenting this world to my God.
Yet the book is chaos, horrific writings, sorcery of such power.
Use chaos to destroy chaos, is that nonsense, my brain twists and turns writhing in complex arcs of thought. I want to understand, to believe yet some limbering taint, some mental block clouds my reasoning, screams that this is wrong that I am wrong,howls this is a trap.
Another step and now the flamer rises, preparing to envelop the book and the corpse that sold its life to protect it, the heretic who died to save it from my purge. His body is crumpled, a red stain upon his chest, product of the bolt pistol in my right hand. The stain has spread, blood red seeping outwards from a dark cankerous hole of damaged flesh of congealed blood. In life a madman, a sorcerer, a heretic that brought death to this world and countless others. In death a pathetic husk.
No wonder the book had taken him over, he was pathetic, weak, I am not, I am a servant of the inquisition, I am filled with strength.
I could master the book
The thought floats unbidden through my mind, was it my own thought. It is now…
The book sits there, a dog snarling, flecks of spit flying as it bares its teeth, a weapon that needs to be harnessed, a power that can be trained.
The books sits there, I am right above it, looking upon it with childish curiositym, my head tilted in wonderment, the flamer dangling limply as I stare. The runes glow gold, inviting and warm and the flamer falls from my hand, clattering upon the ground with a sharp metallic thud.
My fingers stretch out, hands reach for my soul, yet I force the doubts away, I will master this book. My fingers brush the cover and the strength of the runes become stronger, the gold becoming fiercely intense as I brush dirt from the leather. A last doubt is quashed, to pick it up is nothing, merely idle curiosity, nothing wrong with holding it.
My fingers clamp around it and I straighten up, the book at arms length, yet I suddenly feel its weight, the knowledge is heavy, the book bursting with chances. Now a new battle commences as temptation rears its beautiful head once more.
The book sits upon my palm, my weight begins to shift forward as the veil of reason thins, I am toppling over the edge, can feel myself slipping forwards yet a thought holds me steady, hung over the edge.
I can still destroy it, I am its master I can destroy it.
The world seems to stop.
Thoughts, unbidden rise from somewhere, do they come from the book, no its impossible, they are reason, not insane chaotic mutterings, they are my own reason. To destroy a book that could give me such power, the power to destroy chaos, mercy... it would be madness.
Madness, my face is bathed in the golden glow of the runes, cast into beautiful contrast as the hand holding my bolt pistol moves, slides towards the cover, ready to flick it open. Innate senses scream in howling sirens… danger… danger, but still my hand moves. The leather bound edge is smooth and inviting to my touch
All thought is quashed by a single teasing idea
Your only looking, no harm in that.
The muscles in my thumb are heavy, difficult to move yet I feel a surge of certainty as I flick the leather and the cover moves in a graceful arc.
The aged parchment is covered with spirals, runes, words and my face is bathed in a red light. I read, my eyes fervently flitting, absorbing the words hungrily.
I can feel myself toppling yet, I refuse to accept it, no.... I will master the book.
I’m falling toppling and I know in the moment of my damnation, as a gaping maw of certainty envelops me, I realise now.
I am a radical.