The Resurrection of Elias Blackwood

Each week, I send out a story via my email newsletter. Each story is around 1000 words, sometimes less, sometimes more. The stories are in a variety of genres: supernatural, thriller, sci-fi, horror, and sometimes romance, and all of my stories typically feature a gay protagonist.

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This is story number 8 of the series. Enjoy!

The Resurrection of Elias Blackwood

The mourners gathered around, their black garments stark against the bleak grey sky. I watched them from my vantage point in the casket, my body no longer stiff and cold. It was a strange sensation, observing one’s own funeral.

Just four days prior, I had succumbed to a vicious fever that ravaged my body, stealing my vitality until nothing remained but a husk. My love, William, had tended to me tirelessly, but even his devotion could not conquer death. With a final shuddering breath, I had slipped into the void.

So how was it that I found myself awake, my heart beating steadily in my chest as the priest droned on about ashes and dust? I flexed my fingers experimentally, marveling at the way they obeyed my commands. Slowly, I sat up.

I found myself staring into a sea of horrified faces.

Screams pierced the air again as the mourners scrambled back in terror. Women fainted, men stumbled backward, and children burst into tears. I was at my own funeral.

“Demon!” one woman shrieked, clutching at her rosary. “The devil has claimed him!”

“It’s a miracle!” someone else shouted.

“It’s God’s hand!” another shouted.

“No, it’s the devil’s work!” another voice countered.

I climbed out of the casket on shaky legs, holding up my hands in supplication. “Please, I mean you no harm. It is I, Elias. I know not how, but I live.”

William pushed through the crowd, his green eyes wide with shock and wonder. “Elias? Is it truly you?” He reached out a trembling hand to touch my face.

I leaned into his touch, breathing in the familiar scent of sandalwood and ink. I whispered so nobody else would hear. “It is me, my love. Though I confess, I am as astonished as you.”

Memories flashed through my mind as I implored William — secret smiles exchanged in church, stolen kisses under the oak tree, whispered promises in the dark of night. What we shared was pure and true, an unbreakable bond.

William was pushed back by the village priest, Father O’Malley. “Stay back, my son,” the priest warned. “This is an abomination.”

Murmurs rippled through the gathered townsfolk. Some eyed me with suspicion, others with outright hostility. The priest brandished his cross at me. “Be gone, foul creature! We’ll not tolerate your evil on these hallowed grounds.”

“That’s nonsense,” I argued weakly, my legs wobbling beneath me, threatening to give way. “William, please. You know me.”

William positioned himself protectively in front of me. “He is no creature! He is a man, same as he ever was. A miracle has occurred here today.”

“Or a curse,” someone muttered.

“I’m not an abomination,” I insisted. “I was sick, yes, but I’m better now. It must have been a mistake. Please, I mean you no harm. It is I, Elias. The same Elias I have always again.”

“You were dead for four days,” Father O’Malley declared. “Cold, stiff with no heartbeat. No man returns from such a state without the touch of evil.”

The priest’s words sent a chill down my spine. Just like the stories of old, whispered legends of those who died and rose again, forever changed. Lazarus, the man Jesus brought back from the dead. The Norse draugr, reanimated corpses with superhuman strength. The Chinese jiangshi, revenants who fed on the qi of the living.

Was I now one of them, these unnatural beings trapped between life and death? The thought filled me with dread.

But as the initial shock wore off, my funeral turned into an impromptu celebration. I found myself at the center of attention, bombarded with questions I couldn’t answer. How had I survived? What had I experienced? Was there truly an afterlife?

Others, kept their distance.

Through it all, William remained by my side, a steady presence in the chaos. As night fell and the crowd finally dispersed, I found myself in William’s bedroom, the two of us, alone.

“When I lost you, it was like the sun going out,” he confessed, voice choked with emotion. “I did not know how to keep living in a world without your smile, your laugh, your touch…”

He took my hand, interlacing his fingers with mine. “Promise you will never leave me again,” he implored.

