The Black Lily

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Before committing suicide, a person lives some dreams and experience nightmares. Laila’s life is swayed by both. Despite Laila is dying, she is intent to collect shadow beings to create Homunculus, by manipulating black energy, in order to defeat her enemies and end life. (There are statues as references to show the body language of a feeling, poems exposing experiences, and paintings to represent thoughts)

Fantasy / Horror
Felipe Gonzalez
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Night Beauty

Laila. – The last reflection from a person while drowning, could be a portrait from an overflowing decision, or a pale ghost calling within the water?

Laila was wondering this question for a long time. She was drinking Syrah, red wine, her favorite taste, intense. She has questioned herself toward this particularly perception; “soon a corpse to be baptized by death’s water” Her lips moved, they opened slowly and her tongue licked the taste of wine left around her lips. The weather was warmer at this particularly moment, the sun over the land and the sky without clouds, the red wine at some point cooler; not so much but good for the moment, the question remains and Laila’s sight has lost in time. Laila drinks leisurely, when she finished her glass of wine, she still does not have an answer to her question, not yet.... She picks up 2 black grapes to eat. She is now speculating, she is alone with her thoughts, a brief reverie; imagines of a drowned corpse, azure face, his eyes wide open, his expression of fear, desperation, regret, liberty and lost, a drowned corpse’s last thought, freedom, as a sequel to his end, nothing changes on this Realm. She got that conclusion and asked for another glass of wine. After finishing it, a hum across her head reappeared. She wanted to buy a souvenir for an elderly friend, a skull, she saw on a particular and interesting market.

Laila walks on the land, she is dressed with a white flared dress, yellow sandals, carries a brown handbag, a white hat to protect her silk skin of the sunlight, and brown sunglasses. The weather is hotter than minutes ago; the wine, water and blood could scald. Laila is closer to the market. Laila is thinking about this puppet and its use. She thinks the puppet is funny, and is wondering for its protection, because of the unexpected turbulence on the flight back home. Laila is jubilant on this country; she wanted to visit it, to see the magical traditions, and the dark beautiful souvenirs from a different perspective on energy. This market is magical, is away from the city, but it is worth the long trip. Laila loves the city of Lomé, Togo’s beautiful capital city. A city at the border of the ocean, the weather is warm and dry. Even for an experienced person like her, it is difficult to find this skull. She did it by chance, she was walking through the Akodessewa Fetish Market, and there was a small tent, the owner sells monkeys’ carcasses, the faces were intact, stuffed skin but firm, the eyes were removed, the lips cut and the teeth exposed; these last are threatening and intimidating, the fur was undamaged. But the expression on the monkey’s face is an eternal portrait of torture; torture committed by its hunter, in fact when Laila saw its expression she began to think, again, about the question.

Laila walked through the market until she found again the tent. There were many carcasses, all of them stuffed monkeys, but then among them was a human skull painted with the shaman’s blood, Laila bought it. The owner gave to her also a gift; a small shaped human figure, it is made of black wood, covered with baby’s skin, long hair knotted to the hands, and the eyes are painted with blood. Laila accepted this gift with a smile and put it inside her brown handbag. The human skull wrapped inside a big paper bag. As walking back, Laila saw animals’ head cut off, some without lips and others with their eyes still inside, human figures made of bones, horns, paws, tails, at some part there were the animals’ heads still rotting, and others with the skin tight to the skull. There was a mix of paws, tails and heads stitched to a human thorax; creating a real but dead chimera. The sky was turning dark as the rain clouds are approaching a deterioration of the ambient, a contrast between the colors of rotting animals, living trees, people, red earth and the remaining sunlight above the path of death. Laila returned to her hotel.

Laila. – This trip was stimulating; I got distracted. No I must return to a mundane and boring work. I use money as a tool for all my pleasures; money is useless, no more than a material and an obsession. Money makes people react as wild animals, or crazy people, for printed paper! People, who get everything they want, are the most depressed, by not having enough. It makes me wonder; how could be a Realm without human perceptions?

She saw again from her hotel room the contrast of the night with the void horizon, and took some photos.

Laila. – Money creates the false idea of superiority, and technology creates the false reality of happiness, but a real bond to addiction. Free time is a valueless profit.

She took a bath, and then opened her diary to write. Her bedroom was cold. And in the blink of an eye she realized it will be her last cycle of seasons.

She thought on checking her new poem.

Night at the mountain

Then he felt a cold taking over his neck and head.

There was not wind, not rain, just this cold hugging, first, his head.

He saw to the ground and there were footsteps, maybe a shadow being.

He saw to the welkin, and there were the distant monuments of time; shinning stars and the full moon.

He felt again the cold. It was taking over him, his body heat decreasing. His eyes began to search for an explication.

He heard sounds; “footsteps there and here, there, over there, no, it is not there, it is here”

He closed his eyes.

Under the ground, it is the place for his body, under the ground the cold is one with him.

The cold took his back and legs. He could not move; the fear was intense.

His moments were stood still. He breathed. He opened his eyes. There was not more fear, the cold.

He walked away and return; away and return, ran and returned.

There was always the cold, cold inside and around. His hands and arms were warm. He doubted about them, those were not his hands, neither his arms, he wanted to cut them, frozen them, an obsession grew, but no, no, no, those hands were his escape, out of this un-place, a place devoid of cold.

He returned to the mountain, again. He arrived at night. He began to dig and move cursed stones, there inside the ground; the land was cold, a new place, there he could be complete cold as a forgotten gravestone, he buried a living man, cold is the underground, the mountain’s land, a shiver scape to contemplate.

The next day she returned to her country by airplane. The sky was turning red at midnight, an interesting detail for the night.

She began to remember the results obtained from changeling her son, her crimes over patients, specially her, and the final action for the liberated ghoul.

A shadow being was looking to her innocent face, the 4 Homunculus quiet at the corners, waiting for her commands, and death calling her by the repetitive hum.

Her childhood, adolescence and consecutive next years were uncommon. Then her awakening changed her and all continued with the unwritten fate.

When Laila began her “poems” in order to understand herself, it was a recommendation made by her psychiatric, to prevent mental issues. Laila was 7 years old when she got her 1st issue of a mental break down. Laila was playing with her dolls on the garden; dolls with a distinctive look, the dolls, who resembled children. Suddenly she saw one of hers dolls, it was bought by her father at a trade fair, its name was the bête noire, its hair was red and its eyes green, Laila said; “realistic eyes”. She felt fear and curiosity. She took her doll inside her bedroom, she undressed it, she began to caress its face and hair, she kissed her doll and put it inside a box of shoes; she thought it was the perfect coffin for her doll. Days later Laila took the doll out of the box and cut its eyes with a kitchen knife. She said something like;

Laila. – A corpse cannot have eyes, they decay after days.

The father and the mother discovered the “coffin” and considered it as a game. Nevertheless, the mother suggested taking Laila to the psychiatric. The day of Laila’s appointment was a cold day without the sunlight. The family was taken to the appointment by the chauffeur; a well-behaved man; the man, who everybody can trust by seeing his eyes’ expression. The chauffeur parked the car, got out, opened a red umbrella, and then opened the car’s door for the family. At the waiting room the father talked about his work and business, the mother listed to him, also Laila. The psychiatric evaluated Laila and concluded; “Something like this is not normal” were her words, but for the moment, it was better not to take seriously the imagination of a young girl. Days, weeks and years passed. Laila never showed another issue. But a day when she was 10 years old, she asked for thread and scissors. The mother gave them to her, “take care” leaving her alone, she saw one last time her child, before closing the door. The mother had to go out for some social activities, when she returned home she found Laila sleeping, the thread and scissors were on the table. Days later the mother realized, Laila was more time alone in her bedroom. There was no noise, not even her voice, only silence coming from her bedroom.

On one occasion, the day was sunny and many children were playing outside on the streets, the mother thought that Laila had friends, so it was strange to stay inside and not making noise. The mother waited by the door of Laila’s bedroom listening to nothing, but to the silence of her daughter. The mother opened the door and found out Laila was not there. The mother ran to the phone and called her husband. The parents searched for their daughter all the day and all the night with the help of friends, police and neighbors. After 4 days the chauffeur found her sleeping, in the local cemetery, on an ancient grave, Laila was holding red roses on her right hand. The chauffeur took her to a hospital and called the parents. The doctors treated her by anemia and dehydrated state. The parents were relieve and thanked to the chauffeur. The chauffeur never spoke about what Laila “wrote” on the floor by using her fingernails; “wreck”. The doctors recommended another psychiatric. At the waiting room, Laila saw 3 other children.

The diagnosis was devastated for her parents; Childhood schizophrenia. During the treatment for Laila the psychologist analyzed other reactions from her, one peculiar; the negation of herself at all. Laila spoke in 3rd person and referred that she was there as a doll, a human rotting inside her and someone was playing with her. Also the being playing with her, was always humming at the back of her head. The psychiatric thought that was a symptom of Cotard’s Syndrome. Laila sometimes could not recognize her face or from relatives, the emotions for her family members were vanishing, as well. The treatment began and the principal method of keeping Laila connected to the reality was her own diary; write about her thoughts and her perceptions about life. During the treatment Laila developed a 2nd personality; an attractive and intelligent personality that could analyze the principal emotions of every person that Laila could meet, then she began to manipulate him or her. The psychiatric understood that it was a secondary effect of her rehabilitation, a 2nd personality taking her to become “normal” again. The parents considered that Laila was back. However, one time they found the old doll on Laila’s bed. The doll’s head, hands and feet were made of plastic; but, the full body was rag, a rag doll. Days before the treatment ended, the rag doll disappeared; the mother found it later the treatment ended, this time it was sewed to another rag doll, one with longer hair and cracks around its head and hands. The mother with all the fear in the world asked her daughter for the reason. Laila showed to her the written reason on her diary. The mother smiled and cried inside. The psychiatric read the reason and made a gesture of disappointment; he looked to a painting inside his office, and repeated the gesture. The years passed and Laila became more intelligent due to her ability of analyze the principal emotions and their body language. When she was 18 years old she had a lot of diaries written, the rag dolls sewed together were on her bed and others (glimpses) close to the window, they were a decoration for her, Laila did not like to have many friends and love her disaffection.

Her disaffection was for her one thing; freedom. A time to remain with her diaries; read them and complete some stories, she continued thinking about some of them. Laila decided to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. Well of course her parents agreed, but recommended that she could study a 2nd career for her best of course, they suggested business administrator as an advice, and her father was thinking “she could take part of the enterprise” The university was boring, so Laila took more time for the painting; she considered the painting was personal and abstract for her; because of, the liberty to illustrate her thoughts and experiences. Her teachers recognized her talent and taught her more techniques. At some point she stopped painting still life and began with the paintings of Goya, Paul Rumsey, Steven Kenny, Marlene Dumas, William Blake, Edmund Monsiel, Charles Steffen and Louis Wain. After some time she could paint as good as Zdzisław Beksiński, alike his visions. All her portraits were dark as the style of Maya Kulenovic, Laila had a personal admiration for her art, and wanted to make photography using her style.

During her last years at the university, she helped her father in all the business meetings. Her family supported her, and the associates admired her planning and security at every deal, she turned into an important leader for the enterprise. At age 25 Laila decided to travel around the world by her own. She traveled to many countries and paint their streets, cemeteries and country lands. One day she was in Calu the capital city of Artume, a city in nature to the wild, a ferrous city with an organize system of living, led by experience people, a city with traditions around the country or the moon cycle, in order to contemplate it, there is carnage as in any other city, sometimes it is also in us, after the blood, everyone is calm with the night howling. After a long visit to a graveyard, she saw outside, a beautiful young woman working on the streets, the weather was hot, Laila thought she was going to pass out, then some images, it was like a dying dream, she recovered, the woman picked up a bottle; it contained little of water inside, the weather was hot, the woman drank it, then continued working; picking up trash, like plastic bottles, the old magazines from newspapers and old cartons. Laila felt empathy and pity for her and began a short conversation, something that changed her perceptions on people.

Laila. – Hello there…

Woman. – …Oh?! Hello.

Laila. - I was walking by, and I saw you. Listen, (Looking to her) I only have a question.

Woman. – Yes of course tell me. (Smiling) What can I do for you?

Laila. – Why are you picking up trash?

Woman. – Because I sell it at a recycle plant. It is a good deal for people like me, they pay me for doing it. I must work. I am going to be a wife and a mother. So I need to bring food for my family.

Laila. – I understand… Would you like to have lunch and a take a bath at the hotel I am living right now?

Woman. – I do not want to interrupt you with my duties…

Laila. – It is good for me. I would appreciate some company. I can pay you for a good and easy job.

Woman. – What should I do?

Laila. – Only tell me; where could I find some souvenirs in this city? I like souvenirs of witchcraft. I hear that here are many of those.

Woman. – Yes… but I have a terrible condition on my skin and I am not sure if it is contagious.

Laila. – I do not care. And by the way my name is Laila.

Woman. – Nice to meet you Laila.

Laila and the woman return to the hotel, Laila had to pay more so the security guards will not deny the entry to the woman. At Laila’s hotel room both talked about their respective life. The woman said that she was grateful by her life and her opportunities; especially because her “condition” decrease and his future by the side of her soon-to-be-husband would be delightful. Laila liked the word, delightful. The woman’s recommendation about the souvenirs of witchcraft was humble.

Woman. – I suggest you; you should go to the Veiove Avenue. There are a lot of souvenirs for witchcraft and death, too. Soon you will get lost. Soon you will re-take the path. Soon you will walk across the path. Soon you will walk on “The Street of Witches”. It is fantastic to find things there, I call it Providence.

Laila. – (Whispering) fate towards death.

Woman. – May I know your reasons on this particular interest about witchcraft?

Laila. – Well it is a.... secret.

Woman. – Sometimes, the secrets are best hidden during the daytime’s darkness rather than inside the mind.

Laila. – I see you have learned how to figure it out, when someone has secret intentions.

Woman. – I have twice seen, listened and sensed in life.

Laila. – May I know what is your “condition”

Woman. – I prefer to take you to the best witch or the fiend rather than show you.

Laila. – Do not worry. I have seen many things and many strange people. Uhmmmm... I wanted to say; “interesting” people.

Woman. – It is ok with me. My beloved one, named Arthur accepts it and I do not feel odd. But, I rather keep it away for your sight.

Laila. – Ok (Concealing her displease) I can live without it. But please take a bath and eat something. I have ordered room service.

Woman. – Why are you so nice with me? Is it because you have curiosity over my “condition” or are you… (Laughing) a crazy criminal or an assassin? (Thinking; you remember someone)

Laila. – Neither of those categories! I only wanted to help you. Accept this as a gift before your wedding.

The woman accepted the invitation. She took the bath and ate a delicious meal. Laila asked for a direction to meet her again. The woman indicated, she will be living with her future husband in a small farm, on the mountain area, away from the city. Laila gave her some money and called a taxi for her, so the woman could have a free ride. The taxi driver helped with the bags of worn-out cartons, old newspapers and other bags. Laila realized that the woman had left a magazine behind. Inside this magazine there were a lot of pictures of wedding dresses and cut pictures of white dresses from newspapers. Laila understood that the woman was recollecting information for her wedding, like her with the theme of witchcraft. She thought and thought; a wedding, the “real” idea of romantic love, love with another person, love to share, love for another, not egotistical love, love not for her, she did not like the idea of sharing. Laila did not like the opportunity to become vulnerable or weak for a feeling. Laila considered on contact the woman again, while she was taking a shower, after it, Laila saw a little box of wood on the bathroom; the wood was from a birch tree, it was a present for the guest, and thought that it could be a nice souvenir for the woman. The next day Laila called to the taxi company and told them.

Laila. – Hello good day. I am calling for some information.

Attendant. – Hello good morning. How can I help you?

Laila. – Well yesterday I called for the service and...

Attendant. – Was there a problem, yesterday at what hour?

Laila. – No, nothing at all, but it was around 22:00. The information is hard to demand; however, who was the driver? He carried a friend of me to a place far away from the city...

Attendant. – Oh, let me check on the record book. Well....

Laila. – ...My friend was a woman, taken to the mountain area.

Attendant. – Yeah! I got the information. I can give you the name. But excuse me if I ask for more details, it is only to be sure about your intention.

Laila. – I do not have a problem. My friend does not have a cell phone and I would like to visit her; furthermore, is it possible that the same taxi driver could take me there, today?

Attendant. – Yes, not a regular request, but... the taxi driver will pick you up from the hotel. Is it ok in 15 minutes?

Laila. – I will be ready. Thank you.

Attendant. – My pleasure.

Laila waited only for 12 minutes. During the driving, Laila asked for the name on the mountain area, to the taxi driver, and if he could pick her up after 2 hours. The taxi driver told her that it was not a problem; on the other hand, it was his last day working as a taxi driver. Laila asked the reason.

The taxi driver. - Well the reason or reasons are because I will work as an ambulance driver at “The Turidade Blue Hospital”. The best place to work, I will get a better payment and I saw the nurses, they are cute, (smiling to her) I mean beautiful!

Laila. – (Was not amuse and tried not to sound as a bored passenger) Congratulations! I will give you a good tip if you do not forget your last client.

The taxi driver. - For sure! If anything is going to happen today, I do not care… I mean, I will be close. I will be on my car. I saw a new green bench as we were coming here, there I will be watching the clouds and listening to the trill of blue birds.

Laila. – Go ahead.

The taxi driver. – Well here it is. I will be back for you (blinking his right eye), my name is Luis.

Laila. – (Was not amuse at all) Thank you, Luis.

Laila saw a hill, a path, a small farm close to the end of the hill. Laila took out from her new brown handbag a new camera; a SLR Camera, D810 by Nikon. Laila took some photos of the hill and walked till the small farm. While she was walking she saw 2 blue birds flying, 3 blue birds standing on a branch of an old and withered tree, and after some minutes walking, on a tree were 4 blue birds, they were a family, 2 of them still had brown feathers, the female was full brown, but its wings had blue feathers like cerulean blue, and in contrary qualities the male was full blue. Laila considered to live there; on a safe and calm place, away from the corruption and greed of her city. Then she thought that the business was a phase through her life, she began to reflect all the deals were the same, give money, after some time of investment, the money help others to create incomes and then she could connect with other business. Something easy, simple, all she had to do was to invest in something “urgent” for the people, people usually do not need something of great value, they need to have an element, a companion, a fictional element around them, an object of distraction, but at the same time an enslavement; distraction and addiction, an simple object, then Laila took another photo, she smiled, she got her business idea. Laila arrived at the small farm on the hill, she was welcomed by the woman, the woman invited her some food and fresh water. Laila saw several plants and some farm animals. On a table there were flowers; they were cut from the land. Next to the door, there was a wall; on it a flower inside a frame; a dry up lily. Laila looked at it for a while. Then after some conversation about the weather and the future husband, Laila said.

Laila. – I see it is a long path. It is not easy to finish the voyage.

Woman. – Well... here lives my beloved, and the nature is my element. Here the spirit of the peaceful nature dwells, the wind sings and the birds live in harmony with us. The Mother Nature gave us food and liberty. The money is not a necessity. Besides to have a schedule for a part-time-job is good for the heart.

Laila. – You always speak as... as everything is good, “The spirit of the peaceful nature” soothes me. You express your gratitude for everything.

Woman. – As long as I live, my life is worthy. I have lived and felt death in my body, the only salvation was my mind, and the strength of the soul, not the spirit.

Laila. – What is the soul and what is the spirit?

Woman. – The soul is part of the eternal creation that guides you and pushes you forward. When you die it separates from you. The spirit is your real essence and inherent energy. You can control your life and decisions, but it is hard to dominate your spirit.

Laila. – What happens… when a person can dominate the spirit?

Woman. – You can materialize your energy in things and even beings. You can control the energy, in several ways and methods, an example is meditation, to focus, absorbing the energy, and condensing, it guides you to form a channel on this plane to use your energy like clay, to control or create… things.

The spirit is beyond comprehension. It is said that the body is the filter of the energy coming from your spirit. The energy never disappears; it is always on a circle of transmutation.

Laila. – What do you have in your spirit that gave you that “condition”?

Woman. – My “condition” is from my body and is a curse, a hex, however, (showing her skin with red and black spots) it is a blessing for me.

Laila. – Why is that?

Woman. – The blessing is that I have seen death and touched the “spawn” in human tissue. I have felt the worst and deepest pain in my body, and I have lost my human face once, but I have been “rebirth”. The blessing is to know your real self in every terrible and heartbreaking situation, then to rebuild you and continue living. Enjoying death is a pleasure that only the living can relate, and the dead can narrate.

Laila. – (Looking away) I was dead or I think I was. I was found on a grave, but I do not remember how I got there. I only remember some brisk music and cold.

Woman. – Do you remember it in your dreams?

Laila. – Sometimes.

Woman. – It does not matter if you see horrible things in your dreams or beautiful events. It only matters; how do you feel during those visions. Even though, if they are horrible, do not feel scare you should continue dreaming and do not wake up till your dream is over.

Laila. – It is a good advice. I used to think I have something wrong in my mind. I write over my thoughts and paint my experiences.

Woman. – How old were you?

Laila. – I was young. The psychiatric understood that I needed a special treatment and to write down my thoughts; a novel written by a schizophrenic person, or a fiend describing the chaos.

Woman. – I have met a fiend once. He had a... he had some physical reason to be with... it was something out of my comprehension. I hope he... well by this time, I hope he is dead. His faces were the reflection of despair and lost.

Laila. – (Silence as Laila is seeing the sunlight coming through the windows and hearing the last words as an echo) a fiend?

Woman. – A fiend is not a demon, maybe a spawn, the face of Death. It is a real abomination on this Realm.

Laila. – And what about the wraiths, wight, ghosts, specters? Those thinks look alike shadows, what are those? For me, those are a state outside life.

Woman. – All of them are dark beings… all are part of life and are link to death, some were killed and others committed suicide, but we hardly see their difference, we put all of them in a simple category, we need to learn what is their genesis, what is their rule to be in this realm, from where they get energy… death is another cave inside a mountain, then another step into the mist, a catacomb full of oblation, and a voice floating on fog.

Laila. – There is a difference among those dark beings?

Woman. – Yes, let me tell you the simple facts. (Touching some of her red spots) The wraiths are the apparition of spirits, from people who died. The wight is the apparition of a decease, it is still in this Realm, dwelling in sorrow and grief. The ghosts are the spirits leaving the link of the soul, the remains. The specters are the spirit that has still enough energy to materialize itself in this Realm. All is energy; all are dark beings after life. We see them as shadow beings.

Laila. – Is there any category left to mention?

Woman. – The being between realms, a ghoul. (Moving her hands and forming the shape of a sphere and then whispering) I hope not.

Laila. – Ghoul… (Thinking; a sphere?) Why do not we change the subject?

Woman. – Yes. Let’s change the subject.

Laila. – Hey…. by the way I like to paint and some of the artists that I look up are the ones that perceive the reality in another sight. Some of them are considered to have these mental issues, as me.

Woman. – How nice... I like to read proverbs, and the good side of recollecting old magazines, worn-out cartoons and old newspapers, is that I can continue with my personal like.

Laila. – Talking about that. I brought you these pictures that you left behind yesterday, they were in this new-old magazine. I have found a beautiful wedding dress, and I would like to give it to you. What is your size?

Woman. – Thank you. But for the moment I have finished to sew my own wedding dress. Wait for it… (Returning with the dress) Look at it!

After sometime, Laila saw the state of calm in her eyes; the expression of love for a couple was something that Laila has never experienced. Laila smiled.

Laila. – It is nice and elegant. (Making eye contact) Hey... Pardon me, but could you please tell me what is your condition?

Woman. – I was waiting for that question. Sorry for not telling you this before, but; this condition is like a river, it changes with time, it changes with one more stone inside, a stone as a child.

Laila. – What?

Woman. – There is a subterranean river on these mountains, it is nice to go there and see the stones, there is a secret inside (After saying that, the woman smiled and pointed to a cave on the other side of the small farm). Now, what do I want to show you? Oh yes, my condition. Do not worry I will show it you. But please do not feel nauseas. Let me say, there was a person who wanted to kill me and my old companion of life… now I am happy here, but I am not sure, all of this, would all last for a life time?

The woman took her clothes out, but her underwear. The woman showed her skin, there were 5 points; 2 red points, 3 black points, scars and some old wounds. Laila was impressed with it. Laila asked for permission to touch them. The woman accepted it with a delicate smile. Laila become obsessed with it, taking several photos of the woman, some with the style of an artist and others as a researcher. Laila enjoyed seeing her condition, her skin with scars, old wounds and the 5 points, those points were the reflection of her sensation in death’s arms, of her desperation, of her insanity, but at the end; her freedom. There is no freedom without a previous war inside oneself. Now a new thing is coming; the description of the suffering.

Woman. – I feel like; I have cramps inside my body, my eyelids shake and the headache is unbearable. The dizziness lasts for minutes and the feeling of instability is a limbo, sometimes I hear voices coming from the back of my head. I tremble by pain, I scream inside, my voice is gone, my emotions make a shudder feel in my heart, the firmness of a chair is a pool and my strength is mud, there are fast sensations of losing the equilibrium, my knees hit the ground and I stay there for minutes, looking to the sky; as a person praying for salvation, but there is not a single answer, and I see myself suffering in misery. Then I come back to life. I am a normal person again. As a conclusion one or 2 red spots bleed. They have become wounds and then scars. The points that bled are gone and then another point emerges. The body is decaying, they are like 5 bottles of poison inside my body, waiting to be opened by the ancient shadow of time and... (Making eye contact) poison me.

Laila. – It is a real curse and it is transcendental. I have no more words.

The woman picked her clothes up and at the moment of dressing again; one red spot started to bleed on her back. Laila saw it and did not say a word; she felt curiosity, although the woman was her friend, Laila waited to behold the issue. The woman lost the balance of herself, falling down. The woman was on her knees and her sight to the eternal. Laila was watching perplex and with full curiosity this issue. The woman’s back was facing Laila’s sight, Laila was watching the issue from another perspective, thirst of knowledge, mental acquisitiveness, and the issue took place with full strength. The clothes tainted red little by little, the blood started to drip, then a continuous trembling from the woman’s legs to her head began, her skin color changed slowly; her finger’s skin turned black as gangrene, as a shadow being embracing her body; the death’s hold. The woman’s breathing intensified. The shaking continued. The smells of sage, of myrrh, of patchouli, of musk rose. Besides another smell, a scent, that Laila did not know. The woman began to talk with a different voice. A black sphere was above the small farm.

Woman. – (Her eyes turned to hazel and then to white) what is supposed to be said? How are the perceptions from the living toward my Realm? I am my own Realm, inside me the spirits dwell, inside my giant sphere they float and they become shadows of what they used to be. The shadow beings will walk on this Realm, from the abyss to the sky, this will become only darkness. Time has passed; a body of creation and death. This is the woman, this is the time, this was a Realm far away from me and this will be mine. Her child will be my beast. Her last descendant will bring my essence, my seed and my poison to the humankind, my descendant will bring my wrath. Our descendant is my poison, poison for the people, my descendant, her descendant, our child...

Laila took out a notebook and wrote the entire monolog from that entity within the woman’s voice. Laila wanted to touch her. She did. The voice stopped. The breathing calmed down. The smells disappeared little by little. Only the bleeding remained. Only the spot of blood was on her clothes as a mute teller. Laila lifted her friend and left her on a bed; the woman inhaled deep and fell asleep. Laila saw again that reddish spot; crimson desire. Laila touched the blood with one fingertip. Laila doubted for a second. Laila raised her hand firmly and slow to her mouth. Laila opened her beautiful lips. She tasted her blood; Laila felt pleasure as never before. Laila touched again the woman’s blood again; now with 3 fingers. Laila painted her lips and her face with her blood. Laila closed her eyes; in order to feel the changeling. Laila let her hair down. Laila opened her eyes and took several photos of her friend. Laila noticed the sunlight flicker. A black sphere descended from the sky and then the woman began to talk again.

Woman. – 4 children will be spawned. 2 daughters will die. one daughter could survive. But then the boy will come back as an adult, not his body, not his mind, however, his sight, his perception. In the darkness dead souls will howl and scream, then IT will open its eyes and the ancient path will be reveal.

Laila was daze. Laila was feeling dizzy as never before.

Woman. –My tears are cold as the moonlight and beautiful as the eternal sleep. Come Laila and sleep inside me. Come and let your spirit dwell inside me. This sphere is eternal. I brood the dead people.

Laila tried to leave the place, as she was running; she stumbled with a stone and fell down. Laila knocked her head and faint. As she was closing her eyes a mysterious human-shape approached her. Laila dreamed about a hill, she could see herself walking down the hill. The hill had grass and tall trees. There were some stone stairs at the bottom. Laila walked to the stone stairs and after a while she went downstairs. She descend, at the bottom was a white tower, and an entity, a shadow being waiting for her. Laila did not have fear. The entity was at the end of a path of stones, monoliths and dead humans. Laila stood still at the front of this entity. A feeling of hate was felt by Laila. And the shadow being opened its crimson eyes.

Shadow being. – You are me.

Laila. – What?

Shadow being. – Be part of me, be my messenger of perdition. Be the silent killer, always the plants grow; like the wounds on the skin, like death on all places.

Laila. – I was dead. I am alive now. My body can hold death as hers.

Shadow being. – The shadow beings are the dark reflection of life energy. What I speak is truth. What I sing becomes real. What I create is forever dead. You will become…

Laila. – Soon?

Shadow being. – For me later is equal as soon, I have no time, I have no worries, I will have this Realm as the others.

At the last words spoken, Laila awoke to find herself on the same bed; the bed where she left her friend. The woman had more presence; she was standing next to her and said.

The woman. – Hey you! You got a good hit on your forehead, do not worry you will survive.

Laila. – Not for too long.

The woman. – Sorry, what did you say?

Laila. – Sorry it is the pain speaking. For how long I was sleeping.

The woman. – For more than one hour.

Laila. – Thank you for everything. But I have to go back. The taxi driver must be waiting.

The woman. – Do you need help? I can… (Trying to touch her head)

Laila. – It is ok; do not worry (touching her forehead)

Laila stood up and made eye contact with the woman, both smiled and waved off. When Laila was at the door the woman touched Laila’s shoulder and said.

Laila. – Deep inside me… I know we will meet again. Please have this gift.

The woman. – I once saw the future and I have accepted it, we will meet again, but not as today.

Laila. – Please have this gift; this little box of wood, you could keep inside, your personal secrets.

The woman. – More things from you, besides the pictures and the old new magazines.

Laila. – Not a problem.

The woman. – Thank you, (accepting the little box of wood) this wood is from a desolated and adapted land, interesting for my personal secrets on a mountain. You are intelligent and have a noble heart, do not forget it.

Laila. – Noble hearts are easier to manipulate and intelligent minds always get along with the temptation.

The woman. – It is all connected to the essence.

Laila. – Where is the human essence? I mean where is the connection to the physical part?

The woman. – I will bring out a secret between us (whispering slowly); the enigma, you are searching for is a hidden essential of… it is in the blood, it is our essence; it is the manifestation of our energy in our physical body, the heart can sense, but not feel this enigma, take it out and you will understand more.

Laila. – Now I know…

Laila accepted the woman’s gift and went, descending the hill, she looked behind and smiled. The taxi was waiting for her. There were no birds to hear. Laila turned back before entering into the taxi, seeing one more time the hill and the small farm.

Laila saw a cloud descending to the small farm; the cloud was black, similar to a sphere or an orb, a sign of an upcoming rain. The cloud was bigger and bigger as Laila was watching it descend. Laila whispered.

Laila. – Even death waits.

The woman cleaned her body, and changed her blooded clothes. The woman drank tea with lemonade; expecting to have soon honey for her tea. As she drank the tea with lemonade she heard the rain. The rain intensified as there was less and less tea in the cup; suddenly a knock on the door. Her soon-to-be-husband was staring at there. The soon-to-be-husband waited for the woman to open the door. “Come inside and let me dry your skin with my body”… The soon-to-be-husband kissed the woman as soon as she opened the door. The soon-to-be-husband gave her the smoothest kissed, the most romantic kiss, the most passionate kiss; “come and lift me” the kiss that creates a new feeling, that reinforce the love driving the couple to the inflamed passion the body and finally guides both to forget the reason, to see the light between them, to give a heavy breathing, to be obsessed of letting go the time, to kiss and to touch and to be touch, to hear the passion of the lover next to the ear and to pressure one body to the other one, to get lost on the other’s sight, to let the voice be a constant moan, to close harder the eyes and then let your body free.

The woman. – I love you so much! I thought it was impossible to love again, now it is a fantasy beyond life and death.

Her soon-to-be-husband. – I love you so much.

Laila was watching the rain from the seat of the taxi, Laila liked to see the clouds moving in the dark and to listen to the sound of the falling rain. Laila closed her eyes. Laila took out the gift and lifted it to her face. Laila contemplated the flower; a flower inside a frame; a dry up lily. Laila liked the color; a black lily.

Laila. – I love this dry up flower. It is a skeletal finger of earth. I see death is beautiful as it is; intact and wither.

The next day the woman woke and hugged her soon-to-be-husband and said.

The woman. – Let’s marry in 4 days. My wedding dress is ready. I cannot wait to be your wife. Forever together till death do us part. And after that, we will not say goodbye.

Laila woke up and called a taxi to be taken to the Veiove Avenue “The Street of Witches”. The woman prepared the breakfast for her love. Laila was watching again the clouds from the seat of the taxi, this time as oblivion. The woman made a gesture of being pregnant to her soon-to-be-husband; she was smiling. Laila walked on the streets and got lost. The woman and her soon-to-be-husband hugged each other and kissed. Laila walked on the streets and re-take the path. The woman suggested names for the baby. Laila walked on the path. The woman scratched her chest, on a red spot. Laila heard a whisper of an elder man; Laila turned her sight to the whisper. The woman coughed hard and repeatedly. Laila now heard a voice; she saw a young man with green eyes, a sight like no other. The woman looked at her naked chest; it started to bleed from an injury, not recently, not healed, yet. Laila wanted to speak, but the young man grabbed her hand and took her into a house, then downstairs, then both entered into a secret room, there was not so much light and the young man with green eyes opened an old glass cabinet, indeed, the glasses were broken. The woman looked to her soon-to-be-husband and fainted as many times before she did. Laila waited for the young man with green eyes to turn back to her; he did and offered to her a gift covered with old newspapers. The woman started to bleed from her hands; her fingers were stained with blood at the fingernails. Laila opened the gift slowly and saw; a black obsidian mirror. The woman recovered the awareness and whispered 2 words.

The woman. – It begins.

Laila wanted to pay for the black obsidian mirror. The young man with green eyes asked for no money, only for some of Laila’s blood. He grabbed again her hand and cut her skin with a curved knife; sharp and fast. Laila did not feel pain, but desire. He made Laila’s blood drop inside a glass of wine. Laila asked the reason of the blood.

The young man with green eyes. – I need your blood for a painting. You know that all the beings; the living ones; they have blood and their essence is a tinge for their blood. I need your blood to continue my painting. If you see those walls you will see my painting. They are beings. You can notice the difference among them; by the color of their blood, by their essence.

Laila watched the walls painted with blood, the room was full of beings as shadows, and in fact there was a slight difference on the color. Laila saw her reflection on the black obsidian mirror. Laila saw the reflection of the painting on the black obsidian mirror; beings painted with blood as red shadows watching Laila back. Laila enjoyed the reflection. Laila contemplated the magic of the black obsidian mirror. Laila wanted to thank the young man with green eyes; he was gone. Laila returned to the streets, but before leaving the room Laila thought; “I saw a new being painted on the wall, one I did not see until now” Once Laila was on the “Streets of Witches”, she saw to the sky again, clouds of rain, she walked with her strange gift. Laila saw 2 faces; a hungry face and deform; the face of pain, of suffering, of hate, of lost, the embodiment of dementia. The face was with its eyes closed and in the left hand a piece of raw meat. The face smiled to Laila and walk backwards to her, then the head moved to the left and Laila saw a 2nd face on the other side of the head, Laila stood still. The man with 2 faces was walking away from Laila. The man was far away. The face on the nape smiled again and opened for a second the eyes. Laila felt her heart beat faster. Laila closed her eyes and lost for a while her balance. The man with 2 faces was gone and it started to rain. Laila walked under the rain with her black obsidian mirror. Laila walked to her hotel, looked again to the sky and the clouds were darker, there was no sun and there was silence; this time the rain was mute. The sound of emptiness was growing around her. Laila took a long bath and drank hot tea with honey. Laila put her pajamas on. Laila put the black obsidian mirror next to her bed and looked at her reflection until she slept; a web of dreams, from her past days and nothing for her present, tied together around her neck.

