Morien Jones




The Colonists

by  Cyril Lewis Jones


Wampanoag Sends Out His Spirit

Like a war lance launched, he soared over forest and cliff to run glittering in moonlight over the eastern sea. The dark swell of waves rose and fell under his moccasined feet, as now, swift as a war cry, he flew over the brightening horizon of the day. A day that was still to come for his people.

The war drum of the dark one was loud now in this grey wilderness of the ocean. He scanned the horizon like a hunting bird. Then he saw it and swooped to rest on the mast, like a bird on the tallest forest pine.

Singing the song of his brother the pine he was admitted and ran through its fibres, down into the darkness of this longhouse on the water.

He flew around in the thick evil of the place shouting his defiance into the blood of the dark one who slept there. He raised the spirit spear, drove it hard into the lower decking of the hold and withdrew. It was as much as his attenuated spirit could accomplish.

The vampire awoke with a cry of pain and rage as the spirit spear seared through his heart. Never before had he been hunted in this manner. His fury hissed and slavered. It demanded blood. Something in the new world of the west was as old as he. He must be strong.

The Return

Wampanoag the Massasoit chief still sat cross-legged and upright on the hill above his village. Some hours had passed since he had raised the shaman's wooden bowl to his lips and drank the infusion that had sent his soul to search like a sea bird over the eastern horizon.

He knew now that the darkness that had moved through his dreams for many months was coming in the white man's longhouse that moved on the water. The strange hides that caught the wind like cupped hands was bringing the old evil ever closer.

The Diary of  William Brewster
Ship's Chronicler
December 19th 1620

We have been driven before the storm that, God be thanked, has now abated. We are well north of Virginia and will make the first landfall that the Almighty will deliver unto us. It cannot be soon enough as a sickness of body and soul is upon us. John Stanhope, one of the Elect of God, is dead. He was not taken by the slow wasting that has drained the life from the four seamen we have lost.

It was but yesterday that we prayed and broke bread together. John Carver and John Alden found him lying amongst the ship's provisions. A soul at final judgment could not show more terror than that which was upon his face. If he were not a Separatist who was to build God's Holy City in the new world I would say he died a soul in torment. I pray God that we soon find land. The winter storm has all but blasted the promise of our good Mayflower, that and our fool navigator who has missed our landfall in Virginia by some two hundred miles.

December 21st 1620

God be praised in this new world granted unto us even in the days of our adversity. This day Peregrine White has born aboard the Mayflower and is our first New Englander. We are now forty-one Separatists and sixty-six Sectarians and do work with one will. There is much fetching and carrying; hewing and clearing; all heavy work done with light hearts.

February 3rd 1621

What lightness of soul we once possessed has been consumed even with the ship's provision we have ate. If it were not for the alms and charity we receive from the native Indians we would perish. God keeps our hearts humble in this guise for his mighty purpose. Were not the Israelites in the desert fed by ravens? The native food is strange but good and gives us strength. The turkey birds, corn and salt cod is cause for thanksgiving and we do praise both God and his noble savages who sustain us in this land. The winter continues harsh but they teach us to hunt and fish and gather for ourselves. We instruct them in the making of tools and the ways of God.

March 10th

Many begin to fear the onset of night and are tormented by fearful reams of a demon that visits them as they sleep. I say they are but weak in body but Edward Winslow declared before the Assembly of the Elect that the unclean thoughts of an impure spirit provides the surest entrance for the devil. He calls upon us to renounce the works of Satan and chastise all sinners.

I like it not.

March 12th

Sarah Albright has refused the sacraments and all instructions. Her sister declared that she meets a man by night. Scandal is abroad and damages us both by day and night. I do earnestly pray for Spring and sunshine to liberate us from our houses. I do fear that this confinement doth harm our wits.

The Union

"The blood of this new land is more to me than promised sweetness of milk and honey. When its people shall be as the cedars in Lebanon, I will still move among them ... and be their bane. You shall be he first of my chosen people and we will walk the paths of their history and trouble them in all their courses."

The vampire opened his arms to embrace Sarah Albright. His white shirt was open to his waist and with the nail of his right index finger he drew a bright crescent of blood from which she drank with ecstatic lips.

The Witness

The spirit of Wampanoag circled helplessly around the forest clearing. Excluded by the strength of their unity he flew like a bird that seeks to enter the dark dome of a temple. When he returned to his body he was sick and weak. The Knowledge of the darkness must be shared by all the shamans of the Massasoit tribe, and all their sons, and their sons' sons. The Knowledge must live and pass to all the tribes of the great sea and forest, and on to those of the western plains. But first he must speak with the elders of the white man's tribe.

Had the spirit of Wampanoag had strength to circle just a little longer he would have seen Atakara, a daughter of the Massasoit, walk from the forest and also drink as deeply of the vampire's blood.

March 15th

I have watched with Wampanoag and have witnessed for myself the obscene monster drink of her blood, and she did swoon upon him all the while. I, like she, was one of God's Elect to build the Holy City but I stood by a pagan savage and did quake with fear and shame.

That we have brought this darkness to their innocent land there can be no doubt. That we have returned their good with this evil makes me cry unto the Lord with grief and guilt. The creature was clad in the manner of our puritan brotherhood, and how it revolted me to see such obscenity clothed in such restraint.

We have learned from Wampanoag that Sarah Albright is now lost to us, and lives only at night with her dark paramour. Now they seek our blood that they may live. Tomorrow moving in the grace of God's sunlight, we will enter the cave in which they lie together.

The Hunt

John Albright, Solomon Johns, David Tyler and William Brewster with Wampanoag , his son and two shamans of the Massasoit were in the hunting party. Each carried a wooden lance that was a replica of the spirit lance with which Wampanoag had first confronted the vampire. The painted symbols glittered in the sunlight on the shaft, and the feathers twirled in the first warm winds of Spring. The medicine lances had been dipped at Brewster's request, in the Holy Water of the christening font in the Separatists' meeting house. Now each lit a torch and entered the cave together.

They stood in a circle starring at the human shapes that lay before them. John Albright kissed the girl and nodded his assent. As the lance destroyed her heart she gave a scream that revealed the horror of her fangs.

The vampire whirled from rest screaming his defiance. The hunters formed their line across the cave preventing his escape into either of the two short tunnels that led off from the main cave.

They stepped forward, resolutely driving him to the light before their levelled lances. He was now a silhouette that screamed and hissed with fetid breath, eyes glittering hatred.

"I curse you, I curse your children, and I curse this land. You will never be free of me! Never."

The daylight lapped at his heels and they dissolved, pitching him into the bright pool of sunshine that lay on the dust of the cave entrance. It was a dust that was added to as they watched the creature crumple and decay.

Wampanoag turned and walked slowly back into the cave, past the body of Sarah Albright. He entered first one, and then the other of the two short tunnels, gave a cursory glance around, and left.

Had he walked further towards the darkest corner he would have discovered the crouching figure of Atakara, panting in the darkness, fangs bared, coiled to spring...



Copyright Morien Wyn Jones 2008. All rights reserved.


A short story by Cyril Lewis Jones first published in Tomb Magazine in 1996.



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