free read: Santa Domnia

this is a free read of the short story, Santa Domnia. For this & more, purchase ANATHELOGIUM for Kindle or Print on Demand, linked at the conclusion of the story

in celebration of Santa Domnia Dhäg, 7 December, the Spirits, alongside their darker Muses, bring to you this tale of one ambitious writer, & the price he chose to pay… Enjoy…

There once was a writer, beset with envy, who, in his quest to outdo his rivals conjured up the queen mother of all Christmas Spirits.

Every candle in the house he changed out to black. Doorways and staircase banisters he festooned in black beribboned garland. The stately evergreen tree in his parlour he decorated with Vanitas invoking artifacts, which hinted at mortality, decay and degeneration. Even the creche on the library mantle was more a cold crypt than warm stable.

It’s possible, he may have felt a whisper of conscience when he painted minute, red slash marks across the infant doll’s neck, but to summon Her up would require blasphemous sincerity of effort – nothing less than a deep-darkest, hell-firing welcome was required to usher Her in.

This moribund fellow did fervently believe that what he had created, what he would call forth and then bear witness to, would place him right up there, among the best of his ilk. With luck, it would catapult him straight to the top. He’d show them all, by golly!

Santa Domnia, Santa Domnia! He chanted night after night, reading from his grimoire, reciting the incantations over and over until his voice grew hoarse and his mind began to swim…

At long last, after countless sleep-deprived nights of endless invocations and incantations, it so happened, on one particularly cold and dreary, wintery midnight, that the clock on the mantle fell silent, and the fire in the hearth sputtered and suddenly died.

Had She materialized? The man listened. Yes, his Spirit approached!

Thick, heavy steps sounded in the entry. He heard a rhythmic shush – weighted fabric asway, the sound of dry leaves being swept along in its wake. Metal scraped the floor, striking the stairs, clanging and a-thudding. She approached with the lumbering stealth of one freshly resurrected.

When She finally appeared at the door, the man sank to his knees in awe. Such a beauteous horror! The apparition embodied it all: Ignorance, Want, all misguided intent, all virtue gone vice, acts of vengeance and violence and murderous intent. This was Mankind’s underbelly, incarnate.

Santa Domnia, fair maiden, thorned ringlet, brow crested! Your forehead and scalp pierced, your curls thickly matted. Garnet rivulets flow ‘pon a dainty lace collar, painstakingly spattered!

Santa Domnia, fair maiden, candle crowned! Dripping, molten and hardened fast, ensconcing, encasing your pallid countenance. Streams flowing unfettered of blood imbued wax!

Santa Domnia, fair maiden, snow-white is your dress, holly impaled like a stake through your breast! Your heaving, your breathing, belabored and pained, your moth-eaten bodice most thoroughly stained!

Santa Domnia, fair maiden, wings spread! Not flight but in fight, hardened feathers, sharp tines! One hundred daggers, they clink, cut the threads, cut the air, kill off the last dregs of the peace in my lair!

Santa Domnia, your fragmented teeth mix with crumbs of black coal, small mouth cruelly stuffed until it was full. Leering smile bares gums not of a soft rose, but grey-shaded, the flesh curling off from the bone!

Santa Domnia, no, no! Stay where you are! Let me worship you here from my spot on the floor!

No, no, Santa Domnia, do not take my hands! No, this I sought not; I implore!

No, please, not the spikes! No, not my left hand! I beg you, dear Santa, leave my right hand alone!

No, no, you were not called here to crucify me; I foolishly thought you had simply come home!

Efectus

“Santa Domnia” is part of Anathelogium – Prose & Poetry from the Neither by KA Schultz. Click here to purchase at Amazon

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