They called it marriage

They never call it sacrifice to enter Y’bhag’s cave.
“It’s marriage, honoring your family.” mother priestess said.

My real mother cried when she dressed me in the gown of silk and satin.

This year Y’bhag requested ten virgins.

I am the last to enter the stinking pit they call his palace.
Musicians lead me in my last Bandara as curtains of his cobwebs grace my cheeks.
My heart races as it’s never done before.

I hear the clicking from his pincers.
Coming closer. Closer.

Then all is dark.
In joy I know the harvest is secured for yet another year.

© Roger Bultot

To the image reminds me of cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, and this brought me into a Lovecraft world of hideous monsters, and the ritual sacrifices of girls.

Rochelle selects the picture, and writes the story. Every Wednesday we pretend it’s Friday. We are the Friday Fictioneers.

January 3, 2017

116 responses to “They called it marriage

  1. The whole “virgin” thing makes me wonder if the monster just wants to eat them or if it’s “fate worse than death” time?

  2. A dark story, Björn. I was delighted when I saw the photo that prompted this piece. The fact that it reminded you of cobwebs that turned into this dark tale is one of the things I like to see most from a prompt. Probably because it’s how my mind works too. I rarely can take a prompt as it is, I like to twist it to make it into something different.

  3. That was an awful story…in many cultures this is still done. And they call is marriage. It is interesting to know, the most often reason women go to the hospital is from domestic abuse….and this is the reason for many deaths….they call it marriage, and they celebrate.

  4. While reading your story gave me shivers, hearing you read it amplified it by 1000! Well done and awful, awful, awful… (in a well-written way!)

  5. Happy or sad there is usually a story to be had. But with this prompt I never expected ‘ten virgins’

  6. Dear Björn,

    It’s been said already, but I’ll say it again. Your stellar reading of this piece serves to intensify the chill. Her willingness to sacrifice herself for the harvest took my breath away. Well done!



  7. As others have said, lovely creepy atmosphere and love the webs stroking her cheek a tender and eerie image. I would love to know why it is that Ancient Evils always require young girls as sacrifice, not, say older men … 🙂

  8. Love your take on it, Bjorn! 🙂 Lovecraft-ish, indeed. Had me swiping my cheek just in case…

  9. I loved hearing you read it, Bjorn. I’d love to figure out how to do that myself–and perhaps will–if I ever grow beyond my laziness and procrastination stage.

  10. There are so many correlations I can draw to real life from this story. The way women are always being sacrificed, used and abused, underpaid etc. And then also other women helping this along it the high priestess. The creature representing forced marriage partners, abusive partners, tyrannic governments convincing citizens of the need for sacrifice or collateral damage or higher taxes. And we go along with it.
    Caught in their web. Nicely written and recited too!

  11. The touch of cobwebs, the stench and the darkness, all create a terrifying picture. I hope her joy at knowing the harvest was safe was fulfilled. A great read.

  12. Holy monkies…. This, was, amazing, odd, I don’t typically see myself as the characters in stories, I usually feel like an onlooker, or a peeping tom, depending on the scene, but this time as i read I pictured myself being main cast XD. nicely done

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