The next day Laila woke up feeling dizzy, with a headache, she drank a glass of water and looked straight at the frame, inside the frame was that beautiful flower; that dried up flower, a representation of death and loneliness, a desolated flower, a portrait of death inside a frame, an empty being, not even its soul is there, do the flowers have their own energy, a soul or a spirit for every flower, for each spring a new soul or a repeated spirit? Laila walked around the frame thinking about death and its consequences, there is no reason to live forever, there is no reason to be, and definitely the life is a phase. Laila called to postpone her flight; she wanted to collect something before her trip. Laila ate her breakfast and started remember an old dream... she was walking on a green field, the plants were so green that it was a claustrophobic experience, until she saw one flower. Laila took a flower out from the earth and smelled its aroma; it was a red rose. Then suddenly she began to hear music, she remembered it from a time when she walked into her father’s study, he was listening to Vivaldi`s Winter. Laila thought it was funny to associate the music from Vivaldi; the winter, with a green field. Then she continued with her path, another rose, now pink. Laila smelled it and continue. As she was walking, more and more flowers emerged from the earth. The music was louder and louder without ending. Laila began to see flowers as; Nard, Lantana, Stork’s Bill, White Carnation, Blue Gem and several Roses. Then she saw a beautiful and bluish Scarlet Pimpernel. It was alone around bushes. Laila approached to the bluish Scarlet Pimpernel and saw a strange stone near it. Laila touched the strange stone and feel nothing. Laila saw again the strange stone, it was a gravestone. The bluish Scarlet Pimpernel was withered. Laila picked it up and kept it with her until she woke up.

As Laila finished her memories about the dream she had already decided to begin a herbarium; as a hobby. Laila took a picture of the dried up Lily; it would be the cover, but the gift would be a frame at her bedroom. She rushed on her way to collect flowers; traditional flowers at a local market, there she bought and collect traditional flowers; Kantuta and Patujú, as plants like Ayahuasca, Chacruna, Chalipong and Absinthe. While she was collecting flowers and plants she noticed street dogs; they were walking searching for food and water. The dogs were roaming, most of them alone, not a single man nor a boy, not a single woman nor a girl, not a single person would notice them, not a single being. The dogs had a lost sight, their eyes without hope, the sight lost in the infinite space of loneliness, street dogs are not cared by anyone. Laila thought that if a beautiful animal was left alone, also people could be left alone by their relatives, their family and their friends. Laila walked with her flowers, Laila saw a woman; an elderly woman walking on the streets, with no one around her, her thoughts reflected on her face, an old woman as a street dog both roaming rambling walking alone, with no one to meet, with no place to go, walkers on the world. Laila thought that beings, lonely beings are the aftermath of death, the elements left behind to make us remember it, but also the lonely beings are the aftermath of time, time has more power than death it makes you suffer during an eternal moment of pain, your mind is under attack, your body feels it and your eyes lose their shine. They become the expression of your mute inner self. Laila thought that the elderly woman sometimes feels alone at her home, if there is one, a single room with no bathroom or an enormous mansion with all the rooms needed; although the elderly woman is trying to scream; she is feeling a deep and unique pain in her chest, she is feeling a heart failure, her hands touch her chest and the pain is stronger and stronger, her mind plays tricks of memories and regrets, her skin turns pale, there is a new feeling an unknown one for her, it is body’s fatigue, she coughs, her breathing is noisy, she is trapped within her own confusion and despair, she is fainting into a dream of desperation, she is dying, then she trembles and her body hits a wall close to her, she is not dead, she is still alive, alive with suffering and pain, she looks for someone, for help, but she is there with her awful companions; her sorrow, her pain and finally after a horrible heart failure, she is almost gone. She looks to the empty place and a tear drips, and she cries, not because her pain, but for her loneliness in this world full of people, and she cries, not because her imminent demise, but for her empty room full of her confusion and despair, and she cries, not because her suffering, but for her lack of love, lack of friends, lack of family, for her lack of death; moreover death is not there, it has approached until the correct point, the desirable point; death was the only being close to her passing. The elderly woman lost her sight of hope and life, lost her feelings and lost her human nature, now she is a lonely walker of this world, now and then she touches her chest waiting to do not find her heart beating, now she has realized that she is more lonely than a street dog, now she is wishing to die, now she is waiting for her last and constant companion; death.

Back in her hotel bedroom Laila cut the flowers, leafs and parts of the plants to paste them on special paper; inside the herbarium. She called to confirm her flight and then she left the hotel. Laila called a taxi. During her way to the airport Laila saw again a particular face; actually a man with 2 faces walking the streets as looking for someone to eat, Laila felt a cold feeling going down from her neck to her low back. Laila did not want to see him; nevertheless, the morbidity to see him, the morbid fascination to see his faces; it was hard to reject. At some point the man close his eyes and started to move trembling, quickly, his head and arms, turning back, Laila was seeing him from his back. The man stopped his fast movements and the face from his nape opened slowly his eyes. His sight was doom, hex, death and emptiness. Laila stood still. The 2nd face opened fast its mouth and saliva leaked. Laila thought to herself, that she was able to hear a voice inside her mind. Laila felt dizzy and faint in the taxi’s back seat. The taxi driver did not notice her. During her faint, Laila fell into a dream, then another dream and finally woke up to a nightmare; every dream was watching herself fell into darkness, to another darker sphere, as an act of depersonalization, without control of herself. At the last sphere she felt herself drowning and at the same time 2 big hands were chocking her, 2 hands around her neck, not a movement, not a scream, not forgiveness, not help, not salvation, an immobile body being chock till death. Laila opened her eyes inside the dream and saw 2 reddish eyes staring at her; with the sight of doom... a shadow being with a degenerate smile; from it was leaking saliva... and then Laila woke up; she was in the taxi’s back seat, safe and sound, but with a reddish scratch around her neck, superficial with no blood; however, painful at the touch. What is the reason for this assault? Is it hate? Is it unknown violence? Is it their nature? Is their language our suffering? Do they scream to hunt us? Do they screech while they scratch our skin? Does the howl of a wight, sounds alike a dying human? Laila touched again her neck; painful at 1st but then exciting, as the touching of a velvet scarf, while feeling fear, she smiled.

Outside on the streets, the shadows were calling for her.

Laila arrived to the airport late for the check in. During the flight Laila read a scientific publishing about the Megalograptus; the different interpretations about its way of living, walking, and of course the similarity with the actual scorpions. Laila liked too much the draw of this ancient animal; she wanted a tattoo on her left hip, with the colors black, red and white. She liked this animal; its body, the way of hunting, tearing and ripping its preys, a furious animal waiting in the darkness for its preys. Then she put together this idea with her previous chocking-assault. Laila considered herself as a prey; an innocent and unaware prey. She wanted to fight back. She considered to find more about her gift; this black obsidian mirror. After a while of thoughts; “if a not-present being was able to make physical damage, then it is feasible to counter-attack; but how to do it?” Laila remembered the moment she received her gift; the person was dead or was not, the person had a reason. Eternal beings have always a different perception, an ancient wisdom and a guiding knowledge. They teach us through situations and change our perception for a better development. Sometimes they must act, other times they interact with us. They waves create messages; hardly to understand by light and darkness. The black obsidian mirror could be a portal to communicate with eternal beings, Laila needed to understand her energy to make a bond, a connection. Laila did not know any of this knowledge; “a path is always a mystery and the real wisdom... is danger” Laila felt a cold wind around her cleavage, her skin turned Goosebumps and her heart beat faster. Her breathing reduced slowly until Laila felt only her heart beating; a strong and fast beating, a slowly breathing, a cold sensation around her cleavage and her heart beating. Laila was feeling her heart and listening to it, then Laila stopped listening to it and a soft noise was heard; soft footsteps in the distance, coming to her, footsteps approaching to her, becoming louder and louder, footsteps as Laila was on a flight, footsteps coming from nowhere, louder and louder, footsteps around her, footsteps putting Laila in a corner, footsteps coming for her, louder and louder. Laila waited for those invisible beings; the noise-makers that scratched her body, the chocking-assaulters, them, the starving, they are craving for souls’ energy, hungry for body’s flesh; they were reborn into this forgotten Realm as shadow beings.

During that experience, a solar eclipse was taking place; the darkness was above land, the halo of light behind the black cape and the clouds were sepia. The footsteps were coming. The black sky was beautiful and Laila felt again scratches around her neck and chest. Laila stand up and closed her eyes. Laila tried not to feel this new pain, Laila opened slowly her eyes and saw an unusual shape, similar to fog. Laila touched this shape and her fingers hurt her; as touching fire. Laila wanted to touch it again though. The shape after a 2nd touch disappeared. Laila’s breathing was intense and her skin was hurting her. The darkness still was around the skies. After some minutes the solar eclipse was over. Laila’s skin was with a lot of scratches and bleeding. Laila sat down and tried to breath. Her fingers were red burned.

Laila felt so much hungry and weakness in her body. She tried not to faint. Her skin was painful and the bleeding was continuous. Laila went to the toilet to clean herself and put some parches; made with toilet paper. Laila saw her face, neck and chest on the toilet’s mirror; her face was paleness, her neck and her chest with scratches and bleeding. However, her eyes had a different color; yellow and green, turning from blue iris to hazel. Laila cleaned her body and the bleeding was stopped. Laila smiled as she was seeing her new colorful eyes, her hazel eyes. Laila returned to her seat. Laila smiled until she fell asleep. Laila woke up as the airplane was landing on Metaia, the most important city, always looking to the future by working around dreams and guiding the loved ones, a new example on how the innovation is necessary to cure stress and restore peace, and not using strength. It is not the capital of Metus. A beauty country, it had a war that almost destroyed all, the evidence is held to show and to teach how an unjustified punishment, from a higher power, by rejecting a not consented union, could distort an effort to counterattack, to live in a long alienation of agony, however; the times are always changing and what was unknown once, now could be re-interpreted and be taken as a symbol of stopping any conflict without anger.

Her clothes were stained with blood, but on the other hand, Laila was feeling as never before. Laila went out of the airplane and breathed in. Laila rented a car to get to her home; as she was driving she looked at the clouds and perceived the sunset reddish, red as blood, “crimson skies as its eyes” Laila felt her back was stinging her. By somehow Laila drove perfectly, avoiding her pain, as soon as she arrived at home, her family welcomed her. They did not notice her stained clothes. Laila took a long shower to clean and then disinfect her skin wounds; although her skin was burning, her mind was in somewhere else. As she was putting her pajama on, she noticed an irregular red spot on her left shoulder, away from her front sight; Laila remembered the woman’s skin and her red spots. Laila felt a deep fear (her soul shoved her heart) She breathed in and out as she was looking at her left shoulder. Then suddenly a knock at the door, it was her mother calling her for a family supper. Laila put one more sweater on, and went to eat her family supper.

Laila thought about her left shoulder all the family supper, of course her family asked her many questions about her trips. Laila answered with many details as she could, except for the woman, the black obsidian mirror and her actual skin’s state. Laila was thinking about her shoulder. At some point of the family supper she stopped talking and said.

Laila. – I have meditated about our business and I have to admit; the new beginning to transform our enterprise, it is the technology applied to human development and the communication network.

Her father and mother agreed with the idea, and discuss about the pros and contras. The enterprise got a new vision to create a new age of technology for society; science and entertainment. After some months Laila created a new way of business according to technology research and developing. Suddenly she became a more important figure in the familiar enterprise, her father decided to become an active partner, giving all the important decisions to his daughter. The enterprise and the family were proud of her. Laila took time away only to get her tattoo; Megalograptus with the colors black, red and white. It was supposed to be on her left hip, but now it was already tattooed around her red spot, on her left shoulder. The day after Laila got her tattoo, it was a crucial day for her sight. Laila was watching her tattoo’s reflex thanks to the black obsidian mirror, she was in her bedroom. Then Laila saw something else, her face was without expression and her eyes were lost, as the face on that man’s nape. Her face was not showing any emotion, as a wax mask, as a porcelain doll. Her sight was staring at her dead face, her eyes began to hurt her, there were showing nothing. After a while her vision disappeared. Laila had a tear on her beautiful face; a tear slowly coming down from her left eye was the sign of her experience. Then a knock on the door was heard. Laila put slowly one hand on her face, to stop this insignificant tear, this crystal tear, inside was the complete Realm. The knock was now twice made; the tear was dried by a towel. The knock was heard again and this time Laila opened the door. The person knocking at the door was her mother. Laila hugged her mother firmly, strong and pretend that she was not vulnerable. Laila looked at her mother’s eyes and smiled.

Her mother. – Were you crying?

Laila. – No, not at all.

Her mother. – Well when you stop acting, come to the tea room and tell me; why are you using contact lens?

Laila. – I… will be there in 5 minutes or less.

Laila return to see the black obsidian mirror and felt insignificant facing her. Laila speak soft to her reflection on the mirror, then holding with her hands, all the water they could, she slowly submerged her beautiful face into water and thought.

Laila. – “I… will die and become a shadow being. I might saw a perpetual and ambiguous night”

That night the 2 woman talked as the best friends. Mother and daughter were together as one heart. They laughed as young girls. The joy and the gossips were the best details. Everything was wonderful and mutual. Then mother asked for the contact lens. Laila knew deep in her mind that only if she stuttered one word the mother would know something bad happened to her. Laila told her mother that her hazel eyes were in fact a new trendy to impress the other businessmen. The mother accepted that “decision” and wanted to have the same color. Laila could not think on that.

Every morning Laila used to admire her tattoo and her red spot on the shoulder. As months passed Laila´s will to find out the meaning of those previous chocking-assaults and scratches improve with efficient results. Laila began her research on the field of occult sciences. Laila bought books related to the field and without fear her research began, involving specially a method to communicate with eternal-beings and of course her principal tool was her black obsidian mirror. Laila used to see her reflection on this mirror’s surface and waited and waited and waited for an unusual event; sometimes her sight made her a trick, like her complete body would turn black as the deepness and then disappear, but her sight focus on her own eyes. Nevertheless, there were times that her sight showed her particular events; faces or at least expressions of suffering around her, but only for a fleeting time, at the quietness of the night, Laila heard screams and footsteps. Laila´s fascination about her black obsidian mirror was unquestionable. Laila´s eyes sometimes hurt her and after some time she got a headache. Laila began to drink green tea, in order to clean her body and be healthier. As days passed the green tea became her favorite drink. Laila´s likes were the research of occult sciences, painting, photography, little by little her writings came back to be as important as they used to be; to reveal her feelings and experiences.

One day Laila´s mother asked for an old writing on her diary, when Laila was a child, about her rag dolls, sewed together. Laila remembered well the written words and said something else.

Laila. – It was a child’s fantasy that my rag dolls were alive.

After saying that, Laila smiled and say good bye to her mother. Laila packed her camera, one book related to her new research, some food and a plastic bottle; for green tea with some lemonade. Laila wanted to do some hiking, Laila enjoyed going outside during the weekends, and let the path to become her destiny. Walking on the countryside to relax and to take photographs was even better to seal new business. In fact Laila experienced a better way to enjoy her loneliness; away from everyone, exploring and feel the nature. “Waldeinsamkeit”; unique feeling for people like her. Laila consider herself as a “Nemophilist”. Laila liked to take photographs of birds’ nests, plants’ solitude, sunsets’ peace, the rivers’ force and trees’ shadows. During her time on the countryside, the best relaxing part was while she was reading close to a tree or sitting on a rock, but always away from the sunlight. That night Laila decided to sleep there, but she forgot her sleeping bag, so lighted up a campfire, and watched the stars go by. The moon moved from the mountains´ darkness till the highest point on the sky; the moonlight was silver and stunning, the sounds of the night emerged and the nocturnal animals began to howl. All those components create a magnificent theatre of the nature at night; a spectacular symphony of darkness.

As Laila was enjoying this theatre and symphony she remembered the painting of Francisco Goya “Los Caprichos” number 68; Pretty teacher. Laila put her hands closer to the campfire and stayed in this position for some time thinking about her written words; “…these rag dolls are a compound body for the death”

At the moment Laila was repeating her words in her mind and a cold wind came to touch the fire; the flames changed their pattern and an owl howled. At that moment Laila´s sight showed to her faces in the dark; faces appearing on the inhospitable land, on the trees´ bark, on the flames and above her on the clouds. This illusion of dead faces made an impact on her, but then she liked the ability to be a witness of them. As the dead faces were reveal to her, the night sounds and nature’s noises stopped, for a while, but other kinds began to be heard; coming footsteps, closer howling, distant voices, wind breaking the branches, a constant airstream, the fire’s sparks and then silence; total silence, lull, not even the nature’s noises. A guttural voice was heard on the left, a deep and fast scratched felt, breaking the total silence by the strong and quick scream of pain… then again total silence.

Laila´s body was motionless, her arms were on her chest as holding a bouquet, her legs straight, but her face was the real expression of a postmortem person, her eyes half-opened, but with a lost sight, her eyebrows were making an expression to release her soul, her mouth was opened, her teeth been exposed as a morbid and grotesque smile. Her skin’s face was a combination of paleness and blue. Her hair was disheveled and tousled. Around her body; the grass, the land and even the stones were burned in a circle. The sun was the king of the sky, there was not a single cloud and the birds´ trill muted. Although the morning was warm there was the previous and freshly touch on the ground. Then a shadow covered the sunlight; the sun was no longer the king of the sky, it was a forgotten dream. A sound heard by nobody; the wind blowing from the distance; the morning wind was moving the fallen leafs. The shadow passed leaving the sunlight reached again the land; a floating shadow, a big white cloud covered the sunlight and at that moment Laila’s eyes opened completely. The wind came to Laila’s hands, without sound, the wind brought to Laila’s left hand a red flower, Laila blinked and caught the red flower and squeezed it with full wrath, then a new sound, a rhythm noise, similar to a chaotic music, a heart beating began, the fragility of the silence was broken; Laila saw the ancient shadow and connected with It; bounded by a stream of white energy, Laila was alive… again.

The sunlight broke the passing cloud, Laila`s sight was again perceiving the sky, the moon was also there, the 2 symbols of the sky; the moon white as a dead face, it was visible on the sky’s distance, there as a knife with no blood, shinning to the beholder, and the eternal light of a burning sun, those were profound symbols of a tempestuous rebirth. Laila`s heart beat was intense and strong. Laila moved her head to the right as she was feeling within her fingers that red flower, its soft petals and its soft essence. Since her rebirth, Laila was able to perceive the essence of living beings and the energy of dead beings around. Laila distinguished her own essence and the essences around her. Laila touched slowly the burned ground and closed her eyes, her heart beat normalized and Laila stood up. Laila breathed in and opened her eyes. There was a strange feeling once felt; her back got again scratches from upside down, but the bleeding stopped. As Laila walked, she saw the burned ground and thought the fire camp burned it, but no. Laila picked up her stuff and before leaving the place, took some photographs of the burned ground. Laila left a part of her there (or it was taken from there) the steps walked are left behind and there is no path to go back, not even the same footsteps.

There is this greatest feeling of melancholy when a being loses a faculty, but it is deeper when the being has never experienced this faculty; having a soul or breath through the spirit. At the beginning a person is inside this sphere of nothing, then a simple move to change happens, it is a move made due to will, the sphere turns from the outside to the inside, then a continuous progress has the shape of an ascending spiral and sometimes of a descending spiral; this progress depends of the faculty to dominate his own energy, then the sphere turns again to the outside. The energy is the language of everything, the energy is not bad or good, it is not wrong or right, it is what it is and the person’s life has a real propose behind the manipulation of energy. Then at the end the energy is the both, person and his outcomes. The white energy is the seed of death and its roots time. Some “flowers” grow during the autumn; they received energy from the deepness. The feelings or experiences are leafs carried by the emptiness, and then they will be forgotten in the horizon of oblivion. Laila returned home.

“Death meditates in the deepness and sees all from the darkness, its sight is fire and there is no light, the Realm is an ethereal place and it is all, then all is nothing-everything, it has elements to summon the light’s darkness, in order to open the access of death.

This light creates the unawareness of every dead being inside the death’s spheres as they gather and group together to the giant of death’s Realm, the roaming collector and the hungry skeleton; its will is to gather around the wraiths and wight, to form its physical body.

Some shadows are waiting in peace, but, contrary to this fact, there are always differences of desperation and of suffering among them. As a bug flies to the void, time has an end and there is, indeed, eternity in a dream. Death is a being, it is not an idea. It is real energy. I can perceive it now.

And reality is more powerful than any being

This was written by Laila when she was young, when she came back to her home; she corrected and added some words… on one of her pages from a diary; a forgotten diary, till now, pages waiting to tell the past to a questionable present and an enigmatic future, pages to tell stories, to tell dreams or to tell visions from the unknown. Laila experienced these, and now the only object to be another witness, in mute, is this diary and its pages. The sound of emptiness used to be loud as it was growing, but now it is mysterious symphony. Laila´s meditations were in a deeper state, more often and more intense. The scratches on her back were a regular thing, an aught, and her ability to perceive the essences was growing as Laila touch an object; the training of a new sense is always confusing at the beginning then it is like floating on a river without cause or destiny. The trick is the mind. It is the opened mind, it is the body away from this Realm, it is the soul free and it is the spirit feeling the energy. Laila began to stay in bed for days, thinking about the sensibility as she focuses on someone, an employ or the taxi driver or the boy selling newspapers or the man reading from the other corner of the room, or the touch of an old object, a grave on a side of the road or a table at work or a chair at a hospital or a bed in an asylum or a book owned by a lady. She tried to stay away from others and little by little it was another issue to deal, try to calm down with other’s energy. Days pasted and as a matter of fact she became a possession of her bedroom, clinomania, during the day, forgetting the work and business.

Passing the days Laila recovered her will to move, to move on and to start exploring the different aspect of other objects and people, Laila began to work again, as part-time job, taking photos, Laila opened a photography studio; to fulfil the desire of meeting new people, their essence, their energy and their life’s traces. “Taking a photography from a person or from an object, even an animal or a landscape is to speak and describe without words what we could encounter, sometimes those elements are there, all around, but; when we see them in a frame, in front of us with their glory, those elements turn to be enigmatic and not only decorative. For that idea, I opened this photography studio, do not worry it will only be for some mouths or a year” with those words, she explained to her parents the concept of doing that business from the passion of photography. One day came an elderly woman with her grandchild; both wanted a colorful photograph to remember the birthday of… well both did not wanted to say who’s birthday was, so Laila took the photograph and noticed the expression of happiness and joy, then Laila saw direct to the elderly woman’s sight; it was as beautiful as the sight of the woman who gave her a dried up lily… Laila wrote down the elderly woman’s name and decided to wait. Both say goodbye to Laila. Laila developed a copy of the photograph for her. One day Laila read on the newspaper; an obituary, the name of that elderly woman; “…in memory of beloved mother, sister and grandmother…” Laila went to the vigil, at 1st there was not the grandchild, then she arrived dressed with a black dress and a violet hat. Laila hoped not to be recognized. The grandchild did not recognize her at all. Laila waited sitting on a seat drinking coffee, suddenly, saw a candle lighting in the front part of the coffin; a candle with the fire of the soul and nothing ahead the fire, but the path into darkness. Laila thought hearing a howling. Laila waited. The people began to leave the vigil. The family accepted one more praying for the passed away relative. The grandchild waved off to everybody, but during a brief time; Laila’s sight and the young girl’s sight communicated their feels, one was a hasting expectative and the other was sorrow. Laila saw the violet hat vanished among people. Laila waited hidden; in a secret place inside a house modified to receive sorrowing people, dead people, flowers, candles, everything to be connected to create an ambient where vigils were the main event… Laila waited at this secret place, inside the darkness, inside the silence of time, but the death’s sounds were creaking for her, a place where there was comfort, Laila felt those essences and relaxation as heard those sounds. At the moment there was not a single sound, Laila went out from her secret place and approached to the coffin; Laila opened the coffin and contemplated the corpse. Silence is death. Darkness around lightened candles is hope. A corpse with a peaceful face is the perfect book to read the language of death, to feel the essence and to communicate through the touch. The black streaming of energy was now felt. Then nothing was heard and seen, but the candles’ fire and a flash coming from the Laila’s camera. She was by the side of the opened coffin, and at the corner of the room a shadow being watching. Laila found 2 new satisfactions; there was a portrait of dead person, and a new branch of Nyctophilia.

Laila began to go to vigils and sometimes to the funerals. Before the coffin was buried, Laila took photographs, mostly at night when nobody was around and sometimes Laila bribed the employees of the vigil homes to hide in a dark room and after nobody was at the vigil, Laila went out and took photographs, saw closely the dead pale faces and at last felt the death on the bodies, “we are cold as corpse”. Once one funeral, of an unknown person, at least for her, was over, Laila returned home walking, Laila left the cemetery; one with paths of stones and at both sides, lines of trees, a particular detail of that cemetery, a lineament. The afternoon was cloudy, time before night, and the sun no longer to be the king on the sky, in fact the clouds were the expression of an upcoming storm, the sunlight passed through some specific points or holes, the cold was the real element, the season was autumn and the leafs were flying on the air and falling, as rain drops. For a brief moment of the eternity, the sunlight lighted the old trees; the trees were yellow with some spots turning brown. Laila realized it was later than expected, and stood still for a while till night. Then closed her beautiful and hazel eyes, breathed to feel the cold inside her, breathed again and remembered one single quote: …“autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”… Laila opened her eyes and felt the essence of cold air, the wind passed and moved her hair, Laila moved her fingers to the wind’s speed and rhythm, looked up to the storm, and there was only one single hole on the dark sky, through the hole a star, shinning, and then the storm began, the star was no longer visible, the rain was falling all over the land, and the walk to return home continued.

That night, Laila returned home walking, at some point the rain stopped, but the cold… not, for her, never again. Walking through streets, on a bridge, she waited to see the fog rising over the city. The vision was clear; the trees’ shapes on the distance were dark against the contrast of the white fog, the shining of the city’s lights behind the white and immaterial wall was breaking the dark.

The next day Laila’s parents talked with her about her life, her likes about photography, they never saw her photos, about her future on business and her state of… love. Laila only answered that she was fine with the things going on with her life, the future was something to come later, never soon, but not as important as the things in the present, and finally said that the state of love is something not important as everybody could imagine… in fact Laila felt upset for this side of her parents, a side that it was not showed before to her, but she accepted.

Laila. – Love is not more than a chemical reaction; it always brings troubles to all involved.

Her parents insisted about her state and told her, there was a gentleman that could be a perfect option for her. So at that point Laila remembered things that happened in her life, but never been told or written, so Laila continued with a fake smile listening to her parents.

Laila. – (Thinking) I have to admit my sense is a clue. In fact the senses are worthless, they come and go, they make you change, and they make you stay… at least my personal perspective is the next one; the little desire to feel excitement and to rouse another person (yield for pleasure), hug with no hands or legs, with what is within, to make a prompt connection toward sex. As the majority of people succumb to the sense of sight is easy: one of my pleasures, is the other sense that I believe is the ruler of all; the “touch”, the sight may have a great influence, but the action to touch and be touched is infinity as desire itself, soft and delicate. The sight would end at some point, the listening could not focus on the moaning forever, the taste is changing, it is improving, it is luscious, the smell can cloak among the atmosphere and end in a delightful disguise of warm scent.

While her parents were talking, Laila was not paying attention. Laila remembered the “ruler” of her senses. Then a heat was felt and Laila had to think in something else, not because it was wrong to be seduced by her imagination, but 1st, for the respect, and 2nd, Laila’s imagination was persuasive and once it was becoming creative, it could show the inappropriate images, (never stopped until a delicate part was touched easy and gentle) she tried to focus and waited for some seconds.

Laila asked for permission to leave… Laila was unstable to be there, not somber, but anyway life is life and sometimes it is not prudent to show one’s weakness in front of the parents. Laila closed her bedroom’s door and allowed her mind to remember the past of an unknown lover… there was too much to remember and to feel again, again and to forget all over again. The love is a phase on one’s life and it is as ordinary as another wound. Sometimes a lover is a mystery locked inside a forgotten gaol, not even the sweetness chambermaid has the real key; it is among all those locked doors, there are no choices for a past that is gone, only the memory is returning. Love is a poison that once is inside; time makes you see the clarity of oblivion, and your body makes you feel the pain of a heart failure “A heartbroken” …and nothing more.

Laila’s parents organized a reunion/party at home, for this party/reunion the most prestigious personalities from the society and from the business’s circle related to the enterprise were invited and it was published on the social media, the excitement was so important that even the famous photographer, Giovanni Brugnoli called the event “a luxury trendy”, the excitement was so important that a royal family wanted to be invited, but only the eldest-son was invited, at the end, he explained that the only reason to go was to meet the beautiful lady Laila; there she was bright and quiet as the full moon, the real beauty among all stars.

The eldest-son named; George Rosesand Millais, 20 at the time. Giovanni Brugnoli took Laila by the arm and introduced her as the “intellectual” girl from the hall to the elegant and sophisticated George Rosesand Millais. Laila saw and studied the color of his eyes, Laila felt his energy and realized he was another person trying so hard to become a famous and empty celebrity, another one who has too much ego around his life, the person who uses his knowledge to show off and then to become successful stepping on others’ heads. Laila wanted to walk away. George Rosesand Millais made her sick.

George Rosesand Millais. –Should I take you to a marvelous trip or (taking her right hand) should I take you to dinner?

Laila. – I do not think you have enough hungry inside… Let my hand go! I am not amused by your charm, but you could help me by fading, I would like to see our reflection on a mirror.

George Rosesand Millais. – I have one mirror on my bedroom; it is especially over my bed.

Laila. – You are so classy and ordinary. But anyway the mirror is upstairs and I use it to see more.

George Rosesand Millais. – I am afraid of not following you. Is there something you like, here tonight?

Laila. – Nothing.

George Rosesand Millais. – Let me show you some pictures of my trips. It will catch your attention, then (laughing) we can talk better.

Laila. – There is no place I would like to go, except on a bridge…

George Rosesand Millais. – I can put you on a long bridge, the “longest” bridge of your life.

Laila. – (Breathing in and out to avoid rolling her eyes up) do you know about the reflecting under the bridge?

George Rosesand Millais. – Yes, I do. (Seeing to Giovanni Brugnoli) What about that?

Laila. – I would like to see our reflection, if there is one, it will be there, let us go together to see it, it is waiting for our sight, as soon as we hit the water below, under the Overtoun bridge of Scotland, we could see our destiny together, or experience it by having an accident. But I think it is a waste of time. It is, indeed, a waste of time to talk with someone as empty as you. Did you know that everything a human can create is empty? All human’s creations are dead. Due to, its lack of commitment, deep inside… it is only an abandoned object by its creator… devoid of soul.

Giovanni Brugnoli. – (Thinking loud) Devoid of soul…

Laila. – Like a pale object inside you.

George Rosesand Millais. – What is inside me? (Talking with anger to her rejection) Is it a soul or imagination?

Laila. – It is a waste of time, for someone like you.

George Rosesand Millais. – Prove me wrong!

Laila. – A Tulpa.

George Rosesand Millais. – What?

Laila. – Your imagination, or better saying, your concentration could create a being. That being will reflect your inner essence. That being could be in different planes. That being is all, but an illusion. It is your manifestation and it emanates you; a thought-form, once free of your control, it could turn against you, be your personal enemy. It is not a material object, it is part of you and not.

George Rosesand Millais. – Well I did not know that, but objects are things, we should avoid those things and focus on us… everybody wants to be seen as a better option… I am not looking for commitment, fun.

Laila. – For my perspective, you are a thing. I do not want to be seen, I hate people who are always on the pillar of beauty and success; and that is the reason why I like to be away from the popular world. In spite of everything, everybody wants to become something they are not. I stay to grow and my art is here, others do not realize how beautiful is to create, others like you have lived waiting for a change. Excuse me gentlemen, but I have to leave you.

Giovanni Brugnoli. – (With a stuttering voice) what can we… offer you, so you could… stay and talk with… us for a while? I need to…

Laila. – Maybe you could clutch each other’s hearts and flay your skin, so the best offer would be your hearts.

George Rosesand Millais. – I see you like the drama, if you allow me; I could take you to…

Laila. – To nowhere and thank you. I like death and you both are 2 boys pretending to be womanizers, it makes me sick, to see the gender from great people be shared with you both.

George Rosesand Millais. – Let me tell you something… I was being nice with you and him… (Pointing to Giovanni Brugnoli)

Laila. – You both should go and find a doll, and fill it with your words. But you Mr. Rosesand, you are a man who wants to be the center of the universe, turn into an idol without a heart, to collect pretty girls. You are a pervert who idealize the popularity; who seeks another dull doll to complete the distortion. I am afraid from the next woman who will reject you, getting false hope.

Laila by saying those final words got headache and close her eyes, her eyelids trembled. She remembered her ragdolls sewed together.

George Rosesand Millais. – If we would have been alone… I would have hit you by insulting me!

Laila. – (With her eyes closed) go ahead and do it, show me your strength, I hit harder. an advice, be more like a gentleman, if you cannot, at least act, I hope deep in my heart you will learn to lie.

George Rosesand Millais. – (Completely furious) I am someone important; you should know it by now, guess who was going to become an associate with your enterprise!

Laila. – (Calm and firm) gentlemen. (Opening her eyes) have a good night.

Giovanni Brugnoli until that moment was there trying to make her talk and listening to the conversation, he was a gilded statue, but realized that he had to do something, say something, to keep Laila there; the photographer was an employ of George, George paid him to make a contact with young models, beautiful women for George, he wanted to be always with those who are the envy and the attraction of others. George made a deal with Giovanni to make him work at the best magazines and in return he had to present the most beautiful models. Needless to say that George paid to Giovanni a lot of money for that simple action. Giovanni took Laila by her arm and looked at her eyes making a sign to; stay, but Laila’s eyes shined, the hazel eyes shining made an uncomfortable sensation inside Giovanni, suddenly he imagined his soul falling into an abyss of perdition. Giovanni let her go. Laila while walking away from them smiled. George felt too much anger against her, she was his obsession, on his perspective and now she was out of his greedy arms. George argued later with Giovanni about not making her stay, but later that night Giovanni presented to him another aspirant model. Giovanni felt scared that George would fire him, so he decided to search for a broken model; a pale object, but he never guessed how things will end.

The party/reunion was over. Laila closed her bedroom and got naked before entering to her bed, the pajamas were unnecessary. Once Laila was looking to the ceiling, she noticed that there were some lines on the paint; the proof of the time’s force. Laila looked at the darkness inside her bedroom and it made her realized that the words are a powerful weapon, that man, George, was unpleasant, his energy was corrupted and elaborated to win over the young models; Laila figured it out thanks to the nervousness by which Giovanni took her arm “A dog performing its flair”. Laila thought that people who are greedy with one thing are with everything and want all the attention, all the power, all the love, all the admiration, all the compliment for them, but it is to satisfied their emptiness, better say their lack of empathy, to calm down their anger against themselves and to forget for a while their load of frustration.

Laila was thinking in all of that when she fell asleep and began to dream about; walking on the empty streets, her footsteps were noises as she was walking while the human beings and animals become different dark beings, some regular others completely deform, the rain began to fall and the rain drops were white over the dark land, the footsteps were noise and the sound of an echo returning to Laila from behind, the distance was still as a colossus-snowed-mountain, the footsteps were noise and the sound of an echo returning to Laila from ahead, a scream at the distance broke the echo, the footsteps were noiseless and the silent began to sound as a mire, the complete Realm was now a swamp, then from the distance a single sound, a sound of violence, of storm, the sound was more relevant and Laila looked down to see that the mire was a mix of blood and diversity of human faces, the human faces had no eyes neither teeth, screaming and trying to escape from that swamp. The swamp began to vomit the corpses, a sea of dead people, without eyes, without teeth, but with long gray hair. Silence as the corpses stopped screaming. Then the corpse with long gray hair moved, growled to the colossus-snowed-mountain, the undead began to reclaim the movement raising. The rain created again the perfect echo of death. The rain was strong and the flood came, bringing corpses as withered leafs. Laila heard a whispered coming from the nothing, claiming for her “I require an oblation”. Laila opened her hazel eyes and looked at the motionless dark inside her bedroom. On the walls, the paint had deep scratches. Her hands were dead-cold.

The next week Laila invest her money (at least a big part of it) to buy something for her personal delight, something that makes a person smile only when it is seen, something that most of the people could find perverse, but in the end it was the perfect representation of her last dream and in some way her wish come true for the humankind. A statue (a replica, the original one was too expensive) by Ligier Richier, “Transi de René de Chalon” and it was placed on the garden, Laila’s parents disapproved it, but they found it interesting “Nothing can be done now”, “Why is it looking a small mirror?”, “No, my dear, it is its heart”

Laila. – It is an oblation…

Her father. – Why?

Laila. – For stuff.

Her mother. – (Sigh)

Then after 3 months Laila bought another (replica) statue, this time by Jan Fabre, “Merciful dream”. That time, her parents did not say a word. Laila had already changed more than her family could have ever imagined.

One day Laila decided to go to the local cemetery, walking for her was part of everyday, the delicacy of forgetting things while the feet guide a person and lead to the unknown, the truly purpose of not knowing the present and feel the future as an old story, stories without a meaning to write. Laila was carrying her camera; she stood as she was beholding some statues on the yard, took some pictures, most of them monochromatic, sepia and with the red filter. “Everything that is art is created to emulate and reflect our passions, seen by the divine eyes, to protect us from ourselves, preserving our will, our structure, like in the Gorgon’s garden” One of the few moments in her life that Laila smiled was when she looked at her photos… one thought was knitted inside her mind “I should create more memories, those no one could understand”. Laila was thinking that the memories are the dreams of the being called “Art”, the incarnation of misunderstood, of forsaken explanation and of course of feelings. As Laila was walking through the yard, she remembered music, beautiful and forbidden music, sad and melancholic music from a composer with the virtue of a genius, but turned controversial as many others who had seen the emptiness, and then got inspired by it to create through an object art. After walking and remembering music, Laila faced a replica of a beautiful woman, a naked woman, a dead naked woman, a dead naked woman under a veil, a replica of a beautiful naked woman under a veil with her eyes closed and joining the Realm of Death… Laila whispered for herself, a secret as sin, a desire, an expression of sympathy, the whole was whispered during that moment, fast as the wind that moves the leafs of trees during autumn“…she was never alive and so I am dead…” The music remembered was the “Devil’s trill sonata” by Giuseppe Tartini and the beautiful statue of a dead woman was by an unknown artist, a humble one; that not even put a fingerprint on the statue’s clay base. Laila whispered again, but now with a different chain of words “Portrait of Modesty… is the finest funerary monument for any dead girl…” 2 weeks after the walk through the cemetery, Laila bought a replica of “Portrait of Modesty” by Antonio Corradini.

