Back at the end of the suburbs in the Polish town of Kraków there are still some very decadent houses scattered on the valley that takes you all the way down to the feet of the Tatra mountains. The people from the city are deeply enamoured of the atmosphere and landscapes of the extreme wings of the Carpathian lands, and every time there is some free holiday or just a space for a short trip, they climb on their snowy tops to become one with nature.
The natives also know that many legends dwell in those mountains. Everyone has heard of the famous wind that shifts moods and make people uneasy, to the point where some unstable people may lose their mental balance on one side of the other. The halny wind and its effects on people is just one of the multiple legends and particular cases that build the legend of the legendary curves of the mountains. But once you leave the Tatra and enter the regions surrounding the city of Kraków in the Małopolska region the influence of the high tops and foggy legends is supposed to leave you completely.
People may openly laugh at you if you mention that you suffer from this or that effect of the mountains in Kraków. Therefore, what I am about to explain would be quite possible taken with a huge grain of salt by the citizens of this town.
Read it as you want. Doubt me as you please. But remember, I have no desire to fool anybody after what I have witnessed with my own eyes.
It was on Valentine´s day that I decided to do something different. As you may know by now I am not particularly fond of this festivity lately. Let´s say I just wanted to disappear from the face of the earth in the interval between the 14th and the 15th of that month. It marked my sixth anniversary since my first visit to this town and for the first time I was about to spend it on my own. Literally, alone.
I took the first bus I saw from work and stopped where the bus line ends. It was a rainy evening and of course I forgot to bring my umbrella or adequate shoes for rain. I couldn´t care less, the tougher the conditions were, the better I would feel as I needed to distract my brain from melancholy thoughts. I just wanted to be outside of the town that welcomed me with love and promises of a beautiful life.
I just wanted to be out. Even it is was a matter of a simple step out of the town. I was very close from getting my goal when I saw a place where I could sit safe from the rain and from every occasional person that could stroll in the area. I opened my little bottle of wiśniówka vodka and took a long sip. I figured I would buy a new one on my return to Kraków to get a less painful sleep. As I was repeating the up and down movement of my arm my eyes got distracted by the landscape beyond where I was sitting. The street had merely four or five more big houses and then there was nothing beyond the signal of end of town on the right side. It was the darkness at that point me that called me deep into it as I continued walking some minutes on that direction. I was finally out of town, comforted by this and by the taste of vodka in my mouth. The only light came from the random calls I was getting on my phone that was in silence mode. I remember thinking I should have left it at home since I wasn´t going to talk to anybody about what I was going to do anyway.
The rain started to pour harder on me on the next minutes forcing me to look for somewhere to shelter me while the storm passed. At first I thought I would be forced to return to the town since there was absolutely nothing at sight. And then, right after the lightning struck I could glimpse a house on the left side of the narrow road. It was obviously abandoned for long time, no light inside and the latest signs from life in it must have been the rests of the adventures of some teenagers the previous afternoon: empty beer cans, some cigarette butts spread around and the smell of youth gone drifting through the old walls. The house must have belonged to a family long time ago, since there were still some furnitures inside it. The door had been completely removed from its joints, so the state of those chairs and sofas was half eaten by rats, youngsters and other animals of their kind.
You may be wondering how I ventured into an empty dark house in a stormy evening as the one I was enjoying that day. Wasn´t I scared? Wasn´t I fearing anybody would tell me to get the fuck out of there?
Spierdalaj, Hiszpan! Co tu ty robisz?
Nothing of that happened, as I was half drunk by sadness and vodka already. I am a very emotional person, and that combined with my lack of ability to stand the values and qualities of the Polish liquor I didn´t quite fully comprehend the nature of my actions.
Yet, I went on and on with what I was supposed to be doing down there. Now, if I tell you I had brought some black candles from my house,would you believe me? Yes, sir. I wanted to recreate some dark moment in such circumstances. I lit up some candles over one of the tables in that room. It allowed me to see more clearly the details of the place I was going to spend some time for my solo party. The place had three tables, two chairs and one sofa close to the tables.
The walls around the decaying furniture were covered with graffiti. At first, nothing shocking: football hooligans from the two main clubs making a competition on who is the most brute of them. A classic. But there was something else behind the table where I had lit up the candles. It was like a diagram that reminded me of the pentagrams I used to study. I have always experimented a lot of pleasure digging into the occult and that symbol on the wall got my full attraction.
Relinque te profundum inferni
I couldn´t be more excited about this. I know it may sound crazy, but it was all I was looking for: a place where to dump all my previous excitements of Valentine´s days, my melancholic thoughts, my depression, my sadness. This environment was ideal for my purposes. I opened some books and started to read aloud some lines from my favourite books and writers. I wanted to be there with my dark side on full display. I got some more vodka in my system and I smoked something more than what you find in the regular shop.
I was high on the dark. Knee deep into my own blackness.
Suddenly, when everything was just about perfect, I realised I wasn´t the only one enjoying the moment in that house. There was someone right behind me. I could hear the way someone breathed, the sighs and the smell of someone as rotten inside as me. I looked in the direction that my senses told me to do and there was nothing or no one there. But I knew there was somebody else in there and I desperately wanted to see who it was so I could know what to expect.
It was then that I started to feel nervous and scared. Not before. Just then, at that precise moment.
The fact that I couldn´t picture what was there makes you more scared. The fact that this thing is touching you and talking to you can drive you insane. This creature that I couldn´t see – I wouldn´t dare to say it was invisible since my own abilities were somehow diminished by the ingestion of heavy doses of alcohol and narcotics started to talk to me:
Wiem co czujesz. Wiem czego pragniesz. Ja moge ci dac.Tylko mów i będe dla ciebie. Chcesz śmierć? Jestem śmierć.
The words and the message was clear to me. That person knew who I was and what I wanted. It spoke to me for some minutes while I weighed on my life experiences.
I don’t know how or when but the last thing I remember is feeling the thing’s hands covering my eyes before I fell asleep.
The next morning I was back in my bed, inside my own flat in Kraków. How I arrived there I cannot know. All I know is that I was sure that the events of the previous night had been real. If I told anyone they would take me as a madman. Nobody would believe a single word of what I would say.
As I got ready to start work the following day I received a call from the porter downstairs. There was a package waiting for me in the hall of my building. I got dressed with the first clothes I found around and I took the lift downstairs to check what it was.
The package was completely painted in black and it was extremely heavy. The porter asked me if I needed help to take it to my flat but I refused any help since it was a surprisingly small object that I had between my hands. I needed to put it several times on the floor in and out of the lift in order to finally take it to my flat.
When I finally succeeded in setting it on full display on my table I couldn´t believe it had taken me so long to be carried. It was a square pack, about 5 cm in each direction and measure. I opened it very easily though.
I couldn´t believe that such a heavy package only contained a single piece of paper in its interior. The rest was black and the note was a stripe of paper cut accidentally and in a hurry. On it the following words were written:
Live or die, love or hate. No matter. You will bleed for me in the end. Just as everyone else. The only way to be free is to discover the way to deal with your life in the meantime.
You will be mine unless you are yours.