Do You Have A Moment To Talk About Our Lord Bacchus?

📅 Published on August 6, 2020

“Do You Have A Moment To Talk About Our Lord Bacchus?”

Written by William Dalphin
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 7 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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It is the night of Bacchanalia, and we are heading to the celebration. The woods are dense, but the path has been clearly marked with torches leading to the glade. We arrive – I, my wife, and our four children – dressed gaily in warm colors, save my eldest who wears a white dress. She gives us each a kiss on the cheek, then makes her way over to the small circle of similarly-dressed girls. One of them shall be the lucky maiden chosen to be this year’s cupbearer.

Many families are already at the glade. There is no shame in being last, but I always feel best knowing there are still others not yet arrived. Anton Walsh, the chief of police, merrily greets us with brightly flushed cheeks. Several casks of wine have been opened already, and I’m certain Anton insisted on being first to taste each. We grew up together, he and I, and I am eternally in his debt for bringing me into the fold.

When the last participant arrives, the celebration moves into full swing. The wine flows plentifully, as does the conversation. A few new converts are introduced, their faces a mix of anxious curiosity and excitement. I’m sure they’ve been told what to expect, but it’s one thing to hear it, and a completely different beast to witness it and participate in it. Each new follower has an assigned support partner to ensure they don’t have a hard time of things.

The hour grows late, but the festivities still aren’t even truly begun. I have been feasting heavily all year, striving to make myself a suitable host for the rickety man. My daughter says I remind her of the Pagan figure, Kris Kringle, and I clutch my gut with boisterous laughter at the thought. I imagine Santa Claus becoming the rickety man’s vessel would give the little Christian children nightmares for years.

Someone shouts. Across the clearing, Franklin Hoffstedler, history teacher at the high school, clutches his own stomach and a hush falls over the rest of us. A number of us check our watches; the time is right, but the sky is dark and overcast. A murmur passes among those gathered. Could this truly be it? A child’s voice calls out, “is he okay?” and is quickly hushed. Above us, the clouds part, and the moon casts its gaze upon the proceedings. Frank, fifty-three years old, groans loudly and grips his wife’s shoulder. It’s time!

The cupbearer hurries through, excusing herself as she pushes people aside. It is my oldest. She glances at me with a smile as she passes, and I watch proudly as she kneels before the Hoffstedlers, holding the chalice out just as she had practiced a hundred times in ritual. The cup is made of polished bronze, gilded with leaves and a stem of twisted grapevines. The head of a bull is emblazoned upon the side.

Frank’s eyes bulge in their sockets and his mouth hangs agape, tongue lolling out. His body contorts, wrenching forward at the waist. Two men, Jared and Peter McGregor, appear behind him and begin tearing at his clothes, pinning his arms back behind him and thrusting his ample gut forward. We all watch wide-eyed, the spectacle never ceasing to amaze us. The rickety man makes his entrance, tearing himself out of Franklin Hoffstedler, his crooked, needle-like fingers unzipping the man from within with a gout of blood and fine, red mist that covers my oldest. Jacqueline Hoffstedler screams in rapture. Two of the freshly converted participants faint, unaccustomed to the sight. The rest of us cheer at the blessing the Hoffstedlers have received. Their family has been devout followers for decades, among the oldest in the town, and Frank really was the best choice, I must confess.

The rickety man with his knobby limbs and crooked body sheds the skin suit with the air of a professional magician, holding his hands aloft as Frank’s meat sloughs off him, barely a piece of viscera or smattering of blood on his fine, green suit. Jared and Peter lower the remains gently, helping the rickety man step out onto the grass. Bending down on his wooden legs, he pulls a laurel wreath out of the cavity from which he stepped, and places it upon his bald, swollen head. He looks down upon my oldest, her hands trembling as she holds the cup up for him, and plucks it from her grasp. His face is a smooth mask of white ceramic with a broad, black smile painted on, and gently he runs his fingers through her hair. My heart races in my chest with joy. If he finds her pleasing, he might later show my family favor by taking her.

The chalice is dipped into the bowl of Frank’s open flesh and his blood collected for the final ritual of the night’s proceedings. As soon as the receptacle is filled, the McGregor brothers cart the now hollowed-out vessel of Frank’s body to the table, where the small children eagerly await with their plates and utensils. They shall remain here at the glade while the final ritual is performed by the adults.

Someone produces a flute made of ivory, handed down for generations, and starts to play a joyful tune as the rest of the coterie begin stripping off our attire. We laugh and dance with the rickety man, his feet clacking together as he skips about, miraculously avoiding spilling a single crimson drop from the cup. Once we’re all undressed, he halts his jig. Like a storefront mannequin, the rickety man’s lower half swivels completely around, his upper half remaining fixed momentarily before rotating to follow suit, and he proceeds to dance down the torch-lit path toward town. Where he leads, we will follow, cavorting and grinding against each other in mindless ecstasy.