The obsession with the death’s Realm was already a part of her, but how the death’s Realm is represented? By art, maybe. How do we feel death? We have it inside us, we are part from it since we are being created inside our mothers, death is covered with flesh, muscles, nerves and many other tissues, and at the end the bones are the columns that sustained our bodies, bones are the ultimate expression of ourselves; what we were before and after time, they are cold, it seems that death is sleeping inside us until light awakes it, gently to say “open your white eyes and show me your empty sight”

Laila used to contemplate her statues, sometimes dream about them, daydream; short stories on how the characters have ended on that position, on how all the actions lead them to perform one act, an immortal act of expression… the cold of a statue is the soul of the sculptor, a soul petrified inside the monument, a mute expression from a… on a desolate garden. One night Laila woke up around 4:00 (am), it was raining and the windows were shaking by the night’s wind, then she felt a soft touching on her left shoulder and a lighting lighted the bedroom, her eyes moved fast, her sight searched for someone, then her sight became desperately and began to search for something, something was there, only with the intension to make her know its presence, the presence of a waiting being, a wait that is always inside the darkness, around her, stalking beneath her steps, hiding from the light and looking at her. Then another lighting, creating momentary visibility inside her bedroom, connecting her mind to the instinct of survive, she felt a touch on her right shoulder awaking her desperation and dementia associated with her sight, there was something next to her, in front of her, around her, trying to get out her mind. Laila felt scared and could not make a single move. Laila was continuing searching for the one who touched her shoulders, but then silence and the rain stop, one lighting lighted again the bedroom and a book fell down, the sound was not a problem, the echo inside the bedroom was quick, Laila saw the book falling down, but at the moment of picking it up, Laila noticed something about that book; it was wet and some footmarks were on the carpet, something hustled out, the drenched carpet guided Laila’s sight, leading it to the window, her left window, it was a message for her, it was ready for a conversation, the black obsidian mirror had to be use.

The next day inside her bedroom and with the door locked, Laila opened a box where she left a gift, a gift that it was gave to her while ago, she saw again the black obsidian mirror and lifted it slowly, her reflection was well defined, the mirror was sharp on the edges, the light did not make enough reflection around, the walls and furniture were poorly reflected, but Laila’s face was inside it or at least the trapped image. Laila had next to her a knife and some bandages, she was watching her face while she cut slowly her right and left palms, then Laila let some blood fall on the mirror and around it, Laila pulled out some of her hair and made a circle around the mirror, then closed her eyes and tried to hear to the emptiness; wind, some voices from her family, the wind again, a car on the distance, a barking dog, a man talking on the phone, a TV screen, a radio playing music, the wind again. After a while, getting used to all that noise and unnecessary sounds around her house, on the garden a leaf was falling slowly, there was no wind, and she could hear better the leaf falling slowly, at the exact rhythm as Laila’s breathing. At the moment the leaf was on the ground Laila’s breathing intensified. A black sphere approached Laila’s head and covered her complete body, little by little; Laila could not open her hazel eyes, until the moment she was full inside that black sphere the emptiness was listened, then a voice began to be heard, it was not clear, it was murmuring a single word.

Voice. – Sleep.

She heard again the voice.

Voice. – See.

Laila focused on the footsteps and decided to lie down. Laila slept and her body began to move slowly from left to right, her muscles were relaxed, her skin was pallor mortis and her eyes’ color, not hazel, not dilated pupils; white as pearls. Laila began to see future visions: 1st; a vast land where only shadow beings walk, 2nd; huge lifeless bodies carried by rivers, 3rd; a boy losing his flesh little by little, 4th; a baby crying without lips, 5th; many women praying for salvation, many men praying for compassion and many children praying for clemency, 6th; bones from a hand moving in the need to grab food, in this particular case, rotten flesh, 7th; darkness descending from the sky and letting all the living ones wandering if it is over, 8th; blood and decayed flesh next to a cemetery, 9th; half of the black obsidian mirror inside a coffin, and the other half as a knife to stab hearts, 10th; her friend, the woman, dead inside the coffin, but her eyes wide opened, 11th; she killing a boy. Then after the visions, Laila woke up and saw the black sphere leaving her body and spreading it around as it slowly disappeared.

Laila was crying, not because of her visions, but for the pain felt all over her body, she moved little by little, even though this sensation left her a smile, her bleeding was dried and coagulated, she got headache and she was trembling as she tried to seat down on the chair. Laila searched for her diary and wrote down all that she could remember, the details were drawn, while describing her visions, she thought that her words were empty and her drawings reveal the feasible, but not always the true memories, as the photography. After finishing she meditated about the last vision; she would be a murder by defending herself? Then she got worry for her friend and decided to travel and try to explain to her the particular vision where she was dead. Laila cleaned everything up, but caught her attention that her eyes were white on the black obsidian mirror. She took a shower, meanwhile she was washing her wounds she noticed a new red spot next to her navel. The red spot, the 1st one, was still the same size inside her tattoo, it was not bleeding, nevertheless; the new red spot next to her navel was hurting her. Laila touched it and the pain increased, it was like a knife stabbing her belly. Laila noticed also some scratches on her back and her legs; they looked as they were made long ago and felt a little bit dizzy. The sensation of pain and distortion of the mind was so deep that for a moment she felt her eyes were not hers, that her soul was out from her body, her sight was lost all white, then she began to see something inside that white sight; irregular humans shapes walking to her, opening their mouths and trying to catch her. Laila stepped back, closed her white eyes, there was nothing around her, only the rising vapor from the hot water. Now the 2 red spots were hurting her and bleeding.

Several days past and her pains were the same, until the moment Laila decided to go to the doctor and postpone the trip to meet again with her friend. At the doctor’s office the pains slowly descended. Laila was confused, but ask for a complete medical evaluation. The doctor suggested for some biopsies, then for a special one; sentinels lymph node biopsy. The results were alarming, she got a typical cancer; Sarcoma, 2 points with Sarcoma inside her body, they were encapsulated and ironically or dramatically those points were close to the 2 red spots. The doctor got a single idea, but for Laila was the best advice:

Doctor. – I think it is better to not operate; the operation could lead to an unwanted metastasis, although the treatment should be chemotherapy and if your body could support, only then some sessions of radiotherapy, could reduce the cancer, but…

Laila. – But… Is there something else? I can take it with stoicism, as part of my nature.

Doctor. – (After a while of holding his breath) yes, if the cancer is not going to reduce, then I am afraid it could become… turn more aggressive, so in that case the radiotherapy should be essentially, if not the operation should be the last resource.

Laila. – I do… I do understand that this type of cancer grows in the flesh or somewhere else.

Doctor. – It is strange, this type is more commonly found in male patients. It “grows” most on muscles and some bones, like the mandible. There is a question that I did not find a scientific explanation.

Laila. – Well I could try to explain (making eye contact) it, whatever it is.

Doctor. – (Asking fast, without trying to be rude, with a tone of curiosity) since when those 2 red spots are on your skin?

Laila. – Since… the 1st one, on my shoulder for some months and this one (pointing at it) one or 2 weeks. Why do you ask it?

Doctor. – Nothing in particular. It is scientific curiosity. (Thinking; I have a premonition those are mostly related)

The conversation turned, then, into schedules about the treatment. Laila was afraid from the Sarcoma, those 2 points inside her body, waiting for anything to invade others cells, waiting to conquer new tissue, waiting as 2 ghouls to feed from human flesh, waiting to see Laila’s determination broken, so the operation could liberate at least a claw from those 2 malignant group of cells, metastasis is a shadow inside the human body, a shadow that takes everything, it wants every flesh, it bites all. The capture is finally over when the rotten shadow is satisfied when all is taken by force.

Nothingness is the best adaptation for a sick body, absence of fragile emotions. The body form is changing as every day passes by, trying to adapt. The thoughts are silent and the moves are only made when they are truly necessary. Then the nights are eternal, no dreams, no illusions, no peace of mind, no suffering, time, staying and never ending. The days are cold and the dizziness is more common than the hope. The mind is paralyzed; the infinity describes the lost eyes. Laila began again to take photos, this time from herself, most of them naked, sometimes wearing a black veil, an elegant veil that could or could not show her nudeness, an erotic photo from a wretched and hopeless patient, a veil that hides the sickness and shows the lifeless naked, she was born naked, she takes photos of herself to remember the cancer’s triumph inside her body. Once a healthy and sexy body, now a sick, a skinny, a fragile and forgotten corpse abandoned in the morgue. Laila never cried over her condition and successfully lied to her relatives. The time was primarily now, an experience is one piece of statistics, then the photos were more important and sometimes Laila wrote her feelings; pain and dizziness, wrote her emotions; fear and desperation, copied poems to illustrate a scream without voice, a coffin about to be buried. Poems soon forgotten, poems soon abandoned, poems for no one inside this world, poems that not a single person would read, would remember, poems that are the worst, poems telling the details of a sick diary and poems that are uncomfortable to read when the words narrate nothing interesting, besides the agony on waiting for a hand to close the dead-open eyes. Laila felt a pain in her heart.

Laila. – I have read many books to understand that a novel is not worthy to be written during a lifetime; my describing is for the moment… I want to explore more, I want to know more about death before it arrives. I want to live in darkness with pain, the oblivion is my ring, the cold is my soul and the wind is my voice, wherever I will travel I must find death and the suffering in life, those will be my children. I hope not to die before the moon loses her presence at dawn… I want to die as the moon is eclipsed by the sun; while the nocturnal sunlight guides my dreams. Life is not a measure of time neither the night. In night I will understand this mirror, on which my face has refraction… I am no longer full human.

The images of her recent life were portrait by her camera, in some of them Laila was smiling and in others her face was a skull with some skin, not a single emotion was on the camera lens’ surface. Her skull was trying not to make a hideous smile, even though her teeth were moving, even though her eyes were the only living elements on that skeletal expression, even though her nose was a point of her gone beauty, even though a smile of a dying woman is the most terrifying smile for anyone to see; a smile that scares and shows declination, lessening strength, a smile that is there without been there, nothing more to see. Her body used to be close to be qualified as “fit”, but now it is grinding to dust, as one of her replicas of great statues, those monuments are nicer to watch than to have a conversation with Laila, and Laila knows that the end is here… waiting for her to fall… waiting in the darkness of any corner to embrace and kiss her as an old foe, taking her last breath and watch her hazel eyes close. The nights were harder and harder, the pain used to awake her up, the cold in her heart was the silence’s voice, the fallen hair played scary tricks with her mind; making her remember those irregular humans shapes, the fallen hair seemed to be them, their hands, their mouths screaming to her, their empty eyes, their disfigured faces, their deformed body movement, more and more the dark beings were trying to materialize to Laila, while taking her life, her mind, always taking. Dark beings were waiting to torture her from inside, scratching her soul and eating her spirit. “A narration by the mind of a dying woman”

Laila began to think about her future and the repercussions of her illness; 1st she had to at least left some actions from her enterprise to her parents, 2nd she had to experience her likes before her own body was too sick and weak to continue, and 3rd the decision of giving some actions to a humanitarian aid; due to, her thoughts were also on people who could not have treatment for cancer, so the money obtain by those actions would be spent on a “social health center” The days were decided, a day for a meeting with the enterprise’s directive and administration, then 2 days later a dinner with the family, the last supper of happiness, and finally a meeting with her lawyer and her accountant, for that meeting were called several doctors, scientific researches and 2 congressmen to talk about the “social health center”, Laila wanted to give the 1st step and then walk away as a ghost. The day of the 1st meeting was a normal work day, but as soon as the complete directive entered to the meeting room, Laila began to talk, 3 minutes later the complete administration were sitting on their chairs and realizing that Laila was declining her position, some were watching to each other with an expression of clueless, opened mouths, scratching their heads, writing, 3 people trying to understand her position, the 3 of them had also cancer; one was clean and the others 2 were still on treatment, some were listening to Laila’s speech and others were untying their ties. When Laila stopped her speech the meeting room was as silent as she expected. Laila only had 2 requests; 1st not a single word to her parents till 4 days, enough time for the last supper and 2 days for them to accept, but the other request was not so personal; to do their best with the enterprise and to collaborate with the “social health center”. 2 days after that, Laila was dressing herself, a black dress and black shoes with low hills, a collar of pearls, a watch by Februus and finally a silver hair brooch. Laila booked a table for her family at a French restaurant; “Monet”, an elegant restaurant dedicated to the painter’s art, but also with the best ambient for a business meeting or to have a romantic date, in any case Laila enjoyed eating the dessert; “Pink Macaroons” and “Chocolate soufflé”, her father did not want, and her mother asked for a cup of coffee, she was holding the teaspoon with a couple of sugar cubes, then Laila began to talk, it was the 1st night in a long time for a family supper, and the theme was her irremediable death by cancer’s pincer.

While the words were spoken, some tears began to drop on the table. While the words were heard, the mother’s voice muted. While the words were understood, the father’s heart beat slower and slower. While the silence was listen by them, the conversations around the table were about love, promises, dreams, business, gossips, happiness, trips, daydreams, perfect life and she as a baby… sometimes people do not fall, sometimes their lives are so good that there is nothing to tell or live through, the strength is not required and the future is here, it makes them to have an interpretation of how the reality could be, an empty life of tasteless days, the interpretation grows until they fall into the darkness of accommodation, harmony is not there, peace is somewhere else, perfection is a dream, it is an illusion for the weak and a refuge for all. Her mother was still holding the teaspoon with a couple of sugar cubes.

The last supper ended with a crying mother and a “broken” father, but Laila’s mind at least was free after explaining her decisions and her sickness; eating her from inside, touching her muscles and waiting to expand till her bones. The meeting for the “social health center” was a successful agreement by all the involucrate people. Laila smiled after so long.

Laila waited until the doctor allowed her to travel, after 4 months she was stable enough to travel. Her hair was strong and her skin beautiful again, those 2 red spots did not bleed, even the fMRI’s result was acceptable for Laila’s condition. So Laila packed her camera, her diary and some clothes. The 1st place to go; the local cemetery, she wanted to see the place before been buried there. The sunlight was ending at the moment Laila arrived, and the doorman of the cemetery was closing the gates with a limping walk.

Laila. – Please accept this money, it is not bribery; but I want to sleep here tonight, if it is ok?

The doorman accepted the money and let Laila sleep there. Laila walked and walked, by every single step the cold arrived to her body, leafs carried by the wind, Goosebumps inside her cloths and gravestones on the place of eternal silence. She passed through the ancient part of the cemetery, there on the distance she saw a couple kissing passionately, she stayed behind a tree to see them, they began to hug, lied down, on the grave land, “a date at the grave”, discretion is subtlety among graveyards and tombs, close to them was a castle stone with the name FRANK, a common name for a person buried on the ancient part of the cemetery, we could say he was a necromancer who lost all, yet he did not lose his body. His gravestone became a point of reference for couples who wanted to satisfy their lust away from any living eye. Laila left that part and walk to the darkness alone. Laila sat down close to a grave and relied on it. Laila began to imagine her coffin, her dead face, her fingers tied to hold a bouquet of Scarlet Pimpernel, but her eyes wide opened. The grave was colder than the land, she touched it and felt an insight of peace, she looked down and read the name, looked away and said “…solace”. The shadows were growing around her. Laila began to see the landscape.

While Laila was relying on the grave thinking, she was watching the others gravestones and for an unknown reason she waited for something to happen. The mind tells us what is supposed to happen, foresight; nevertheless, not even the shadow beings move, and there is only silence on the grave land. That night Laila slept for a while with her arms around her and the cold night hugging her deficient body.

At 2:00 am Laila woke up to see a person approaching to her. The wind started to blow, lifting the fallen leafs and dust. Laila thought it was the guarder or her imagination. But then the body’s shape was smaller than the guarder, this other person was not limping from the right foot. The person was getting closer and closer to Laila. At some point the face was totally obscure and then a male voice was heard as the wind was blowing.

Person. – (An elderly man dressed with a black tunic) I have come to this place so many times and this is the 1st time that I see a woman on my grave, well my favorite grave.

Laila. – Pardon me, but I was tired and only wanted to sleep, this place and this grave were fine for me, the land is soft, the grave is perfect to rely on, and the wind is now a perfect partner.

Person. – Well it is comfortable. By the way… why are you here?

Laila. – (After some seconds and watching the shape of that person) I am dying because of cancer and I have started to visit the places where death is contemplate, where dementia can be link to life and where the silent is not a synonym of oblivion, but for recollection.

Person. – It sounds like a long answer to visit a cemetery. (Making a sign with his right hand) May I sit next to you?

Laila. – (Smiling to him) yes please come here. I would like to see better your face… it looks familiar.

Person. – My face is not strange for you Lai-la…

Laila stood still. Then the person slowly walked to her and offered his hand. Laila rejected it.

Person. – I love to come here (He sits next to her)

Laila. – How did you? Have we met before?

Person. – Actually not. We did. I am the same as you. I am also still searching for that union or control, so far so good, so it was, so it will be.

Laila. – I wanted to contemplate death (beginning to lie) nothing else… and besides from where did you get that idea of control?

Person. – I have been also there, like you, waiting to die, no future, no peace; my body was falling into pieces, literally.

Laila. – What happened to you?

Person. – I had leprosy and…

Laila. – And…?!

Person. – Well I saw that my life was ending and I had to act quickly, death is the only thing that can and will be the reason to start over, even if you take unclear (touching his left forearm) decisions, for me was a curse, and at the same time the reason to make up my mind; the body is a prison for the soul, but at the same time is the only element to connect the soul’s energy and the spirit essence into one single core; a nucleus to form inside.

Laila. – A core?

Person. – To manipulate the death’s energy. There are 4 kinds of energies, and a person, no one could manipulate 2 at the same time…

Laila. – What kinds of energies?

Person. – (Touching Laila’s face and then closing her eyes) the 1st one is the red energy, is wrath. The 2nd is the blue energy, it dominates. The 3rd one is the black energy, from a gone life. And finally the 4th is the white energy, it (interrupted by Laila’s dynamism)

Laila. – …death’s energy is white…

Person. – I see that you have begun to sense at least one. People in general coexist with the 4 energies around; sometimes they can feel the awakening by immersing themselves in activities that are related with the purpose. The meditation can guide you to dominate it, as part of your physical body; little by little the energy is the environment growing from the inside to the outside like your halo, so it is not odd that some people that are sensitive to the spiritual Realm can notice you, like I did. (Laila sees the night)

Laila. – Once I met a woman that used to talk to me like that. Now I am not secure if she is still alive.

Person. – I could find her… (Looking to Laila’s hazel eyes, wait for a minute and then continue to talk) if you want.

Laila. – (Talking with surprise) I think this conversation is away from real!

Person. – And yet I found you, I knew your name. But I am not the immortal.

Laila. – Your eyes are deeply, deeply real. (Looking away for some seconds) Ok let me see, let me see. Later you can tell me about that immortal.

The person lift his old tunic, leaving his left forearm naked, stood up, then he closed his blue eyes, his skin became light gray; the skin changed its texture and then a figure appeared slowly on the skin; a human face, not quite perfect, the physical outline, a human-face, the human face slowly turned similar to the woman’s face. The person lost control of his voice and Laila hear the voice of her old friend, a rough voice. The voice was clearer. The person fell on his knees. The voice started to sound as the person was next to her. The sky became for a while red and the forearm bled around the apparition of the woman’s face. Laila initiated a conversation with that face.

Woman’s voice. – You cannot live for the eternity, not on this Realm, once you are cursed.

Laila was petrified by that act, the voice, the tone was hers. And after saying those words, it tried to move forward and began to deform its outline, the forearm’s skin recovered part of its form. The person only recovered his body once his forearm returned to the normality; the face slowly got inside the skin, losing the left eye, the right eye, the nose, the lips and then the skin recovered its texture leaving some bruises on the skin. The person was still on his knees when he began to speak with a delicate voice.

Person. – I learned or… something similar, that trick inside… a cave… (Passing out on the ground)

Laila saw him, looked at the night sky and understood that her experiences were real, not a split from reality, neither psychosis, not delirium, not schizophrenia, not a dream, not a nightmare. That person knew things that could help her. She was dying. Laila waited for his recovery. Laila put the person’s head on her jacket, bended as a pillow. When the person woke up Laila was looking to the horizon. The person began to talk slowly.

Person. – I think you… now will believe me.

Laila. – Now I believe also in me.

Person. – Thank you for the improvised pillow. Now I could tell you about how I learned that trick.

Laila. – I cannot wait till the dawn, for this story, I want to hear.

Person. – Do you need to open your mind?

Laila. – I do and do not.

Person. – Long time ago I was inside a sanctum place, I was there only to let the time pass, but then I felt a hand on my left shoulder, a person a woman who was trying to heal me told me; “Come by this way”

Laila. – (Feeling bad to interrupt him) Why were you inside that sanctum place?

Person. – I was there for my sickness, the leprosy, did not you hear? Well I supposed people now a days, forget all, it is not so common.

Laila. – (Watching his face, not a single sign of leprosy) Now a days?

Person. – (Pretending not to hear her) I followed her and went to the place where she was pointing. There was a statue “Chimera of Arezzo”, then I saw people wearing like this tunic, they were walking downstairs. I got curious and decided to follow them. I thought those people were also volunteers to heal people, so they had a secret place downstairs. I was feeling too much pain as I was going down. The leprosy is unsatisfactory, especially on the ribs. The people did not wait for me. I came closer to them; thanks to a great effort and after walking faster than ever, they stood and made a line. I felt dizzy for a while. I saw that the stairs lead to a tunnel under the ground. It was something spectacular and at the same time hideous. We walked through white catacombs; many chambers, full of bones, ancient inscriptions, not religious ones, but more of warning and prevention, the smell was of dampness and of flowers, I saw 4 monograms, now I can tell you they read; “The invokers of death” “The white tower” “The vortex of death” “Chaos for all”. The people began to pick some lighted torches up from the walls. I did the same could not think in something else, but when I saw to the walls to pick a torch; there were corpses inside within the walls, like they were graved to the walls or the walls were built with them as material, the corpses were from men, women and children, their faces had still some skin, but the fingers were horrifying to me; they were put in a position that the candles were on the hands, the fingers holding them and the torches were “stab” to their chest. I was so confused and nervous that only picked one and felt ashamed of taking the torch out. I did not want to lose the clarity, I walked behind them, how many steps I could not remember, I got thirsty, I wanted to get some water, more steps downward, more steps on the distance, underground to see again my family, and more steps I walked until nobody could recognized me from my past, my body’ skin was shedding. Then my light suddenly was gone. I felt no wind. A being behind was mute as the corpse confine to the walls. Then a voice, “The brightness” I tried to look at it, but at that moment I fainted, nevertheless I was close to enter a subterranean dome. And I still remember his green eyes.

Laila. – (Thinking; “to see my family again”) and then what happened? How did you…

Person. – Well I woke close to stones on the floor, at the toll of a tiny bell and saw a group of people around me, the one who was holding the tiny bell was closer to me, there were 8 of them, the leader as I suppose was looking to me from the direction of my feet, without touching me, 4 of them were holding my arms and legs and the last 3 were summoning something. All of them were wearing hoods, black hoods, their faces were not easy to see, but the leader’s eyes were green as the absinthe at light.

Laila. – Green eyes… but it was a young man or an elderly man?

Person. – He was young, younger than I remember. Why is it important?

Laila. – I have received a strange mirror once from a young man with green eyes and then he disappeared.

Person. – May I ask if there were paintings on the wall?

Laila. – Indeed there were paintings on the wall made with blood, the fact that I do not understand is; there were not inscriptions or monograms… he was talking back to the paintings with blood, he said something as; “the color of the blood is different on each other” May I ask, if that information is similar to your story?

Person. – In fact it is… The walls were painted with blood, the blood paintings were similar to shadows, waiting for… but it was like watching an old tale painted to testify what had happened or… (Closing his eyes and thinking for a while) …or what was going to happen.

Laila. – (She was looking to him when notice that he was not sure of his own memories) Do not think over it now, please tell me what happen to you next.

Person. – As I was telling you, his eyes were looking to me as waiting to hear me say “do not kill me!” I had nothing to lose, my body was my own prison and my spirit wanted to be free from my rotten flesh. I only said “please throw my body and bones to a river or feed some dogs with it”. It was a moment of non-desperation and accepting that was at least a good way to die.

Laila. – I could agree with you on that.

Person. – The toll ended and the person took away his hood, I saw his burned face. The ones, who were summoning, took out knives; I have to admit they were nice and elaborated ones, the fear did not take control of me. The leader only said one word “healed”. Then I only remember to wake up next to the sanctum place and decided to do not come again there, not even close. After that day, I can think on someone and find him or her, right now I do not know anyone, but I can find people. The face will appear on my forearm’s skin, it bleeds for a while, I always faint and his voice is my voice. As you may know now, that is how I found you.

Laila. – Tell me the reasons…

Person. – We need a person able to sense death; a person touched by the ancient shadow, a person who watches the dark beings and is adapting to manipulate the black energy, and could understand the white energy.

Laila. – Honestly I have watched them, but the ancient shadow? I did not sense it yet.

Person. – Have not you? Did you realize that the red (making a sign with his fingers) “spots” are not normal? Of course a lot of people die every day or have terrible diseases, you are not unique, but…

Laila. – I am not unique, yes that is not something I am looking for, but strange things happened to me during this last time and throughout my life…

Person. – (Interrupting Laila) such as the “ring of fire” when you were hiking and taking photos of the nature, yes I know, yes it was not normal; nevertheless, unique. Death was not trying to get or kill you there, it was trying to change you into a dark being, but if you want (moving his head) call it a miracle, death did not change you. The people usually think that they need to become unique in order to be successful at anything, not to us, death is hungry, it needs more desperation, fear, pain, desolation and madness. Death does not feed from flesh either human’s souls. It feeds from the actions that lead us to die; it feeds from our weakness toward the desire to live.

Laila. – So if I am not unique, something must been happening during a long time in this Realm and you knew about me long ago… who else knows… who else is part of this. I need to know.

Person. – No, my dear, you do not need to know them, yet. And by the way; when you were in the ring of fire, did you hear its voice?

Laila. – Right now, I am not sure. I cannot remember it. (Making eye contact) Not back then, but I heard something when I saw a black sphere leaving me.

Person. – What did it say to you?

Laila. – I think it was; “sleep” and “see”. I did not hear its voice again.

Person. – Once you do, things will be faster to understand, now (standing up) I have to go. Now I am a shadow. I have to talk with the rest of the shadow beings, I will contact you here in 2 weeks, please come back after midnight.

Laila. – Yes, I will, if I am still alive. (Smiling) And not connect to a breathing machine. Wait… (Making the quote sign with her fingers) the rest of the shadows?

The person waved as a sign of “everything will be fine” and started to walk away from Laila. Laila tried to say something, but could not. The person walked and slowly was gone, not a shape in the distant, not a shadow fading as the sun rises, it is not a memory vanishing in the horizon, a man that had more in common with Laila than anybody else, and is the key to understand death. Laila looked to the sky and wanted to know more of the black and white energy.

Days after Laila talked with her doctor, it was time to check her health, Laila asked for a big favor from him. She wanted to visit the morgue and take photos of the corpses’ faces. The doctor accepted it, only if she could not publish them, and to this she replied that it was for her own pleasure. As walking to the morgue, Laila saw an elderly woman crying and asking if she could also entered to the morgue, to find out if there was her oldest son, the son that goes out to drink and is always fighting inside the bars and selling his electrical appliances to have money and spend it on drink. The son did not return to home and the mother was concerned, but a nurse explained she could not allow her enter there without a specific authorization from her supervisor. Laila thought that the missing ones are also considered as dead. Laila went to talk with the mother, she explained that she was going for a similar case and she could take some photos of the dead people inside the morgue, so the mother asked Laila to see the photos once she was out the morgue. The doctor was speechless and only agreed. Both entered the morgue, as they were hearing the mother’s word “thank you, I will wait here, I hope he is not there, I hope he is still alive!” Laila was breathing the air inside the morgue, its smell was odd, deep, abnormal and at the same time enigmatic. Laila said:

Laila. – I think it is particularly fresh. I hope that you my personal doctor will come and visit me once I am dead. Petrified as them and pale as these walls (Touching the walls). I will start with my photography, if you do not mind.

Laila began with her photography and her thoughts became as a spider web of coincidences; the missing ones are more enigmatic that the dead ones, they hurt the same for the ones who are still here; the rest, they are a clue, the rest walks wandering about them, they are supposed to be alive, we do not know anything about them, here or in the death’s Realm, we do not know anything from them, they scream louder than dead, their screams ask for help and attention, they are gone and yet, stay right here, but we do not sense them.

The portraits of corpses are always easy to take; they are simple and with the last expression of their life, sometimes it is as looking to a mirror and say any single word, but understanding what the expression reflects. Laila was taking portraits and sees a young man on a corner, on a cold morgue’s corner, she approaches him and sees that the causes of death was a stab in his belly, his face is mostly relax. Laila smiled to him and took his best portrait; he says “welcome here”. Laila thought that the death is also a place to have hope, peace and a break from all this reality. If death feeds on desperation, fear, pain, desolation and madness, it also gives us that peace, like this young man inside a cold morgue. “Life feeds on death, death feeds on life”. Laila gave a sign to her doctor, who was freezing himself, so both could leave the morgue. The mother was outside waiting, 2 police officers were close to her writing a report, the nurse called Laila to see 1st the portraits, Laila showed them to her and the nurse replies “I have never seen them like this” Laila is trying to understand if the nurse is confused or a delight for the new perspective; never seen before. The mother asked and begged to see the photos, the 2 police officers also wanted that, they saw each photo of them, and then the young man’s portrait was there, Laila felt an empty in her heart; more empty as any pain, she connected with the mother for a second, then mother fainted and the police officers hold her head and body, from the mother’s right hand fell a small photo of her son, he was the same man, his name was filled up in the police’s report, another dead person, it is simple as that, one of the police officers communicated by his radio to the headquarters “the missing one is here” His face is now part of Laila’s personal collection. A simple and normal reaction, as a daily activity, from the others, from people who watch a fragile and condolence act, without compassion, is not a human behavior. To take the apathy’s eyes out in the moment of need and become a cold statue without emotions for someone else is to lose the human connection among us. His portrait killed his mother’s heart; the son will never be seen alive, and he never was seen as this before.

Laila. – I now believe that humans cannot be saved on life, it is a waste of time; helping them, with money and material things, I do not want to be misunderstood, but what is the salvation? It is to be free after life, before death, after death, before life, after life, nothing is free, everything is always tangled to a corner and should I be part of it? Noise and noise in every corner, screams and cries on their relatives, on them, and not on me. I want to liberate by death, because I cannot do it in life. A single human taught me about many, many are condensed into a single being, this microcosms is the reflection of a macrocosms, a microcosms is a connection to all, the macrocosms is the result of all, a human is the nucleus, a society is the tissue, a species is the bod. While it is connected, all is the same, it is true, a duplicate, a reflection on a mirror, the death of a star and the division of a cell, and am I part of it? I do not want, I do not need, I am away, I might and I would end it.

Days before her 2nd encounter with that person, Laila was walking around her city, wondering what people think while they walk on a normal moment, and how they would react to see the portrait of one of their love ones dead. As Laila was walking she began to consider the number of people around her, sometimes they were annoying and others part of the view. She remembered what the person said about that she was not unique, something real and that it was hurting her in her ego, but at the same time it was the key to freedom. For her the ego is a bond to push forward to be better and to be “unique”, as she was seeing everybody else she considered that nobody is so important to change the reality, it is the reality that change people, the abstraction is part a curse and lost melodies; in a sea of alienation. That night she dreamed of becoming a rider, but without past, pain in her heart, the horizon in front of her; there is no time for her. The rider was riding her pale horse on a hill with her only company; the moonlight descending from the nocturnal firmament. The pain in her heart has the equine gallop’s rhythm and the wind sings its pity, its sorrow. The vast and boundless empty, left behind her is the abandon sanctuary, her circle of hope and the enigma without end, it is the mystery beyond the dream, beyond the understanding; “orphic land”. The orphic land represents the memories to come, to experience inside her painful pane-heart, many experience in one life, many shades of death, many states of melancholy, sorrow and anguish beyond bearable bounds, like the several autumn’s leaves and their colors during one ineffable season. She tries to catch the orphic, but her hand would never touch it.

The night came when she said to her parents, that she will travel for some months, because everything was better with her health and it could not be postpone. Her parents agreed to do not worry for her, but she must call them at least 3 or 5 times during the week. Laila had one suitcase and of course her camera; nevertheless, she wanted to write a letter for her parents, but could not give it to them, instead she left it under her pillow.

In the letter she wrote;

When death takes away a person close to you, it takes away also your shared hopes and dreams, except your feelings, so you must embrace the lost to your own. The feelings are only left for you as a cruel gift; as a poison to be drink in the loneliness or as a venomous snake that will bite you while you sleep, the feelings are left by death so you can lose rational control. The connection, which remains, is there to change you, to drown you or to push you ahead; ahead to suicide or survive; at the end is your call. Your hope for death is the seed for the dementia’s tree. Death’s dream is a land of anger and regret. If you join yourself in that dead land; the emotionless’ reflect will grow inside your heart until the vision of lost is perceive as the only feeling. The waiting for someone to come back, like me, is the same waiting for something to come back again, when in the past you let it go by will, waiting for a past time, past opportunity, past reality, all of those perception of time are called by one word regret. Please live like a garden during spring, while I whiter somewhere else, love you, Laila”

She went to the cemetery and had to bribe again to the doorman. She waited for the odd person, meanwhile she took some photos, it was good to feel again the camera’s weight on her hands, it was a pleasure that some people could call it nostalgia, but it was a beautiful anticipation for a one-in-a-lifetime-travel. As she was taking photos; the shadows around her began to twirl and the clouds began to expand all over the sky, it was particular that the clouds turned red, no moonlight, red clouds over a cemetery, during the night, suddenly a voice behind her, a voice calling her, a call from the emptiness, so familiar to her that it was not fear what she felt, but confidence and interest in her call to the future. Laila saw him getting closer and closer, the trips began that night, to places selected by him to teach Laila what death feels like and how to survive to its hands, to its wrath, to its touch and to its war. The odd person greeted her, and took her by the right hand to walk out the cemetery… the journey was beginning.

After days of traveling, during the night, the odd person sat down and talked to Laila;

Person. – What do you know, well it is better to say the phrase; what do you think about the personifications?

Laila. – That they are the attribution of our imagination, to represent concepts in a human shape. The aftermath is to embody a single emotion or state, as one single person.

Person. – Well since an eternity that word “concept” has been not said in the same phrase with personification, nevertheless, there is a reason why the humans began to represent emotions, objects and states as personifications.

Laila. – And what was the reason…?

Person. – I am not sure, except, if I tell you with one example. Let’s take insanity as a personification; it is a being without reason; but as any other personification, it has only the desire to complete its essence, in us. It cannot be understood; but feel, as it lures you and once you feel it inside, you fall in its ploy of tactics. It manipulates your mind by calling you from its corner, creating insanity inside you, and you slowly become its own identity, it personifies in you.

Laila. – On one hand I see your point of view, but on the other hand it is only the action that takes place around that explanation. It is the description of it.

Person. – Exactly! People become what they think, what they do, so the aftermath is no longer them, but what they are going through.

Laila. – It sounds as “everything is connected and one becomes what it does”… It is only a perspective. It is not a personification at all.

Person. – It is the “personification” what catches you; it is the energy that you spend on it, it changes all the connections, all the subatomic unions modify to reflect as a mirror the energy’s act.

Laila. – It sounds like a being can absorb that energy… manipulating on different planes to be part of it.

Person. – I only know what I felt on this plane, inside this body. And yes, the energy can go down and up, according to the planes. Now talking back to the concept of personification… that being, that concept, that representation is the human itself as it goes more on that way, it is becoming more It. That is the reason of this trip. Your intention is to learn about death’s energy, to recognize its aspects and then learn how it develops, so you can control it, death is part of life, death can be control as part of life.

Laila. – Why does death want us?

Person. – Remember what did you said? “It sounds as “everything is connected and one becomes what it does”

Laila. – Creating to destroy?

Person. – Enslaving; in one “plane”, creating a being without normal form but with conscience to dominate… that being needs an oblation of energy to be summoned and control for some minutes.

Laila. – I am not sure of the last part from what you said, it is looking forward to change this Realm so life could end, and death move ahead as a new phase, it is hunting what is alive, it feeds on life! A being without “normal” form, but with conscience, like any other hunter, it is a strategist, but why now? There is more to find out, it is a trip to learn and to stop it. And is what you said time ago, it looks for “desperation, fear, pain, desolation and madness”, all of those states and emotions drive us to die. A normal dragon eats the others dragons, fighting to rule, fighting to be better; the superior dragon becomes the ruler on the Realm, by disemboweling the rest.

Person. – Yes, you are right, a new phase, it is a trip to learn not to stop it.

Laila. – But…?

