“Extreme seductiveness is at the boundary of horror” – Georges Bataille
Part I: The Sarcophagus
The night was long and the road was dark, the truck driver was angry to see his beer was almost over. 18 hours! He was awake for 18 hours, sleepy beyond belief. He was carrying some old, dusty, useless trash that was found in an archeology site. He had to bring it to a museum in Istanbul in a day, he only wanted rest but there were no motels around.
Finally he decided to open the radio, maybe some music would help him stay focused. But no! As always, they played the same old trash which brought him nothing but sleep. Traditional music for the fools, love songs for emotional faggots and-
«We are interrupting the music for an important announcement!»
The driver, Veysel, raised his eyebrow. Announcement? This late at night?
«From now on, we will be working with a new host! Now keep in mind, this change is only experimental. He claims that our music is weak, and he will bring ‘’real change’’ or whatever the hell that means…So, a loud applause for our new host!»
Veysel threw the empty beer bottle from the window; the noise made by the bottle cracking was the only noise between the short moment of silence between the announcement and the voice of the new host.
«Good evening to the honourable Turkish workers of the night! Good evening to those unsung heroes, who sacrifice their own sleep for the good of us all! It is said that music is the food for spirit, but for many years your spirits were fed rotten foods. Both your spirit and body gets exploited! I will change that with the feast I prepared for your spirits, let’s start with a little appetizer!»
And with that, the first song started. Veysel was shocked, this was nothing like he heard before. No lyrics, no traditional instrument… The music reminded him of a car engine. For a moment he wanted to close the radio. How was this music? His heartbeat got faster, he unintentionally stepped on the gas. His body was energized.
A hour passed, and in that hour he listened only to things his mind couldnt even comprehend fully. Then, he finally saw it. A motel!
He took his portable radio and left the truck. As he was locking his door, the new host started to speak:
«The night is long and dark
Roads are home
Home to the many horrors of night
Mysterious and savage
Evil, but strong.
What are you doing right now, workers of the night? Does this deep night scare you? Who knows what tomb the transporter carries? Who knows what horrors the security guard protects? A music, for the horrors of the night!»
Again, a new music started. But this time, it was creepy. And as the song played, Veysel started thinking… What was he carrying again? He walked towards his truck and thought to himself:
«Why do I even care, It’s just some old dusty relic… But what is this feeling of terror that makes me-… It’s the music. It’s the damn music. Couldn’t he play something joyful but new?»
He turned down the volume of the radio and finally looked at the back of his truck.
He managed to prevent a girlish scream at the last moment. This man was already above his forties. Yet what he saw almost made his mind go blank. He carried some stuff like this before that had an Egyptian origin. But the combination of the comments the host made and the music made the scene before him even scarier.
It was a sarcophagus. Although nothing like he saw before. This was no Egyptian tomb. He got closer and noticed the Gokturk alphabet on it. This was of Turkic origin, this was found here in Anatolia?
Veysel quickly closed the door and ran towards the motel. He paid for his room, got some food and locked himself in.
It was a small room with just a bed, chair and table. There was not even a TV around. The lamp was so small that it couldnt fully illuminate a room like that. He raised the volume of the radio again, this time he was playing something fun at least. He ate his food, listened to the funny jokes the new host made and finally laid down on the bed.
He closed his eyes, listening to the host. Host was talking about horse riding and the loyalty of horses. Veysel was reminded of the sarcophagus of Turkic origin. But there was no real reason to be afraid right? The body belonged to one of his glorious, barbaric ancestors. A barbarian who rode his loyal horse to battle, battles that led to the destruction of decaying empires. Decaying empires that still managed to tower above all of humanity thanks to the support it received from decades of history. They were indeed the greatest enemy of progress. But barbarians are the true progressives, they are the true bringers of change! They were the ones that destroyed these rotten towers and with their blood, wheels of history turned once more to a brighter future.
He finally feel asleep.
And he dreamed of his roots. Riding a horse and killing his enemies, shooting arrows and cutting heads… He dreamed of destroying cities. He was walking through the ruins of a Roman city with a chain in his hand. He looked behind to see his loot. He was carrying women and children to his Khan, he will be pleased. He pulled the chain and a naked woman fell to the ground, angrily he started to whip her. As the woman was screaming, Veysel was filled with pleasure.
Finally, he brought them to his savage Khan.
«Balamir Khan, I brought them to you!»
He woke up as the tall warrior turned towards him, scary music again! And someone was knocking on the door this late at night! Veysel ran towards the door, unlocked it even though every part of his body told him not to and opened it. He ignored his very being that tried to stop him from opening the door for a simple reason, it was just a radio station. He won’t submit to the childish fantesies he was creating in his mind! Before him, was a tall warrior.
He couldn’t even scream
PART II: Night Shift at a Museum
3 DAYS LATER
A long and dark night in one of the many museums of Istanbul. A rotting city of history and culture, it’s streets full of Kurds and Syrians. One could say that if the great conqueror of this city woke up, he would have to conquer this city again.
