Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It

Pratdip (close to Tivissa), 12th August 1713

They had been deprived long ago of the scented breezes of the forest, the stimulating fresh dew at dawn, the exciting emotion of hunting and the smell of terror of the prey, and the pleasure of still throbbing flesh; expelled long time ago from the warm surface of earth, they had been forced to restlessly slumbering for over a hundred years, stuffed to the most unfathomable dark depths of the many caves that water had been digging, with the corrosive persistence of countless centuries, inside the bowels of the Tivissa limestone mountains, and had been confined to lead a miserable life feeding on whitish worms and soft bellied, blind insects; thus corrupting with the manure of their infect lives the groundwaters flooding galleries and potholes.

They had been exiled there for over a century ago, stalked and engulfed without compassion by the miserable Human creatures, who were unable to understand the wild beauty of their violent, cruel lifestyle, and saw them as servants of the Evil One. And maybe it's true they had been His servers, but neither Evil nor any of his unclean lackeys had been ever in their defense, nor had either gone to rescue them from their scary imprisonment, so abandoning them to their fate for the rest of the centuries.

Those few who had tried to escape from their abominable captivity had disappeared with no trace, swallowed up by treacherous potholes, or perhaps drowned in troubled waters, or possibly eviscerated by a farmer's lucky gunshot. So they had almost resigned to keep living their bad life inside rotted cavities in the corrupt limestone mass, exiled forever from the world of the living.

Something had changed recently, however. They could perceive it in the rarefied atmosphere of the caves, in subtle changes in taste of the water blindly running across galleries. Something important had happened over there, on the surface, something great and exciting to their predators' instincts, that their incomprehensibly sensitive olfactory captured with certainty, making them relive forgotten emotions and pleasures of extreme violence. They could clearly sniff it and their snouts trembled anticipating the pleasure of blood -lots of blood. So that an irresistible force came to push them up, running frantically from gallery to gallery, joining as they converged in a huge pack, as they were centuries ago during their hunting parties in the woods; they ceaselessly gained speed, their tongues hanging and panting of rage and desire, their glowing eyes wide open in folly, their huge tusks grimly shining in the dark as an omen of death and terror.

And finally, a last gap lead them back to the surface, anxiously gasping, sniffing with relish the almost forgotten scents of the night in the woods. Pushed by an atavistic force, they started howling all at once with a sharp, penetrating and horrifying howl, that could not be confused with any other beast. They had returned to the land of the living, and their howls proclaimed from the rooftops they were no longer servers of anyone -nor even the Evil One. Henceforth, they would be the real Evil.

Dip's howl. It was back.

5 comments:

abdul666 said...

Some here still remember the Old Alliance between Wolves and 'Great' Humans.

May the Wolf Walk With You.

Salvador said...

Wow! (mai millor dit)
Keep it coming Msr. Vilalta!
Ever talked about a book or something about this???
I see you in a few years, sitting and signing books by St. Jordi's day...

abdul666 said...

My comment on 'EvE ' was sincere, but perhaps too light-hearted (irrespectuous?) to appear here...

Compliments!

esparver said...

Salvador, If you want to read about Dip you must find Històries Naturals from Joan Perucho . But perhaps Mr Vilalta could say which was his source... While we wait for the book.

Soldadets said...

Hi my friends:

From another post of mine at "Emperor vs Elector" main blog:

This scene is based on a real legend born by the Tivissa range, about the apparent proliferation of some kind of evil, blood feeding canine-like quadrupedal in that county between mid XVIIth and late XVIIIth centuries. The beast was called "dip" and has some fine parallelisms to the contemporary "tarasque" of Limousin.

I believe that many people in North America would identify it with mexican "chupacabras", however; because many of their characteristics are fully shared (canine appearance, blood feeding, nocturnal, etc.).

Perhaps the main difference between both legendary monsters is a size matter. I've understood that mexican "chupacabras" are supposed to be like medium-small sized jackals/dogs, while the Catalan "dip" was believed to be at least as big and robust as a wolf, or even a mastiff dog.

Curious features of "dips" is that they walked as if permanently lame, and their eyes glowed red in the dark.


The character in Perucho's "Històries Naturals" novel is a re-elaboration based on this legendary beast, to produce some kind of entity closer to Transylvanian vampires, capable of multiple transformations.

Glad you enjoyed the scene,
Lluís