Person. – Yes, tell me what is in your mind?

Laila. – If death is a being and it has a personification in us… (Looking to the sky) Why does death evolve in this Realm? It is easier to be summoned and gather, collect, the life…

Person. – I see your point.

Laila. – (Thinking; sow life and harvest dead ones)… let us continue our trip.

Person. – (Holding Laila by the arm and making eye contact) tell me something now!

Laila. – What?

Person. – Can I trust you on these activities and with “not so normal” people?

Laila. – Yes, you can.

Person. – I hope so.

Laila. – (Letting herself go) Come on, it is late.

Person. – (Thinking; her sight, I do not like her sight) Yes… let us go ahead, we need to meet with others and they can wait, death cannot.

Into the background of them, a sound began, a bell inside a white tower, then a wolf howled, the stars on the firmament shinned, and around them the shadows move as the grass is move by the wind, always to one way and then it recovers its position, however; the shadows remain with a bending posture, like they were paying respect to the approaching walker, and a dark being as a sobbing woman came closer to them. Her white tunic and her red scarf were covering her face and showing, only, her naked feet. Her gray hair was long, till it was at the same level of her breast. She moved closer to them and lifted her right hand, so her pale and skeletal hand was seen, her fingernails were long, some of them broken and the rest full of filth. She uncovered her face and let to the 2 alive beings behold her disfigured face… no lips, crooked teeth and skinny cheeks, no eyeballs, a broken and sharp bone as the chin, her other hand lifted and scratched the rest of skin, some skin was left around the eyelids, then took out her red scarf to show her skeletal skin and perfect collar bone, she screamed at them with hate and revulsion, the bended shadows got straight and formed a circle around her, Laila felt again the same sensation as when she saw that black sphere, her red spots bled out, but to him nothing happen, the circle of shadows began to spin fast as a falling star at midnight, it began to sob again, the land where she was standing began to burn and with it, its human form. The circles of shadows was trapped in the fire, while she continued to sob, inside the fire; 2 crimson eyes opened, the shadows scream and finally, the woman-shape, the circle of shadows and the fire disappeared, but create a hole, deep enough to put a pile of dead children one on the other one, he approached to see if there was anything else, he was glad that it was gone, looked back to see Laila on her knees and asked to her, if she was alright, Laila was sobbing like the dark being, he was afraid of her, for some seconds that felt like years, he walked slowly to her, to avoid making her react bad, he was about to touch her shoulder, her right shoulder, but then Laila moved her head towards him, closed her hazel eyes and gave him an icky smile, her hair was covered with her blood, her clothes on her back were soaked, and her fingers were pale. Her body was trembling by the painful experience.

Person. – Hey, hey! Laila talk to me…

Laila opened her eyes and he got scared as soon as he saw her white eyes.

Laila. – (Mumbling) I… am not… afraid of… dying, anymore, I saw a reflection of the queen from Death’s Realm.

He left her on the ground, next to the grass, closed her white eyes, closed her sight and cleaned hair. He cut slightly his left hand; he drew on her forehead a circle with his blood.

Person. – Now, it is completed.

The next morning, Laila woke feeling better, reformed and transcended.

Laila. – How (touching her head) am I still alive? Hey, what happened…?

Person. – Hello.

Laila. – (Standing up) I was not like this, like, feeling this sensation long time ago, what happened to us? (Now touching her forehead) And what is this? Blood!

Person. – Well, it is my blood.

Laila. – (Sigh)… Now could you please explain me what was that? And what is about with this circle of blood?

Person. – Yes, I will, but now let us walk to that hut on the distance.

Laila. – It is far away, I am hungry and already tired. Please tell me the details.

Person. – No.

Laila. – But…

Person. – You want to know, there we will find answers. (Starting to walk toward the hut) Over there, he lives.

Laila. – (Thinking; we will find answers, so he is not sure, but draws a circle with his elderly blood!) Hey you elderly man wait for me!

Person. – Elderly man? Well you got back your wits.

Laila. – I am an awesome person, but socially… not so much. So would you like to be called, now; elderly man?

Elderly man. – Yes. My name is forsaken to this Realm.

As they walked to the hut, they were mute and heard to the nature’s sound, the wind moving the grass and among it, a snake; its colors red, black and white bands, wiggling to a green lizard, the grass moves slowly as the snake approaches its prey, the wind makes an atmospheric compass, lurking now on gray stones, the lizard moves its head to see, to take precaution, there is something wicked, to stay alive at the moment, the snake is staying hidden from the view, the wind makes no change at all, the wiggling is perfection to hunt, the snake slinks closer, the lizard is distracted by the 2 walkers in front of it, the wind carries some dust to the eyes of one, they are closed to a hunt, the same wind carries dust to the lizard’s eyes, they are protected by a transparent membrane, the lizard sees the gray stones, nothing to worry, the snake is driven by its instinct, it wants to kill, it wants to swallow a prey, it wants to be effective, its stealthy hunting, the lizard cannot perceive it, the snake is quick, the lizard’s eyes do not see what took it, the snake bites the lizard’s thorax and constricts its body, with full strength and a killer instinct, the lizard’s tail moves, its eyes are still opened, the snake constricts and twists the lizard’s body, breaking its spine, the snake sees its food’s eyes, the wind makes no change at all, the eyes from a walker are cleaned, the eyes look back and see a snake swallowing a dead lizard.

Elderly man. – Here lives a person that could guide you.

Laila. – (Rubbing her eyes) I would like to know where is here. And if he has food or we will have to hunt our own preys?

Elderly man. – Yes, he has food, he has waited for us.

Laila. – Since when, exactly?

Elderly man. – I am not sure, but since we leave the cemetery.

Laila. – And how does he know that? And how are we traveling so far, in so little time?

Elderly man. – Well, he is helping us. We walk, by walking, meanwhile he controls the width, and sends us… Someone else controls the time. (Making eye contact with her) But now, we… I do not want to talk about him.

Laila. – Ok, after the last night I can believe all you say to me, but…

Elderly man. – But?

Laila. – Who is he?

Elderly man. – We have to talk with him 1st, so place is 1st, then is time.

Laila. – (Laughing) “plus the world”… in Quechua language means.

Elderly man. – (Whispering to him) Pacha and, from my origin, it means “ritual madness”

The elderly man knocked on the door and opened it.

From the inside of the hut a voice is heard, quietly and raw; his way of speaking was not clear, there was a method of persuasion, leading to manipulation.

As soon as they entered, the door closed.

A man, in the darkness half naked with a toga, was sitting in front of them; his fingers ended alike stumps, those were crossed. The elderly man tried to talked, the man stood up to shut him up and showed his body; 3rd degree burned skin from his face, chest, arms, his complete head was burned skin with hypertrophic scars, no hair, no ears, several keloids and a bandage covering his eyes, the legs and toes were less affected. On the other side of the hut there were several funerary urns and an ax.

Laila. – Hellos sir… (Looking to his scars and the bandage)

Elderly man. – There was a persecution and…

Suddenly the man began to talk, quietly, “I am… the outcome of the king’s fire… I cannot rationalize the meaning of this… pain in me… I am identify as Sethlans”

Elderly man. – He is the 1st you will meet; he will give answers, about energy and death.

Laila. – I understand, this black energy, that black sphere and… (Interrupted by Sethlans)

Sethlans. – I have sensed those, I would like to send you to places… but you have to give me… an oblation in the future.

Laila. –What do you need as an oblation… from any place, where you could travel.

Sethlans. – I am everywhere… I need a bag made of skin…

Laila. – From me?

Sethlans. – Not the place to tell you.

Laila. – At what time?

Sethlans. – You already know.

Laila walked to him and touched his face, with both hands; a burned face full of thickness, then sensed he was not a seer-human, but act like one.

Sethlans. – You can see that ax at the corner.

Laila. – Yes, (walking to it) what do you want?

Sethlans. – Grab it tight and close your eyes… once you feel they turn white, open them and figure it out… by yourself. “Essentials of death is what you need to know

Laila. – (Looking to the elderly man) I will. (Takes the ax and closes her eyes) Do not worry.

Sethlans discovered his eyes, but did not open them, and sensed Laila’s energy, he smiled and made her disappeared.

Elderly man. – Did you sense her energy?

Sethlans. – Yes… it is fascinating, she is death

Elderly man. – Pardon me. I could not hear you well… was she dead?

Sethlans. – No, my foe… she is death.

Elderly man. – (Thinking; yes I was right) Where did you sent her?

Sethlans. – Where death had its triumph… long ago.

Elderly man. – What about the thing we saw?

Sethlans. – I do not know yet… she has to awake… soon.

Elderly man. – How many places?

Sethlans. – 3.

Elderly man. – What if the ancient shadow…

Sethlans. – It is not; what if the ancient shadow will do… it is what she can…

Elderly man. – Did you talk with the others?

Sethlans. – The Invokers of Death are ready and the black spheres from Leinth are close to attack you… and waiting for her.

Elderly man. – This does not change us!

Sethlans. – Nevertheless, she can change… us. (Covering his eyes once again with the bandage) Come and sit down… we have to eat.

Sethlans sitting down and letting his snake approach, his left hand touched it and the elderly man saw the snake. Sethlans let his pet to constrict his left hand then moved to his neck and part of his core.

Sethlans. – Did you know that this snake appeared after that earthquake? An earthquake when you buried your family, well it taught me about the divination through the entrails of human sacrifices. It gives me life through its venom.

Elderly man. – And tell me, how many times did you practice?

Sethlans. – Everyday.

Elderly man. – (Thinking; please Laila come back soon) Nice, what is its name?

Sethlans. – You know it… in some places… where you can plant and harvest.

Elderly man. – (With full wrath hitting Sethlans’ head) Tages

Sethlans. – So, (with a sarcastic tone) you do remember well…

Elderly man. – Tages, its visage is not from a child.

Sethlans. – And after all this time, you are the same sensitive and weak leprous.

Elderly man. – Tages… my child.

Sethlans. – Now let me eat, my Tages swallowed a lizard and you also need to eat some… human entrails.

Elderly man. – I can eat your selected children.

Sethlans. – Delicious indeed. I miss the children and the babies Mania used to create.

There the 2 waited until Laila returned, after 5 weeks, Sethlans saw on the liver, from one of his many children, a strange sign, an omen, but also saw something that could not share and preferred to retain that insight. He alarmed to his guest that Laila would return soon, then after a small talking, Sethlans continued with the practice of haruspicy and finished eating the liver.

Tages was wiggling outside, when Laila knocked the hut’s door.

Laila. – (Walking into the hut) Hello gentlemen! I was far away for a while, (looking to Sethlans) thank you for the experience there; I learn a lot about death and its paths.

Sethlans. – My pleasure to guide you.

Elderly man. – And what did you bring?

Sethlans. – Not the place… to talk about it.

Laila. – Yes, I think it is better to…

Sethlans and Laila. – (At the same time) …postpone the theme.

Elderly man. – I see. (Standing up and serving a dish of food for Laila) Eat this and latter you will be gone, again.

Laila. – I understand.

Sethlans. – Yes… eat those entrails.

Laila. – After the last weeks… everything tastes delicious. (Beginning to eat) Ah, I was forgetting to give you this ax back.

Sethlans. – Now, it is your ax.

Laila. – I am glad to hear that, after the… incidents.

Elderly man. – I was not there for many years… How is it look like now?

Laila. – How did it look back then?

Elderly man. – The enthusiasm for me to stay there was unique.

Sethlans. – Especially if you… used to hunt there.

Elderly man. – It was grim and at the same time a dread place…

Laila. – I can agree with that, nevertheless; it was for the 1st impression, after that, honestly I enjoyed the place.

Sethlans. – How…?

Laila. – Well I got the fire in my sight as soon as I arrive, (Sethlans smiling) to that hill, then everything was horrific and exasperating. The firestorms were around the valley, creating a limitation around the hills. There are those beings, I assume, they are the same as…

Elderly man. – The dark beings.

Laila. – Yes, but they were complete white and their body was like fog, however; their shape remained as tall humans with claws, I might saw them before.

Sethlans. – They were calling you, they need your energy, and they are now part of your energy.

Laila. – Now it gets sense… (Looking to a corner) They were unsparing to humans down there, on the valley of death.

Elderly man. – Yes, they like to torture them.

Laila. – How did they get there?

Sethlans. – I am the one who sends them.

Laila. – (Eating slowly) If you sent them… you cannot bring them back, too.

Sethlans. – I do not want.

Laila. – (Think to herself; this one is dangerous) Why?

Sethlans. – You will understand it, after the 2nd trip.

Laila. – As long as it takes. So do you need to know what I did or not?

Elderly man. – You need to learn. We know our part already.

Laila. – Could I see my parents after this lunch?

Sethlans. – Yes, I allow it.

Elderly man. – But then…

Laila. – Yes, I get it. You 2 are like those cold-bloodedness beings to me.

Sethlans. – So you like it!

Laila. – Yes, immensely. It is a place to behold the harrowing of mankind. And yet, badly, I was there to learn the 1st essential of death; there is no self-control for dark beings, they are frenetic to induce the humans to turn into shadow beings, then they begin to drag others to become like them. It is a place to create shadows and they need more and more, even the fire is a blazing force of chaos that opens the sky. After the revelation, there is a halt to the actions; I saw how the shadows unite to go through the sky, carrying the feeling of misery, where? I assume to this Realm, when? I do not know.

Sethlans. – You will.

Laila. – I will… 2 questions about that place.

Sethlans. – Perhaps you could ask them to… (Looking to the elderly man)

Elderly man. – Ask.

Laila. – I know that Sethlans sends the living people there. But, from where did they get the coffins with dead people? Then, why are they white and not black as the shadows?

Elderly man. – Nothing else to ask?

Laila. – Not for the moment.

Elderly man. – Hear me. Sethlans is connected to that part of death’s Realm; the fire is the manifestation of their energy get by the torture. (Thinking, as Vanth) Everything needs substance, so the living and the dead are the oblation to satisfy the dark beings. Sometimes those fog-body beings come to this Realm and grab, snatch the coffins, and Sethlans sends to them living ones.

Laila. – (Looking to them with surprise and chewing) I see why they were bleeding out and screaming.

Elderly man. – How is the liver? Is it good?

Laila. – Yes, (swallowing saliva) it is. So those beings; need to satisfy a wish… need to fulfill an instruction… do an action.

Elderly man. – They are connected to death. They are its children and they need to “feed” it.

Laila. – Otherwise it would die?

Elderly man. – It will open a vortex and take us.

Laila. – And after that?

Sethlans. – It will sit and wait for new life.

Laila. – Are you trying to control it or to maintain the “natural” balance?

Sethlans. – We are still learning it.

Laila. – But you told me that, you were ready, so I have to learn my part on how to use my energy.

Sethlans. – We are ready with our energies, but you need to manipulate yours, together we will control Death.

Elderly man. – Please try to understand.

Laila. – How many of you are?

Elderly man. – Right now. (Silent for a while) We are 7.

Laila. – You told me before, they were 8, so what happened to the last one?

Sethlans. – What did you tell her?

Elderly man. – How you found me. (Speaking to Laila) Listen, I will explain it to you, but now…

Laila. – Nothing! (Moving her head) Tell me right now!

Sethlans. – We were 9, but then one decided to leave us… And that is why we look for someone like “her”… to tell the story shorter; we opened twice the vortex and learn a lot about death’s Realm, how to control it, how to manipulate it and how to avoid it.

Laila. – So one more is missing, what happened to her. And how old are you?

Sethlans. – She walked into the last vortex and sent us Pacha. She never came back.

Elderly man. – We have forgotten our age.

Sethlans. – And you will, as well.

Laila. – What is Pacha? It is related with this Realm (Thinking and looking to them) Are you insane?

Sethlans. – No, he is not, it is a blasphemy, a mistake, an error.

Laila. – I was thinking about your practices, so asking right now, do you kill innocent humans?

Sethlans. – We kill a lot!

Laila. – You are insane!

Sethlans. – And you?

Laila. – What about me?

Sethlans. – You are dying and need to recover.

Laila. – It is part of the natural cycle.

Sethlans. – But you want to help others like you. So we are going to give you one more reason to join us.

Laila. – It is blackmail!

Sethlans. – Tell what you want! (Uncovering his eyes) It is like this…

Laila. – (Beholding his green eyes) you, you were…

Sethlans. – When we will open the vortex, you can leave us. I give you my word. We need to learn more about it so one day we would not send any more humans!

Laila. – (Thinking for a while) Deal! Are you painting something?

Sethlans. – I am not painting for the moment. I want to know more about your experience on the valley of death, did you kill someone there?

Laila. – Yes… I beheaded one of your humans.

Sethlans. – And tell me… Did he scream at you?

Laila. – He did not see me.

Sethlans. – (Laughing) you are a real… nightmare!

Laila. – I will tell you… how his head roll down the hill, if you…

Sethlans. – Yes…

Laila. – If you will tell me how your body ended like that.

They were talking while they walked around the hut and Laila let the ax at the wall. Sethlans smiled and offered her to sit down. Laila saw his chest healed, but burned. Then Tages entered from a small hole on the wall into the hut, Sethlans offered his hand and it constricted his hand, then his arm and finally stopped around his neck. Laila saw how Tages could suffocate him, but did not, they were connected.

Elderly man. – Do you want to know about us?

Laila. – There is no reason to deny my curiosity. And I got another question.

Elderly man. – Which is…?

Laila. – You said “we are 7” what happened to the one who left you?

Elderly man. – We do not know…

Sethlans. – We have never seen her face among the dead ones.

Laila. – (Thinking; her face) it is not important right now.

Elderly man. – Listen, we need you…

Laila. – I can see it. Please tell me the difference between the black and white energy.

Elderly man. – You would get it later, but for the moment. I can say… (Looking at Sethlans and then again at Laila) There are 2 principles for any place, time and Realm; brightness and death, darkness and life.

Laila. – Place, time and Realm… space, moment and world. Everything is the same (Thinking; who is Pacha?)

Sethlans. – Everything for the awakening

Sethlans was interrupted by…

Elderly man. – … she ran away, I tried to find her long ago, but I could not sense her energy.

Laila. – I would like to know why she left this “fancy group” of interesting people.

Elderly man. – Please answer my question, what did you bring back from that valley?

Sethlans. – (Talking stronger than the elderly man) please eat all and sleep well. Tomorrow you will travel.

Laila. – (Closing her eyes) I need more flesh… I need more to eat. (Opening her white eyes) Tomorrow I will be gone, to the place where I know nothing, to learn more about death and me, to understand this energy of death…

Sethlans. – Sleep and try not to dream about what you saw.

Laila. – (Recovering the color hazel on her eyes) why?

Sethlans. – Your mind needs to stay open.

That night Laila tried to stay awake by meditating the events and analyzing how to step forward without being too obvious. She concluded; “1st they were trying to teach me by experience. 2nd they asked about my understanding. 3rd I need to know more about the remaining members. 4th I need to find out who is Pacha. 5th where is the one, who left them?”

Laila. – (Whispering) this black obsidian mirror helped me there… I must not lose it.

After some minutes her fatigue increased and fell asleep and woke, soon after, she fell asleep and dreamed about a concrete cage, inside were many children and babies, inside, crying for hungry and fear. She was sensing their desperation for hunger, until their desperation provoke to scratch the walls and get on others to try to escape, the children began to step on the babies, their heads began to grind as sand castles, the older children forced the younger, making steps from their bodies. Suddenly the light began to extinguish, every single one fell and began to fight each other, blood and bones, blood and fingernails, blood and screams, destruction among many, devastation between, desolation for 1, the walls lifted, opened, rivers of blood, rivers carrying the bodies, the shadow beings gather next to the rivers of blood, to drink. The shadow beings group together; forming the Giant of Death’s Realm.

Laila awoke terrified to hear the elderly man coughing in another room, the night, the stars and the moonlight outside, she saw Tages wiggling, behind some orange flowers, to attack a nocturnal animal, she saw it and waited until Tages killed it.

Laila. – What was the giant from the death’s Realm? They sacrificed one of them, to get Pacha… that was the reason, because the other left them, she was afraid, she knew something, there is no trust among them…

After some seconds she saw the moon and said.

Laila. – I have never felt the cold, on my palms, from my. I have never seen a tree’s shadow, during the spring season. I have never tasted the blood of an innocent infant, before. And now the fire of the valley is consuming my mind. I lost my past. I found my spirit’s fear. My eyes are the whirlwinds to another Realm. Will this Realm collapse?

In the mourning Laila was thinking about her dreams and experiences, suddenly she heard Sethlans calling her to eat. As soon as they met, he asked.

Sethlans. – How was your night? Did you have any bad dream? Come eat this.

Laila. – Not that I remember. (Eating) but I have one last question?

Sethlans. – And is it something about the members?

Laila. – Exactly! We are 8 now, you need 9, when will you begin to teach the other one?

Sethlans. – 1st you are imprudent and impulsive, 2nd there is not “we”, 3rd you are not ready to know it. That is my decision.

Laila. – (Thinking; this leader is arrogant!) Well; I wanted to know. Speaking of knowing, where will I go now? And when would I see again my parents?

Sethlans. – It is up to you.

Laila. – Travel to understand.

Sethlans. – Fine for me. (Uncovering his eyes and opening them) Finish your food there.

Laila. – Thank you for your consideration… could say to the elderly man to sharpen my ax.

Sethlans. – Yes.

The elderly man was listening from a dark corner. Laila disappeared and Sethlans covered his eyes again.

Sethlans. – You can stop being a shadow and recover your human form.

The elderly man came out from the shadow on the corner, and saw Laila’s ax.

Elderly man. – She needs to forget about others or she would drown.

Sethlans. – I bet you… she is going to save at least the baby.

Elderly man. – Well I did not know she was already born.

Sethlans. – Please tell me… do you know something, besides the parts of your revenge?

Elderly man. – (Surprised) how did you know?!

Sethlans. – (Standing up) you are lack of courage… and weak inside.

Elderly man. – I have one opportunity to do what it is right… you know it, and you are not acting like you should.

Sethlans. – I do not have to act… but you should sharp the ax to…

Elderly man. – (Interrupting him) nevertheless; you will fall as them.

Sethlans. – (Touching his own face with his left hand) you can do what you want… I will not fall!

Elderly man. – You talk with arrogance and try to leave an impression, but I know how to kill you. (Walks out of the hut)

Sethlans. – (Listening to his footsteps till there is not a sound) I hope you will. (Lifting Tages from the floor) You will need a lot of luck.

Weeks later the hut’s door was knocked again and Sethlans, who was without the bandage around his eyes opened the door to see a fruit basket on the floor; oranges, apples, pomelos, red and black grapes, bananas, watermelon and mandarins. Sethlans lifted it and smiled, there on the distance Laila was walking carrying a baby, a beautiful baby girl, Laila saw the baby and say to Sethlans.

Laila. – She is Hope.

Sethlans. – She is the 9th invoker of death. Please come in and eat these fruits, I promise to not give you entrails again.

Laila. – Well, the food is for you, the elderly man and for her. I enjoyed the entrails.

Sethlans. – Your friend is not here.

Laila. – (Walking to the hut) so sad. I will miss him. But I will tell you about the experience later… 1st this baby girl needs some mashed apples. You have a teaspoon, right?

Sethlans. – Of course I have… but why the mashed apples?

Laila. – When I was a child my mother, always, gave me mashed apples using a teaspoon.

Sethlans. – So your mother instinct is blooming?

Laila. – (Entering to the hut) it could be… it could be.

After feeding the baby girl and cleaning her, they sat down. Sethlans asked about her experience.

Laila. – I am not sure how to tell you, but the ocean was furious and the storm was growing around the boat… the sky was gray and lightning were there to break the vault of clouds.

Sethlans. – What about the rest of the crew?

Laila. – They drowned. The boat is lost. The family is adrift. They were hit by ebony planks.

Sethlans. – How did you get out?

Laila. – (Looking to the baby) I let them drown, while I took the only available lifeboat.

Sethlans. – Great! You learn fast. How did you get the baby?

Laila. – Could I tell you later, please? I want to sleep, I could not sleep well.

Sethlans. – Fine.

Laila. – Please take care of the baby and do not eat her! (Standing up and going to the bed) I am thinking the name Hope for her is too obvious.

Sethlans. – I will not eat her… (Whispering) you will kill her.

Laila. – Hope is too good for her, as well. It is something that many foolish people need, so it is more appreciated, as soon as they mention; it becomes a flaw in their mouth. Her name needs to mean more, but hope, neither Liebe or Amour or Amore. But I like the fact that many, many people look for love, and harmony, romance and passion, sweet melody, such as a delightful Nocturne by Clara Schumann. Clara sounds elegant and beautiful.

That night Sethlans was feeding the baby Clara and Laila woke up to see them.

Laila. – I had an idea how to tell you what I learned.

Sethlans. – Which is?

Laila. – Poetry.

Sethlans. – (Sigh) and then you will tell me how did you get this chubby and nice baby?

Laila. – You care more about that…

Sethlans. – Yes, the details are more important. I know what you learned, but it is good to hear it.

Laila. – (Standing in front of Sethlans);

Complete or opposed?

Everything has its opposed; it gives in return; stability and cohesion, the ocean and the land, a dead and you,

It complements, ends, calls and destroys,

This way, both sides advance and they put an end to each other.

Mutually they disappear to the time’s sight,

Two edges of the world leave their existence and yet they re-appear, once again,

The opposed complements till a certain point, so far, in outcome the opposed is conquest,

The call is reciprocal, the ocean claims for the shore, the sick looks on the mirror for health that is vanished, the war burns the peace’s lands, where flowers dried out, war buries all the meadows where there was unity and amity, gravestones decorate the horizon.

The music’s complements are the soundless spaces; they make the music so beautiful and harmonious. Also, the silence covers our screams; it suffocates the tormented voice within, it holds the life, perpetual and lost in the oblivion.

The ice burns the skin. The sun blinds the eyes. The fog clears up the soul and lights the spirit. The lunar eclipse locks the dreams. The full moon liberates a stormy sleep, not close to a nightmare.

And the stability between life and death is the survivor instinct, whoever who fights; kills, whoever who lives; falls, whichever decision is made; it is a sentence or a success.

In the middle of the ocean, during a storm, whoever who is alive scales to a lifeboat, and holds to it, living for another day while others are crying out for help, drowning, while others are calling out for your mercy, and there is only lack of leniency.

You see all away from the storm, while the ghost of the ocean arises, growing from the deeps, immersing them, the boat sinks, the crew drowns under the secret dips, and the dead’s souls are retained under dark waves.

Laila took half of the black obsidian mirror, it was sharpen as a knife, and the other half was at her home.

Sethlans looked to Laila and asked.

Sethlans. – Did you enjoy, their crying out for your help?

Laila. – Yes. (After a while of making eye contact) So let me narrate you…

Laila began with a story of infiltration, lies, manipulation and let people drown by not acting.

Laila. – I arrived to the dock at night, the date; July 10th, during this year. The moon was splendid; a waxing moon at the firmament’s north and the tide still as the shadows waiting for my arrival. During the night I behold the boats and the crew, some of them went to a bar, not far from the wharf, I approached to the bar only to listen to some voices and laughs, the language of the drunk, the society reunited with unknown people, but brothers, all of them, “together they row a small boat, unconnected they sink and the captain detached survives”

Sethlans. – And?

Laila. – At the bar’s doors a strange and drunk man was walking in circles, I did not know if he would enter or not, so I have to avoid his foul whiff and fetid words, but he tried to hold me, by my right hand, I wanted to hit him, however; he smiled and let me go, he only wanted to be a friend, someone known to another one… Well I entered the bar, there were some women, they were dancing and singing to the sailors and other men reunited before leaving and navigate the sea, hit the wind and surrender in front of the storms. Nonetheless; a family of 7 was drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows, and this baby girl was drinking milk from a feeding bottle, I thought they were crazy to stay there, but after observing for a while, I noticed the father, who was the captain of their boat, an elegant ferry, was waiting to leave with them that night…

Sethlans. – (Interrupting Laila) …and the father was drinking hot chocolate or something stronger to stay awake.

Laila. – (After thinking) yes, he should have done that! You knew them, or they were selected for this… whatever you call it.

Sethlans. – I…

Laila. – (Interrupting Sethlans) did you meet them before?

Sethlans. – Yes… he came to me years ago to ask me for a favor…

Laila. – And?

Sethlans. – I sent him to a gold mine, so he could obtain money and power, the typical intention, he found a great enterprise, gold and jewelries, watches and plated furniture, in return… we conclude a deal… he will give to me… his last child.

Laila. – I get it, but the intention was to kill them, before having the child?

Sethlans. – Not really, that was your actions. I only sent you there.

Laila. – What was the name of the enterprise?

Sethlans. – It is: Februus. I chose the name. But he decided to open his “shop” in February.

Laila. – Strange, strange. So, like I was telling you… hey! Wait I know that enterprise, my mother likes the frames for some of my paintings, my father has 2 watches by Februus, and I have mine.

Sethlans. – I bet they are expensive.

Laila. – Yes…

Sethlans. – (Moving his hands to show her his impatience) and?

Laila. – They finished their beverages and were ready to leave the bar, the mother said to the 4 children “Wrap your necks and hands up”, and she was lovely. The baby girl was swaddled like a towel, and cared like a lamb in the flock of sheep, a beautiful secret between pages in the middle of a book. I approached to them and said “Your children are nice and well-behaved” And the conversation began without problem. In any case the father was looking at me like “You could come with us, to my ferry”. I decided to prevent any bad connection with the mother, so I ignore the father, well not all the conversation. I talked with the children and looked to the baby girl, hold her in my arms; her energy is overwhelming, she gives you that inner peace. I asked about their activity, they answered like a choir “We do not have chocolate in the kitchen of the ferry!” “But we have this marshmallows” “Someone forgot to bring the chocolate” and they saw the father. “My husband was late from a business meeting and did not buy the chocolate” “I was late because my children did not want to go to the supermarket for the chocolate and I forgot it, but who is to blame, of course me!” they replied “Yes, yes, yes!” “I told them to drink hot tea and eat the marshmallows, but they said” so he looked at them “No, no, no!” “You cannot eat a marshmallow without drinking hot chocolate dad!” “And I had to ask all around the wharf for chocolate, they told me that in this bar, this smelly bar, there is chocolate, I did not believe it, but here we are!” “Yes, my dear, here we are” a new choir “Yes, daddy” and after some unnecessary ramble they asked me “What are you doing here?” I told them that I need to take some photos for a personal album, but a man stole my purse and my camera with it, so I needed a phone to call to my parents. “Oh that is so terrible and sad, please stay the night in our ferry, my children already like you and my husband will love to show you his collection of rudders” I said “I needed only to wait for a cab”, but they insisted and I remember that I had to call my parents, so I accepted their offer. After I called my parents and tell them to not worry, I was feeling better and had new friends, they take me to their beloved ferry. “Look mom her eyes’ colors are like your ring with amber!” I thought to myself; “indeed you little bastard, indeed”. I have to admit that the collection of rudders was quiet impressive, my father wanted to begin a pocket knife collection, but he accepted one for him was enough. So I ate dinner, fish, the father and children caught that afternoon, it was delicious. We talked and laughed about whichever theme they mentioned. It was tedious, but I handled it. The ferry was going to stay 2 weeks so the return was schedule for July 24th; I knew I had to act efficient. At the beginning I doubt what you need to teach me, but I found it out, like in my poetry, the 2nd essential of Death; one destroys its opposed to exist.

Sethlans. – Impressive.

Laila. – The love can create hate among the family.

Sethlans. – She is young, but with our guide, she would develop the energy to balance this Realm…

Laila. – Let us wait for the perfect moment.

Sethlans. – You are right, continue please.

Laila. – The 14th of July was the night that I began to unfold my real intentions. The waxing moon was not clear; due to some clouds, so only for some seconds; I could see the moonlight, the ocean clearing and the stars shining like drops of crystals. I went again to see the collection of rudders, but without the father, he was with his wife, their children were sleeping, then I began to prepare me. The absence of time at night, the will to survive and collect their screams for help while they drown, their pain and weakness by a delicate stab, my black obsidian knife sharped and hidden, not the ax, too obvious, the sharp of a mirror, the tenacity in cutting life, the sharp of this mirror as a knife. The next day we talked and fish, the kids caught some fish, then I saw what was in front of me before, never seen, but assumed, the complete action of living is to kill, the balance is never easy, is necessary, the act to catch and eat, the survival is to be stronger and more intelligent, the way to adapt to an environment is to rule it, to kill the prey and live with a satisfied killer instinct. During the afternoon I hold “Clara” and saw some ebony planks, the ropes holding the lifeboat were depth; I cut the ropes the necessary, so with my weight they would break as soon as I would jump in, the ebony planks were under a table, a futile furniture for a ferry, a dumb person would make part of his ferry out of that wood. I hold “Clara” and feed her with mashed apple using a teaspoon, the mother told me that the baby had never got connected with anybody else, well she is 5 months old, how many people she could possibly meet?, I agreed and continue fed me with her energy. The days past and the nights stayed. The moon in July 17th began to turn into a full moon for the beholders, so the sleep would take longer to achieve during the nights, their time until sleeping would increase and their quality while sleeping would decrease, the melatonin would reduce, so they would not be alert enough to the sinking at July 21st, a day after the full moon, when they would sleep worse. The night of July 20th the children and mother wanted to witness the dancing and silver moon at the sky. The father was again at his collection of rudders, I was holding “Clara”. They told me to take a photo from them with their “pocket camera”, which I did. The full moon was an unfocused cliché at the corner of the picture…

Sethlans. – And what happened when you confront the father?

Laila. – How did you know?

Sethlans. – He was always a pervert. I bet he had fantasies with you while he was having sex with his wife.

Laila. – Yes (looking away) he had this way of looking at my body from a distance that even made his children awkward.

Sethlans. – (Touching Laila’s chin and making eye contact) tell me more about the sinking and the storm.

Laila. – (Holding his hand) Well… the night of the 20th was beautiful and I waited until everyone was sleeping to carry the ebony planks to deck, put some bag of food and bottles of water inside the lifeboat and went to sleep. At 4am I took out my black obsidian knife and decided how to stab each of them… (Closing her eyes)

Sethlans. – And?

Laila. – (Opening her white eyes) I waited until I sensed a change in the dawn’s wind and the clouds turn gray and black, the full moon awoke my other sight and my essence of death. I opened the doors to see my victims sleeping, except 2 of the children. They smiled back to me, I was frenetic and, yet, ready, I stab them in their belly, fast and then slowly, slow enough to feel their tissue tearing. They saw with fear and confusion, but I did not kill them, the other 2 also wake and cry as soon as I stab their bellies, cut their fingers, so they could not hold to nothing. Their screams alarmed their parents, which they ran to their rescue, only to run into their bleeding children, I took the opportunity to take “Clara” out of their cabin. At that moment a storm began to form from the above and the ocean began to shake from below, the tide increase and the winds hit the ferry, the children cried out, the opposed of the firm land called the ghost of the ocean, the complete chaos ruled, the ferry began to lose the direction, the waves hit the ferry, I watched the parents trying to stop the bleeding and stab 1st the mother in her back, twice, and then the father in his legs, I am sure the knife cut deeply his muscles, he was not able to stand up straight, besides; the equilibrium during a storm is not normal. Suddenly an enormous whirlwind hit the ocean and draw us to its center; the tide lifted the ferry and it fell against the whirlwind and the waves, breaking the ferry, I tried to jump into the lifeboat, but I have wasted too much time stabbing, and all of us were threw by the storm’s force, into the ocean, I saw the ferry breaking like a glass, the ebony planks rose to the air and descend as collapsing building, they whacked one of the children and he disappeared below salty water and his blood. The parents tried to climb to the planks while I scaled (literally) to the lifeboat, with one hand and my feet; the other hand was holding the baby girl. The parents were crying out for help. The tide separated them as their children began to drown, the broken ferry was sinking, their family was breaking apart, the rest of the ferry help them or maybe not, a sinking cage to humans; drowning forever into the deepness. I saw the strong of a storm and the desperation of a powerful man and I heard the screams of a powerless soon-to-be-drown-man. I remember that they got lost from my sight… and the ghost of the ocean took them.

Sethlans. – And? Finally you rowed back to the wharf with baby “Clara”.

Laila moved away from Sethlans and maintained the distance.

Laila. – I let them drown and feel nothing!

Sethlans. – I see…

Laila. – It took me 8 days to return to the wharf, I saw the waning moon at the firmament’s north… then the clouds gulped down its remaining nocturnal light and I did not like. I fed the baby and bore the cold wind and the thirsty. Clara is fine now, but I am…

Sethlans. – Would you like to get back to your home? Then I will call you back.

Laila. – Yes… please. Although I did not see them drown complete. I have a question.

That moment the hut’s door was opened by a man, who walked in and asked this question.

Elderly man. – Are you ready to go to the last place?

Laila. – Yes, but with you by my side.

Sethlans. – What is your question, Laila?

Laila. – The last reflection from a person while drowning, could be a portrait from an overflowing decision, or a pale ghost calling within the water?

Sethlans. – You will know that… but for the moment enjoy your free time, I will take care of Clara and you “elderly man” you must look for a new family for this baby.

Sethlans smiled and made both of them disappeared.

Sethlans. – Clara now you… have to look for the love that is gone. Make that emptiness grow till it will eat you alive. Your sorrow will be our final oblation.

Laila and the elderly man arrived close to Laila’s home.

Laila. – I think myself has changed… I hope not to scare my parents.