Alp was working as a security guard in this museum, his dreams of academic success was crushed by the corruption of this country. Now, he had to work in this place to feed his stomach. And yet, all he felt here was fear. He was afraid of being alone, he was afraid of the dark and he was afraid of the new music being played on the radio.
He was intrigued by it, he enjoyed it but still he felt terrorized by it.
He was waiting for a sarcophagus that was found in an archeology site but the driver missed the deadline and no one could find where he was until last night. His truck was found near a motel and the back was left open. Luckly, no one stole the sarcophagus. The driver was nowhere to be seen and another driver was assigned to the job.
The host started to speak
«Another victim to the horrors of the night! It seems that a worker of the night who carried a sarcophagus to a museum was found dead! His corpse, which was covered in whip marks, was found inside the sarcophagus he was supposed to bring. But this must be left a secret as the authorities try to cover it up. A song, for the victim!»
Alp’s heart skipped a beat. Dead? Whipped? Could this be the same sarcophagus? But no, it was said that the driver just ran away with…with… why did he run away again?
Alp sat down on his chair and took a large gulp from the water bottle he was carrying. And great, now he had to go to the toilet. He started walking towards the WC as he heard a womanly giggle. He took out his flashlight and looked around frantically. It was just his imagination.
He quickly reached the WC and started walking towards the urinal, then he stepped on a leaf. A leaf? Why here? He looked at the ground, there were some flowers here.
«Must belong to a man with a broken heart», he thought. He finally urinated and left.
Roaming the dark museum, he listened to the music. And he heard the giggle again, this time he followed the source.
He reached the Central Asia part of the museum. Ancient Turkic weapons, rugs, clothing was displayed here. And in the center, a sarcophagus. There was a space next to it for the other one coming. Visitors were not allowed in here until both of the sarcophagi were side by side.
He approached the sarcophagus, which had the engravings of flowers. It depicted a beautiful garden and there was a small booklet about its history.
It belonged to Banıçiçek, the wife of a Turkic warlord who terrorized these lands many centuries ago. The sarcophagus on the way belonged to her husband. The perfectionist fool who presided over this section did not want any visitors until both husband and wife were together.
Only problem was this, the fool went missing 50 years ago. It took 50 years to find the husband; and for the last 50 years his son, a local politician, threatened the museum owners.
«You cannot let anyone in here! My father’s spirit will curse me if you do so! Wait until the other sarcophagus is founded, or else I’ll make sure you will be scrubbing dirt in a southeastern village!»
As he was turning around, the host started speaking:
« The night is long and dark
Museums are home
Home to the many horrors of night
Mysterious and beautiful
Evil, but seducing.
What is it that you protect, young security guard? Do you protect the lifeless things that exist only to entertain the bourgeois, or do you protect the bourgeois from the ‘’lifeless things’’ that-»
Alp closed the radio. He was not listening to this shit, why did it sound like he was talking to him? Was he going crazy?
Alp started to move away. One step, another step, another step, another st-
He couldn’t move his feet, he felt as if someone was holding his leg very firmly. He looked down to see vines grabbing his leg.
He screamed as he was being pulled towards the now open sarcophagus, for a moment he saw what was inside.
A woman? Yet, she did not look dead…
And now, the longest night of his shift began. Inside the dark sarchophagus, he could feel the vines violate his body. He could smell the beautiful woman but could not see her. For hours, he would feel the thorns stab into his skin. It hurt, yet it also felt good.
Finally, it stopped. He heard noises from outside
«The Security guard is fucking missing? Search the entire place! Look if anythings stolen!»
He felt a soft hand in his back pushing him and he found himself in the WC of the Central Asia section. He quickly opened the door and saw his boss in front of the sarcophagus, talking with a police.
«Wait, you were in the toilet? Boy! The hell are you doing in there, I searched for you for the last 30 minutes!»
Alp looked at his skin, no signs of the torture from the other night. Was he just dreaming?
«S-sorry sir, I think the snacks I ate were rotten or something. Couldn’t leave the toilet for a hour.»
He was back home now and he quickly leapt to his bed.
His home consisted of a small kitchen, an even smaller bedroom and a toilet. He quickly fell asleep, no time to do anything else considering he had another shift tonight.
And in his dreams, he saw himself in a majestic garden. Beautiful women were picking flowers and singing. He could see many slaves tending to the garden. He was lost in this maze of beauty, mysterious yet scary. And, deep into the woods, he saw her. The woman in the sarcophagus, a dagger in one hand and a whip in the other.
He woke up knowing what to do.
He entered the security room secretly and spilled some soda over the computers. This was to make sure the cameras would be disabled. People were preparing to bring the new sarcophagus into the Central Asia section, but Alp was quick.
He managed to enter the section before anyone could see him and he approached the woman’s sarcophagus once more. He realized that it was slightly open, then gathering his courage he entered inside and was never seen again.
And the host spoke,
«If any of you are jobless, you are in luck! Weekend shifts in a local museum of İstanbul, a good paying and short job.They lack a security guard, seems the last one just left the city without telling anyone, and they need someone to keep those pesky thieves away from the diamonds!
But be careful, museums can be seducing and the pleasures might last…forever.»