Trapped. We were locked away in our wretched prisons, cursed to an existence of misery and waiting. From outside our cells, people passed by, unaware of our torment. They looked up at us and we back at them, and yet they perceived nothing. We wailed and cried out in our torment, but they didn’t hear us. They just shivered and hurried away.
For three and half centuries – the full length of a high priest’s power to cast – we waited. And watched. Lady Hyacinth of Gent, in particular, paid our wailing special heed. She alone seemed able to hear our cries. The Lord of Gent responded by covering our prisons over with black cloths. And so, for nearly a century, we were left in darkness.
Finally, when the time of our torment had passed and we expected the return or a new priest to entrap us once again, our veils were lifted and we saw daylight. But rather than a priest, strangers greeted our eyes. They were dressed in light, brightly colored, and surprisingly revealing clothes, two young boys – no, a young man and a woman with hair like a man – looked up at us.
“Whoa, Susan, check this out,” said the boy, gazing up at us.
Then they weren’t priests at all! No one had come to entrap us!
“Totally wicked,” she breathed, clearly amazed at the artistry that went into crafting our cells. We shrieked at them both to leave and the pair of them shivered as one in reply.
“Dude!” the young man cried. “Did you feel that?”
“For sure, this place really is haunted. How awesome is that? I got goosebumps.”
It was just as well that fresh visitors had come. The bonds of our prisons were weakening and we could sense the fibers beginning to grow soft. Soon, we would break free and would have these two young fools as new hosts. At long last, the curse would be shattered and the old spirits of the house of Gent would reclaim their castle. The land would be cast into a darkness that would last a thousand years and no priest would be able to break it! We would reign terror such as would make our former glory look like a mere practice in the black arts.
There! The surface of the world rippled like a stone being tossed into a pond. We could see the castle hall begin to warp and shimmer. We could feel the bonds loosening. Don’t leave, little ones! Wait for us! Wait!
“Darren, check this out,” the girl said, looking down. It was just as well. If she saw our faces spring to life, she’d be struck dead with fright and would be ruined as a vessel.
“It’s an inscription,” said the boy, Darren. He read aloud, “’Let the bonds of eternity and the hand God hold back the darkness of these cursed souls. Let their place forever be here in this darkest hall that they shall roam no more.’”
A collective shriek shot through the entire household of Gent. We cried out in horror as the bonds snapped tight like a noose around our necks. Impossible! It could not be! The boy wasn’t even a priest!
“Freaky weird,” said the girl, tugging at the boy’s arm. “Let’s get out of here. These paintings are giving me the creeps.”