Elderly man. – (Thinking; you still not know the truth) Do not worry about those thoughts... (Touching her right shoulder) You must always clear your energy, so others would sense you are kind and a great company, and you will perceive the same from you, especially if you are alone.

Laila. – Thank you, I appreciate your words. Will we see again here or at the cemetery?

Elderly man. – You already know it.

Laila. – Take care, my friend.

Elderly man. – You too, and do not forget to go to your medical checkup.

The elderly man walked away and soon he was out of Laila’s sight.

Laila walked to her home, to be with her parents and to have a supper.

The parents hugged her and kissed her forehead. “How was your trip?” “Hey I cooked the dish you love!” “The enterprise is doing great, would you like to see some reports?” “What about your photography?” “A woman came the other day to ask about your sculptures, she was delight to see them, wanted to buy them” “Her gloves were nice” “She was at the city only for the day”

Laila. – Even the most grotesque person enjoys art in a solitary aspect or in a wide open exhibition.

Silence from her parents.

Laila. – Oh I see… it is fine, a lot of people would find my statues astonishing… She would come again.

The parents agreed.

Laila. – And I could not take good photos (Thinking; could not either) tomorrow I would read those reports… I have to sleep and call early to my doctor.

The mother gave her a message from her doctor; “Oh let me give you this… he called us yesterday to ask about you and to let us know he is getting married, so he would transfer you to a young doctor, his name is like that elegant young man, do you remember, the one that you disliked”

Laila. – George… and what is his last name?

The father commented; “Apo… I think. He is younger. He is not from here, I went to meet him, only to meet him… he is your doctor colleague, I think your doctor trust him… would you like to go with me”

Laila. – (Surprised) what do you have, dad?!

The parents laughed and said like a choir to Laila “Your eyes look beautiful and delicate when you are surprised”

Laila. – Yes… I guessed. Let me sleep after that surprised, but tell me…

She heard the words “I only want to spend some time with my baby girl”

Laila. – This will sound creepy… (Standing up and going to her bedroom), but you make me remember about a charming family with dazzling children I met, before calling you… please let me see those reports (thinking, I need to clean my mind)

The father went for the reports. The mother saw Laila and brushed her hair, “it is strong and shiny”. The father came back carrying a file with several pages. Laila read the abstract and the financial summary… she was not pleased. The parents looked to each other and asked about her opinion.

Laila. – (Sigh) if you create a necesity in order to sell an item, the urgency, in this case a technical device, it needs to work correctly, however; this item is weak or hardly to use, the idea to have it is declining, and another enterprise will sell a cheaper version with the improve needed, the consumers would find it more practical, even if it is not “fancy”, it is requierd to fix those flaws.

The parents smiled and the father said “I will tell them”

Laila. – You better be inflexible. Fear… is an impediment. We do not want our beloved enterprise go bankruptcy.

The parents laughed and walked with her to her bedroom. “Sleep well Laila”. While they walked away to their bedroom the mother said; “Do you think that Laila is better?” “Yes, she looks stronger and who knows, maybe she could be a mother” “I hope she would find gorgeous this new doctor” “Otherwise another tragedy” “That makes me remember about the tragedy… did you know that the chairman’s family Februus were on their ferry, it sank in that tremendous storm” “Yes, I heard something… it is a real tragedy, even the baby girl drown” “I am glad that our baby girl is fine at her bedroom… so we could hugged and kissed her” “Yes and she is a graceful person” “We should tell her someday the day we found her…” “Please, do not talk about that day” “Pardon me, but she needs to know” “Soon, but not know, please, it would be better if she recovers more from her cancer” “Yes, today we have to thank that she is alright. It feels like it was tomorrow when our dreams crashed, for not having a baby” “Painful to us then” “Painful to us back then” “Did you know, when I saw her eyes wide open for the 1st time; her retinas wobbled” “Yes?” “She is unique to us” “Like you to me” “Please hug me in bed, the sorrow of those days are gone with every smile from our baby girl” “Even though she does not smile to often” “Yes, so I have an idea for that” “Which is?” “I would prepare smashed apples for her breakfast!” “You are divine” and then one last phrase “She was born in our hearts by the mutual love”

That night the parents hugged each other and remember about the 1st day they saw baby Laila left alone, naked on a street, cover with blood, behind some trash containers, with footmarks on the blood, the umbilical cordon around her neck, she was not breathing, paleness, even the light’s day was not touching, reaching, warming, consoling her absence of family, only the shadows were embracing her blooded body, shadows like claws trying to tear her up, hungry beings at the wait for an innocent, at the wait of a new dying baby, she was agonizing without her father, agonizing without her mother, a father, a mother left her there to die after giving her birth, what kind of killer is her mother? Some decisions are like a snake trapped inside its own shredded skin, a puzzled to many, the same story to one, she was unlucky at the beginning, she was hold by her new mother and her new father cut the umbilical cordon with his pocket knife, they took her to the emergency room from the same clinic that minutes early they left with the notice that in their case, was hard and remote to have baby, as a couple with the same blood type, plus that the Rh factor from the father was positive and the mother’s negative, the consequence could be a spontaneous abortion, hydrops fetalis, the baby would die after the birth, and it was not recommended to continue with the pregnancy, even if the baby could have a blood transfusion after or before the birth, the reasons… her vessels too weak to tolerate it. The parents begged to the neonatologist to save her… the minutes passed, the hours were violent to them, and finally the neonatologist returned with a smile like no other, “Your baby is fine, she was dead when you arrived, but she is alive now, waiting for you to meet her at her private incubator, like a princess”. The parents ran to see her. Since that day, they were blessed with every second at her side, and even more, with every smile.

That night the thunders were the lullaby for them, their dreams were nothing.

At the distance to their home, a female figure was thinking; “I was conceived by his murder” “Her likes on sculptures’ details are perfect, like the ancient alabaster…” “My child, it has been a while since I left you there…” “Murdering your father was the best moment in my life, he agonized while hanged, like you with the umbilical cordon, before dying” “I hanged him to have his semen; I kissed him while he was with the erotic angel lust, his semen is your seed and my madness is your will”

Elderly man. – She has grown to be exactly what you wanted…

Sethlans. – (While lifting Tages and putting around his neck) Yes… she is breathtaking! (Uncovering his eyes) What is your opinion about her Vanth?

Vanth. – (Touching her face with her naked hands) I cannot wait to meet her… Sethlans please send her to me after that family time is over.

Sethlans. – Yes.

Elderly man. – Vanth, do you still absorb all the agonizing patients at that hospital?

Vanth. – Yes… I used to go dress as a nurse to suffocate them. The babies are so innocent and cannot fight back, like my hanged prisioners.

Elderly man. – I thought you left that place.

Vanth. – I go no more, (smiling) after they took my baby … I found out that is more satisfying, to be close to the emergency room; people tend to suffer. Besides the energy sensed from the dying people is what I enjoy, more than the dead ones, unlike my sister, Tvath.

Sethlans. – That is the reason why she resurrects them…

Vanth. – And I kill them again…

Elderly man. – (Looking to the nocturnal firmament) like the disease I had.

Vanth. – She liked you, you knew it right?

Elderly man. – Because of that she chose me?

Sethlans. – I chose you and she was pleased.

Vanth. – It was an amusement to talk with you gentlemen… but I have to go (putting gloves on her hands)

Sethlans. – I can send you there if you…

Vanth. – (Interrupting him) it is fine… I will walk, besides the cemeteries are closed now.

Sethlans. – Fine… the rain that could have saved me from the king’s fire is descending from the sky, once again.

After the thunders were over, the 2 male invokers disappeared. Vanth decided to walk during the night.

Vanth. – (Walking and talking alone) I will go the cemetery tomorrow, I think is closer the clandestine graveyard I know … I will stay there for this night; there are some tombs not closed. I will sleep there. We the invokers do not have a lineage on this Realm. We began as a disease from a sewer… The fire burned Sethlans, a persecution followed by a fire, at the City on the Hill, Poggio Civitate, la mia piccola città, made by his foe to destroy us, nevertheless; we survive and he has been suffering since then… (Laughing) his treatment with plantain leaves did not work as he thought. Satres created the black obsidian mirror, a forged utensil to see and understand the shadows beings, and she uses it as a knife against the living.

Vanth entered to a clandestine graveyard, found an opened tomb and slept inside. Her dreams were beyond the reaching stars.

2 years passed and Laila could improve her personal scale of energy, she waited for the elderly man, sometimes she wanted to go and find him, but never hurry for something it does not exist. She recovered from her cancer, she got along with the new doctor, in fact she wanted to know him better, however; there was not the time. Laila began to understand that not always the opportunity to meet a nice person is a fact. The old doctor returned to work, she visited him and found out he was going to be a father, she was happy for him, he insisted Laila should continue with an “occasional” treatment, she agreed.

Her family recovered a daughter and for some time Laila forgot her black obsidian mirror, until she sensed one night; a shadow being was getting closer to her, she looked for it, the shadow being scratched her face, furiously, she fell down to the floor and looked back to see a familiar face; the elderly man came out of the corner’s shadow and closed the shadow being around his hands like a carnivorous plant trapping an insect, he said.

Elderly man. – This is how I hunt.

Laila. – Thank you (offering her hand)

Elderly man. – The time is ready; we should go (pulling her so she can stand).

Laila. – Right now, and where?

Elderly man. – To finish your trips, for the moment.

Laila. – You said that there was not enough time and then you, you were gone.

Elderly man. – Time is ready.

Laila. – (Looking where the black obsidian mirror is kept) Fine, let me take my…

Elderly man. – (Interrupting her) you are not going to need it… where you are going, is the place where… the dead talk.

Laila. – I see… Who sent the shadow?

Elderly man. – (Getting closer to her) it is a provocation to get your body, to get your energy, those shadows are what we wanted to control time ago, when we opened the vortex, many got inside this Realm

Laila. – Are they searching for Pacha?

Elderly man. – Pacha is out there, he is collecting them or they are following him.

Laila. – Terrible for him. Where will I go now?

Elderly man. – The place where you are going is hunted… she lives there, where she delights absorbing the energy from the agonizing humans. It is not a place where I would like to go back.

Laila. – So this… Pacha, it is a human, a male human… otherwise you would not use the article “he”.

Elderly man. – He is an abomination like no other I sensed or saw. His face is a human, but the other is a fiend, the face of a fay being, it carries hate and hunger against humans, although he has the human form, the other shadows hunt him to eat his skin and drink his blood. We lost, as you know, someone for him!

Laila. – But she wanted to bring him?

Elderly man. – I am breaking my oath, but; do not trust Sethlans… he likes to manipulate everyone, he is ambitious, he speaks the correct words to create the challenge, he is like an ancient plague and he… (Holding his head) he pushed Menrva; she knew more than him, he was jealous, she had accumulated enough energy to open the vortex, during her last seconds; she sealed that energy inside the real oblation, a baby, after doing it as a legacy of her life, then she was consumed by those shadow beings.

Laila. – Why everyone is still helping Sethlans?

Elderly man. – We must do it. At the end he could not die with the fire I helped to start at the “small city” and he absorbed the force in order to survive… he cannot open the vortex, that is the reason why he needs us to absorb and amass the energy to open it again… we think, there is this possibility to… to close him inside, not a revenge, but to set free this Realm, from his intentions.

Laila. – When we open the vortex, I will help you to close him inside. What energy is necessary to open it?

Elderly man. – It depends who is manipulating; black to conquer or white to eradicate.

Laila. – I do not know the difference.

Elderly man. – For now, you should go to learn more, to open your mind and control your energy.

Laila. – Alright… who were the father and the mother from the baby, from the oblation?

Elderly man. – (Thinking; not now please) I do not know, it was a baby.

Laila. – I am lucky to be on your side.

They disappeared and Laila appeared at the corner from a street, she saw a house, it was night, the lights were turn off, but one room, she knocked the door and a woman with red eyes opened the door, Laila felt something familiar for her, the woman took her hand and made her walk inside, while she entered, she heard on her left ear many human screams, too many, and a name Vanth, she tried to cover her ear, but the woman stopped her and said.

Vanth. – (Pointing with her gloved hands) Hear them! Hear them, millions of dead humans call out for freedom, they are here forever! They do not know what time is, if there is such a thing in this house. They are part of the oblation, that one day you will deliver to the ancient shadow.

Laila. – (Seeing to her gloves) more like “hand over”.

Vanth. – I see you have humor that is something I used to have (smiling)

Laila. – And what is your name? Or I call you “the woman in the group of male invokers” (walking till sees a hole in the middle of the living room, dug inside the land, 4 meters under the land, there an opened coffin of black wood)

Vanth. –You had heard my name from those dead humans (pushing Laila to fall into the coffin, the coffin is closed with the impact, the woman with a shovel throws soil and stones to cover it), now breath well and hear their language.

Laila. – (Trying to get out) this black wood is heavy, I cannot push it, I want to get out!

Vanth. – No! Nothing until you understand them! (Whispering) dead people do not cry, as loud as most alive people can hear.

Laila. – (Hearing to Vanth, and answering screaming) I will!

Vanth. – (Whispering) and call me mother, my dearest child.

During 4 hours Laila heard the screams of many dead humans, only a distortion of noises, she began to hear sligthly better with every minute, those were waiting for help, to get out, she could not even move, her right knee was hurting her so bad, at times the physical pain was the only way to escape from the screams, her right ear could only hear the footsteps from the woman. Laila began to understand what most of them were saying “aggressive”, “severe”, “potent”, “violent” She heard deeper and indentified the word “torture”. She noticed that the coffin’s wood was new, so the torture, was on the other floors, she began to collect that abundant energy in order to focus into a single point. Vanth sensed it. Laila condensed all of it and opened her white eyes, she could see their spirits and they could talk to her “she is a murder”, “she will kill you”, “she enjoys torturing” “she absorbes the energy coming from the agonizing’s human”, “she is violent”, “she is potent”, “she is severe”, “she is aggressive” And from a spirit that was in silence, it was pronunced; “she conceived you, she carried you in her body, she gave you life” “her killing desire is yours”. After hearing it, Laila scream without words for the 1st time since she was buried. Then silence inside her coffin. Laila was meditating. When the world around you falls, there are 2 options, fall or fly, falling is sinking in your water reflection, flying is silence in the chaos; it teaches you about the situation, it is the best reaction to win, the adversary has weapons, those are used to erradicate, but in your hands, with your mind; you can use them to stand and defeat… inner peace is always stronger than any problem, it saves you from your abyss.

Vanth. – Now I will make you live as my child. (She begans to dig up with her naked hands) Wait for me, wait for me. Now mommy will embrace you as a new born.

When she finished to dig up, she put again her gloves and opened the cofin. Laila punched her in the face. Vanth fell and with blood in her mouth said.

Vanth. – I am not dissapointed.

Laila hit her again, on her head, but then missed, Vanth moved and grabbed a stone, hitting Laila back with it, Laila fell unconscious.

Vanth. – Well… proud. You fell like your father, but this time I will not hang an unconscious person.

Vanth lifted Laila and put her in bed, kissed her wounded forehead and tasted Laila’s blood.

Vanth. – Delicious like honey. Sweet and raw.

At that moment her dreams began about a man hanged and with the angel lust satisfying Vanth. Moments after, another woman approached to the hanged man, wait until he dies to slowly skinning him. They ate the flesh. Both women set fire to the hanged corpsed and bury his remains. From the land where it was buried a dandelion grow. A shadow with a frontal human face began to remove the land without touching the dandelion, until the shadow takes out the skull of the hanged man, turning into dust, the dandelion is moved by the wind, the shadow’s head turns, the shadow body trembles, the shadow picks up the dust from the skull, the dust from the skull set fire the dandelion, while the dandelion burns, the shadow disappears for the fire’s intense light. At the distance there is a shaped-4-legs-animal with crimson eyes and begins to grow, as soon as it ends to grow; its flesh falls apart and it’s form is alike a giant skeleton, a human skeleton. That moment Laila had to wake up, with the feeling that she was chocked to death. Awaken by fear and pain, an addicted pain through her neck leaving scratches, reddish scratches.

Vanth. – (Sitting next to her with her crossed-legged) Before you talk, allowed me to tell you; your wrath lead your frustration, covering your sight, you needed to learn down there…

Laila. – (Opening her hazel eyes and touching her neck) go on…

Vanth. – (Standing up and begin to wind up an old cucco clock) fear emanates a powerful energy, which is used to strength the spirit, what you did there was impressive, the problem was that you did not use it, the way I would have done it; creating a wave to protect yourself. Any way, (smiling) I know you like a better explanation from fear so listen to me; shadow beings make you use your energy to feel fear, little by little the fear emanates a pure energy, “corresponding thoughts”, they make you create memories related to fear. The neuroplasticity, inside your brain, is feed with the same energy, by constant attacks. Once the brain is dominate; the shadows control the human by planting the seed of horror, the fear is an addiction, the shadows know where are the humans living with fear and they hunt them, they manipulate them, they tempt them, everything to collect that energy. What you need to know is simple, when you feel fear, do not emanate it, absorbthe energy around you, then concentrate it, manipulate it to conterattack, the 3rd essential of Death; if you defit them, you could absorb their energy.

Laila. – (Stop touching her neck) thank you for the explanation… and the practice.

Vanth. – Nice color from your real eyes, by the way.

Laila. – (Still with wrath) if it was all… I must go back to my home.

Vanth. – (Closing her eyes) the moment that you are the most angry against someone, that is the precisly moment to find your inner peace, and be who you are, my child.

The door was knocked and a man walked in.

Elderly man. – Yes, it is all. Laila please do not waste your time with wrath.

Laila stands up and leaves the room, the elderly man follows her, while they go down the stairs there are spoken words back them, a phrase from Vanth “You can improve always yourself by facing something stronger than you, mentally or physically, but do not let it make you feel fear neither to take your energy”

Elderly man. – As soon as we leave this house, Sethlans will send us to your home.

Laila. – Did you know about her?

Elderly man. – Yes.

Laila. – And my biological father was killed by her?

Elderly man. – Vanth and Tvath took him. He tried to defend himself. They are strong and inteligent. Your mother, Vanth, hanged him by his neck, he suffered and experience agony while hanged from a branch of a willow… at some point, your aunt, Tvath, gave him life again, resurrection is a painful incident, they got their jubilation, broad grin, distraction, while his teeth were worn by the consistent pressure. I saw them. Once he was dead, Tvath resurrected him again. Vanth pulled his feet, strong enough to break the branch, he scream a last time, during his angel lust… Vanth took his semen in a small alabaster funeral urn. Sethlans set him on fire. Revengue in watching him burn like he did in a small city. When the fire was over, Vanth stabed his heart with a knife made of bone. Hours later I burried him close to the willow. Years later, I walked at that place. And saw a dandelion, a beautiful dandelion at the same place where his tomb is.

Laila. – Explain me why Vanth and Tvath are on Sethlans’ side.

Elderly man. – (Sigh) I only would say this, so you could understand them; Sethlans helped them when they were kids, they are not sisters, Sethlans raised them and taught them to focus their energy, while Tvath began to resurrect and learn from the dead ones, Vanth learned how to perfect her methods of torture, and inflict pain to her victims, she developed a darker focus of her energy, follow, torture and kill; becoming Sethlans’ personal assassin.

Laila did not cry, she saw him and went out. They arrived to her home. The elderly man said goodbye and walked away. Laila entered her home and saw her parents at the lobby. “Where were you?”, “We were worried”, “Please, if you go, let us know”, “We got used to your habits, but it would be nice to be informed”. Laila hugged them and cried in silence.

She returned to her past painting, outside on the garden. She decided to wear a crimson scarf to cover her scratches. She put the black obsidian knife close to her bed, easy to take, easy to use. Protection is flawless. Withour fear. Energy to conterattack. Inner peace to control the careful behave. The immediacy of the last 3 trips changed her perspectives about death and life. Sethlans was dangerous. Vanth was sadist. Tvanth was a clue. The elderly man was ambigous. Tages was a beholder. How would be the rest of the invokers?

Laila painted 3 paints, each of them a representation of what she lived. The paintings were from other artists, she concidered a honor to paint them.

Laila. – (Hearing someone is approaching while she is painting) I sensed your energy. What do you think of these paintings? I know, I know, they are terrific. I would like to know what the authors thought to paint them, the motivation is the art itself, but what drove them? (Some footsteps are heard and the wind moves the crimson scarf) The blood can tell many secrets; what you eat, feel, are, etc. My neck is better, thanks for thinking about it.

Vanth. – Yes, I know, blood has always kept the secrets hidden for our eyes. (Touching her shoulders with her gloved hands) You paint good. I also like your statues.

Laila. – I made a research, about what you told me, the fear and the brain, the neuroplasticity and the thoughts, it was a revelation. The shadows manipulate the brain till the point that fear is natural and the neurons are too good connected, synapsis, so it is easier to re-experience. More and more the fear turns to be panic. It cannot be control, rationally, it controls you, systematically.

Vanth. – Tell me… I would like to hear you, my child.

Laila. – (Talking without emotions) Panic desactivates the frontal lobes, which control the motivation and behave, also the combine movement of the eyes. So the panic generates a biofeedback towards fear, independent to the sense, it is lost the notion-magnitude, the self control. The behave falls apart, the person is a doll, a realistic doll, once a human, then it is stuffed with rag, the eyes only get what they can, real or not, and the end, the shadows have another pot, another plant, new food, the body is the pot, the mind is the plant, the energy is the fruit… how many gardens are out there?… How many seeds get?... how many semen, did you use to have that insemination?... at least, did you enjoy it?

Vanth. – Good presentation. And yes, I enjoy it. As a mather of fact I, I am still enjoying it.

Laila. – I supposed it.

Vanth. – What are the names of the paintings?

Laila. – (Correcting her) what are the titles of them?... (The wind moved the crimson scarf and for a brief moment, the scratches were seen) “The triumph of death” by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. “The water ghost” by Alfred Leopold Kubin. “The flaying of Marsyas” by Tiziano Vecellio, the Titian.

Vanth. – I hope you would like a sugestion.

Laila. – About the way I paint?

Vanth. – About a painting.

Laila. – Which is?

Vanth. – (Walking to her and taking her crimson scarf out of her neck, approaching to her right ear and whispering silently) “The last king” by Alfred Leopold Kubin. (Walking away from her) “Der letzte König”. You would identify with it, my child. And by the way, I like your black obsidian knife!

Laila saw the painting, that her mother suggested, she saw aisolation at the throne and the emptiness behind, nothing around power, nothing there, not even the sun, below him, below the altar, in front of the pedestal, facing the last king, the followers, the people were the invokers, there is one holding incense. The king is dressed in white clouths, white clouths like clouds, possibly the invokers are there waiting, possibly the incense is fire, the fire is waiting to take revenge, the king is sleeping or is dead? The crowd is worshiping a false god, the gods cannot die with the eyes opened.

Laila was visited by her friend, the elderly man.

Laila. – I hate not knowing facts, but I am interested in learning by the process. Is it a paradox?, no, maybe, it is accepting my present knowledge. Could I ask more about my real father?

Elderly man. – I can tell you some information, but after this talk, we have to go.

Laila. – Who is calling me now?

Elderly man. – It is not important “who” calls, but when.

Laila. – I see…

Elderly man. – Let me tell you about him. I guess you remember an insignificant detail, (looking to her and then avoiding eye contact) the dandelion.

Laila. – Yes. What about it?

Elderly man. – It was the flower of “Your Highness”, it was his simbol of elegance. He used to be someone important for, for the people, for the… for my family.

Laila. – What do you mean?! He was close to your family and you let him die!

Elderly man. – He was my king. I did not have a choice. He used to have the simbol of the dandelion to represent; the overcoming of an obstacule. Always by using intelligence, not the blade.

Laila. – King?

Elderly man. – He lived during the foundation of Roman Kingdoom, but he was a king without throne, a king that lived among his people, a king that always went to battle and then helped the families of the fallen, the morning was his allied in life and his betrayer in politics. He knew the 1st rule to govern; never fight the sacred old ones.

Laila. – I suppose the sacred old ones were the invokers of death… but how did all of you ambush him?

Elderly man. – Before the catacombs incident, the sanctum place and the 1st encounter with the invokers… I was a, what you now a days call “minister”, I used to advised my king (looking down), my friend.

Laila. – But you got the leprosy, right? Or Sethlans or another invoker sent it to you?

Elderly man. – My son went to help a leprous, he got infected, I tried to cure him, my wife, also got it. I was the only one who could survive. I saw my family dying without normal faces, but with enough flesh to express desperation in their faces. I buried them where there was a harvest. Giving back to the land. I used to have friends and a family.

Laila. – That is the reason why you mention your family in retrospective.

Silence for a while.

Elderly man. – My king wanted to stop Sethlans’ ceremonies. He could not have a false step, especially with the mayority of the people who saw Sethlans as a divinity, or whatever, he knew that only fire could liberate, (turning emotional) could liberate us from him, he wanted to use fire so noone could determine if it was from the opposite Kingdoom or from the East’s invaders.

Laila. – And then…

Elderly man. – At midnight he, my king, went with 3 loyal soldiers to the “small city”, I was the youngest, we saw all of the invokers of death summoning the giant of death’s Realm. We moved slowly and… your dad gave me the order to start the fire. We have already closed the doors of the “small city”, I ran, the others did it, too. But my king with his bravery enthusiasm, stayed there, he manipulated us, but he decided to at least save… Menrva. Nevertheless she could not quit the invokers. She believed that the white energy could bring peace to the last suffering moments of a moribund person.

Laila. – She knew about the white energy… (changing her voice) so Sethlans also had reasons to hate her, he pushed her to the…

Elderly man. – To the vortex, later I will tell you the end. Sethlans absorbed the energy to condense the fire inside him, his skin burned horribly, the rest of the invokers survived, as you know. After that night several years passed, I met my wife, the cult to the invokers was lessened in belief, my king was depressed; because Menrva was gone, to noone’s place. But when I got the disease of leprosy my king told me that Menrva was back, I doubted about any ambush or conspiracy, he wanted to have her again, the 3 loyal soldiers walked with him to the wild, I followed them, we did not know there was an ambush. Menrva was tied close to the willow… your mother was the one who killed the others soldiers, my king was hanged by his neck, and I could see his tormentous and suffering moments, again and again. They chose him in part for a revenge, but also for his intelligence, Vanth wanted a daughter, she wanted to use you in a ritual to summon, well to summon the thing that you know as Pacha, but things went in another direction, we killed a king, I… begged to do not be hanged, it is shamefull to me, but it is the truth, I was not tortured, I had to bury him. Years later I returned to the same place, with this “ability” on my forearm, I saw the dandelion and remembered the time when I lost my human side.

Laila. – But it was so many years ago, how did Sethlans gave me the black obsidian mirror in a healthy condition?

Elderly man. – You are about to meet Satres. Time and wisdom, he has, he has a lot to give. He and Sethlans were closed, but Satres is getting weaker with every, how to say it, “travel”, every time he sents Sethlans in a “trip” to do things.

Laila. – Should I take my black obsidian mirror, sharped as my knife?

Elderly man. – No, not really.

Laila. – But, I take my diary.

Elderly man. – Not a problem for me.

On their trip. They were walking on a hill, Laila saw some black with yellow birds flying above them, they were like a family or a group of friends, she had a bread in a purse, she took it out and began to pinch it, in order to make scraps, so the birds would eat it. The elderly man told her that it was better to feed birds, ducks and chikens with wheat. Laila saw him and answered that the bread had wheat. To that reply, the elderly man told, it was rude to associate 2 themes to keep talking. Laila, who was not in a “friendly” mood, told him to do not be so presumptous, it was bread. The elderly man told her to analyze the facts and improve the argument, not to get angry for a talking. Laila assumed it and put, again, the bread inside her purse.

Laila. – You cannot change others perspective or manipulate their energy to create a new…

Elderly man. – Keep talking like that and you will sound like Vanth.

Laila. – what I needed to have a great day. (Pointing to the land) hey! Is that a hand coming out of the stones?

Elderly man. – Where?

Laila. – There!

Satres. – (Coming out from the wind, an old man with a face familiar to Laila, in a way the heart could possible tell) this is the land where my corpse will be left behind, after I die.

Laila. – Years ago this could be a terrific event to witness, now it is so natural, not wird at all (after some seconds), I guess your name is Satres.

Satres. – My name is my function. Now I am Satres, yesterday I was the “place where you musted travel”, tomorrow I am a master. It is great to see you, (whispering) again.

Elderly man. – He talks like that.

Satres. – Talking is what our will represents without actions, actions do not always represent our words. Now I am talking with the last child of our king, she is not a queen, yet. Maybe back then, she could be like him.

Elderly man. – I assume you are not getting it.

Laila. – He is nice… but please stop talking about your king, my family is alive.

Elderly man. – Well, after this conversation, it is better to sleep. Tomorrow he will teach you.

Laila. – Tomorrow.

Satres. – Today is undone. Tomorrow is planned. Future is a present, a blurred past, all events repeat, all events are new-old stories.

They slept in Satres’ hut. Laila noticed that all of them had a hut, but her mother, not important to remember, unless you want to avoid others.

The day after the meeting, Laila woke up and said.

Laila. – All of you like to live in huts. Are they easier to build?

They laughed.

Satres. – Let me tell you. You thought that “time” used not to be real, a methaphorm. Time is like a vine. It grows and catches all, diversification is all, there are many ways, several paths, in time-lines, some get together and others re-start all the vine. The paths are walked with blood, the shadows dissolve and spread out.

Laila. – So if time is a vine, can the leafs be cut off?

Satres. – With the rest of the hanging actions.

Laila. – Do you send a person through time?

Satres. – the energy for the purpose. It materilize. It finds. It joints one point with another.

Laila. – Quantum particles go back and forward time… by the act of measuring it (thinking for a while) you send the energy with the intention, the intention is the energy from the observer, and manipulates the events. Impressive!

Satres. – The results behave the same; in diferent times, in diferent places, the same Realm.

Laila. – (Thinking; again words related to Pacha) Yes, energy is matter, duality in both sides, actions are a being.

Satres. – Now that you get it, I will send you to…

Elderly man. – We will go, we agreed on it.

Laila smiled to agree. The next day, Satres sent their energy to a different time-lines; to witness and learn about the mankind’s madness and the mired reasons for some suicides, but his personal intentions were for her to expirience about the white energy.

The 1st suicide took place, or will take place, from a bridge.

The 2nd suicide took place, or will take place, on a street.

The 3rd suicide took place, or will take place, in a home.

The 4th suicide took place, or will take place, during a ceremony.

Elderly man. – What did you experience, after you touched their skulls?

Laila. – The behaviour, the performance based on reaction to commit suicide begins with a desperate instict, blinding your eyes and getting in the mood of cold blood, when no emotions are felt, where no room is safe, the blinding eyes show you the smiling death and its claws scratching the walls to get you, the sounds are terrible noises and the lights distract you, darkness is the escape, opening your eyes for a last time, for a last sight of the world, breathing the air to later exhale through your bruised mouth, a last time, it has no remorse, when there is no way to go forwards, to avoid misfortune, to stop feeling envy of someone else’s happiness, to hear after passing away the sobbings, the weepings and the tears at your funeral, the smiling death is calling you, is liberating you from your pain and suffering, those feelings are part of your body of your mind of your soul, they are felt so real; like a broken limb, and while you crawl to escape, you get into the lair of a hungry beast, which is waiting in silence, but sharping its inner fangs and protective tusks, its crawls catch your weak body, tortured mind and fosaken soul, you turn around and see a beast, only its disgusting odor, its fleas jumping on its head, some fall into your mouth, you push the beast back, but its strength has already dominate you, your weakness is suffocating you from inside, you try to make a strategy to escape, a last fight, a last encounter with a glorious end, maybe not, the beast has crimson eyes and black tongue, the dirt, where your body is laying, is bones’ dust, as soon as you realized that, you feel how your arms’ bones are getting cracked, the phalanges are getting all the weight, the ulna, the humerus and radius, every bone that served to protected is gone, your arms fall to both sides, the pain is felt like a shocking electricity, soon your dreams are about to end, the best sensation now is cold… suddenly it goes across my core, then taking my legs, violence and agression are the eyes of a wild beast, those crimson eyes called me from the darkness, those crimson eyes do not blink while it eats me, I am still alive, in silence no words I can utter, at what moment the suicide became I?, how did it happen? I was a witness, now I am the prey. The beast bites my neck and I bleed to death, while it eats my hands and openes my thorax, my limbs are bitten, now all is gone… all is cold, my heatless soul under my body, my dismembered body, soaked body with my own blood. Suicide is death pulling our unpleasant life from outside till our beastly core.

Elderly man. – In a sum up phrase…

Laila. – Decisions towards suicide, decisions on life; both are like glass, elegant and fragile, beautiful and stanined after the rain, strong and breakable. Choises on both sides of a single Dutch tear.

That night Laila dreamed about the woman, her friend, long time without knowing about her. In her dream there was a country with vast lands of desert, the woman was staying behind a giant statue of a tree, she walked across the desert till Laila saw her face, not a tear, without smile, only her eyes. Around her neck some red spots. The woman touched Laila’s forehead and said “Delicate body, weakly mind, feeble spirit. You are going to discover the truth abouth death, the oblation for a barren Realm is the shadow beings from the humans, the people who lived” Laila moved in her sleep, but did not awake, the dream continued; there were tombs covering the earth’s lands, dilapidated tombs and wind moving the funeral bells, a long-lasting massacre, one clearly objective, light and shade, and from below all the desert and dilapidated tombs a red root forms a stem, a small tree grows slowly, its flowers appear, light red and violet with pink, delicate flowers of poisonous Oleander.

Laila woke up, meditated for some minutes and said “I need to change the course of the enterprise, it needs to manufacture medicines and drugs… poison to heal, sweat honey to increase the toxicity” Taking out her diary and wrote;

A total horror.

Nonetheless; suicide could be our last expression of art, so fiercing it is an abstract idea, the beauty to take your own life is like watching an elegant lady, dressed in white, with long red hair, a lady with a stab in her heart, the blood tainted her dress, the lady is laying on a bed, the bed-sheets are socked and dropping her blood, the light only touches part of her face, the rest is grotesque, her heart beated strong before all, the silence around the room is the detail that paints the scene.

A mute beholder leaves the quiet room, closing the door, and the lady is part of suicidal art. The room’s light is on, outisde everyone is looking, not knowing what they are missing.

In the mourning the 3 invokers were eating breakfast, suddenly Satres asked for the bread, to this Laila answered, there was no more, so he asked to look for wheat inside her purse, then Laila remembered that there were 2 memories, the 1st was about packing bread and the 2nd was buying wheat, but she was sure the 2nd took place she remembered feeding the birds, she wished that she had bought wheat for the breakfast. Meanwhile Satres told her “Yes, you bought it, I gave you some of my energy to manipulate events, like a wish” to this Laila thought that he could also be in diferent time-lines, observing, taking care of events related to him, so it was better to take precautions from or to attack him without mercy. She passed the wheat and continued to eat.

Satres was in peace.

Later that afternoon, Laila and the elderly man were talking about the suicides, she expressed that there were some coincidence towards the events. He doubted for some seconds, she told him, “The 4 suicides were related in desperation, and not preventing any future solution”, the elderly man saw her and asked if there was something deeper than the desperation, Laila answered; “The 4 suicides… a bridge, a street, a house and a ceremony. Satres sent us in time, when, it is not sure. Satres wanted to teach us, well more to me than you, about the time and its relation with death. The process to end life as a methaphorm in releasing the pain, in realising the tragic influence of this Realm… taking with your spirit the energy of suffering, pain, desperation and a barren future. The energy related with the death’s hunger. But why the 4 suicides are so diferent in locations?”

Elderly man. – (Closing his eyes) think about the surroundings.

Laila. – The surroundings were diferent before and after they commited suicide. (Thinking for a while) I am not sure, but could I ask Satres to be sent again, but to their funerals?

Elderly man. – I do not see why you cannot.

Laila. – (Going to find Satres and whispering)it is a coincidence, but to be sure.

Laila explained her doubts and thoughts to Satres, who accepted and sent her to their funerals. When she came back, there was a diferent sight at her eyes, and then she closed them, after some minutes of meditation, she opened her white eyes and her breathing was slower than usual, but stronger, her skin turned pallor and Satres and the elderly man felt dizzy, Satres left the hut and saw the elderly man”

After some minutes, the hut’s door was opened, they saw Laila levitating and approaching to them. She was contemplating them and descend to the floor, her skin remain pallor, her eyes white, but she began to talk.

Laila. – I sensed the energy in the surroundings, of the suicides, some states of the matter absorbed their energy, a place absorbes the energy of a suicide. The bridge represented the water, the street represented the air, a house represented land and during the ceremony there was the fire to enlight the suicide. I can put the energy in states of the matter, to form a specific Homunculus. The sattes of the matter; liquid, gas, solid and plasma.

After saying those words, she decended and her eyes stayed white, both men saw her and felt cold in their bones, a heart beating strong and Goosebumps in their heads’ back. The beating of the heart began to disturbed them, the air turned dificult to breath, the 2 men feared for their lifes. The elderly man tried to make her calm down, Laila catched him by the throath, with her right hand, and began to suffocate him, only to gather his life-energy.

Laila. – This is refreshing!

