Intermission: Tales from Cliffside – The Kettleworth Files 5

Image: fractalius cat by dark-IN-black

John ran to the glass coffin that held his lover’s preserved body, tossing the cat aside. He tugged furiously at the bent pieces of metal that kept the coffin airtight, fumbling in his excitement. Finally, with a loud metallic clang, the lid was free.

John shoved the glass lid, and it slid off, shattering on the ground into a million pieces. The cat yowled in protest as John stared into the grimy brown liquid that held Marta’s body. Slowly he reached into the brackish fluid, ignoring the tingling numbing that crept into his arms, and gripped Marta’s corpse by the shoulders. Carefully he lifted her out and carried her pale wet body to the operation table.

Swallowing, John steeled himself. This was the moment he would find most troubling, for the revitalizer needed to be infused to the body from the inside. It was a gristly process–he had trouble practicing on the mice–but it had to be done. Staring at his pale lover’s corpse, he reached for a razor-sharp knife and began to cut.

Time wore on into the night while the thunderstorm raged outside, battering his estate like an eager house-guest. Elixirs and infusions were injected, mixed, and poured in ever increasingly complicated patterns. Sometimes, John cried in horror at what his hands were doing to the body of his beloved. Other times, he couldn’t stop himself from laughing the laugh of a mad man. Each time, John forced his emotions away–he couldn’t afford to be distracted and possibly miss a vital step. Blood caked his arms as he grabbed clamps and scalpels, redesigning his lovers innards like an engineer.

Finally, the work was done, and John cut the thread of the final stitch sealing the body up again. Only now did he pause, looking at the once smooth skin of his lover, lying there on the table. She shone, in his eyes, glittering like silver in the dim light. The horror of what he had done faded away as he stared at her placid face.

Almost reverently, he began to pull long winding wires from the Jar of Lightning that sat silently on the floor and carefully push the sharp ends into her scalp and wrists. Just like a puppet, John thought, his mind drunk with anticipation. Slowly, he reached his shaking hand out to the wall and gripped the throw-switch that connected the Lightning Jar to the contacts on Marta’s cadaver. With a dreamlike calm, he pushed the switch on.

Marta’s body convulsed with a rapid clattering noise, quivering like she was ill. After a few short seconds, John threw the switch again, cutting the energy to her form, and she grew still. Slowly, her eyes fluttered open, staring straight ahead. With a sharp gasp, the lungs began to fill, expelling drops of liquid with each breath. John clasped his hands in front of him, and carefully approached.

She was alive!


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