Another post! Yay me!
Anyways. Here’s a (longer) short story that I wrote for school. I was reading about early Christianity and I was suppose to write a short story about someone who had lost a dear friend due to martyrism and going into the catacombs. I, of course, took some liberties, but I hope that you won’t mind! 🙂
I hesitantly walked down the catacomb hallways. I had had to wait more than three hours outside of the maze of tunnels that was now used as a grave.
Now, I was following the small procession of Lior’s closest friends and family. I fell into the first category. It had been hard for me to believe that Lior had been killed, but now, stumbling through the narrow tunnels full of dead Christians – some I had known, but not close enough to be invited to the funeral – it was hard not to.
I kept replaying Lior’s death … how my best friend had stood up to the officers, and was taken to court. He had asked me to come with him to support him … but neither of us had known that he would be beheaded nearly right on the spot.
My shoulder hit the damp wall on my left, and I had to bite my tongue to keep an unmanly yelp from escaping my throat.
I had been avoiding looking at my surroundings. I had always thought that it would be interesting to come down into the catacombs – other than the obvious fact that you had to have a person close to you be martyred to enter – to look around. But now?
The walls were damp, as if a light misting of rain had come down into the tunnels. The walls were closely pressed together, and the air had a stale feel to it. Luckily, there were no dead bodies … yet.
Lita, Lior’s eldest sister who was behind me, put her hand on my arm. We had been seeing each other awhile, and I felt guilty that Lita’s hand steadied me. Almost as if I were cheating on Lior.
Almost nearly as soon as Lita’s hand dropped, the smell hit me.
I nearly doubled over. I knew that since this was an underground graveyard, there was bound to be a stench, but really. I felt as if I were at the butchers, after it had been shut down last year, except twenty times worse.
I kept having to remind myself that Lior was my friend, and that I would do anything for his memory.
Then the bodies started to appear. In semi-neat stacks along the walls were bodies … some more gruesomely killed than others. It almost looked as if they had been laid to rest on beds embedded into the walls. I had to turn away and fix my focus onto Lior’s father’s back in front of me.
We trekked on for another hour, until we came to a stop in a large antechamber. There, Lior was resting on a table. He had been brought down almost as soon as he had been martyred, while the rest of us miserable survivors had to trickle in the whole day.
Abigail, the youngest sister of Lita and Lior, rushed to the body and wept. She was only twelve – too young to loose someone so vital to her.
A man began to speak while Lior’s family mourned over his decapitated body. I couldn’t focus on the man who I recognized as a higher-up in our church. I tried to tune out Lior’s family’s sobs. The smell in the stale air. The dripping from some distant hallway.
My head hurt and the world spun.
Someone was calling my name. Arman. Arman.
I stumbled into Lita’s arms, and meekly asked her to lead me to Lior. She, of course, obliged. I leaned against the table, and that helped, though the man’s droning still continued on.
Lior had been cleaned up nicely. All the dirt that had made a permanent home on Lior’s body since he was nine had been washed away. The blood that had spurt from his neck and onto his body had been removed, and he was wearing some kind of white dressing gown. I was embarrassed for him to be seen in his sleeping attire.
Liota’s helpful hands left my arm, leaving me feeling cold. She began to fuss with Lior’s hair and brushing dust from his face that was poised in such an unnatural position, careful with his head. Some gruesomely happy smile on his lips. His mother joined Liota from the other side.
I began to gingerly trace my finger along the line where his neck had been disconnected. It couldn’t have happened. Not my friend and nearly brother. I had known him since I was seven, and had lived with him since I was ten. We were nearly relatives, what with my betrothal to Liota. He was almost more excited than I was.
Some stray blood began to bead on my finger, but I still traced that uneven line. My name was called again. Arman. Arman. But I still traced. On and on. On and on. On. On. Arman. Arman!
I finally looked up and saw Liota’s tearful face. Looking down, I saw that the edges of his skin had begun to fold in, and standing blood was welling. Of course the blood would flow – he had been killed only that morning.
I whispered an apology and slunk off to another part of the chamber. The man still droned on. I could only pick out random words: Christ, martyr, beloved family, service.
I didn’t care. I sank to the floor and pulled my knees to my chest. My face lay across my knees. I could see that this room didn’t hold any dead bodies. Small torches were lit around the room, sucking the oxygen from the air.
Lior was dead. Lior was dead. Lior was dead.
My heart went back and forth between belief and disbelief; acceptance and denial.
Why weren’t Lior’s family upset? Was I the only one who truly loved my near-brother?
Looking at the deceased’s family I couldn’t believe that that was true. They were always much more reserved than I.
Liota came over and sat beside me, her youngest sister tailing along. Abigail’s head leaned against my shoulder.
I could now relate with Mary, mother of Jesus. My eyes would cry no more, as hers most likely would have. I sighed. I would get through this. Liota and I would.
There you go, guys! I took some liberties and phrasing and stuff that wouldn’t have been entirely accurate … but I don’t think that you’ll all mind! What are all of your favorite subjects at school (or, what was, if you have already graduated/left), or do you hate it all? Are you like me – loving every part of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts below! Bye!