To that savage action Satres went to hit Laila, but he was “brutally killed”. Laila threw the elderly man, then, she grabbed Satres, with her left hand, by his face, and lifted him, then with the other hand hold his right shoulder and twisted his body; his head backwards and the rest of his body forwards, Satres fell and could not stand, to this Laila inserted her fingers into his eyes, taking them out, then searched for his agonizing heart, and began to hit him with her fists, until; his ribs got broken, she took out from a secret poket, a black obsidian knife, she fatally injured him on the chest, “die”, Satres could not escape, his blood was choking him and he only screamed one more time, he felt the slowly cuts around his torax, until she got to his heart, she kissed his beating heart and stabbed it, strong and deep, quick and without mercy, she cut the blood vessels around, Satres died soon after with a smile, Laila absorbed the black energy from him, the deseperate energy from his heart, her eyes turned hazel again, to the elderly man’s surprised look, she smiled to him and told him; “You are safe for now”. The elderly man felt his demise and answered; “I knew you were the right successor to killed them”, “Now I am above the justice, of the last hidden”

After that day, they were talking where to bury Satres’ corpse, but also another important theme.

Laila. – I need my father’s burned skull to channel his energy for the oblation.

Elderly man. – Now more than ever, we need time in our favour.

Laila. – With every drop of blood, with every soul, with every single tissue of flesh, It awakes, with black energy, all condensed.

Elderly man. – Stop talking like them. (Looking to Satres) He knew that around this place, his corpse will be bury.

Laila. – So, we cannot let it happen, it would be too obvious, and the rest of the invokers will look for him.

Elderly man. – I think that I have a plan.

Laila. – You know?... I have a collection of hearts at home, they are inside glassess, buried in the garden. I have never told about it to anybody. And I do not have a clear memory about them.

Elderly man. – What is the relation with this?

Laila. – Those hearts have a particular energy. When I got Satres’ heart, I felt his energy there, accumulated, like a fountain of him, the energy is in the heart, and when I took it, I feel it more, I consume it, the energy is there…

Elderly man. – I am glad you have noticed it.

Laila. – I will keep his heart inside a jar of glass, please do not ask for it.

After saying it, both decided that he had to find the rest of the invokers, so they could avoid them, the elderly man had to send the recent corpse to “the valley”, where the invokers would not care to look, but with the danger that if he was found, both would be certanly killed.

Laila returned to her home, put the heart inside a jar of glass and hid it inside a statue. Days after she began to sense more the energy of others and slowly controlling it. She could make another person act the way she wanted. Sometimes by holding an object she could see the person who had touched it. She went to a desolated house to absorb the energies around, and finally going to a crowded place and sense the environment. All that energy absorbed into one wave, to create a dark being for her own, growing in power, controlling her creation, moving through them, collecting more energy, holding it back until the time would be necessary.

During those days, Laila visited her new doctor, to have a conversation over some themes of medicine and how the human body works, the new doctor thought it would be funny to teach her over the subjects she was interested, so he invited her to some classes at the university, where his friends were professors. Laila began to make conections with some doctors, researchers and pharmacy enterprises, all with the purpose to establish a enterprise to produce medicines for Ebola, a vaccine. All to the public eye. However there was a laboratory in order to perform human experiments toward death. And of course, a secret department answered directly to her. She named the enterprise “Menrva”, the elderly man said that it was a “provocation” towards the invokers, Laila answered, “I want them to be ready”, she braided her hair, a pair, and entered to her office, once she was in, she said to the elderly man “Wait for a list of names, you will find and bring them… I need to experiment” “Who are they?” “They are the members of competition at work” “Jelousy?” “You will see”

The instinct to survive is inherent to the method of deshumanizing yourself.

So the experiments began. A lobotomy for each lobe and its reaction, the subsequent death of a human without the domain of his body. A man tied to a table, his hands and feet cut, letting the bleeding free, torture and suffering through impotence. A man put inside a pool with boiling water, unable to leave it, til he dies or drowns; desperate abandon or suicide salvation. A growing fire around a group of men, to watch and learn how the brotherhood is forgotten, escaping, covering with the bodies of others to avoid the blazing heat.

And the experiments continued. 2 women sewed by their internal organs, but the stomach, creating a conjoined twin, in order to see who eats and drinks more, who moves more, who sleeps more, who helps more, a part died of exhausting and the other of gangrene, eventhough she tried to eat the dead one, before having a compleate infection. A woman burned with iron sticks, to see how the skin-scars do not feel any more pain. A female corpse let to be eaten by worms and birds, to watch the rotting process. A trapted woman ate her baby to avoid inanition.

Laila was reading the reports and preparing a speech to tell to the “public eye” about her new enterprise, producing medicines. The elderly man arrived to talk with her about the experiments.

Elderly man. – I think it is enough! You have made a lot of people suffer. Are you mad?

Laila. – I think that all I have done was to drive myself into the ocean of madness and slowly drowned my mind.

Elderly man. – Yes! And by the way, you have the necessary energy to create a dark being.

Laila. – I could be a good mom.

Elderly man. – (Thinking; she is like her mother and the rest of the invokers) please, I beg you, stop this, stop or you could be gone.

Laila. – I think it is late, I need to find Death in this Realm, I know, I know I can bring its energy to…

Elderly man. – To do what? To summon it, the vortex will be opened soon or later, we have to stop the rest of the invokers… and not become like them!

Laila. – Yes, I know… please forgive me, I will stop, but I will continue with the… with my “child

Elderly man. – I hope it will not eat you.

Laila. – No, I will eat it, but after its actions are over.

All the sorrow, pain, suffering, lamentation, desperation and many other feelings I cannot write, were absorbed by Laila, she tried to make a dark being, failing on several occasions, so she began to manipulate the energy and concentrate on one specific point, the result; she gave “birth” to an entity, closer in apperance to her shadow and controlled not like a limb, but like a dog, it began to do Laila’s will and “eat”, better said, absorbed the others, the previous ones, the bigger dragon eats the smaller ones. Homunculus made from tormented and dead humans’ energy, black energy creates life, energy got by her and molded into a single dark being; the creator of life has an intention, the creation has a purpose, imitating life is to create death.

So she molded it, and presented to the elderly man, he got confused.

Elderly man. – Why is it looking like Satres?

Laila. – To cover our footsteps, in case we need more time.

Elderly man. – I hope to never again see his face.

Laila. – Puzzling. I take it as a compliment. (Looking to the Homunculus) Or complement? It needs more time to be ready. (Thinking to herserlf; Its core is weak, I should remember to take, only, precautions, I do not want to be eaten by it) This Homunculus is not like the being in the tale of Faust by Goethe.

Elderly man. – No, it is worse than it. It has the size of a full-grown man.

Laila. – Pure black energy condensed into a being, and a being enlarged as pure energy. Mortal form of human conserving the eternal.

Elderly man. – You found a way to create it.

Laila. – Yes, I did and it looks pure to me, and a monster to you. Created to act on my commands not to live its will, a lost being in this realm.

Elderly man. – I saw once a Homunculus.

Laila. – You did not tell me about it.

Elderly man. – Not the place to talk about it. Do you have another trick?

Laila. – I want to know about how to control those black spheres.

Elderly man. – I see, at least do you have any idea about it?

Laila. – Maybe, it is similar to control a Tulpa. I mean it is made by energy, too. Except my child is the product of absorbed and condensed energy, the other is through meditation to transform the projected mental matter into a being.

Elderly man. – I cannot tell that.

Laila. – For the moment I have to become a better creator, a perfectionist of Homunculus, this is the best I made. In future months, there will be more and I will endow them purpose, which I need. This is yet ready.

Elderly man. – I think it is ready. It will trick everyone.

Laila. – (Smiling) I am flattered, it did with you. By the way I need my father’s skull.

Elderly man. – Why?

Laila. – Not of your business (Closing her eyes and touching his right shoulder) Please it is secret.

Elderly man. – I will trust on you, but take an oath with me, you will not bring him back.

Laila. – Agree.

Elderly man. – He is buried in a land where Sethlans usually goes, we cannot arrive there without being noticed… but I think I have an idea, it includes your child. It is faster if we send this for it.

Laila. – I am listening…

Elderly man. – I need your energy to connect with it, so we can teach it to move in the shadows

Laila. – Ok, but it has its mind. Do not manipulate it. Eventually I have to take care of “my child and future food”

Both touched the Homunculus and teached it how to travel through the shadows.

Elderly man. – Bring Aita’s corpse!

The Homonculus brought a burned skull and all his bones.

Laila while lifting the skull smiled and closed her eyes to embrace the moment, and then absorbing his energy she turned her eyes white.

Laila had locked the skull and the black obsidian knife in a secret place, she told to her parents there was a long trip to take, only to take a break from the new enterprise, but her parents told her that she was not at home, like she used to and she needed to go to the doctor to have some medical analysis. Laila understood her parents, so she went to her doctor’s office.

Laila. – Hello again my not-so-new-doctor.

George. – Hello Chief.

Laila. – How is everything doing with our work.

George. – (Moving his hands) I have to inform that… everything is doing well, well, you know those experiments with humans are not legal; furthermore, I am doing whatever I can to find a cure for that disease that destroys the human body, using human as samples. (Thinking; besides I know you are funding this researches in order to sell the vacine, you pathetic scum)

Laila. – (Thinking to herserlf; selling?) Actually… (Lifting a small and sharped knife, a tiny replica of medieval sword. Looking to it, nice tool to open an envelope; “she has a problem with her heart, she turns blue as a dead woman”) a vaccine for the Ebola… that disease could destroy all human, all of us, (Thinking; destruction of a human being makes me wanna see, the complete circle of destruction; suffering, pain, sorrow and death. But after it, the energy that I need decreases. There must be something that could create, better say, re-create the circle of destruction, like an Ouroboros, to eat and… eating flesh, your own flesh, then what?, existing without a form, without a shape, what a waste of energy, but what if the human eats his flesh by desperation, by hungry, by fear, to avoid starvation, but the flesh is easy to get, easy to fall from the body, easy to live through the lack of flesh, flesh that regenerates, re-birth in your own body… a disease that literally eats the fleash and do not hurt the bones, but eats till a phase, till the phase I can absorb the black energy and create my Homunculus. I will need more of them, to stay in the shadows), destroy all of us, (putting the medieval replica tiny sword on the table, next to some envelopes and letters)

George. – (Moving his hands, again) well, chief… are you there? (touching her forehead with his right forefinger)

Laila. – (Turning her eyes from hazel to white, but for some miliseconds) please never touch me while I am thinking. I tell you for your safety.

George. – (Pale as a ghost) your… your… your eyes!

Laila. – There are things you may… may not understand, I recommend you, you should never talk about me with others, especially with your fiancée.

George. – Please do not make her part of… (moving his hands) this. (Thinking; I have never mentioned her to Human Resources, as far as everyone knows, I am single, maybe she knew about her on the hospital) Please chief, you know I am single…

Laila. – (Thinking; yes you are, but I could play with you this game) of course! Please do not become nervous around me, I imagined that this little sword was a gift from a your fiancée, you are so elegant and funny, well, I have to take a flight.

George. – (Opening the door) yes, yes, go, here is only work and reports to answer, letters to read, boring things, (looking to the medieval replica tiny sword on the table) nothing important.

Laila. – I know (closing the door), goodbye Mr. Apo.

George saw his gift and thought, his fiancée was a good and decent person, she should be with someone better, her feelings towards him were too human, and he was making a research to kill humans, he thought about the extra money, and thought about starting from zero somewhere else. At the end of the day, he saw again his desk, reports and letters about his researches, but at the bottom, there was a letter from his colleague, a cardiologist, the results from his fiancée; “the diagnosis is Ebstein’s anomaly… there could be some issues of cyanosis, especially on her hands and feet… it is better for her condition, to avoid the practice of sports, because of the heart’s weakness to pump blood… she could present fatigue at daily activities… it is remarkable to notice that she has never suffered, throughout her life, a issue that could kill her… she could become pregnant, but it is better if she takes some rest after the 1st trimester… please contact me if you have any doubts…”

George. – I can become a father, a father… (sobbing in silence) I can have a family.

He left his work late, due to some reports and letters that needed to be answered, and while going to his home, he saw a puppy, a beautiful and white puppy, furry, he got closer to the puppy and lifted it, the puppy was weak and hungry. He look at his watch and assumed that all the veterinarians were closed, so he took it home, a small apartment near by a square, when both were at the door, he thought how great would be to enter to a home where his wife and child would be joyful to see him with a furry puppy, the puppy barked to the appartment’s darkness, he closed the door and look to the right corner, “I could swear a shadow got out”, he fed the puppy and called to his fiancée, “Hi, there… no, I was working… yeah some reports and letters… yeah I know it is too late… I did not want to wake you up… you were tired yesterday and today… but I have great news… at the last minute I read it… yes! Your diagnosis is better of… yeah, I could go there, but I have some company… you… you will love it… a puppy… love you too” He drove to see his fiancée, the puppy slept while on the backseat, his mind was full of beautiful moments with his future family, he forgot about the shadow.

During that night Laila was walking through the streets and sensed black energy from a house that she saw several times, before her awakening, before the elderly man, before the black sphere, she saw the house again and from the house a being was looking at her, she remembered her real mother, been buried by her, and finally the skull from her father, she looked to the being and sensed its energy, similar to the invokers; however, it was trying to get out from the house, calling her, waiting to posses her, she felt exitment, a rival, another victim, a prey for her hands. Suddenly the being moved back and returned to its darkness, Laila felt dizzy and remembered about her flight, she walked faster to her home and packed her suitcase, carring her camera, and her black obsidian knife. She had dinner with her family and talked about business and her new trip. Her parents were uneasy with her decisions on spending so much money on trips, but proud on her enterprise. Before eating dessert she asked about the house to her parents.

Her father. – It is an old and abandon house.

Her mother. – A friend told me that it is haunted house!

Her father. – That is nonsense!

Laila. – Yes, those things do not exist.

Her mother. – I see… you 2 do not believe me, but my friend told me that her son, who wants to become a firefighter, almost entered there, but he fainted at the entrance, and the people from the neighbourhood had to take him to a hospital.

Laila. – But it could be just… (moving his right hand) he was lack of air, he ran quick, he did not eat well, who knows… his imagination, he wants to become a firefighter, so he has a lot to think.

Her father. – Come on! 1st he is not a child, he is 19 years old, 2nd he was going there because he is curious, not because (with a deep voice) “a dark presence guided him”.

Her mother. – You asked me, I am answering, that is all, but that house is haunted. And I do not want to walk on that street. (Silence for a while) Even if it is a false story.

Her father. – Laila, my dear. Please, please never live with fear, besides, teenanger always react like that to ask for attention, I know which friend is, and she is always looking to her cellphone, I am not complaining, she bought a lot from our previous enterprise, but! She never sees her (with a tender voice) baby-child.

Laila. – Mom, see! That is my point, people are always making stories, fantastic or terrific stories about an abandon house, to talk.

Her mother. – Ok, young woman, so tell me, why is her child, “the ignore child”, getting those horrible scars and scratches on his back again and again after that day!

Laila. – (Thinkng to herself; the more I keep to me, the better) he is a stupid, mom, dad say something!

Her father. – Honey, please, go and take your flight, it is getting late.

Laila. – See mom, he does not even care.

Her mother. – Alright, but next time, we talk about grandchildren.

Her father. – Agree with that.

Laila. – It is late (whistling)… bye. I will take a cab to the airport (leaving the room) bye guys!

Her mother. – I think it is time for her…

Her father. – I saw the other day on a magazine, that man… the one who was knocked out years ago, Xavier… Xavier something, his family is good…

Her mother. – George Rosesand Millais.

Her father. – Exactly!

Her mother. – I do not like him, Laila either.

Her father. – But…

Her mother. – Trust me, he was not real.

Her father. – A friend told you?

Her mother. – No one. An inner voice did.

Her father. – Nevertheless; a grandson from her would be…

Her mother. – Yes, a blessing.

Laila was leaving her home when he saw the elderly man and say to the taxi driver to pick him up. The taxi driver denied, because of; his look. Laila touched his right shoulder and made him change his mind. They lifted the elderly man and drove to the airport. A conversation took place inside the taxi.

Elderly man. – What were you doing at that house?

Laila. – I think it is useless to ask how did you know… (sigh) so it is better to ask… who is there?

Elderly man. – I know you are traveling to give “birth” to more Homunculus.

Laila. – Yes, it is danguerous to create them close to the people you love and care.

Elderly man. – A family…

Laila. – Tell me, why did not you begin again?

Elderly man. – I cannot tell you for this moment…

Laila. – We are talking about Homunculus and there is taxi driver half controlled by me and half not, and even you are not telling me about your personal life… (sigh) you are enough boring to be… what a thousand years old?

Elderly man. – Well… there is someone, who is interesant and we began to…

Laila. – (Moving her hands forward) to…

Elderly man. – To talk and share some time.

Laila. – Only talking… come on! Tell me, you know you want to be a gossip.

Elderly man. – She is different and knows about death.

Laila. – (Punching his left shoulder) I knew it! You have a relationship with a lady of the invokers, so who is she, the one from that haunted house or the partner from Satres?

Elderly man. – (Laughing) Satres’ partner!

Laila. – And she was the real reason why you wanted him dead!

Elderly man. – No, no, no, (laughing).

Laila. – Is my mother? Vanth?

Elderly man. – Whoa! Whoa!

Laila. – I was speaking, I do not know the rest… of the people we will kill, eventually.

Elderly man. – Let us count them, we have…

Laila. – Sethlans, who is burned and can send a person to a different place in this Realm or beteween the 2 Realms.

Elderly man. – 1. (Thinking; We have to be stronger to defeat him)

Laila. – Vanth, my mother, she enjoys the torture and killing, she can find her prey and hunt … (looking through the taxi’s window a father and his child walking together)

Elderly man. – 2. Vanth is the personal assassin under the comands of Sethlans.

Laila. – The baby, from whom I took all. I still do not know, how we are going to use her.

Elderly man. – 3.

Laila. – Satres, who could use time in his favour, but he was killed.

Elderly man. – 4. (Thinking; I hated that man)

Laila. – You know… sometimes I think, he was with the will to be killed.

Elderly man. – No, you were faster than him and me, but I did not want to stop you, I was afraid of you.

Laila. – It was like a rush to be free… free by killing someone, avoiding my human side, it is hard to explain, but I was toward him and… the sensation was so refreshing (bitting her upper lip), so tasteful that for a moment I felt, I was something else.

Elderly man. – Something else or someone else?

Laila. – A thing, like that being who showed, before we, before I met Sethlans.

Elderly man. – Yes, I do remember.

Laila. – Yes, like the being who is in my dreams, but it does not show equal…

Elderly man. – How does it show (with a tone of confusion) in your dreams?

Laila. – Like a human, like a place, like an animal, like people, like feelings, like…

Elderly man. – (Stopping her) it is better if you think in something else.

Laila. – You are right, but it could be like a giant, a giant made of bones, skulls and a pair of crimson eyes. Do you know something about that?

Elderly man. – No, I cannot help you with that. I can only search and find humans, not dark beings.

Laila. – But I think there is someone who can.

Elderly man. – Who?

Laila. – Another invoker, where is Pacha?

Elderly man. – Pacha was never an invoker, it is, well he is a fiend, he is a being that… (thinking for a while) could help us to collect, if we feed him well.

Laila. – I thought it was an invoker, because it got Menrva’s energy.

Elderly man. – It could be say that it is, sorry, he is a changeling, a replacement that went wrong.

Laila. – A disaster. I like what is Pacha.

Elderly man. – Do you? Wait to see his faces.

And with that clue, Laila knew that Pacha was a pawn to recruit. And she could do it, but to get him, it was necessary more Homunculus.

Laila. – Sure… so going back to the theme. There are 4 and Pacha is not an invoker, who are the rest?

Elderly man. – (Looking to her hazel eyes) Tvath, 5.

Laila. – She is my aunt for what I heard. She can resurrect dead people. Hey, wait a minute. Why did not you ask her to resurrect your family?

Elderly man. – She is dying. Everytime she uses that energy, she loses more of her.

Laila. – I see… it is noble that you would not take advantage of her.

Elderly man. – Thanks for understanding. She is peaceful, after you know her for a while.

Laila. – So she is your partner. This Realm is so small, modest and fay.

Elderly man. – Yes… it is like a fog that covers your eyes and you get lost, wondering, looking for something to understand in that gray palace, an overwhelming sensation of perdition and forsaken invades to your mind, then there is a being that realizes what you are without knowing you, without touching you, without be part of you, an observer, a tree before a silent forest, that is there for a reason, to guide you, to heal you, to make you dissapear into the fog, like a boat on the sea, like a boat on the sea of trees, like a person lost in the forest of suicides. But this person takes you out of there, to a palace of life, and heals your inner wounds, with her company and her eyes full of mercy. At the beginning is misery for you, misery that cleans your eyes, your tears, tears for your dead family, the fog is still there, you are still in darkness, in darkness you can hear whispering the dead, across the forest you are becoming mad, trying to hear the whispers of dead, until you accept to forget, then, the fog is not horrible, no, not anymore, the fog is everywhere, and especially inside you. The fog is the only conection with the Death’s Realm, inside the fog, you can be dead with them, whispers, tears, laughs, sometimes you, you try to touch again your dead family, but there is a limit, a sad line, if you cross it, you do not touch their spirits, a thorn. You say nothing and the last goodbye is worthless, without words for you to remain there, happy, next to nothing, but the tree and the fog are part of you. Now, the tree for your suicide is the tree of life. It is curious how things have a transmutation for someone, who lost all.

Laila. – (Touching her chest) I have never heard you like this.

Elderly man. – Thank you for listening to my past. (Smiling) Thank you.

Laila. – (Looking again through the taxi’s window) It is real peace to be with your past in the past, I assume that she was part of the invokers when you lost your family.

Elderly man. – She was not part of the plan, she wanted to learn more about her energy, so she went to Sethlans, he gave me the disease. Tvaths was the person who was healing me in the sanctum place. I trusted her, I did not know, she was part of the invokers.

Laila. – And my mother, what did she do?

Elderly man. – She never touched my dead family.

Laila. – That is new, at least for me!

Elderly man. – Tvath confesed me, years latershe was jealous of Uni, me and my son. She never wanted to hurt them. She asked for guidance to Lasa.

Laila. – What was yours son’s name?

Elderly man. – Tages. My little son. It was his nickname, related with the being, who helps you at the harvest time, his real name was Hercle. His mother taught him about… (with tears in his eyes) farming and stuffs like that, so we call him Tages, he was strong and had a worthy heart.

Laila. – Sethlans is provocative, always againts you.

Elderly man. – He is intelligent, clever and manipulative, never forget it, he knows, he knows about my feelings, so he is always pushing me to fight, to have fun.

Silence for a while

Laila. – Who is Lasa? Where can I find…?

Elderly man. – Her.

Laila. – Thank you. Where is she?

Elderly man. – In that house. She taught Tvath and Vanth about Death’s Realm. It is like a shadow to them, always near in silence. They are afraid of her. She knows how to control the black spheres.

Laila. – So Lasa is another invoker. And a master?

Elderly man. – She is the reason why the others enjoy be part of the invokers. She is the “guardian of tombs”, the 2nd in order after Sethlans, they have never had a good relationship, in fact she summoned once the… giant of death’s Realm to drag Sethlans to its Realm.

Laila. – I see… (thinking for a while) I need her to teach me.

Elderly man. – I will talk with her, she is not always at her home. I can find her always, thanks to this trick on my forearm.

Laila. – What about Sethlans? Is he afraid or has respect towards her?

Elderly man. – Sort of.

Laila. – So what is the reason? You do not want me to go there, to her house and why a house and not a cemetery?

Elderly man. – The house is a cemetery, she obtained the house after killing all the people inside and the new ones, who moved in, and so on. A haunted house in the middle of a city is more dangerous than hectares of graveyards.

Laila. – So people think, it is a haunted house.

Elderly man. – Part of the meaning is true.

Laila. – Why I cannot go there?

Elderly man. – You are not able to control the black spheres, yet.

Laila. – I assume that after some Homunculus, I will.

Elderly man. – You are not waisting your time with them, but the black spheres are the children of Death. Lasa can create them.

Laila. – Create them.

Elderly man. – And also the dark beings, who scratched you.

Laila. – It was her plan?

Elderly man. – I am not sure. But, go there when you are ready. Now I will leave you, I have to do things, I will find you, soon.

Laila. – Please, my friend take care.

Elderly man. – I know you will.

Laila. – Lasa the guardian of tombs. 6.

Elderly man. – You and me. 7. 8.

Laila. – Who is the last one?

Elderly man. – Leinth.

Laila. – Where is…?

Elderly man. – Her.

Laila. – Where is her?

Elderly man. – She was the wife of Aita. She could be your mother, but not. Aita wanted to rescue Menrva, instead of Leinth.

Laila. – His Wife! And why, how did she… (mute by the surprise)

Elderly man. – To tell the story short, she was the daughter of the other invoker, she ran away… Leinth wanted revenge and helped us to kill your father, Aita.

Laila. – So then, why the other ran away? I know you have the answer, forget your oath!

Elderly man. – What is the importance of the oath at this moments? (Thinking, one day I will face Orcus)

Laila. – Tell me…

Elderly man. – After the murder of my king, she ran away, because the power, of the invokers, was too much. It turned danguerous to her and her husband. She got ill after an event that produces the lost of her face… She ran away with her husband. She could use their energy to create or give “birth” to dark beings, those who get stronger at darkness and take people’s energy to still exist in this Realm. She has this “gift” like you. Her husband was not an invoker, he could regenerate the flesh, but Sethlans was not impress, she knew that her dark beings would not help to his cause, he did not wanted to have a fight against her, so he sent their daughter, they fought, but Leinth took advantage of her mother, Mania.

Laila. – “Mania”, she is still alive! Where is she?

Elderly man. – Please, hear me, Leinth was about to kill her, but Mantus, her father pushed her against some dark beings, she screamed too hard and I thought it was her end, (whispering) she was caught in between those things, Leinth absorbed them while losing her face, then she fainted… Her husband, Mantus, tried to run away, but was killed by the silent Vanth. Mania sent to them her dark beings, called spectres. They need human flesh and blood to exist, to stay in this Realm. Vanth was stopped. Mania took the corpse of her husband and with the help of the specters disappeared. After that incident, I took another oath, to never reveal her location.

Laila. – “Her location”, please tell me the complete story.

Elderly man. – I helped them to scape. The dark beings hurted Vanth to stop her. She almost died, of course Tvath healed her.

Laila. – What about his corpse?

Elderly man. – His corpse… may I say it later, for now, that is all you need to know.

Laila. – Lasa is at that house, she could teach me. Mania is somewhere else, she could advise me.

Elderly man. – If you begin to lose your integrity by contact Lasa, I will take you down. If you betray me or Mania, you will know me.

Laila. – Please, do not worry. A threat is to me like a cloud on a rainy day, it is part of the view.

Elderly man. – I do not want to, but I will.

Laila. – In fact I do not know where is Mania.

Elderly man. – You will.

Laila. – I think I might have a clue. But now we have to focus on the invokers. Let us count. 1 Sethlans the burned invoker. 2 Vanth the personal assassin. 3 Tvath the resurrecter. 4 Satres he is dead… 5 the baby, well she is growing. 6 Lasa the guardian of tombs 7 Leinth the being withour face 8 You. 9 I am the last. Mania ran away so she is out. Menrva is dead.

Elderly man. – Correct. I see we are almost there. Please let me here.

Laila. – Not a problem. (Touching the taxi driver again. The taxi stops and the elderly man goes out, closing the door) I will wait for you.

The elderly man walked to get lost in the shadows, traveling to another place, to be with his partner. Laila took her flight, to discover new places, from where she could absorb the energy she needed to create Homunculus, pawns for her, to control Pacha, to use him at her will. Laila thought that it was everything going fine, according to her plan. She wanted to contact Lasa, kill Vanth, Sethlans, Leinth, Tvath, and find Mania. Furthermore; her manipulation of black energy was getting stronger, but the only thing to take precaution was her gragility to use the black energy, it was going unstable, and her fears about being eating from her “children” was there, all day, all night long. She decided to stop her “child”, but she had to wait for the perfect moment.

When she arrived to her hotel room, she called to her new enterprise and demand for more human experiments. She send her “child” to absorb more black energy from the local cemetery. She absorbed it and create 2 more Homunculus. But faceless, only the human shape, after it, she materilized her 1st Homunculus, as Satres, she made it slept, she took her black obsidian mirror and began to cut its limbs and core, that knife was sharp enough to cut and penetrate its skin. She started to eat it, the pleasure to eat your own creation, the skill of dismemberment had to be practice, she saw the 2 new Homunculus and began to think a place where she could eat them, not a hotel’s bedroom. “After the 1st bite, I realized, I am not afraid of losing my power, only my mind, the body is a thing”

She began to talk alone while eating the Homunculus.

Laila. – My honor must not be blind by my pride. My honor is to put my humble reasons forward my own bravery. I should do more, absorb many, destroy all. I have to focus on my target. I have to focus on my force and use my Homunculus, yes, use them to create death on this Realm.

Laila. – I have to go out, my mind is falling, falling in thoughts as many drops has the rain, my mind is fragmented in several pieces. Why I eat it? Why I eat my Homunculus, it had too many black energy, it is twisting me, what is real? What I must not do? I want to go out and eat flesh and drink blood, I am a shadow, I am a dark being.

Laila. – My hands are getting big, growing in shape of claws, the nails can catch a wraith or a wight, I want to retain them under my “web”, my web is my energy, my fingers across the Realm, around this Realm, my own Realm.

Laila. – I am warped, my body is not human, my soul is gone, my eyes see the dark beings and the fog is attaching me, like a knot around the neck.

Laila. – Me.

Laila. – My life.

Laila. – I have to liberate me! I am under the land. I have to… contain this energy and create. And create.

Laila. – I have to be the head for those crimson eyes.

After 4 days, Laila was feeling better, it is obvious to declare that eating… it, was enough for her to feel compleaty sick. While she was in bed agonizing, she tried to maintain her mind focus in what to do after. She wrote all her targets, she dreamed again about those crimson eyes, about millions of dark beings, alike her Homunculus, crawling from under the land and hunting the living, draging them to devour wildly, millions of humans dying of starvation, disease, and their flesh falling apart. She enjoyed her dreams, it was a distraction from her sickness. And it was a quiet way to guide the targets from her experiments and her last idea of having enough black energy to open the vortex, Homunculus could recolect the dark energy, but it was too dangerous to handle herself alone, so she needed to find Pacha and dominate its mind, or both of its minds, to condense the dark beings around him. The white energy had to be handle by her, but since it was unbalanced, she was sure that all the invokers should be dead before trying to open the vortex… or at least the majority. Those thoughts on her mind were abstract ideas, but on the practical world, she was thinking on how to use Homunculus within the states of the matter; having her hands in fire-plasma, in water-liquid, in air-gas, in land-solid, all to drag energy and beings without getting hurt… the practical world was to analize, once you know how it works from the inside, it is easier to reproduce it, to control it and guide it. Hands of dark beings in many places, within objects, many fingers, one mind, all around your Realm, all around to protect you, to defend you, to catch, to sofocate, millions of hands to control, hands to use, to control your space at your time, at your will, like a spider web, like a spider, waiting for the insects to get caught, on its disease, on its desire, on its plan, then to hold what it is important to create more Homunculus, beings with a will, to hunt, once there are on their places, like kinghts and pawns on a chess board, the war can be win as soon as it begins, the spider gets its preys, eats its bodies, collects their corpses and adorns its space with the remains. New catacomb’s halls will be established. The giant from Death’s Realm will be summoned.

After some nights of dreams, thoughts, nigthmares, illusions and digestion, Laila went out to walk, around the city, where she saw an elderly woman playing her violin, she gave to her some coins, heard the sound of them hitting others; beautiful melody, her violin, the coins’ sound, the help, the music was in the ambient. Laila thought on her while walking, she continued to hear the music, Laila felt dizzy and fell on her knees, she was close to tavern’s light, she saw her shadow, she saw things getting near her, some dark beings approached, she sensed them and turned her eyes white, at will, her 2 Homunculus arised from her shadow, the Homunculus helped her “mother”, absorbing the dark beings. Laila understood that her “children” acted by their own will, not by hers, so she had to have an eye on them, she knew, she knew that those beings could be another problem, but she needed them, she needed to save time, she needed to create more to be safe. All beings attack, all defend, all hunt, all are violent.

Laila. – Step 1. Homunculus can get dark beings, Pacha is half dark being and half human. I want Pacha as my allied, I need to feed him, my hand on land. I need the Homunculus to hunt or atract dark beings, wraiths, ghosts, specters, wight to guide Pacha… Step 2. Sethlans, he needs to focus in another field, Aita’s skull could be useful. My Homunculus are my hands on air. Step 3. I need to bring death as a disease, an outbreak, to form a pandemic, all the human’s energy absorbed in Pacha, guided by me, to open the vortex, what I need is to make this disease part of fire, immune, disease is my fire hand. Step 4. I need to obstruct the water’s streams, so the infected will die faster, water is my liquid hand. But more important, I need to destroy the invokers, as long as they think everything is according to their plan. The delicate part is to catch them in a safe place… I need to visit after this an old friend.

Laila. – Humankind can transmutate in shadow beings, then in Homunculus and finally in black spheres. Darkness and life.

Laila. – After this I have to travel more.

She spent some time traveling, going to haunted places and absorbing the black energy, creating and experimenting with her Homunculus.

During a trip, Laila began to have again those dreams, she decided to write about all the experiences as a narrative book, with the purpose to have her life on notes, on paper, so if her mind would gone, at least she could have a back up; writen in an encrypted story, not a diary easy to read. She went to buy a notebook, she found a notebook, a yellow and bound notebook, she thought that could be a nice cover for her thoughts. While she was writing, she began to remember all her life, she decided to make a change and write about a man with a different perspective of life, who does not see the reality, all what is real for Laila; was a fantasy for the subject in the story, but never bending the facts, in her benefit. A writing night, at the hotel, she was doubting about how to continue her story, when suddently from a corner’s shadow the elderly man arise fast as a lightning.

Elderly man. – What are you writing?

Laila. – It is some memories… (looking to the gray and dark sky) hey, it will rain, it is been a while since I did not see rain and smell it. I know that we did not see us in time, but do you mind if I leave you here with my memories, you can look through my life, it is not scary, it is a horrible representation.

Suddenly the sky opened and the rain began to fall, some lightnings were seen and thunders were heard.

Elderly man. – I do not mind here to stay, alone with your mind.

Laila. – Please do not submerge too deep.

Elderly man. – I did once, and it was a chaos.

Laila. – (Smiling) good bye.

Elderly man. – Take an umbrella and a rain coat!

Laila. – (Looking through the window) Everything that must fall, has already fallen.

Elderly man. – Like your mind in madness? Do you like your mind rolling around mudd?

Laila. – My mind, my life, my spirit, my body, my death; all is not madness, all is mine, all is temporary.

Laila left the hotel, she felt the rain and smell it, she got more ideas on her story, on her targets, on herself. While she was walking, she saw a vigil, she put a foot inside, but did not enter, she saw a candle light flickering, like no other, then the relatives were crying and others hugging to each other, some were looking to the coffin, others were talking about the horrible disease the deceased had and others were complaining on the bad treatment. Laila was at the door for some minutes absorbing the energy and called her 2 Homunculus to stay at the shadows, she began to send them instructions on how to absorbthe energy, like a mother lion teaches her cubs on hunting a pray, she then recognize someone among the relatives, a girl, well a teenanger at the time, a girl she saw once, at another vigil, a girl dressed with a black dress and a violet hat, she has grown beauty and thin, Laila wondered if the deceased was closer to the girl like the last vigil both shared, then funeral music was played, the bells and the violins, the music elegant as the candles’ light were not flickering, she sensed that something was not quite right, she ordered to her children to go away and stay at the shadows, she entered and sat, a woman approached and invited a cup of coffee, she accepted, her cloths were wet, however; Laila did not bother on taking them out, she wanted to see the face of the dead. While she was drinking the coffee, she saw the vapor rising and creating forms of nothing and all, the vapor of a cup, like thousand souls in a tornado, all screaming, all trying to escape and all disappearing after the vapor has risen. She finished her cup of coffee. Relatives were talking about the last days of the deceased, “it is impressive how people remember the last days of others, during the vigil and do not remember their ordinary days”. She stood up and went to see the face of the dead, the coffin was closed, Laila made a friendly gesture to the relatives, they doubted about her. Laila opened the coffin; the candles flickered one more time and then faded, the deceased one had not a face, it was a trap, she tried to run, but the relatives caught her.

Laila was dragged to the center of the vigil, the teenanger hit her with an iron stick. Laila woke up feeling sick and dizzy, the dead one was next to her, naked, his body with scars and scratches, he had no face’s skin. Laila touched him to understand and try to “see” what happened to him, she found nothing, but her hand turn completely numb, her eyes turn white, against her will, she stopped touching him, she thought on calling the Homunculus, nevertheless; she wanted to know what was going on. She stood up and began to see her surroundings, no one, the dead one, nothing, but the white walls. After some minutes, she began to think that the trap was planned by the invokers, who was brave enough to do it? She sensed nothing. An hour passed. A day passed. She began to be hungry. The dead one began to rot, she saw the skin turned in diferent colors and the smell was unpleasant. His eyes closed, his stillness lost the movility and as a mummy the body remains to be beheld. His hands having all the air he does not need, all the oxigen his lungs will not breath, his fingers do not feel the cold below, his back will never again have pain. His chest naked, his heart not beating and the silence is like outside. His legs and toes are not weak to tremble either strong to hold the weight of a corpse, the last time he ran was to experience life as a young, now the floor of concrete is the static yard to travel to another Realm.

