The Beltane Massacre
By Robin Renee Ray
“That I understand. I read where the males killed had to be ready so the ground would heed a good crop for years to come, or some shit like that.”
“It’s the deal the old woman made with the devil back in the days of the Civil War, or there abouts. So they say. That sort thing I ain’t too sure about. But, I do know she is a powerful being and can’t be trusted not matter what you think you may be seeing.”
“Just looking her way puts my hair on end, I get what ya mean. Time to go old man, I have to get the first three rods in the ground before the sun goes down, and I have to do it without being seen. Now, show me what symbols I need to draw and where. I plan on putting this demon back in hell where it belongs.”
Plans were in motion and Gram had everything he needed. The sickle was a short handled tool, which was easily hidden behind the seat. He had two butcher knives and one small 38. Caliber hand gun, that Henry gave him. That was all the weapons that the old man had to offer and all that Gram had to use against, what he knew to be, something from another world, regardless its form of being an old woman.
He had parked out on the dirt road that led up to the farms main drive and walked through the heavy trees that lined the front part of the property, back to the old barn where he took out the golden rods. He left one behind, slid out with the other three, and the gun. He stayed low to the ground as he circled the main field at the left side of the farm house. The field he had placed the pole and the wood in for the bonfire. He had placed all three rods into the ground and was heading back to the barn when two of the younger men came walking out of the tree line.
“Everyone is fixing to eat. Lilith sent us to find you,” one said as they stepped up beside him.
“I was just on my way. I’m starving.”
His words seem to take them aback.
“You guy’s ready, or were you two doing something else?”
“No, we were just told to find you.”
“Then I guess we better get back. I sure hope they fixed a feast.”
“Oh they did,” the other smiled, and both men’s demeanor changed.
“Lilith makes a killer meatloaf with these little baby carrots from the garden. Be sure to try it,” Gram made forced small talk.
“As does my wife. She makes the best apple pie in Hells Valley.”
“I can attest to that. I can’t say my wife is that good of a cook, but she can sure make a beautiful baby,” the first replied and then laughed.
When they stepped out into the view of the farm house, the back yard was filled with long tables that were over beaming with more than enough food to feed a small army. The younger of the people were eating away from the tables, sitting on the stone fence, talking among themselves, as the older folk began sitting around the tables and filling their plates. Martha and Lilith’s grandmother came out on the back porch and everyone fell to a soft whisper. Martha raised her hand and even the birds seemed to fall silent.
“Kira wishes to say grace over this fine meal that we have been so blessed to have before us,” Martha spoke and Gram almost choked on his own breath. Kira was the name of the girl in the book, a book over two hundred years old.
“We give great thanks for this eve’s gathering and for all that it means to our coven. May this feast not only fill our stomachs, but let it fill our mortal souls of renewal. Let us nourish these bodies with what this earth has given, then let us go into the night and enjoy all that it offers. Please, enjoy what is laid before you.” Grandmother Kira waved her hand and everyone fed like they were starving. Even Gram.
The table was soon turned into a mess of upturned bowls and empty goblets. People lazily pushed themselves away from the table and stumbled toward the field. Some undressed as they went and others threw black robes over their shoulders. The two men that came out to find Gram, took their place back by his side as Lilith was pulled away by a group of women who were giggling while painting her body with bright floral colors. He looked at her and smiled, then started unbuttoning his shirt. He had placed the gun in his boot before he got out of the truck, and had no worries of anyone saying anything about the blade at his side, because he had been out in the woods. He simply dropped it to the ground with his shirt.
The two men moved further away as the women ran over and started painting flowers on Gram’s chest and back, laughing and bumping into each other when he twitched at the sensation. He looked over at Martha and gave her the warmest fake smile he had, and then bowed his head toward Kira. She bowed her head back, as he laughed out loud running with the crowd of women pushing him toward the group that was waiting to adorn him with wild flowers. Kira and Martha made their way out to the field with the others, assured of the working herbs in the food that he had consumed. Something about having the brick dust in his pocket stopped that fact from being true, because he knew exactly what he was doing.
“You look so cute,” Lilith called out from the group of females that were placing loads of wild flowers in her hair.
“I smell wonderful,” he called back with a loud laugh, causing all that was near to burst out with him.
Once their handmade crowns were on their heads, they swayed and spun around through the path on the way to the field. It was easy to see the pole going up with all the multi colored ribbons with the bright bonfire burning to its full peak. Gram made it to the edge of the field and stopped. “I have to relieve myself. I’ll be right back,” he snickered, hitting one of the men in the side with his elbow. The man stepped into the field with two women at his side nodding his reply. Gram rushed to the old barn and took out the last golden rod, the rest of the brick dust, along with the dagger, then he rushed back, hoping that everyone under the demon’s spell was in the center of the earth that he was fixing to close.
