Cystennin and the Chythraul

Just a short piece I created from a writing prompt given by my friend Neil in a creative writing group I’m part of on facebook. The prompt said that it should be a fictional piece about someone aged between 11-15, who receives a magical antique item on thier birthday.

Before my fifteenth birthday I was just your ordinary welsh teenager. Now I’ve got a higher calling that I didn’t ask for, and one that I don’t really understand. The life I once took for granted has gone forever, and my world will never be the same again. My name is Evan Cystennin, and this is my story…

It all started the same as any of my other birthdays. I woke up late, as mum always let me stay home from school on my birthdays. I dragged my ass down stairs about 11, only to find my house empty. On the kitchen table was a note from my mum telling me that I had a full cooked breakfast in the oven, and all I had to do was reheat it in the microwave. Result. So I pulled my meal of champions out from the oven (it even had black pudding) and threw it in the microwave for 3 minutes. Then I nipped back upstairs, lifted up my mattress, and grabbed the twenty Richmond Superkings that I had stashed there the night before (a sneaky present from ‘cool’ Uncle Dai). They say smoking stunts your growth, but I’d been doing it since I was 12 and was already 6 foot. I think ‘they’ lie.

So I went and stood on my doorstep, sparked one up and tasted my first dose of nicotine as a 15 year old. The streets outside were empty, all the kids were in school and the adults were working. I’d felt like I literally had the small town of Lerpwl to myself. Just as I’d flicked away my still smoking nip, I’d heard a ping come from the kitchen. Sadly I’d never get to eat the breakfast. As I went to the kitchen I’d heard the front door open and close. I thought mum must have come home early from work so I dashed out to meet her.

There was no one in my porch just a strange brown box with the initials J.C engraved into the wooden lid. I opened the door to see who had delivered the box, but there was no one there. I looked down the street no sign of anyone or a vehicle. I remember thinking it was odd, but my curiosity overruled my worry, so I picked up the box and carried it into the living room.

I placed it down on the coffee table, opened it up there was a really old pair of silver glasses, a small silver dagger and a piece of parchment. The words on the piece of parchment read “Dear Evan. These items belonged to your great grandfather. He used them to the see the truth in this messed up world, and send the Chythrauls back to the pit they crawled out from. I’m entrusting these to you, in the hope that you will carry on his work. Happy Birthday, Necro.”

When I’d finished reading I was even more confused, I didn’t have a clue who or what Necro was. I knew Chythraul was a welsh word but I had always sucked at my native language. I’d thought it must have been somebody’s bad idea of a joke. I did have a great grandfather whose initials were indeed J.C but I had never met him. He’d left my great grandmother alone when she was pregnant and moved to America, apparently he was wrapped up in the Occult. He’d died a couple of years later from lung cancer. Why would someone have sent his stuff to Evan now?

First things first I needed to know what Chythraul was, I’d knew Uncle Dai had done well in his Welsh A-levels. So I ran to my house phone, dialled in Dai’s number and asked him to come around with his welsh dictionary. I didn’t say what it was for, but he said he’d get dressed and be over in about ten minutes.

So while I’d waited I’d gone back out to the doorstep and chain-smoked three cigarettes. Dai wasn’t really my uncle, he was just an old friend of the family. He was a bit rough around the edges, would let me stay in his flat, and play computer games when I was bunking from school. I’d brought the glasses and blade out with me. I’d placed the glasses on my face but was not prepared for what I saw.

The world suddenly seemed to erupt into flames, I saw things that weren’t there, dark shapes, grotesque shapes. The parchment had said he’d used the glasses to see the ‘truth’. If this is the truth I really didn’t want to know it. I quickly took the glasses off, and instead decided to take a look at the knife. It looked sharp, but as I ran it over the palm of my hand. It felt smooth and blunt. So I’d got given some trippy glasses and a blunt knife. This was definitely one of my least favourite birthdays.

Finally I saw Dai, he was huffing and puffing as he carried his enormous stout frame up the driveway. “Whassup Ev? You know I don’t never get up before dinner time”. I’d apologised for waking him and explained to him about the box, glasses and knife. To my surprise he didn’t look at me as if I was nuts. Instead he sighed and said he should probably come in and explain somethings to me, “but first a cuppa”, he’d said and headed for the kitchen.

I’d gone into the living room, laid the glasses and knife next to the box and re-read the parchment, trying to unearth new meaning from the complex message. “So, Dai, What’s this Chyth word mean?” I’d called into the kitchen.

“Basically kid, it means Devil, but it is also used as a word for demons” Dai had called back in a very matter of fact way, as if we were discussing the weather.

“So, this Necro guy wants me to send the devil, I mean demons, back to the pit they came from, whatever this guy was smoking I want some of it” I’d said laughing, this Necro guy must have obviously been nuts.

Dai came into the living room carrying two cups, I reached to take one out of his left hand, but he shoved the one from his right to me instead. “Okay, you can have that cup you weird fucker” I’d said, wondering what his problem was. He smirked then sat down on the sofa opposite and looked at the blade and glasses.

“Drink your tea Ev” he’d instructed. Staring at me intensely.

I looked at him suspiciously, “I don’t want to a minute thanks mate, I want to know what this Necro guys problem is”. I put my cup down on the table.

“I’ll tell you Ev, but please mate drink your tea,” he’d seemed to be losing patience with me, picking up the tea and pushing it towards me. I refused again. Smacking the cup from his hand, it shattered on the floor.

“Honestly Dai, something is really strange here, I get this weird box, you are acting really off. Tell me what is going on!” I’d risen to my feet now, Dai remained sitting, I couldn’t read the expression that had come over his face.

“Put the glasses on” is all he had said.

So I picked up the silver glasses, bowed my head, and placed them on my face. Then I looked at Dai but Dai was no longer there. In his place was a disgusting horned creature. Worms were crawling out of holes where his eyes should be and his teeth were huge fangs. “What the fuck!” I’d taken the glasses off my face and looked down at Dai, who was back to his usual appearance.

“There ya go then kid, lets see how much of ol’ John C is in ya” Dai was smiling as he raised to his feet and swung his hand back in a fist. I’d ducked and he hit the wall behind me. He yelped, and gripped his hand, I grabbed the knife and ran upstairs. Into my bedroom and slammed the door behind me.

I heard him grunting as he climbed the stairs, talking in a language I didn’t understand. He began pushing my door so I pushed it back. Then a small voice in my ear said “use the knife, send him back to the pit he crawled out of.”

But its blunt I’d thought, It wouldn’t cut my hand, a human hand. “But he’s not human” the voice replied. I jumped away from the door let Dai enter, raised the knife above my head and swung it down into his chest.

Dai screamed, fell backwards, clutching the wound as litres of black-tarlike liquid poured out of it. “There he is, there’s ol’ Constantine” He gargled before his body exploded and had covered my room in a mess of body parts.

I’d stood there shell-shocked covered from head to toe in what used to be my ‘uncle’. Then I’d heard the front door open and my mum call up “Happy Birthday”.





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