The dead one began to decompose fast as a day ends, the faceless man was there to stay and send a lesson to Laila; your creations can kill you, if you let them survive. A dreadful company, speachless and cruel. However, she enjoyed the company and began to touch him, without any remorse, and began to sense. Her eyes still white, her curiosity at edge. Laila sensed the dead one. At night Laila felt worse, so she remembered, the basic instict on death and life, survive. She began to eat the dead body. “The taste of death is refreshing”. She enjoyed more eating him than be his companion. She reached the skull and admired it for a while. She hold it up, she saw it again and decided to create from his energy a Homunculus, this could be different, this could be a solution to escape, furthermore; to bring more black energy and flesh. The Homunculus was small as a child, smaller than the others. The Homunculus began to bring small parts, then bigger, then half a corpse, then a compleate body, at the end Laila was there like 2 weeks. Her eyes turned hazel again and she sensed that her last Homunculus was getting weak, it was vanishing, so she materialized it and ate it. She felt that her body was in some how stronger, not for the human flesh, but for the Homunculus. She sat down and tried to sleep. The other Homunclus were called. She made them stay there at her side. She woke up by a desperate screams, she saw her Homunculus being “eating” by black spheres, while trying to escape, they screamed, she heard their screams coming from within, she understood that them had a conscience, those creations were evolving into independent beings, could not be always under control. The black spheres finished “eating” them. Laila saw a person, a woman walking to her, her face, the teenager from the vigil, her face change as ice melting, her face changed to a elderly woman, her face was expressing power of death over life.

Lasa. – Finally we meet. Laila it is time for you to get Pacha, to kill the rest of the invokers and I will open the vortex. It is me, Lasa, who tells you what to do, ir order to fullfil our destiny. I saw your intentions to stop them, but you cannot control all your Homunculus, your children are wild, they only obey you while they take their part, you, of course, do not see them eating and drinking at your back, you can control alive beings, but they could betray you. You need to control as I do these black spheres, for the moment go and find Mania, your old friend and follow her to the cave, where the stones are, where the changeling could take place. Go for now and remember that I know you.

Laila fainted. She woke up at the hotel. She saw again herself on the mirror. All scratches and coagulated blood. She decided to stop the creation, the birth of Homunculus, until she would need them. She wrote her experiences on her yellow book. She slept for 2 days. She called her parents. Her parents told her that everytime she travels, they read again her letter. She saw again the rain and healed her wounds. Before sleep, she brushed her hair, it began to fall again, she felt the cancer was coming back to stay as a baby inside her. The next day she decided to travel, to meet with her old friend, and take a look at the subterranean cave. Her dying state could wait.

Laila dreamed about a world were hunger and thirst were the reasons to kill all relatives by not having what to eat, where to sleep safe, what to drink, where to run and who to trust. The drought had conquered the lands and the disease was dragging under earth. A safe zone was established to control the death’s expansion, without luck to the victims of a desolated world. The skies around the mountains began to open while the rain falls, as the light fades. All the people running to protect their bodies of disease; a cursed unleashed with the purpose of creating desperation, fear, pain, desolation and madness. The living people escaping from the dead ones… the dead ones never ending to die as they feed on life; on their remains, on others, on weak animals. The plants, flowers, roots and seeds are a chaos to combine. The gray skies are ruled by clouds, and the sun is not shinning over the land of winter. On a rainy night of the last cycle, a winter’s night, a beholder began to open the vortex and a summoner dies in silence, the hunger and thirst are the grains to prepare a Realm. Laila woke up, coughing on the seat of an airplane, he heard disturbing noises, she was there in the middle of her flight; sweating and touched new scratches around her neck, some were bleeding out. The flight attendants helped her and did not talk to her after, never again, for the rest of the flight.

Laila. – (Thinking; again this attack, at least it was not strong as the last… when could be the last one?) Please, miss, flight attendant, may I have some water? please, it is so embarrasing, it is a condition (Thinking; a condition like my old friend, she needs to tell me more) (Receibing a bottle of water and a plastic glass) Thank you, (drinking the water and then whispering to the window) this could be the key to subde many if not all people, then end all their lives, not ruling over them; all slaves with futile work. I do not exist to be, I live to end you… ending all. This moment called life is a particle that lacks of conformity, it is always demanding more and less, both at the same time, the paradox of a forward path and a stacionary stop, the power and the sheep, the frenzy of pleasure and the forgiveness before torture, it is a lame equilibrium. My illusion is to help all of us to be in a state where nothing could disturb us, like a paradise, but in a place where desire or pain are gone, untouchables of the affect’s effect, if we entered into the scheme of suffering, it could be accepted as normal condition, where all suffering in our bodies and minds, all is so normal that we do not get affected, the effect disappears and we are untouchables, the scheme of suffering is death. All dead on my hands.

Laila. – This illusion could turn in a dream; inside the dreams, the objects and simbols are not ruled by a single format, on the contrary, those are in the concept of what we will give them, by previous information or traumatic impression… I do not what to rule over the dust of death, I see the life as a meaningless figure, I am a meaningless figure. I do not have desires, I am creating, I am the result of 2 sources, acceptance and acquiescence. I am not important to this Realm, I am here, my children will also return to me, I could eat or I could bury them, I am using them against my rivals, that is a metaphor of power, is that a metaphor of power?

Laila. – (Whispering) my Homunculus could attack me, Lasa created the black spheres, those eat my children, my Homunculus are wild, are not they?, all in all, they have my energy… wild creatures traveling through the shadows and eating human flesh, waiting in the darkness to drink human blood, wild and savages as my commands, they could have killed me before, they screamed when they were attacked, she was not there, her black spheres entered and they brought her in, they were there to eat me as before, she was not Lasa, she was the other one, the one without face, what was her name?, Levan?, Limna?, Leiv?, Li-li-li-li-li… oh yes! Leinth, it was a trap, but she had a back-up plan, my children, my Homunculus saved me, and now I am guiding her to Mania… well I can play this game, too. How to fight back? Fight against those black spheres. Homunculus are weaker… and how did she learned to control the black spheres, as Lasa?

During the flight she thought on those themes. At her arriving she had a plan, one-way-plan, if not done excellent, she would end dead. A plan like a spider web, patience is the best weapon against the strongest. She waited for her suitcase. She took a taxi and controlled the taxi-driver’s mind. “Take me to the local cemetery” “It is closed… of course” “Wait for me”, “1st a Homunculus to replace Satres and then…”

Some houres after, “Take me to the mountains were a forest is deep as this dream, where the rocks and flowers are the allieds of butterflies and fireflies”, it was a long ride, the taxi driver in that trance was a puppet or a mannequin, a toy covered in skin, “Take this money and forget my face, go to your home and have a few nightmares”, the taxi is gone, she stayed there and waited throughout the consecutive nights.

Laila. – Change the perspective and the results change.

Mountains at night, moonlight reaching the horizon and fog covering the “here”, which is every step the walker takes. The trees’ shadows can block the reason and hide our logical perspective, in a place where nothing is safe and “nothing” leaves a mark, but rather takes it all. A being walks bellow the moonlight, where the fog is a white blanket, a pallor ambient, the mother of Homuculus, is creating her children, no one needs or should see those creations, only the white eyes of their mother, deformed and shaped like humans, many of them, children as flowers, children falling like seeds, seeds to be sown in a vast land, waiting to bloom as deform beings, waiting for their day to act in order of their creation, sown as seeds to make a beauty mountain, sowing them to have a reserve, like caught flies on a spider web, the children wait to be awaken as a volcan’s eruption, waiting magma, burning lava, to burn all, to put into groups some people and to divide others, fire can be a gloomy game. A being imitating a spider, its web, its plan, its patience to hunt, to set up tramps, a spider enjoys eating from the dead ones, to feed its babies and it is normal. A thin being walking in the darkness of a mountain, among the trees and the rocks, creating life, enjoying dead and kissing its children to awake them, to give them a purpose and hide them. The moonlight shines as the fire of a fading candle in a long ceremony. All is done beneath a canopy of stars. A thin being hides its children as it disappears in the middle of trees and rocks.

Laila. – Come to me all the sick ones and die at my feet. Gather here at this land and starve to death. Become ill, let your skin turn gray, red spotted and feel how it is rotting. All will be suffering and pain, from inside killing through outside, ruining you. What I need is your energy and bones. Millions and then all humans will beg for Death’s Realm. This is my legacy. Half and half, united as me, with this black obsidian mirror I see, with this black obsidian knife I slit life. I create, I absorbe, I am the white energy, it ends soon, this, here, will end.

Laila dedicated the next years to absorband forward to create. However she enjoyed traveling to especific places in order to know and apply new characteristics to her “children”, new Homunculus were buried and sent to mountains, establishing a security perimeter according to her plan. She sent one of her Homunculus to bring the elderly man, who did not like that, to search some interesting people, once he found them, she sent a pair of Homunculus to drag them as the shadows move back when the sunlight is raising, people disappeared, no one asked questions, no one knew, she selected them, she sent the corpses or remains to her “enterprise”, the laboratory continued with its experiments, the results were improving and at the end of that year, they could create a virus with the qualities needed, but the last proof was to create it immune to fire.

Laila had to wait for it. Meanwhile she got entretained with; taking photograph of ancient scaffolds, painting gallows and hanged prisioners, read the past of human bones, sleep on a strecher of an abandoned asylum, serving wine to their guests with little poison, eat the limbs of dismemberd people.

Years passed and Sethlans sensed that Laila was becoming what he needed and what he feared, although he could not sense her dark beings, Homunculus, he took precautions on her, counting on Tvath by summoning her.

Sethlans. – (Moving around, inside his hut, thinking what to do, pretending to pay attention to the nature’s sounds, looking to Tages) according to the plans, this is not good. (He continued walking around, thinking what to do, sometimes there is not an answer, other times the answer is hard to say) It is getting dark, soon the night will cover all and my mind could not focus more, soon my thoughts will chocke me, defeat with a strategy; persuasion in frustration.

Sethlans. – (At night) my eyes can see all and there is not an aswer, yet. (Hearing to a knock at the door, outside darkness, inside doubts, who could be?, what is there, problems and doom, solutions and union, what?, the memory forgets, the fear of opening the door increases, he is powerfull, but has fear, has doubts, not a god, he is only a weak human, walking to open what is already known) Oh! It is only you… Tvath, I forgot about you, (sitting down) I need to sit down and tell you my thoughts.

Tvath. – What could I do? I am not your servent, not a messenger. (Entering to the hut, she takes out a burned skull from an old bag and puts it on the table, Tages surrounds it and enters through the right eye hole) I see your pet likes this old… king.

Sethlans. – I see how our problems are growing with every day (touching to the burned skull), it seems that ravens are flying back to the tree.

Tvath. – You should get her…

Sethlans. – She is not ready yet!

Tvath. – I think that you are afraid of losing your power, again, you could not face Menrva, and now you are afraid of Vanth’s daughter, only running to madness by your fear, by your desperation over what is on Death’s Realm, you have created Pacha when you betrayed Menrva, the master that is teaching Laila has also gained power, you killed his family, you promised us this Realm, we wanted to rule, now Death is growing, she will control it, you cannot see that our lives are in her hands. You are trapped, her master brought her here only to use you as a tool, and you believed in your arrogance that you sent her to wake her connection with Death.

After hearing those words Sethlans decided to act, to attack, but in his arrogance there was no error, not a single for his previous actions, he closed his eyes and covered them, pretend to sleep and then answered.

Sethlans. – Pacha is my aberration, Laila is my totem and all the invokers of death are my pets!

Tvath. – Like you said, “ravens are flying back to the tree”, I hope when they arrived, I will be ready to defend myself. Not fight, defend, from Death, from It, there is no escape… and you know it.

Sethlans. – (Trembling by rage) I am going to control Death, its crimson eyes searched for me, I am what all fear. I was an intermediary, now I am It. The eternal slave who feed the Realm is now the Ruler, all is about power, all is about who are your pets, your fingers control all and they cannot betray you, all is about power!

Tvath. – What happed to you? Who were you before the invokers?

Sethlans. – (Grinding his teeth) I was the ferryman, the shadow of Death, the hands to reach souls, to catch spirits, all across the land, on the other side of the rivers, I have waited for my oblation, I decided that gold is not enough, power is all, power is what gives value to a golden metal, without power, it is a chemical element, to use and to throw to a dark river!

Tvath. – Karun! The transporter of dead.

Sethlans. – Do not say my name! Do not say my name! Do not say my name! Do not say my name! Do not say my name! Do not say my name! Do not say my name! Do not say my name! Do not say my name! Do not say my name!

Tvath. – Now I see… you are “the only who dominate Death”, but that is a lie, you have never dominated it! You closed its Realm, to create your own, that is why you need to open it, to absorbDeaths energy, that is why you personificate it to us, Death is more than a being, death is energy, Death is waiting for you. You are… you were never free, Menrva had at least a minor will; “brightness and death” were her last words, bringing peace, but you, you want to kill everything, to become the new ruler… that is why; you ordered us to kill Aita, he was supposed to open the vortex, you lier! My loyalty is to the ancient shadow, I was so wrong, you manipulated us all, those crimson eyes are hunting you, death is what you deserve!

Sethlans. – (Uncovering his eyes) these are my truth eyes, behold what is fierce!

Tvath. – (Looking to the green eyes turning bluish-gray eyes. Getting dizzy and allowing him to guide her) my dead body in your will, it is condemned to the other side, it is the weather so cold to me that I need your protection, it is my mind so broken that you are what it needs, I am so empty that my life is worthless, but it is what you need to establish your Realm, your kingdom, here and there, today and tomorrow…

Sethlans. – So let it happen! This is a war…

Tvath. – War is Death’s game, (recovering her control) you are playing with fire!

Sethlans. – look at my burned face! War is a power game, I want to obtain power, not a Realm, not some followers without mind!

Tvath. – Say what you want… (slapping his face) you are not powerful enough!

Sethlans. – I have the power of a violent divinity! I am the apostasy to life, creation and fertility, I want to destroy all, everything I have once touched, all at once, all what Death wanted to have little by little! My passion leads me to be the demise of life. My child will bring fear, fear to continue breathing. I have learnt the only hope for my purpose; patience in time, patience in awakening my queen.

Tvath. – You are sick and twisted. (Leaving the hut) I will invoke death through my body.

Sethlans. – (Sending her back to him and touching her face) yes you will, at your time, but now, revive Laila’s father, who is the king to slay his daughter. Per contra, he burned my body, but liberate my mind.

Laila got the news, the virus was done. She had to travel to see the results for herself, she only could think on the proof. She tested with fire, it did not die. The only “problem”, it had to entered through an open wound or a pretty bad hemorrhage.

Laila began to search for Pacha, but not a word about it to her friend, the elderly man. She wanted to teach him how to live like a normal human, to read, in order to have conversations over his Realm and learn his killing delights and his connection with the dark beings, such as the language and instincts.

She decided to visit and meet Lasa, inside her haunted house. She would guide her to find Pacha. Laila entered to her house and left the Homunculus at the shadows. Lasa was already waiting her at her house. 4 black spheres were inside, Laila’s breathing incrised, and the 2 women finally met there.

Lasa. – (Offering Laila to sit down on some dusted furniture) please… this is not a court.

Laila. – It is strange to meet you, I sense that this is so normal, but not a déjà vu.

Lasa. – It is like when rain falls, it happen, and this is this.

Laila. – I did not know how to dress or what to say, however… it is great to be in front of you.

Lasa. – It is indeed.

They talked for some minutes, their energy connected fast. Lasa told all she needed to know, to avoid Sethlans’ manipulation. Laila stopped for some seconds and then asked about the black spheres.

Laila. – What are those (pointing to black spheres)?

Lasa. – The dark beings you can create…

Laila. – My children, my Homunculus.

Lasa. – …those are the half of the energy, back then they were men, they used to be alive like you and me. If you have killed enough, then you could turn your Homunculus into a black sphere, I know, I have walked the same path as you are walking now. Kill your parents, make them suffer while they are breathing, fire is the weapon.

Laila. – I see. I will have to think on something. So allow me to ask to be 100% sure; could I use the energy from the Homunculus to create a black sphere?

Lasa. – Yes. But you have to be “allowed” by the ancient shadow. There is a path, you are taken there, on the sides are voices, do not hear them, defend from any temptation, see the black spheres change to catch you, let it happen and absorb their energy in defense… if you can come back, you would be able to create them by using the black energy.

Laila. – So I would create them. I have to acquire more energy for that.

Lasa. – Yes.

Laila. – Are they a loyal to their creator?

Lasa. – They serve me. I command my black spheres.

Laila. – I like the idea.

(After a while of talking)

Lasa. – By the way I am taking the oportunity to apologyze for hurting you, I wanted to iniciate you, before Sethlans caught you, now he is afraid.

Laila. – And?

Lasa. – The black spheres are my creatures, Sethlans does not have any, but Leinth, Vanth and Tvath. You have those Homunculus. Leinth creates the black spheres, but they consumed too much of her energy, that is the reason why she is in decay, she is weak, consider that information relevant if you face her. Sethlans cannot manipulate her for too long. Leinth has no face, so trust only what you can sense.

Laila. – What about Mania? About Menrva?

Lasa. – Mania (thinking for a while) she, she is gone, you know where. She can create life and also dark beings, her spectres… she will turn into one, after her death. Menrva wanted to bring Death’s Realm to end the suffering, not a genocide, end this twisted Realm by the white energy… Sethlans is resentful of what he lived. So when the oportunity was there, well your friend… an elderly man already told you.

Laila. – I see, Mania, well before this era, I met her as a young woman who wanted to get a normal life, also getting married, now I sense 3 daughters, and a protector being, I think, well it might be, Menrva.

Lasa. – Yes, she is.

Laila. – I thought Menrva was another shadow being or something when she used her body to bring Pacha.

Lasa. – I think… Menrva had a last trick and she is using it to help or observe Mania. Considering it, I sent a black sphere to cover her energy from Sethlans, I thought you saw it.

Laila. – Where?

Lasa. – Above the small farm.

Silence for some minutes.

Laila. – Why my friend, the elderly man was needed? I know it is part of a revenge from Sethlans.

Lasa. – He was cursed by Sethlans, we were there… I am ashamed from that day till now.

Laila. – But he could help us finding Sethlans, if we need to.

Lasa. – Yes, he knows it. The black spheres are also able to hurt badly Sethlans, so he manipulated Leinth to bring them, she is blinded by his power. Aita understood what she wanted, not us, (breathing) I enjoy life, but this is my oportunity to give you the full chance to start again this Realm, but I know you want to end this.

Laila. – Yes.

Lasa. – So we agree. I will guide you to find Pacha and use him as the necromancer to communicate with the dead and collect them, then as a summoner to open the vortex. I only ask you to end with all.

Laila. – (Smiling and turning her eyes white) end all.

Lasa told to her the secrets from Tinia, all she needed to know. Lasa showed to Laila the tombs she guards. “After some time you begin to collect these things and appreciate them, I personally remember their corpses and after so much time, the skulls are dust, the bones are burned, only the tombs I can guard… but it is also to make these black spheres hide among the tombs, they are cover up with the energy of the wight and ghosts. I will tell you a secret, materialize them inside a human and you will get what you are looking for that sickness”

Laila agreed with her recommendation.

Laila. – What about those children, the ones that Sethlans eats, from where they come?

Lasa. – I gave them to him, those are his food and he reads the unknown, but not all.

Laila. – And what are you?

Lasa. – I am the barren invoker of life… conceiving dead creatures, but let us do not talk about me, it is pouring down and it is too late.

Laila. – (Thinking; death is energy) I want to trust you.

Laila saw outside the house; rain, wind and coldness on this Realm. She smiled and then Lasa showed to Laila the rest of Sethlans’ toga, an Aegis made by a simple man, not a god. the rest burned in the fire, Laila touched it and smiled. “I could create the perfect shadow being with his energy!”

Lasa told her to close her eyelids and open her white eyes. She began to control a black sphere. She fed with some of her Homunculus. Once she separated her energy from it, some old scratches began to bleed and the red spots from her tattoo hurt her.

Lasa. – Now that you are in that state, tried to find Pacha.

Laila. – (Stuttering) I feel like… I am dying… I am… this is what I want the… (standing up and talking with wrath) the rest of humans to suffer!

Lasa. – Wrath is your legacy, and pain in the body.

Laila. – Pacha is between the 2 Realms, he has this all day, everyday, he is hungry and confused.

Lasa. – Find the being between Realms and guide him to summon the giant of Death’s Realm. You will find a particular relation from your white energy to control it; similar to control your children and the black spheres.

Laila. – I sense Pacha, he is in pain, the dark beings are taking parts of him, he wants to eat human flesh, he wants to kill, he wants to drink human blood, he wants to return to his original form, he got born through Menrva and inside his mind are only screams and hate, his human side is weak and wants to end his hungry and rage, his fiend side is growing in control and in power, that part is calling the shadow beings.

Lasa. – Talk to him as the being he is…

Laila. – Come here you the only who drinks the bevarage of death… there is no other thing as the cure made of poison… you could open the vortex through a body and became the last shadow… the shadow of the giant of the Death’s Realm, you must come here with me and be part of the demise… I control you, I will liberate you, I will burn your human side, you must drink the bevarage and become a being with IT.

After that she fainted. Lasa was proud of her.

When she woke up she felt headache, and her scratches hurt her like a recent burn.

Laila. – I think it was a dream… his thoughts somehow an echo of words;

”Noisɘs from ƚʜɘ wigʜƚs ɒround ƚʜɘ ƚombs, scrɘɒms from ƚʜɘ crɒzy pɘoplɘ, wrɒiƚʜs of bɒbiɘs, sick ɒll ƚʜɘ ʜumɒns, sick ɒll of ƚʜɘm, ƚʜɘir flɘsʜ, ƚʜɘir blood is rɘfrɘsʜing, ƚʜɘir nɘcks brɘɒk ɒs brɒncʜɘs ɒround my ʜɒnds, ƚʜɘ wings of dɘɒƚʜ ɒrɘ closɘd, ƚʜɘ firɘ burns ƚʜɘ ʜumɒns, ƚʜɘ wingƨ of dɘɒƚʜ fly covɘring ƚʜɘsɘ lɒnds ɒs ƚʜɘ moon ɘclipsɘ sƚɒy“

Laila. – What is that?

Lasa. – His other part.

Laila. – Horrible and hideous.

Lasa. – I have to let you go. It is too much. But… you know that every person who dies has a particular energy, you are absorbing it to create your “children”… may I tell you that if you want to control the black spheres, you ought take only the essential, as you have taken the energy from Satres, he has been focusing his energy on time, you have absorball his energy and most of it was put in a Homunculus, you have little from him, save it for a good cause.

Laila. – Yes, I agree… (thinking to herserlf; I ought conserve it. I am intersted in Tvath’s energy, it is bad luck to not have any of Mantus’ energy)

Lasa. – One last thing, if you pass the limit of any other invoker, you will hear the ancient shadow’s hum, untill you become a puppet of its will.

Laila walked out and a black sphere entered to her black obsidian mirror. Laila went back to her home, ate and talked with her parents. Her parents asked about all the details, Laila could not tell them all, but one story was taken in consideration for that talking. “Did you guys notice that my sunglases are always new, well they look like new? (after some doubting looks she continued talking), yes, yes, I know, it is a detail, insignificant, but the true is diferent for me, at least, you will understand after I tell you, and that is the best reason for me to travel, no, it is not to buy new sunglases, and the same style, well… I always lost my sunglases in a way or another, and I am too lazy to search for them once they are gone, so I buy the same, yes that part of the story is pathetic, and a little corny, now the good part is; the change, I believe it is a metaphor of having a different point of view while I am on a trip and I take that point of view with me after the trip” Her parents smiled and offered dessert. “She is different” they talked at the bedroom, “She is our daughter”.

At midnight, she added a note on her yellow book.

“There is this giant shadow behind the eternal flickering light.

There is this vast shadow envolving the light. What is energy? No more than the resonance of the proxy.

What is the proxy? No more than a being, not made, but the all and nothing, all goes and return in an echo, the resonance and the returning echo create an alteration, the being is the death and the alteration is life”

The next day Laila went to her enterprise to see the results of the research, the subject of proof, a child with several and recent cuts on his skin, he was standing naked inside a cage made of tempered glass, Laila authorized to open the valves, soon the cage was filled with a black gas, due to it no one could see what was happening inside, the child began to scream, the noises from his scratches horrified the personal, Laila sensed the suffering, Laila sensed how the virus entered the child’s lungs and through the wounds, it was claustrophobic for the child. After some minutes of screamings, the personal were appalled no for the child’s screams, but for the smile on Laila’s face, her eyes turn slowly white. The child began to feel sick and dizzy, he fainted and some red spots appeared on her skin around the wounds. Laila sensed that the virus had to be improved, the time was not on her side, so she had to make the black sphere enter inside the cage made of tempered glass, she materilized it and united to the black gas, entering the child’s body, possessing his flesh and tissues, the child soon woke up and began to hit the walls, he made some marks, hitting and screaming so intense that the doctors thought he was burning, his flesh began to rot, but not falling in pieces, the pain was total, he could not move as he wanted, his fists lost the meat, his legs decayed and his torax’s muscles began to contract against the ribs, his breathing got slower and his lungs collapsed, he tried to breath through his mouth and could only heard his breath on the edge of his teeth, he died quick, Laila lost a black sphere, but absorbed the black energy from the child. Laila thought that the virus mixed with a great amount of the black spheres’ energy could work for her purpose, anyhow, it was death materilized, but she needed something else for the virus to work, something to give back to the original state and then re-start the degeneration, otherwise it could take years her plan.

Laila. – Sickness is a state and is different from the “normal”. (To the personal) Thank you for your great work. You are fired now. Expect you, my personal doctor. You are the key to a heart, you know too much for leaving the enterprise. Please stay and I will increase your salary, a great promotion? (Turning around and closing her eyes) I need you in order to sell the vaccine to this letal virus.

George. – I will stay here with you, however my ideals could not be bribable. (Thinking, I will stay to see what is going on with this enterprise, with your mind, you used to be a good person)

Laila. – More likely to do errors for not having enough courage, but you cannot understand it. I know about your friends who sold their ideals for some trash, your friends who wanted to heal people, you were tempted, you were seduced, you see the dirt and the filth of the future and got out, broke your relationships with them, walked alone and waited. Now you are holding from a ledge and breathing the lack of air, the wind is strong up there, is not? Now you have to decide to stay and change these results, for the benefit of some miserable souls, or you could leave and have hope for the last days of your life. I see your weakness, but I trust you to be essencial for me.

George. – (Talking with some desperation) to have hope?

Laila. – Take it as a premonition.

George. – I do not want to leave… I want to make a better world. (Thinking, a better world for my daughter) (Sigh) I only have hope for my family.

Laila. – It has been an eternity, since I have not hear that word.

George. – Which?

Laila. – World. Would you stay?

George. – (Thinking, my child is going to born in a couple of months, till then I will stay and help, after her birth I will look to another part and never talk about this) Yes.

Laila. – I see how it is. I will fire you in the end.

The next day, at her office, Laila decided to murder the doctors and then create for herself a Homunulus with her look. It was time to prepare the field for a virus and get Pacha. The virus, which at the time did not have a name… She saw her reflection on the black obsidian mirror “nothing I am”.

Laila. – I have used my own energy, for too long, for too many Homunculus. Satres’ energy was used for time… the white energy is still a doubt, the black energy is not the solution, it is strength for me. The energies from the rest of the invokers would be useful at the perfect moment… I cannot longer hold what is consuming me, this body of mine is weaked by a disease that takes all of me, kills me and twists my spirit.

A tear fell, a pain was felt inside, her body bent forward, she fainted in the interval of feeling dizzy. Meanwhile she was unconscious; she sat down on a throne made with the skulls of all the humans, the elderly man and Sethlans buried her parents, she was taken by Pacha to the oldest mountain and the being called Death grabbed her and took to its Realm; there she walked a tight path in the middle of edges, to the sides there is an empty abyss, around the tight path the black spheres are waiting for a new sacrifice, for rests of beings, eternal hungry, there are no wight, wraiths, ghosts specters, all were absorbed, only the black spheres are there to get a being. Laila wanted to walked on and through the tight path, at the end there was a white radiance, not light nor shine, the radiance, was that the real Death’s Realm? The black spheres changed their shape, stayed as spheres but tentacles, from their core, sprouted; long, twisted and deformed as the oak’s branches, several tentacles were pulling, pushing, catching, grabbing and taking Laila, she tried to run, then some voices, around, were screaming, laughing and calling her to stay there. Laila was desperated and afraid, but then she “breathed” and focus her inner peace, her inner energy, “data, information, knowledge, insight and wisdom”, “all these spheres are energy, all this energy is from the dead, black energy, but Death as I, It uses energy, there is no change, there is no transition, only a step, it takes only a second, only a body for all my energy” “black energy is eternal, white energy is freedom” “alive and then dead, all is a circle, an Ouroboros” “but I am here to dominate, to end all life, to be its incarnation” She absorbed by their tentacles all the black spheres, all those waiting at the tight path and walked to the white radiance. Meanwhile she was unconscious; a spring bloom, a summer raise, an autumn destroy and a winter summon darkness. Meanwhile she was unconscious; a disease conquested by pestilence, a disease flattened by chaos, a disease smoothed by dried rivers and a prolongued drought and a disease gave life to the wild shadow beings. Meanwhile she was unconscious; a boy was conceived, a young lady began to interpret the loneliness as lack of love, a human being became hungry next to his angry shadow. Meanwhile she was unconscious; the specter was breastfeeding their children with unnatural colostrum, in taste, in destiny, to her 1st child, sweet or peace, then to her 2nd child, bitter or furious, then to her 3rd child, jinx or blood, and then to her 4th child, the breastfeeding was coagualted blood and pus, sour or suffering. Meanwhile she was unconscious; the specter was trying to hold the rest of her human posession, a heart was feeling a weak by giving life to a new heart, a hungry continues in a living nightmare and a mind began to go dark as a tyrant with deliriums. She woke up to find blood in her mouth, she coughed and felt the pain inside, “I have to end this before…”

She saw the black obsidian mirror, once again, now, this time, she saw her reflection and a dark being stading behind her, her shape, her face, her body, another being, a shadow as a dark being, a Homunculus of her, closing her eyes and the mouth with her blood, not its, but hers. Laila touched it and sent to her home, to play her role, to act as her.

Laila. – Where I saw this image before?... oh yes! That painting “The shadow” by Steven Kenny. (After some seconds of remembering the painting) I need it to be me, to be here, I need it. Could it be hungry? No there is no way, besides, it has my energy, I would feel its needs. (After some minutes of standing at the window) Now I have to go to the small farm. I sense the sorrow of a mother, who knows her last child is like her, a specter to this Realm.

When she arrived to the country of George Apo, a country on a mountain range, where all mountain has its own spirit, cold during the nights, fire sleeping under rocks, rain around the mountain, every mountain has a bound with nature, “Apu”. She saw an old volcano covered with snow and blue ice, the gray clouds, above and around, were hidding its monumental structure; like a secret or a broken memory. The volcano was calm, some birds flying at the distance with the rhythm of a eternal falling, the land was magnificent, but no one close to walk forward. The black obsidian knife on her left hand waiting to stab hearts, the mirror on the right hand acting like a bond to the Realms; black as the wraiths, her vision on the glory nature, her eyes white as the wight, wind was singing the anthem of an upcoming war, water was feeding the lands of confrontaition, and fire was sleeping around the shadows of light.

Laila began to walk on the streets, at the afternoon, a nice place to live and to explore, every person greets and helps, the museums are telling the history of ancient civilizations, the squares have families playing, the corners have artists, the good wine is followed by dances, the weather is always changing, everywhere has a dark phase, and even to the friendly country, there are places better not to go… she walked entering to the most dangerous place of the city, where the people are afraid of living, there are no face to recognize, murders are looking, thieves on the corners with nightmares on their minds, she sensed the ones to kill, to consume and to form the bait.

She entered to a house where no families lived, only danger, they were sleeping on the floor and next to the walls. Her eyes turned white with their energy, and her knife red with their blood. She waited for more people to kill inside, waited for the night to hunt outside, during the silent night a knife claimed more hearts than love. Murders on a street called “Peace” the cut hearts and the hands holding them, they know. There inside the house, she created a Homunculus with the only purpose to be eaten by Pacha, she sent it to find it, she felt the elderly man’s energy and blocked it, she felt again Leinth, she was ready for her, without a black sphere, she would bring them. At 9:01 pm. Leinth walked the same streets and sent 4 black spheres to encircle the house, but one to protect her. Laila breathed slowly and the door was opened by Leinth, no face to see, a mutilate portrait, the body and her will to get Laila and Mania. Laila saw her; tiny holes where once were eyes, the mouth, a wound, there as a scar to scare when it opens. Leinth covered her with the black sphere and sent one by one the others, hungry for the living, waiting for the underworld. Laila summoned her “children”, 8, they emerged as shadows. Laila gave, to her children, free will to attack the black spheres, 2 to 1. They began to fight, trying to absorb the opponent.

Leinth. – You know that they are not a real threat to my creations!

Laila. – I do not care for the rivalry, they are hungry. They were created months before and were buried in diferent locations, this house is a hook to bring you here.

Leinth. – (Looking and sensing to the black spheres been eating by the Homunculus) it cannot be!

Laila. – Nothing is perfect, you are trying to hard to be Sethlans’ dog that forgot to dominate what you could create.

Leinth. – (Thinking; I have no more of them, but this…) I have nothing to lose (Moving the last black sphere towards Laila)

Laila. – (Running to not be catch by it) we will see, who ends as a property, as a puppet, as a manequin.

Laila entered to a room and felt that the black sphere was catching her right arm, it was painful so she called one child from the other part of the house to be absorb by the black sphere, Laila was free and the black sphere began to absorb the Homunculus, Laila’s right arm was full of scratches and bleeding, Laila moved to another room, the black sphere absorbing the Homunculus stayed there, Leinth saw that in front of her were only 7 of her children, so pushed the one to be absorbed. The others Homunculus finished the black spheres. Then disappeared into the shadows, Leinth feared that those things could find her, she ran to search for Laila and called the other 2 black spheres to be at her side. Laila was waiting for her at a corner like a spider, the house was her spiderweb and the black spheres were her real goal. Leinth could not find her in the other rooms, feeling fear she decided to leave the house, but before jumping outside from a window, Laila caught her feet and threw her against a wall, Leinth’s head was hurt, the black spheres stood still at the window, Laila summoned again 8 Homunculus, they made a circle around Leinth and Laila.

Laila. – Now you and I.

Leinth stood up and noticed that the black spheres could not help her.

Laila took her own blood with the black obsidian knife, cutting her left arm in specific places. The blood drops fell. Leinth prepared herself to fight. Laila put the knife away. Laila began to make eye contact with her while walking around. Leinth noticed the circle of blood, so she stayed out of the blood. Laila turned her eyes hazel and licked some of her cuts. Leinth attacked quick with 2 punches straight to the face and one kick to the ribs. Laila blocked the punches, but was hit by the kick. Laila reacted with 2 kicks to the stomach and when Leinth was bent she hit with a punch her head. Leinth on the floor grabed Laila’s right leg and twisted it till the knee was dislocated. Laila kicked her with the left leg to set her free. Leinth stood up to jump on Laila and hit her with her fists. Laila received several hits. Laila was bleeding out and smiling. Leinth began to hit her ribs while her breathing changed and began to panting. Laila caught the both fists at the same time and forced Leinth to roll on her back. With the left leg pushed Leinth’s core against the floor and hit her mouth hard enough to open a wound, Laila dropped more blood inside to form a circle of blood, and hit twice her core. Laila stood up with her left leg and Leinth not. Leinth fainted. Laila dragged her slowly to the center of the circle of blood.

When Leinth reacted, she saw her inside the circle of blood, and then Laila in front of her.

Laila. – You are the daughter of Mania, those black spheres are not yours, never were, they are mine now. Your face was eaten by the spectres made by your parents. Now your body will be eaten by this new partner. Meet Pacha; he is an unidentifiable dark being, he is the ghoul, that your mother told me long ago, not dead, not a person, a ghoul, born through Menrva’s body, develop inside her uterus, from the energy of Death’s Realm, blood from his mother and mist from his inner energy, flesh from his father, and a wild hungry, it was slept, a delicate body and a morbid will… he screamed with his frontal mouth and bite with the other to Mania, when she wanted to lift him, since then the hungry started, all came to this moment, you are the main dish tonight.

Leinth trying to see around. There, among the Homunculus and the 2 black spheres, was a man showing his hungry. The mist was covering part of his frontal face, but his hungry gave Leinth fear as never before. He was hideous and with long hair, smelling like shit and rotten flesh, close to be naked, better described “as dressed with tatters”. He ran to hit Leinth on the head, and began to bite her on her shoulders and arms. Leinth did not want to scream.

Laila. – (While Pacha is eating Leinth) you know… he is not going to eat all of you, I want to absorbyour energy, though it is not great as Satres.

Leinth. – How did you…?

Laila. – Got Pacha?, easy I sent a Homunculus like you to be the appetizer, he was starving, he was there all alone in the cold night, where the flies are flying to eat the carcass, where the shit is his company, where worms are eating what humans were. He enjoyed the flesh of my child, his sister and came to find more of you, food, you are the 2nd half, you are inside the circle of my blood, he is now my pet.