He drew the symbol of a star on the earth then placed the tip of the golden rod down in the middle of it. He lifted it up in the air the slammed it back down into the earth. The earth shook like it had been struck by lightning and all inside knew something unnatural had just happened by the quake under their feet. Gram pulled the dagger out then stepped over the line, and onto the field he had been so warned to stay away from.
“What have you done?” Kira spun around with her hair floating on an energy that couldn’t be seen.
“I’m breaking the chain, demon,” he drew his gun and pointed at the man that was running at him. “I will kill you!” he yelled and the man stopped. “I call on the blood of my forefathers.” He then slid the curved blade across his forearm and Kira screamed out, with her hand in mid air. The blade flew from his hand and stuck into the ground about a foot away, but it was too late, the blood from his veins had already begun to soak the earth at his feet. “I call upon you to set my people free. I call upon you to put this demon back in hell!”
The earth’s shell began to shimmer and vibrate and like molten lava, bodies poured up through the dirt, clinging and clawing to free themselves from its clutches. Gore dripped from their skeletal forms, clots of earth fell from their open mouths as they moaned, stretching their stick like necks to the night sky. The elder grandmother shot her hand toward one and it exploded into a cloud of blood and bones. “You dare come against me,” she yelled and shot out at another.
“Help me,” Kelly his assistant cried out.
Gram saw the earth and blood creature drive its skeletal hand down into her abdomen, and pull it back out with her intestines intact. Kelly’s hand was up in the sky as if she was reaching for an invisible hand, then seconds later it fell to the ground, and she was no more.
The night filled with screams of people being butchered by the creatures that come up from the crust of the earth. Creatures concurred by the blood of the ones who had been slaughtered there. Gram ran to the left of the field, sliding down to his knees as one of the younger men swung at him. He hit the ground and looked back in time to see two of the blood creatures pulling the man to the ground. He screamed as they tore into his body, ripping his insides out as he slowly fed the earth with his life. Gram spun around and grabbed the sickle that he had hidden when he first planted the rods.
He turned around with the sickle in his hands. Lilith was crouched down behind her grandmother, and Martha was standing at her back. The more that fell to the creatures, the more creatures crowded around the old woman. Gram saw the fear on his wife and ran in with the sickle ready for the kill. Kira turned in time to see her own death. Her head hit the earth and another bolt shot through the ground. The creatures fell as if they were made of dust, leaving none alive in the circle, but Gram, Lilith, and the evil Aunt Martha.
“Get away from her you bitch,” he yelled, bringing back the sickle for a second strike.
“No, Gram, please,” Lilith crawled to him. “Help me, please.”
Gram lowered the weapon and leaned down to help the woman he loved. His eyes met hers and he stepped back as she rammed the curved dagger into his chest. Lilith’s eyes were no longer the eyes of his loving wife they were the eyes of the old woman. “I consecrate this earth with the blood of my coven with the dark one. I have saved my word on this eve of Beltane and my harvest will be fruitful.”
“What have you done,” Gram dropped to his knees.
“What I must to survive,” she replied, crawling over and pushing him back. “I loved you more than any of the rest, and I thank you for laying that old watcher to rest. Your seed will long feed this land after you, my love.” She raised the blade high, and then brought it down deep into his chest. She split him open, and then stuck in her hands. She cleaned her fingers in her mouth, smearing his blood over her nude body, and then held her hand out to Martha who came and knelt down beside her.
“The children will come back soon, Martha. They will see this and tell of the Beltane massacre for many years to come. Our coven will grow with new life. This eve is a new beginning,” she placed her hand on her lower stomach.
Gram Simms was found to be under the influence of drugs and lost his mind, killing seventeen in all. It was proven that his own wife and her aunt had to take his life to save their own. It was the biggest massacre to be recorded in Beltane history. Henry made his way out to the Simms farm after the rush of the media. He found the golden rods and took them back into the old barn where Gram had said he had found them. He found the book that Gilbert Simms had written. He placed it all back into the hidden place in the floor of the old barn. All, but the dagger, that had not been found. He closed it up and covered it with the old musky hay. Henry smiled as he patted the ground. He stood and took a blade to the chest. Henry dropped to his knees.
“You should have known better, Henry,” Lilith yanked the dagger back out. She closed the door and walked away.
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