We lose track of time as we follow the rickety man like children following the pied piper. His path leads us down side streets around the back of town, past the post office and library and up toward the street where my own house is. The company reaches our street and my anticipation is so palpable that I’m shaking. I look at my wife and she at me, her eyes matching mine in fevered excitement. We hold hands and skip along after the rickety man, who clacks and clops down the road ahead of our throng, his cup of blood in raised hand.

Every house is dark. Many are empty, their occupants dancing among our number. Some do not worship Bacchus as we do though, and their houses remain unlit because they do not understand. They live under the assumption that the night of Bacchanalia is something to be feared and that, if they pretend they are not home, maybe we won’t come visit them and make them join in our festivities. In this, they are mistaken.

The rickety man now passes our house, and for a second his head turns and looks directly at me. I see the black hollows of his eyes acknowledging me and I can barely contain myself. His painted smile seems to broaden. I feel his blessing upon me. I just want to throw myself at his feet and thank him, but I dare not interrupt the proceedings.

Just past our house, at the home of our neighbors John and Gretchen Erickson, he halts in his joyous parade and we all fall back in hushed silence, watching. The flutist is too wrapped up in his playing and someone gives him a swat on the back of the head to make him stop. The rickety man turns to cast his hollow, black sockets over our gathering, his swollen head bobbing to its own mysterious melody, then proceeds to dance – clackety-clack – up the sidewalk to the front door, where he casually dips his long, thin fingers into the vessel holding Frank’s blood and then draws the symbol of our lord Bacchus upon the door. He steps aside, bows to us, tipping his laurel, and then watches with silent expectancy.

This is the moment. I’m so happy for my neighbors. My wife and I had tried to convert them since they moved in late last year, shared our meeting schedule and pamphlets, but they had politely declined. I can’t tell you the nights I had spent wondering if there was something more I could be doing to sway them. Now I knew, Bacchus is wise and gracious… he wanted us to see that we were not foolish to try. He would bestow his blessing upon the Ericksons this night.

Howling with insane glee, the company becomes a horde. We give in to reckless abandon, throwing ourselves against the door. The first is Alan Masterson, a retired electrician. He is crushed between the barrier and the mob before it gives, and his battered body collapses under our trampling feet when the door crashes inward. The house is dark, but already we hear the commotion of the Ericksons awakening upstairs. We rush to meet them – John, Gretchen, and their three beautiful children – as they come to their bedroom doors, eyes wide with confusion and fear. I want to tell them how blessed they are to be favored by Bacchus this night, but all I can do is roar like a lion pouncing upon its prey. My vision goes red with bloodlust, or maybe it’s just blood; I can no longer tell the difference. My mind is raw emotion: desire, hunger, unadulterated pleasure. I can’t hear anything but screaming and the racing of my heartbeat in my ears.

We tear the Ericksons to pieces, consuming their flesh, painting our bodies with their blood. Young and old surrender to this primal desire, devouring everything they can dig their fingers and teeth into. I have the briefest glimpse of my wife with a cord of entrails wrapped around her neck. She looks so inviting that I can’t contain myself and pull her to me, mashing our lips together and grinding against each other until we fall into a pile of similarly undulating bodies. We make love on the blood-stained carpet, surrounded by other fornicators and exquisite, glistening viscera.

After, we return to the glade where our children have finished feasting. The rickety man has long since vanished, returning from whence he came. Our eldest is not among our number, and I weep with joy at her good fortune. I expect that when my time comes, and my soul is taken to the dark lands, I shall see her again, seated among the many blessed brides of Bacchus. Maybe next year, if I remain diligent in my gluttony, the rickety man shall choose me to be his vessel.

As the evening’s revelry winds down, we all feel our euphoria fade. The realization hits us, some harder than others. A young teen boy, his family newly converted, wretches into the bushes, trying to purge his stomach of its contents. It can be hard at first for those who are new, but in time they will come to understand that the feeling of regret is only temporary. We all get that moment of doubt afterward, the sense of “what have we done?” I’ll admit that there’s even a few – a scant, rare few – who do the unthinkable later and take their own lives. This is why we stay together, because together we are strong. Together, we endure. I take a deep breath and let the feeling of guilt pass.

It’s over.

We collect our belongings and gather up the little ones. What little of Frank Hoffstedler was left by the children is discarded into the woods for the wild animals. The now-empty casks are packed away to be reused later. Everybody says their goodbyes, and then we part ways to return home, where we will wash ourselves clean and start anew. It should be an interesting week for my family this year. We’ve never had the ritual occur so close to home. Before we leave, Anton assures my wife and I that everything will go smoothly. We thank him, wish him and his family a blessed day, and make our way home.

Until next year.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by William Dalphin
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: William Dalphin


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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