My Dearest Edward,
I’m sorry, I cannot heed your warning, I cannot stop myself from this affliction of passion. Your last letter was so ominous, it filled me with dread, and still, I went again. I can’t seem to pull away from the darkness. I am like a moth to a flame, but the flame gives no light, only vast and thundering blackness when I close my eyes, when I feel those cold hands upon my flesh. Mortal flesh, you reminded me. Flesh that knows the secrets of lust and longing. Flesh that has known more daydreams than nightmares, yet I hope that I do not wake from this deep and penetrating spell.
Tonight I will walk back along the road above the river until I pass the iron gates again. I will go, faithfully, as He calls me, nightly, to dance between the gravestones, to be ravaged by the unseen touch of timeless desire. Do not say He is just a phantom, He is a being beyond our comprehension, so powerful, so intoxicating. If I am not taken by those teeth and claws again this night I fear I will go mad. Surely these words cut at your heart, dear Edward, but it is a call from some unknown Divine, a call I cannot unhear or ignore.
Elizabeth, My Darling Girl,
I beg you, do not go back along that road, do not dance between those marble stones again. What calls to you is outside of Nature, beyond the reach of God. You cannot know the power it wields! Surely your intuition pleads you stay away. What has come for you, what takes you, as you say, is not a man, and if it is a man, he is by no means a man of substance or high regard. He is an animal at best, but moreover, he is a creature of gloom, feasting on your delicate character and infinite beauty. Again, I beg you, not for my sake, but your own: do not visit this dark prince you describe so vaguely.
Please, Elizabeth, bolt your door and keep your hearth lit. These October nights are heady with old majik and you are no sorceress, my love. I will arrive the last night of the month, I hope it will not be too late to save you from yourself.
My beloved Edward,
I’ve gone again and made it back. Did you know it is six hundred and sixty six steps from the road to the cemetery gates? Something in me was compelled to count my foot falls, the crunch of leaves on the forest floor was deafening, but I counted each one and it pleased Him. Tonight there was a lantern lit in the willow that overhangs the mausoleum, finally His moth has been gifted a flame! I ran to it. Breathless, I flung myself into the wet grass at the stone steps and felt the whisper of Death slide across my body like a fog. It was so silent but I felt Him there, pulling my shoulders back, parting my thighs and as if the night itself had become a warm tongue, I felt Him sink into me. I cannot tell you in words the unexpected pleasure of feeling one’s blood run cold and thick in one’s veins. I was filled, God help me, filled and ecstatic with pleasure, sensations that were not earthly. I know now that each time I am taken by Him I am filled less with goodness and light, and I am more swallowed by the night. I pray to Him that he will reveal himself on All Hallow’s Eve, when the veil between us grows thinnest and His grip on my soul is tightest.
I fear the woman you knew has left, Edward. She is no more the flesh and blood your hands remember, she is, I am, an angel of darkness, embarking on an endless flight. Do not scorn me for breaking our bonds. I wish, nay, need, to be shackled by Him, to drink His essence and give myself, body and soul, to his dark desires.
Troubled by your accounts with this morbid stranger, be he a fiction of your mind or a creature fresh from Hell, I dispatched a doctor to call upon you. The good Doctor wrote to tell me that your body is weak and your mind is following suit, that he was met with violence and a growled curse not spoken in your mother tongue. Dear Elizabeth, I beg you, if you will not heed the Doctor, seek out a Priest.
I cannot, will not, lose you to the mythos of death and decay when your heart is springlike and so pure. I only hope that I am not too late.
There is no turning back. I have impaled myself on the great and seething cock of His Dark Highness. Your wasted ink only emboldens Him and he fills my mind with images of your fear and frustration as He mounts me under the cold Autumnal moon. We laugh as we rut and grind, my hands and knees grow bloody under the force of his thrusting. When I scream into the night with pain and pleasure I see in my mind’s eye the many ways that you wished to chain me to the earth, to your house, to your name. He has shown me that love and the feeble protection of a man are not what I need. I thought I was seeking something pure and bright but I know now that my soul is as black as the shadows he emerges from, as deep as the pools of his undead eyes, as vast as the night sky is wide. If you are the cuckold of The Devil, then I am his concubine. I am weak, as your Doctor told you, but only because my flesh has been flayed and bruised with His great passion, soiled and reborn in a flooding mass of his ruinous seed. He tells me I will be his Queen and after The Rite my body will be restored and never perish. Do not try to hold me with your promises of Doctors and Priests, Edward. He offers me freedom through pain and pleasure, everlasting ecstasy on the throne of His dark utopia.
I must go to him. Do not follow me.
Train arrives at half past five. At your door within an hour. Wait for me. Please.
By the time you read this I will be in His hands and no act of bravery or reason can reverse this. Tonight I will endure The Rite and be tied to my Dark Lord eternally.
I do not know if you will ever read these words, if you will ever return to our world. It has been weeks since the night of The Rite you wrote of, weeks since I watched your pale body, naked among the tombstones, be split and torn limb from limb by a hungry wind that shrieked through the cemetery. Seeing you taken, moaning in ecstasy as the life ran out of you and into the roots of that willow tree, gave me quite a shock. So much so that if you saw me now you’d think me an old man, so white went my hair. I arrived too late, my darling one, just in time to see you ravaged and the unholy mutilation of what was, by then, I hope, only a corpse. I will never be able to shutter the image of your limp form rising above the treetops before you fell, a hundred feet at least, to the marble headstones below, your mangled body sinking rapidly into the earth as if it was swallowing you. If you are dead, as we know death to be, then I have, as you said, wasted this ink. If though, by the grace of God, the Thing that took you, brings you back, it is my hope that you will be returned to me. Every night, in the gloaming, I walk the road above the river to the cemetery. It is blanketed in snow, but the place where you fell to steams in the winter night, no snow falls there. It is as if you have left me a window to Hell that I cannot yet look through. Every night I visit that scorched site and pray that the earth will swallow me as it did you. I will go, each evening. I feel you call to me and I feel your darkness on the edges of all I see. I will wait, Elizabeth, until you find me there, huddled in my wool coat, raw knuckled and empty, for you.