After several years of avoiding the genre altogether, I have decided to come back to horror with this new short story. This one was originally intended to be published by a horror magazine. Instead I have chosen to make it free to read. It’s good to be back.
Without further ado: “The Bench”.
It had always been her.
She couldn’t say if there was a reason for it. But she did know that every morning that she went to the park as a child, early in the morning, an older woman, perhaps in her sixties, would come to the park bench right at the big hump in the road near the lamppost. She was always dressed in the most whimsical of outfits, wearing bright blues and pinks, and most often with a nice big hat to block out the sun as she did her work. She did always have the kindest smile to work with, and carried a large bag of “gourmet birdfeed”. At least, that’s what was written on the bag.
After I found some awesome info on building fictional religions, I thought I would share some of the ones I have planned for the Dark Veil books!
Followers of the True King
The followers of the True King believe that many years ago, a powerful sentient being arrived from the sky along with four other beings: Mother Autumn, Father Frost, Mother Earth and Father Summer. This sentient being, known as the True King, created the planet and placed the four other beings as rulers over the planet. However, many years later, a being by the name of Laecon, Father Frost’s protoge, made war with the True King and took control over the entire planet in a 400-year-war, including the four other beings.
Nobody has heard from the True King since, but the True King’s followers believe that the King will return to make war and defeat King Laecon once and for all.
Followers of the Universe
These people believe that the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars are the body of a giant one-eyed goddess. During the night, the goddess is open to prayer and suggestion. During the day, the goddess begins her work from suggestions the night before or her own will. This goddess is fickle, and it is often hard to tell if she will actually listen to the people’s suggestion. The more open her eye is (the moon being her eye), the more interested she is in listening.
When a person dies, if they are good enough, they will become one of the stars in the sky, a part of this goddess.
They are firm believers in allowing change. Like the tides, they flow with the situations of life, as they do not believe that people can change their situation.
Followers of the Dark Veil
This, depending on who you ask, is either an offshoot or the precursor to the True King religion. The Dark Veil believers believe that there is a being even older than the True King known as the Dark Veil. Their ways are mysterious, their gender and appearance unknown. The Dark Veil, according to this religion, created the True King. The True King wanted to make their own creation apart from the Dark Veil’s universe. Therefore the Dark Veil allowed the True King and four other gods to do their work. But the True King would also reap the suffering of a corrupt world.
Many believe that the Dark Veil has a direct contact with King Laecon, who fought against the True King in a 400-year-war. Laecon has no problem with toting this belief everywhere he goes.
Followers of the Great Void
These people believe that there are gods, but that they are uninterested in their creation after they create them. They believe that all bad things that happen are a result of their feuding amongst themselves. As such, their only consolation in the world is to either accept the bad things of life or to die – to go into the void of nonexistence and never return.
They avoid having children and will often recruit orphans. Angsty teenagers often try to join but the priests insist that they consider their decision a while before doing so.