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Keeper of Things.

The indescribable stench grew stronger by the day; even he could hardly bear it. It was no wonder people avoided him like the plague, he had stopped going outside the house long ago. In the beginning, he tried to mask it with a strong cologne of various types but in the end, it became futile. Besides when his appearance began to deteriorate it was pointless. Even if they could not smell him, the look of horror on their faces when they caught sight of him, was soul-destroying. So now he rattled around the big old house and tended to the artifacts. Everything he needed was provided just like they had told him in the job description. That once-in-a-lifetime job that he once thought he was so lucky to land.

Curator of a private museum, best conditions offered to suitable candidates. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, be careful what you wish for he thought. Now here he was surrounded by absolute opulence wanting for nothing and doing the job he always wanted, while he slowly decayed. A living death in pursuit of earning a living, the irony of it brought a thin smile to his cracked lips. Right from the beginning, the whole thing was a little strange, the job interview took place in a dusty old office that appeared to be from another time. The man with the wire-framed spectacles that conducted the interview might have materialized from a bygone era. The interviewer appeared more interested in the fact that he had no living relatives than in any pertinent job experience. Looking back many things were a little out of the ordinary, but then again, they say, hindsight is twenty, twenty vision. So here he found himself in a gilded cage, one that he would only leave for the next life.

He made his way arduously down the steel staircase to the hidden strong room. The bank of lights overhead the glass cases made a faint humming sound when he turned them on. Shuffling down the aisle he stopped occasionally to run his cotton gloves over one or other glass case to check for dust. He paused at one that contained a Nazi officer’s hat with the SS emblems; he placed both hands on the case. A searing light flashed through his brain and he was standing there in the death camp, screams echoed in his ears and he smelled death and fear. He backed away quickly and the vision faded, his eyes traversed the room. Taking in the items on display, an officer’s sword that spilled the blood of children, iron nails that fixed a man to a wooden cross, a garrotte that had ended the lives of young women.

Countless other things with long histories, each one with a provenance of pure evil. He was not a mere curator; he was a keeper of things. He kept these abominable things away from the world outside; it was a blessing for the world and a curse for him. You see these artifacts had witnessed and taken part in unspeakable events. More and more arrived with each passing year and with each new item came more corrosive knowledge. Upstairs again he braved a rare glimpse in the mirror, his breath caught in his chest. The skeletal decaying apparition that stared back was a far cry from a normal thirty-five-year-old. But when you lived close to such evil, it took a great toll. Soon he thought they will need to employ a new keeper of things.

Recommended1 Simily SnapPublished in Fantasy, Fiction, Horror

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