I hesitated, a sense of foreboding washing over me. The legends spoke of the resurrected turning on those they once loved, a unholy hunger overriding all mortal bonds. What if the same fate awaited me?

“William, I…” I swallowed hard. “I do not know what is happening to me. What if I’m not the same man I was before?”

He cupped my face tenderly. “You will always be my Elias. No matter what. We will face this together.”

I wanted desperately to believe him. With a shaky nod, I let William pull my down onto the bed, losing myself in my lover’s comforting embrace. But even as we lay entwined, the first stirrings of an inhuman craving began to take root in my soul.

In the days that followed, I tried to settle back into the rhythm of my old life. William and I took walks in the countryside, stealing kisses beneath the shelter of oak trees. I returned to my work as a clockmaker, tinkering with gears and springs. But an uneasiness dogged my steps.

There was a restless energy thrumming beneath my skin, a hypersensitivity to the world around me. Colors seemed more vivid, sounds more acute. I found I could go days without sleep, my mind constantly active. And when I did sleep, there were the nightmares — visions of an abyssal darkness that whispered and beckoned.

I tried to confide in William, but the words stuck in my throat. How could I burden the man I loved with the terrifying truth — that I was becoming a monster?

The townsfolk remained wary. Conversations hushed when I entered the room, and furtive glances followed me on the street. Even William had moments of doubt, his eyes shadowed as they searched my face for any hint of change.

Whispers followed me through the village, furtive glances and hushed speculation. They spoke of omens and curses, of unnatural appetites and unspeakable transformations. Some even claimed to have seen me prowling the streets at night, eyes gleaming red in the moonlight.

Despite their misgivings, as the weeks passed without incident, the town began to relax. Perhaps Elias Blackwood truly had been granted a second chance at life. Perhaps it was God’s hand that brought him back. The tense atmosphere eased, and hesitant smiles greeted me in the market square.

Late one evening, a frantic knocking sounded at my door. I opened it to find Mary, the baker’s wife, pale and gasping on my stoop. “Please Mr. Blackwood, you must come quick! It’s Sarah, my daughter. She’s taken gravely ill. I know not what to do. I recalled that you were once an apprentice to Dr. Halpern in the village. I pray to God you might know what to do.”

I followed Mary to her cottage, where young Sarah lay burning with fever. The girl had always been kind to me, even after my resurrection. I could not bear to see her suffering.

Without thinking, I placed my hand on Sarah’s forehead, intending to offer comfort. A surge of energy raced down my arm, and Sarah’s eyes flew open. She took a deep, shuddering breath as the sickly pallor faded from her cheeks.

“A miracle,” Mary whispered.

But it was not a miracle. As Sarah sat up, restored to perfect health, I realized the truth with dawning horror. Whatever force had brought me back, I knew deep down that it was not of Heaven. No, this power was far darker, far more ancient.

I stumbled out into the night, my mind reeling. What had I become? The possibilities terrified me.

In the distance, a figure emerged from the shadows — William. His face was etched with sorrow and grim understanding. “I had hoped I was wrong,” he said softly. “But I see now that the Elias I loved is truly gone.”

“No,” I protested. “I’m still me. I would never harm anyone.”

William shook his head. “Not intentionally. But you cannot control it, can you? This thing inside you. I’ve noticed the changes.”

I opened my mouth to argue, but the words died on my tongue. Because William was right. The hunger gnawing at my core was growing stronger every day, and I feared what I might do to sate it.

With a heavy heart, I knew what I must do. I had to leave, to protect William and the town from the abomination I had become.

With that, I turned and walked into the darkness, unsure of where this path would lead but determined to find answers.

Little did I know, my journey was just beginning. The truth of my resurrection would shake the foundations of everything I believed, and the hunger within me would lead me down a path darker than I could have ever imagined.

But that, as they say, is a story for another time.

The End

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