The Altar at Midnight

a Daria ficlet by wyvern337


"High Hills Park: tennis, picnic tables, nightly devil worship"

--Daria's map of Lawndale, The Daria Diaries


The high-pressure sodium streetlamp cast a sickly, distorting glow over the scene. Two hooded figures stood on either side of a picnic table, a third figure, naked except for the ropes that bound it, lay curled on its side atop the table...

The taller of the two hooded figures spoke to the shorter...

"Now remember, the ritual must take place beneath the light of the waning crescent moon", instructed a woman's voice, a voice that sounded strangely familiar to the figure on the table.

Helen Morgendorffer, three-hundred-year-old matriarch of the Barksdale clan, drew back the hood of her cloak, the better to both see what she was doing and be heard by her disciple. She drew the ceremonial sacrificial knife from beneath her robe, raised it on high and said:

"My Dark Lord, I beseech thee! In exchange for the life of this pure, unsullied virgin sacrifice, grant to me the mortal years, the years of youth and vitality that would have belonged to this one!"

Helen turned the blade down to point at the sacrificial victim. The temperature of the air seemed to drop several degrees, and take on a strange, indefinable, almost electric quality...

She resumed instructing the other hooded, robed figure.

"Now, you want to watch it on the downward stroke; no need to hurt them unnecessarily...oh, go ahead and pull your hood back so you can see better -- may as well come closer, too...get a good look."

Andrea pulled back the hood of her ceremonial robe and stepped closer.

"Nothing personal," she assured the bound figure on the table. "Immortality's just too good an offer to pass up."

Trembling on the table, Charles Ruttheimer the third repeated over and over to no one: "...not happening this is not. happening..."




Disclaimers: Daria and all ancillary characters are the property of MTV/Viacom. I merely borrow them occasionally, for strictly non-commercial purposes.