» The Dark Lady - Dark Stories

- An April/2004 Special Feature -

by Herbert Jerry Baker

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Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city all alone--

And so it came to pass that the strange enigmatic figure called Death had long grieved over his dark and lonely fate; and in the midst of the cold stone walls of his haunted palace, his ghostly city, his voice was often heard to cry out.
‘O Fates! Where is thy mercy?’ he would beseech the Nameless Gods that he himself did fear, ‘hath thee no soul?’
Often in his great despair would he wander throughout the vast darkness which covered his unnatural Kingdom that lies in lands unknown; repeatedly did those who cower and gibber in the never-ending night cringe before the harsh painful voice of their master, Death.
‘Too long have I been as one! Too long have I been alone with none but the ghouls to break my uneasy solitude!’ Death would cry out into the endless silence which hovered heavily about his dark desolate domain.
‘Even man, thy lowliest creature, hath a mate, a companion; yet I, Death, the Lord of Darkness, I am alone!’ would the dark figure rage in his anger.
The very walls of his palace trembled before the wrath of Death and it was upon this very night, when his fury filled him so, that, as the last fading echo of his emotional outburst slowly died that a bright sudden light shone down from above and fell upon the city of Death. It was then that solemn intoning voice called out to Death and the black robed figure knelt in supplication.
’Death, I have heard thy words and am here to offer succor unto thee’ said the voice and Death raised his hands towards the light.
’O great light God’ cried Death, ’grant me but one request. Give me one to call mine own for always; for this darksome solitude gnaws upon me and drives me to melancholia and fits of deep despair.’
’Ere I can grant thee such, I must confer with those Others that also rule this vast Cosmos,’ answered the echoing voice. The light, which had covered the city of Death, narrowed and soon only the lone figure of Death stood bathed in its pure bright glow.
A low humming seemed to fill the air and Death was certain that he heard several voices speaking at once; then a solemn tone filled the air.
’O Death, why should ye be granted a mate? Ye are but a cold evil thing, uncaring and devoid of feelings.’
‘Nay!’ cried Death, ‘I be neither good nor evil; I merely am. I be but one of those Beings whose forces reach throughout All and I do what I must.’
A feminine voice cried out to the dark-robed figure. ‘What dost thee say to the feelings of love, Death? Hath thee ne’er been overtaken by the tears and words of those ye take and those ye leave?’
‘Aye. I have heard the words of love and bereavement, and they did touch mine heart. It was upon my long contemplation thereof that mine own desire for a mate to ease my loneliness arose,’ replied Death.
‘Death hath spoken!’ intoned the voice of God and the other voices fell silent. As Death watched, the light which had bathed him slowly lifted and the darkness rushed towards him, wrapping itself about him; yet the light remained over the broken remnants of his shadowy city.
Long moments passed ere the solemn voice called forth once again and Death bowed his cloaked head to await the judgement of God.
‘Very well, Death, I will do as ye request,’ answered the voice that Death called God. ‘I shall send one to thee; one to be with thee for all of Eternity to share thy lonely darkness and empty solitude.’
Slowly did the dazzling light fade from the skies above the city of gloom and eagerly did the figure of Death return to the throne-room of his palace, therein to await the coming of his promised bride.
As he sat upon the carven bones which comprised his throne, his eyes caught a small glow beneath the doors of his innermost chambers; Death quickly arose and hurried to investigate. Throwing open the portal, he strode into the vault’s interior, and there before him, surrounded by a pale blue radiance, stood a wavering figure.
Death stepped closer to the beckoning figure and he gently raised the veil which covered her face. He smiled at her pale lifeless face as he took her into his arms. She too smiled upon the hard skeletal features of Death as he bent to kiss her dark scarlet lips, and she met his cold passion with a fury of her own. Death took her long bloodless fingers and escorted her to his throne; as she sat upon the ancient carven bones the ghouls crawled close and knelt low in supplication before her.
And so it came to pass that Death had at long last met one worthy of his darksome powers; a mate to dwell with him in darkness forever; his love, The Dark Lady, Lady Death.... 


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Copyright © 2004 Herbert Jerry Baker