It was a dark and stormy night as the carriage pulled up to the castle. This is it, I thought to myself. I stepped out from the protection of the carriage and was greeted by the hissing of the wind and pricks of rain on my face. I walked silently toward the large building, praying that after tonight the torment would end. One last task, he told me. Than I am free!
I thought back to the evening that started all of this. I was young and naïve, expecting the world to move at my very command. I played with fire and danced on the edges of the earth. I feared nothing and controlled all. As I walked home down a shadowy street, a whisper reached my ears.
I stopped at the sound of my name and turned. Not a soul was to be seen at this hour of the night. Cautiously I continued forward, but strained my ear as though hoping to hear the call again.
“Whose there?” I asked. I swiveled around looking for my antagonizer, but saw nothing but broken glass and newspapers littering the street. I was about to continue home when a dark chuckle resonated from above me. I turned my head up to the street sign marked Killnary Ave, and saw a figure.
Its head was human. It had two eyes that glowered like daggers, and a smile on his lips that held no joy. But past his face, it seemed that his body was deformed. His arms were short and covered with scars. His body was permanently hunched over, exposing a strange type of bag on his back. But the strangest thing about him, was his skin color. It was red in some areas and black in others, making him look like a charred burn victim.
“Alex” The figure said “I need your help Alex.”
“Who are you? And how do you know my name?” I asked, becoming more and more afraid of his response. “What do you want?”
The figure slithered down the sign and crouched down on the concrete, a few feet from me.
“Will you help me take this bag off my back? It is so heavy and I can’t get it off. If you help me take it off, you can keep what’s inside.”
This offer intrigued me and I took a step closer to the figure.
“So if I get the bag off, I get to keep whatever is inside? What’s inside?” I asked, sounding more like a child than the 21 year old.
“Yesss” The figure hissed, sounding out of breath; “Just take it off and you shall see”.
I walked over to the figure and began trying to pull the bag off. Slowly at first, it began to peel off like a band aid, then all of a sudden it flew off the figure and wrapped itself around me. All at once I was being suffocated. The bag was tight around chest and continued to squeeze. My mind began to fill up with the same whispers I had heard earlier that evening;
“Alex Alex Alex!!”
I started flailing my arms, hoping that the figure would help me, but all I heard was another dark chuckle.
“Silly boy. That took nothing! Usually I have to offer someone money or immortality, but you! Ha! All you needed was a bag of contents!” The creature walked towards me and sneered. “You belong to me now boy. Whatever I need, you will do. If you don’t? The bag on your shoulders will tighten until you die. Understand? Oh! What is the bag full of you ask? Well you see, I store every soul I steal and put it in that bag. Pretty heavy, huh? Now I need to cause destruction, and so you’re the man for the job. If you complete all the tasks that I ask you, I will free you. Until then, you’d better learn how to listen to instructions”.
Just thinking about that night, I feel the bag tighten slightly around me. I breathe through it and continue on my task. Over the years I have destroyed houses, businesses, and families. But never have I destroyed an entire country. I stalked down the unlit hallway towards the King’s chambers. Once the religious King was found dead, his son (Who is also controlled by The Creature) would take his place and kill anything that believes in hope. I was almost at the door to his chambers when a voice from behind me said “This will not grant you freedom, you know.”
Surprised, I whipped out my dagger and turned around. An elderly women stood about 5 feet away from me, looking at me through her aged eyes. “What do you mean?” I whispered, wanting to know her answer before I disposed of her as well. “Once you have completed this task, do you really believe that your soul will be free? Your body might be, but your soul will join the others in the bag that wraps around you”. Her response shocked and angered me. I strode over to her and raised my dagger. “No! You’re wrong! This is the only way I will ever be free!” I jammed my dagger into her and she fell to the ground. The bag began to loosen around me.
Now only one person stands in my way, I thought. I turned back towards the King’s bedroom, but the image of the women stained my eyes and a question bounced around in my brain.
What if she’s right?
To Be Continued…