Leinth. – He will try to eat you.

Laila. – Agree to disagree. He is half human, and that is the main reason I can take advantage of his hungry. (Laughing) He will not try to eat me, he knows I can give him food.

Leinth. – What about the rest?

Laila. – The rest of the invokers are the main dish.

Leinth. – How would you…?

Laila. – (Seeing Pacha eating her legs) control him?, I do not have to. I will feed him and then train his human side, do not forget that you and your friends sent Menrva through the vortex, she sent back this (pointing to Pacha, while he is bitting Leinth’s flesh), it is called “changeling”, Menrva could not use all her energy to give this in return, she was pregnant, you know who is the manipulative father, the human side is the hungry, but (moving her hands) it can be domesticated, and the fiend side is what Sethlans wanted to dominate, he is hideous even to his father, he forgot about him and waited. Pacha wants to go back to be part of the Realm. And I will help them, viz it is mutual help.

Leinth. – (Trying not to scream) he was casted out, he is a disgrace to the eyes of Sethlans, that is the reason why he wanted the pure blood from an invoker, and you! you will end as part of the oblation, you absorb the energy like us, you will be the last piece to open the vortex!

Laila. – We will talk about the oblation later, but talking about Pacha; I see gold where you and your friends see dirt. Pacha is Menrva and Sethlans’ energy, it was materialized as a human, at least the most of him. So if I control him, I could control death and life, his ability to connect with the black beings, I will be the white energy. I can guide him to open the vortex, to summon It, he only needs more flesh and the shadow beings to collect the dark beings will guide him to a high mountain, there I will see the summoning.

Pacha eating her violently.

Leinth. – Where is my mother? (Pacha grabs her thighs and bites them) She was… a good… person.

Laila. – I will not kill her. She is hidding from all of you in a small farm. I will take your remains. (Sending her Homunculus to stop Pacha and be eaten by him, so Laila could kill Leinth and take her heart) There is one more thing to inform… your mother got infected, when Pacha bit her fingers, with his fiend’s mouth. I know that your father used his energy to recover her flesh, but the bit of Pacha was a venom, without a cure. (Laughing) Mania trying to take care of him, is like looking at a rose on the marsh. It took years, but she is also dying, and her children are part of my oblation, they will be burned alive, I need to erradicate all the posible variables, no more children from the invokers, no more pregnancies from your family. I had a dream when there is a 4th children, a male… I think he will be useful, for another changeling.

Leinth. – (Bleeding from every bite) Sethlans was supposed… to help me.

Laila. – Sethlans wants me to help him, he manipulated all of you, took from my friend his youth, only to hurt his steps and breathing, but he did a terrible mistake, he gave me the black obssidian mirror, as a gift to awake me. And yes, I can develop my own energy. Nevertheless; I have done a small and sharp change to that mirror. (Making eye contact) Here is my knife… now this is refreshing.

Pacha at the other side of the room eating the Homunculus “Re-fre-shing”.

Laila. – (Cutting Leinth’s ribs and grabbing her heart) you will not say a word about this night. But when the night of the summoning comes, you will be part of the oblation, like Menrva was.

Leinth. – I… am… nothing.

Laila did not like those final words, why did she say the same as her? How it was posible? Was she saying a morbid prediction about Laila?

Laila. – We are nothing (taking her heart out with her left hand and with the right hand stabing it; deep. Then grabbing her “face” and cut with her knife her throat)

Laila walked with her heart, to the other side of the room and made the Homunculus unleashed Pacha, he ran to finish with Leinth’s corpse, it took a while. Laila absorbed Leinth’s energy and realized that her energy was not to create specters for her, as Homunculus from normal people, her energy was related with transmutation, due to it; the manipulation of black spheres was killing her, making her weak to fight back. Laila tried to understand what benefit could get from her energy, then she smiled, it was obvious, to improve her children. Pacha ended with the corpse, left behind some bones, Laila sensed his body to understand his function, sensed his inner pain at the back of the head, waited for him to pause to hit Pacha extremly hard to knock him out.

Laila. – Satres and Leinth out. Pacha is satisfied. He is a human ruled by the mind of a fiend, a biological body in eternal pain, his hungry continues as the wind blows across the empty streets and abandoned houses, I think that the wraiths could follow his visions, the wight could search him for guidence and ghosts could walk with him, all thanks to her nature, but also will hunt his human flesh and drink his blood, with the only purpose to call him back to the Realm, they will twist his already deform mind… he can open the vortex… he is in the middle of both Realms… he is like part of my family.

Laila made the Homunculus to bring the elderly man.

Elderly man. – (He was indisposed by the scene) now, are you happy?

Laila. – I do not know, I have never been happy. Sometimes I laughed and smiled, but happy, no, never.

Elderly man. – When will you be?

Laila. – Not able to tell. Look (showing to him the unmoving signs of a violent fight, and the advance effects of her will, not her rage. And finally keeping silence for her own)

When he saw what happened, he took the remains to the same place where he put Satres’ corpse, except one rib. Laila made a Homunculus of Leinth and kept the rib for Mania, called another children to help with the terrible parcel. The Homunculus took the uncouncious Pacha to a psychiatric clinic and left him at the door, simulating an abandon person, left by his family, with some clothes, clean of blood, his hair cut in some parts, but combed to hide his other face, and with a letter of his condition, “The patient has schizophrenia and an obsession with shadows… when he is hungry could turn into a violent, aggressive-obsessive person, but once satisfied, he has this Catatonic Schizophrenia state... The shadows are his imaginary friends… he eats a lot of flesh… he scratches himself, use straitjacket… take care of him, he is insane and sane at the same time”

After leaving him, the Homunculus returned to Laila, while they were surrounding her precense, she was trying to move the 2 black spheres, once she could, she ordered to absorbthe Homunculus, to that action there was not reaction from them, a sound similar to gurgling, Laila spoke alone like trying to explain what she was doing and learning, her mind begins to go dark and insane, “they cannot speak unless I talk through them”, “do not be, be another part, do what I say, be my hands”, “do not worry my children, be absorbed by them, I am adopting your new siblings”

She fainted with her mouth dry.

When the elderly man returned, he found Laila on the floor, having convulsions, the 2 black spheres were bigger and wider than before, he moved her, a last convulsion, then she did not respond, rain began to fall, the sky turned blue-gray, the thunders were heard and the lightnings iluminated the skies, Laila was not responding, she was not breathing, the elderly man had to do an act of desperation, he found a person who could help them, Tvath, his forearm turned in her face, he called her, Tvath rose from a dark shadow, she saw Laila and him, she did not wanted to bring her back, resurrection, give her life.

Tvath. – I will not.

Elderly man. – (Holding Laila’s head) I am not going to beg you… it is a resurrection… she could give us even more power than Sethlans…

Tvath. – (Sitting on a dusty chair) he wants her energy, do you believe this will end good?

Elderly man. – It could be, for us, for you, for me…

Tvath. – She is hunting the rest of the invokers, Satres and now Leinth.

Elderly man. – How did you know it?

Tvath. – Please… do not ask what you will fear to know.

Elderly man. – So… (Thinking for a moment) she could give us something that Sethlans could not; peace.

Tvath. – Like Menrva wanted (She walks to the window, the same that Leinth wanted to break to escape, sees the rain and the lightnings, hears the drop hitting the glass, thoughts are resurrecting in her mind; darkness outside, desperation inside, suffering before the end, ruled by a maniac, no road to peace even death is cursed now, it is like having a rope around the neck that strangles with every breath, no escape, more sorrow and suffering, closes her eyes) I have to think about this.

Elderly man. – She is the daughter of your sister, you resurrected her father (with those final words Tvath opened her eyes), you resurrected him to be tortured by Sethlans’ orders, and she is a…

Tvath. – (Interrumping him) You do not have any idea… what he wants is beyond my power, (whispering her voice as a sinking man, talking there alone, moving without move) my spirit is in his hands. He wants a new Pacha, he wants to abduct Laila to the catacomb as a bride, that catacomb is an ancient tower to channel the energy.

Elderly man. – What catacomb?

Tvath. – Where we turned you, in what you are now.

Elderly man. – And then kill us like Menrva?

Tvath. – I do not know, but I know, I still know, what is right and what is cruelty.

Elderly man. – We can defeat him, together; she will never stab our backs!

Tvath. – There is still hope. I will follow you, but; you have to talk to her about the…

At that moment the black spheres began to spin on their own axis. A powerful burst of light iluminated the room. A figured appeared. The elderly man was in shock and Tvath saw an old foe alive. Aita was there with Sethlans’ ax, keeping it inside a bag of burned skin. His eyes were like a pair of abysses trapping the space and time, life and death, hate and love, destiny and will, creation and destruction; blackened eyes in the face of an once dead man. Then he began to talk.

Aita. – I’m here to finish this disorder around life. The hereafter is my place. I dwell beyond the black energy of dead ones. I’m the seed of nature. My eyes see what is around, I sense all what is alive, all what I can kill, balance is a faculty in me. I’ve suffered my death several times. My family is gone to a place I can’t enter. I bestow you a chance to end all this madness, but you’ve failed me, Tinia, you’ve betrayed my commands, your logic is gone by her; Tvath, the witch resurrection, she’s been using you to bring the giant of Death’s Realm, I have unchained it in the past, it’s the amount of all the starving people, it is a doom, not a solution. It is late, unless you bond with me once again. Sethlans… he’s more and more powerful than you, but the fire is his antagonist, I burned him again to get his ax, to slay him, to slay all his creations and allies. Tinia come and join me in battle, once and for all!

To those last words, Tvath resurrected all the people inside the house, those killed by Laila before; they walked and ran to fight against Aita. When they entered the room, Tvath levitated and stayed up, the resuscitated formed a line to protect Tinia from Aita, and Tvath was above him. Laila was not responding and still having some convulsions. Aita saw them and for a second the darkness was the energy surrounding Aita’s heart, revenge and hate towards his mind, all the pain and desperation lived by him before his last seconds, the hanging torment around his neck, he touched his neck, some scars showing his past life, some traumatic memories, psychologically was unstable and living again his last fight for surviving, a traumatic event once more, physically was hurt, yet again his body in control to fight, death was in the past, this life was to fight back, his eyes were looking to Tvath’s abominations, then to Laila, and finally turned to his old friend, “I’m here to end all”… “I’m here to exile all of the invokers” … “Tinia, I’m sure you’re weak, you’ve become the new enemy to destroy”… “You were a great soldier, now let me know your screams of suffering”

Tvath. – If you want to know it, 1st kill me and my dark beings! (The resurrected humans began to growl and move their heads, slowly, to both sides)

Aita. – I’d be glad (his eyes turned to the aspect of fire)

Aita prepared Sethlans’ ax, he stood with his right foot forward and his left foot backward with his ankle a little bit bent, his thorax solid as a rock, his hands holding the weight of the ax, balancing the handle and the blade, the handle finish close to the right hand and the sharp blade closer to the left hand, the blade facing Tvath and her dark beings, the blade had thristy for blood, for death. His fighting style did not change, to Tinia’s worry, looking back to him with rage. He tried to travel through shadows, but could not, Aita was forcing him to stay. Tinia saw the dark beings distrustfully, they were not rivals for Aita, but on the other hand; Tvath was his real worry, if she could get a severe wound or a deep cut, she could not heal her body, she could not resurrect herself. Laila had a familiar resembled, she was still with convulsions.

The fight began with rage and resentful.

Tvath sent 2 resurrected toward Aita, he cut their heads quick and direct. He walked to fight them. He hit with the handle and then cut with the blade, after that he hit with his left fist and then cut, took the handle with the other hand and continued decapitating his victims. Mutilating and dismembering all the resurrected, letting them bleed out and seeing them be useless. Aita’s face was covered with blood and the ax’s blade was drooping. He hit and hit forward and to the sides, the corpses kept falling, he fight forward by cutting his opponents. Tvath could not fight back. She sent more, he knelt and cut their legs and thighs, then their heads, some began to scream as humans, others growled as wounded animals. Tvath was lacking of strategies. Aita cut and hit their cores, and then he scratched his chest with the blade. He saw her and smiled while throwing the ax forward, against Tvath, inserting the blade inside her left shoulder and cutting part of it. Tvath did not fall, she stayed there levitating above her allies, she screamed too strong that she made all her resurrected attacked him.

Aita. – I burned Sethlans’ skin, my fire destroys all; life or death, they’re no different to me, wood to burn down this house… with you inside.

He burned them all with his fire, the room and the house began to burn down. He disappeared inside the fire. The ax was still inside Tvath. Tinia lifted Laila up and took her out the house while screaming to Tvath to follow them, she could but wasted too much blood. The house, behind them, was burning with wild flames and the fire filled the night, on the streets the 3 invokers were looking to the remains and the structure falling, the ashes and the corpses inside feeding the fire. Tvath took out the ax and saw her blood, Tinia grabbed the ax and said “Why did you bring him back?”. The house continued burning to make a shining spot in the middle of the night.

Tvath. – (Doubting from herself) I… I was not!

Laila’s convulsions stopped and she opened her eyes, crimson eyes to see only the darkness around the fire.

Laila. – (Speaking slowly) I am Phersipnai, as I was then, as I am now. I have the control over the white energy, I am the queen…

She slept of exhaustion. Tinia and Tvath saw her and then to each other.

Tinia. – I trust on her oath.

The fire illuminated the night.

They talked for a moment, thoughts and regrets over the situation, and then they have made a conclusion; take her inside the “new” catacomb, inside the darkness, under the land, among rocks and roots, she could focus on her duty, her mind would clear and forget her real entity, then continue with their plan. As they were carrying her into the cave, across the halls of an abandoned catacomb, they could sense her spirit holding with all its strength, pure and firm, holding to the light, not to be buried, to stay outside, to be free, not to be drained, and to avoid the echo of its imminent fall inside the Orcus’ mouth.

Laila began to dream about been on a high tower and seeing clouds moving around, the endless horizon and the sensation of freedom, then in her dream music was heard, a tone, a sweet melody of a violin, she could remember in her dream where she heard it, it was on a night, an elderly woman playing the violin, there on a street, only waiting for some coins, amusing the ambient with her music, Laila saw to the clouds upon her and even felt the wind moving her hair.

Laila woke to the sound of a torch. She was chained to the underground rocks, in front of her were the 2 invokers looking to her with an expression of doubt, Tvath had a bandage on her wounded shoulder, Laila sensed that there was not another being inside the catacomb. She did not want to turn her eyes white. She wanted to talk. They wanted to guide her, again. She has lost control.

Tvath. – (Talking slowly) Laila, can you hear us?

Laila. – Yes, although I have a pain, a headache, it is like a hum.

Tvath. – We need to know, if you are still with us, not on Sethlans’ side, neither on Aita’s savage path.

Laila. – I did not kill you.

Tvath. – (Looking to Tinia and making a sign to make him talk with Laila)… I will leave you 2 alone.

Tinia. – Where are you going?

Tvath. – To see the sunlight, outside this catacomb.

Tinia. – Take care.

Tvath. – I have no other option.

Laila. – At least you could say “goodbye” to him before you die.

Tinia. – Be polite.

Tvath. – I am sure she is as “polite” as her father.

Tinia. – Her father wanted to kill us; on the other hand, she was having those convulsions, so we do not know. How will she react?

Tvath. – React to what, exactly? How good will she fight against Aita or how fast will she kill us? I want to know if Sethlans is dead, if not, there are more to kill, before we become free.

Tinia. – Like your sister, her mother?

Tvath. – 1st her, then Sethlans.

Laila. – Why would I react in a way or another, with the implications of killing you fast? Is there a thing, I should know? (With sarcasm) I may ask, politely.

Tvath. – Here your elderly friend, Tinia, will answer. Here, inside there is not wind and the air is heavy like a coffin. My shoulder is not healing, I fear the worst is yet to come, but from whom? (Going outside the catacomb once outside, she walks up the mountain)

Laila. – So that is your name, Tinia, I wonder why you did not want to tell me, your name, is it a provocation to yell it loud? Could it be a sin to call you by your name? Is still the Chimera of Arezzo with your name? What do you know about commit a sin? I am a sin.

Tinia. – I have to be patience with you at this moment, I have to find inner peace and guide you, guide you throughout the days. Please tell me, speak to me.

Laila. – I am chained to the underground rocks while I could be creating my children, the dark beings of a collapsing Realm. Here I sense my shadow, it is my soul’s halo, it controls the darkness and my spirit is forgotten on the fire.

Tinia. – You talk like there is no time. I have plenty, I govern over time, Satres could change things in the past or future, but I am the being on time, this present day is all we need. You could end the rest of the invokers and you could stop their will, to fulfill Menrva’s intention…

Laila. – If you did not know… (Turning her eyes white) your beloved daughter, Menrva, used to find humans disgusting, she had the same likes on creating Homunculus like her; why you want me to fulfill her intention. You think I am her.

Tinia. – How did you know?

Laila. – (Laughing) Lasa told me all I need to know and when I told her my plan, she supported it, by sending her black spheres against Sethlans, now he is dust, well, you are standing on him right now.

Tinia. – You could not fight against him!

Laila. – I did not. I went to the valley of death to bring Aita back, when he was aware of him, he went to find him, they fought, of course the black spheres ate the necessary of him, to make him weak, and finally Aita burned Sethlans alive. He took his ax as a treasure, and there it is on the ground, waiting to kill someone.

Tinia. – Then, why is he not here to kill me?

Laila. – Anxious? I knew about this mountain long ago, came back and found this catacomb, made it a nest for my children, they are sleeping, please do not wake them up.

Tinia. – Tell me!

Laila. – Aita is not a dark being or a Homunculus. He is a person, who wants to stop all the invokers. give him some time.

Tinia. – You are worse than Sethlans, you were always anticipating my moves so I trusted you, like a daughter.

Laila. – Like a daughter? Menrva was your creation, born out of your thoughts, a Homunculus, an experiment for your delight; you abandoned her, when you realized that she was superior, an excellent being! You felt desperation on seeing her intelligence and desire in going to war against humans! So you made an alliance with your king, Aita, to chained her inside a catacomb like this, with the intention of absorbing her energy and then set the attack against the adversaries on the war field; she was the creator of “hungry toward the enemy”, devastating not only the soldiers, but their lands and families, hungry is a lethal weapon, hungry among people is a giant killer, absorbing their energy to create a dark being. Aita was a conqueror, not a king, he could never understand the intensity of hungry, never could control that being, nevertheless; he was famous and his war gained quite reputation, people feared, not him, but his strategy, and everywhere people gave to it a name, lots of names, finally a man named Kiri, we should talk about him later, do you remember Mantus’ master? Kiri, from Japanese language “fog”, he saw your weapon, manipulation of black energy, by hunger, and named it “Gashadokuro”, the rest is a myth.

Tinia. – I was the best servant of my king!

Laila. – You were a powerful servant of a conqueror, but a servant. When you had all the glory, you formed a family with Uni and had a human son; Hercle. But when your king asked you to fight again, you could not, due to having druthers based on a “normal life”, so he treated your son and wife, finally you went to find Menrva for having again her energy… however, by that time, Lasa had already liberated her. Then you had to create the opportunity to guide Aita against the invokers, he burned their small city, including Sethlans. Aita had the intention to have your daughter again, but it was too late for her. After those incidents, the revenge of Vanth and Tvath took place against Aita. And what about that disease you had before becoming an invoker, well you tried to escape, but Lasa, used her energy to put a spell on you, your flesh began to decompose, you infected your family and watched them die for the oblation. After some time, the invokers found you again and made you, like this; a man without young body and a searcher of future slaves, you found all the victims.

Tinia. – (Confused) Sethlans manipulated Lasa… he is a…

Laila. – You thought that Lasa became a member after Sethlans? She was the 1st invoker; she took him out of the river, but alike you, a disgusting human, who is always searching for more. He got obsessed with Menrva and her energy, when he got jealous he tried to eliminate her, but there was a dead baby, inside your daughter. The invokers did not care about Pacha; he was an abomination to forget or causality for me? Was he a causality to end this Realm?

Tinia could not say a word.

Laila. – So now… There is a thing to tell, will you die soon or suffer like Aita?

Tinia. – I will fight back!

Laila. – Against Vanth?

Tinia looked back and saw her standing a step back of the light, there with her gloved hands and wearing a sapphire funeral gown, he felt her inner peace, the same peace that was within her the day she killed Aita.

Vanth. – I have waited in silence for this moment; to finally taste your blood by torturing your pathetic body. I have never cared for Satres or Leinth, but you, you thought on flying high; next to the sun, without becoming blind by your own pride and vanity, now this catacomb is your final place.

Vanth ran to face Tinia, he tried to hit her, she grabbed his fist, then his other hand, lifting him up and then she bit his mouth, tearing his lips out, he screamed and bled out. He bent his knees and kicked her on the chest, she let him fall, he covered his mouth and touched were his lips used to be, an opened wound on the mouth speaks better the word “pain” than any ode. Vanth turned her eyes red and attacked him again, but he caught her by the neck, closing his hands to end her life, she smiled and put her hands around his elbows, breaking his joints and bones, he let her, she kicked him on the head, when he was on the ground, she bit her left wrist till she bled, then she walked around him, forming a circle of blood, he tried to go out, she grabbed his right ankle and twisted, then his other ankle. There he was in the circle of blood with twisted ankles and broken elbows, bleeding by his mouths, his weak body feeling pain and his mind beginning to hallucinate. Vanth broke his spine with a single hit of her right hand, precise and strong to the middle of the lumbar and dorsal spine. She let him screamed all he needed to feel his last seconds of a miserable end. After he ended his scream, she licked her right hand; his blood was still warm and bitter.

Laila. – Now tell me my elderly friend… how could you not see that the oblation for the giant of Death’s Realm is ourselves? Lasa, as the guardian of tombs, keeps the corpses of our ancestors, there in a haunted house, she collects them, after having all she needs, the vortex is opened, she gives them, and in return we are not drag to Its Realm. The balance of invokers is to control the livings and the balance is what Sethlans, Aita and even you wanted to have. I must say, I am totally disappointed on your intentions. (Breaking the chains) Now let me tell you a thing that it was in my head since I woke.

Tinia saw her approaching him to lift his head, putting it on her thighs. Vanth was smiling in front of them, thinking “this is my child”, and then she licked once again his bitter blood.

Laila. – (Holding his head with her left hand and with the right hand touching his chest, feeling his heart beating) I know you like my writing, here is what I wanted to write for this occasion, please hear it my dying and elderly friend;

“My shadow is, under the land, moving like the mist of a winter; cold, cold moment of my life, austere climate and mysteries around... wrapping dreams and paranoia.

These moments, chained to a rock, were special for me, because my mind was captivated by the environment, only to realize that nothing inside the darkness is full, and not even infinite.

You told me if I ever felt “Happiness” in my life. I answered; “I did not know”, since I have never been happy. But after this experience, I can honestly say that my “Awakening” is complete, it feels like a predestined realization.

I assume that my shadow under the land is a pleasure or at least a minimal attraction, toward conquer this Realm, and it would be a great moment to smile, but is a pleasure real happiness? Not for me, and you know; happiness for me was to help.

You do not know about that night. I will tell you.

A melody of violin, an old artist begging for money, a generous coin falls and accompanies the melancholic rhythm of better days and a glorious past; a sad music and a melody full of sorrow, and then I heard from her old lips a gratitude word, so strong and more beautiful than the sound of her mesmerizing violin.


Help, an action, that achievement in life; for me was better than killing all those bastards, but this story is not going to end with helping the humankind, it is going to end with me, all of you, and all of us dead.

Now, let me say; to be buried before or after, dead or alive, what difference exists, it is only a body that joins 2 Realms; Life and Death, inside my body there is the abomination’s seed, growing and forming to my reflection; the incarnation of fear. This Realm shall no longer know the reason, but the savagery of real humans.

The human body consists of systems to produce life, I can understand the language. In the world of the shadows, their language consists of cries and screams, hatred and despair, it is more interesting, deeply fascinating. Pacha is nothing compare to this child of mine.

The limits of sight in this Realm; took me, dragged me under, here, and chained me, waiting for me to die and in the end disappear for your sight. Now there are no limits in this prison of underground, land of graveyard and death ... there is freedom in the union with the imminent death; death reflects our inner-self, or will be an inner fiend.

I do not know how I would die. My bones, my teeth and my skull, will shine to the sunlight, when all the flesh becomes dust. I had the hope to be cremated by my family, if they were still alive. But now, I know, I will be the last human as a result of my actions. I dip life and raise death.

Everything I lived and felt is in my bones, they would not tell a thing, in a desolated Realm where eternity is measured by dust and stones, everything is limited except illusion, all the corpses crowded on the land, like insects trapped on a web, wrapped inside, hanged to a corner; the humans will go inside the catacomb, I will send them, the palace of Death calls me, my bones are waiting and I cry; oh death give me a long sleep, have my remains, the flames burn our infections and the grave will not cover us… come to me, you Death, embrace me and guide me to your deep valley, your black veil makes me forget.

I will miss you in oblivion”

After saying those last words, Laila felt once again his feeble heart, beating weak and slow, his eyes lost in her sight, his bleeding decreasing and her right hand went to his neck for a last touch, then to his jaw, lifting his old head with her left hand, Tinia opened wide his eyes, did not weep, and then she turned up the jaw and the top of the head down, breaking his neck fast, she smiled and turned around his head, his eyes, still, seeing degrees of light and shadows, his eyes opened facing to the mix of darkness folding him and the fire of a torch liberating him. After some seconds of absorbing his energy, she let him fall, his head spun by the hit on the ground and his body sound like an iron hammer against the ground.

Laila. – Turning his head and breaking his neck was easier than opening the last 2 invokers.

Vanth. – (Walking to see his corpse) I know you were a “nice” person, some time ago, now you are like me; flesh and blood, mind and actions. You are my child.

Laila. – Was it difficult for you to leave me?

Vanth. – Yes. I hated Aita; he burned my face and hands. I could not live normally and I swore; I would take my revenge on him, on his kingdom, on his family and on his pride!

Laila. – Your face is normal. I have always seen you with gloves, so I am not sure that your hands are not burned.

Vanth. – It took me some time to decide what to do in order of getting my revenge, the 1st step was to have inner peace and accepted my moment, the 2nd was to be killed by Sethlans, the 3rd was to be resurrected by Tvath and get my face fixed, but not my hands, these hands wanted also their revenge and 4th to get pregnant and use you as part of the ritual, obtaining a perfect ghoul, cursing his child, and taking advantage of his last seed. (Touching on her belly an old scar) I could not have “this” revenge. His last seed was with me, I wanted to end his legacy. But I could not, I gave your life, take care for some seconds, saw you and thought; she could do more against any life than my torture. I know by now about your plan and intentions, all is in favor. So I had to end with my desire of revenge using you, the revenge is not on my time, is in me, (taking her gloves out), these are the burned hands of a dead person, blackened by the filthy pass of time. You are the queen to rule this Realm.

Laila. – I see…

Vanth. – Now my child, you are as intelligent as your father. I was wrong, you are my flesh and you are your fathers mind. Back there at my house, where is still your coffin waiting for you, I realized that you could end all.

Laila. – How did you know it?

Vanth. – Do not worry about it. However, your perspective should never dive into foolishness, stay as an idealist. Only take in mind that I support your plan.

Laila. – But…

Vanth. – And kill Tages, in case.

Laila. – I will. Talking about Tages, is it more than a pet?

Vanth. – Tages’ blood is the beverage to make Sethlans powerful, otherwise he would become unstable, the serpent came to him after an earthquake, and he adopted it as a messenger of the ancient shadow. During that earthquake, Tinia’s family died; his parents, not the weeping son or the tame companion. So, I will take this ax, save your knife; you will use it on you. Now continue with your life and we will see again. (Leaving them) I will only see from a distance; Mania and her children.

Laila. – I will do it, too. But now I have to hide my old friend, and finish my meditation over my Tulpa.

When Tvath came back, she doubted about seeing Laila unchained and Tinia moving as having a discussion with her, she could only see his back, but could not heard his voice, as they were standing at the base of the steps. “Maybe she is no longer a trouble, nevertheless it is her essence, she is the queen of Death’s Realm”, she continued walking to them. They were talking and the light of the torch was consuming the darkness around them. She did not fear her, no, not any more, when she was 2 meters from them, she saw all the blood on the ground and the chains broken, she tried to speak, to her surprise Tinia turned around and ran his hand through her chest, not killing her, opening a bloody wound and then taking out his hand. She could not speak by the impression, she saw to his eyes, there he was, the same man as minutes before. She closed her eyes due to pain and said; “please kill me fast, I am not strong enough to support this”, she fell down, her blood joined his, she felt her heart, Laila saw her bleeding to death while Tvath’s astounded sight was still with Tinia, Laila kneeled and unfolded her wounded shoulder, there it was the last element for her beloved diseased, in her infection by Aita’s blood, Tvath’s essence to “resurrect” the person. She absorbed her energy, and then she, with the fire of the torch, cauterized her wounds. Tvath screamed and cried, all in front of a mute Tinia.

Laila. – From now on, inside this catacomb, you will be my prisoner while I collect all the invokers’ energy, then I might or might not conquer this Realm, at the end Pacha will summon through your body, through your core, the “starving skeleton”

Tvath. – (Unable to speak correctly) How… could you… say the same as… Sethlans?

Laila. – Ask to him by yourself (Pointing to the fire of the torch. Going out from the fire, a hand, then an arm, then a head, then a thorax, then another arm, then his pelvis and then one leg at the time, showing a blackened body by the burning fire), he is here, after his fight against Aita.

Tvath. – I smell… your putrefied mind… and… I see your burned flesh. You wretched being!

Sethlans. – My queen! (Walking naked in front of her, then approaching Laila and kissing her on the mouth). (Then looking to Tvath, his eyes still green) I told you to do it, but you refused it, then you tried to escape, so I brought you back. You could not resurrect Aita, but Laila as the queen, could. (Turning his eyes bluish-gray) Now you will be a living vortex.

Tvath. – I… cannot remember… I cannot see… a future for you!

Laila. – Do not worry about it. (Laila walking around her and forming a blood circle with Tinia’s and her blood) I have to call my children, they are all I want, (from the ground arising several Homunculus hands), do not fear them, they will take good care of you and, perhaps if you are a good girl, they would, eventually, be your food, you can eat their hands, do not worry, more will emerge to hold you.

Tvath. – What happened… to Tinia?

Laila. – If you did not notice, he is gone, that being there is my Tulpa.

Tvath. – No! You are lying, I can sense him, and he is not dead… Tinia look at me, Tinia please.

Laila. – Do not you see? He is the Tulpa. Please do not lie to you. I put his clothes. Look how he is there staying still while you are there suffering. Wearing his tunic, spotted with your blood, but he will have his memory. I have been working with some of my children to give them, the memory they need in order to perform my commands, better saying; the memory I want to manipulate.

Tvath. – (Crying) He will remember me. He had… faith in you.

Laila. – He will remember you as a person, who is great making funeral urns. Maybe a problem with your speaking or the wound on your shoulder will get his attention, or both, you will never see Tinia like before. He will only have pity for you; you will become lame to his sight and consider you as an insignificant invoker.

Tvath. – He had… faith in you

Laila. – Yes, I knew it, (smiling) so I used his faith against him. And do not see me like that, he and you also wanted to use me. This is normal among us. We are dragons eating to each other for power, but Sethlans is the only for me.

Sethlans. – I have become the king and demand my queen. Our energy combine is here (touching Laila’s belly) it is our key for the vortex. She saved me.

Tvath. – You coward!

Laila. – He sent me to different places to understand the aspects of death. He was truly important for my awakening as Phersipnai. Besides Pacha is insane and could only be useful one time. But my flesh, his blood, as a being… you will see.

Sethlans. – We, as omnipotent, should live eternal and control the livings from our tower, from our side of darkness and our child will invade all of them, once you open the vortex from here (touching her chest). But before we will decide who will eat, drink, sleep, heal, think, speak, draw, copulate, born, die and whatever a royal family wishes. And your energy is a key.

Laila. – Do not worry; you would only feel that pain until you die. There is nothing you could resurrect inside this catacomb, so lay down there on your back and I expect from you, to be useful. (She takes out her black obsidian knife and cut Tvath’s tongue through the middle, a forked tongue) Speak to him like a snake. You were his interest, more than power or war. I broke him to kill you in life.

Sethlans. – Hold to life and do not liberate, yet.

Once he said those words, they left her inside the catacomb, Tinia or her Tulpa took with him the torch. Tvath could sense the bleeding and avoid the chocking by spiting the blood, there on her legs and arms were the hands, holding her to the ground.

Tvath. – (Looking to the darkness and thinking; forgive me, Tinia, forgive me)

The 3 were walking outside, and Tinia turned backwards his head, to that action, Laila made a sight to Sethlans to go away, he disappeared, and Laila touched Tinia’s head, giving to him the necessary memory for her plans.

Laila. – Come on, you elderly, we have to go to the city and give you new clothes.

Tinia. – Why I cannot remember this day?

Laila. – It was a lazy day, plus you have slept for some weeks.

Tinia. – Why?

Laila. – Well… you fought against Aita and he bled on your tunic, after the fight I brought you here to rest, you slept fast and now we ought to go.

Tinia. – Where is Aita?

Laila. – I do not know, he ran away, you fought well, you almost killed him!

Tinia. – It is impossible, he was a great warrior, a slaughter, he killed by passion. (Touching his tunic covered with blood) What?

Laila. – Like Vanth enjoys torturing…

Tinia. – What…?

Laila. – I assume that she does it. You told me about the day she tortured Aita, and Tvath resurrected him…

Tinia. – (Interrupting her and touching his forehead) yes, I told you, yes he was there, I only remember some parts, right now my head is killing me… I need to rest more, here (sitting on a rock), I need to sleep.

Laila. – There is no problem, I will call a child and he will carry you.

Tinia. – Tvath, where is she? Tvath, she is sick.

Laila. – Yes, she is not healthy. Aita hurt her body… she is in a safe place, he will never find her, but it is better if he do not guide him there, he is watching us.

Tinia. – Yes… you are right. Yes, she is better by her own. I hope her wounds are not crucial.

Laila. – By now, probably, she is better than us, resting; lay down with hands to take care of her.

Tinia. – Hands?

Laila. – It is a phrase. (Imitating him) whoa whoa!

Tinia. – Yes, (smiling) I remember that.

Laila. – See, I got your back, come with me, stand up and walk with me, down this mountain. It is not time to know the secrets of the mountain or the cave.

Tinia. – I think, I think or I remember me walking on this mountain. Here on the hinterland, an old friend lives.

Laila. – You are too old and there are plenty of friends on the world.

Tinia. – Thank you, my friend.

Laila. – I think there is a green bench over there (pointing to the horizon) and a shed, similar to a small farm, it is a nice place.

Tinia. – Yes, I know. I was disoriented. I feel hungry and I am thirsty…

Laila. – What do you want to eat and drink?

Tinia. – Meat, red meat… and drink, water, sweet water.

Laila. – I also want red meat. I want to drink water, it would make this hum to stop.

At night they were too far from the city and slept next to the road, there the shadow resembled to humans; humans at the distance, humans getting closer and closer, humans observing and moving nearby, but when an eye sees to the absence of light, between a blink, the shadow beings turn into shapes of inanimate objects, there, they are not moving, only seeing back to the watching eye.

At night they were sleeping, but suddenly woke to hear quick footsteps and feet dragging the dust, then a growl inside the darkness, nothing happen, they stayed alert for a while, sleeping after some time. Dreaming about fog and mist, blood and being strangled, waking up with the taste of death on their palates and smelling to smoke. They stood still and looked around; there was a human, a person walking to them. Laila sensed he was more than a person.

Laila. – What are you? Who made you?

Person. – I am a person who lives by the name of Arthur.

Tinia. – You are far from your city!

Arthur. – There I do not live, I live over there (pointing to a small farm on the next mountain), but I wanted to walk.

Laila. – In the middle of the night?

Arthur. – My family is sick and I do not know what to do… (Seeing to Tinia’s tunic covered with blood)… so I wanted to walk, but now I am returning home.

Tinia. – Go now, you woke up us.

Laila. – I expect your family could survive.

Arthur. – Thank you, you are kind with your words. But now, I have to go. (Walking faster than before) Thank you again!

Laila. – (Looking to him) he could be relevant for my plans.

Tinia. – What are your plans?

Laila. – Kill all the invokers.

Tinia. – Yes, I will find them for you.

Laila. – Find them for me. Do me that favor, my old friend. (As soon as she said those words, she hears 2 howling at the distance, but the 1st on the left and the 2nd on the right; both are far away to each other). Tinia, get yourself ready.

Tinia. – I am.

Laila. – The howling are getting closer, this is not good. Set back to back, turn and observe the distance.

Tinia. – This howling is familiar…

Laila. – (Looking to him) how could you remember it?

Tinia. – Those are the howling of specters, similar to Mania’s creations, when Mantus gave her some of his energy.

Laila. – What?!

Tinia. – There was this time, when we, as a team, were searching for a potential invoker, it was long ago…

Laila. – Who were the team?

Tinia. – Lasa, Vanth and I.

Laila. – What about the potential invoker?

Tinia. – Kiri.

Laila. – (Thinking; I should know it!) Who is Kiri? What had he?

Tinia. – He was a special person, he could be as Mantus; regenerating the flesh.

Laila. – When it was that?

Tinia. – After the incident…

Laila. – What incident?

Tinia. – When specters attacked Leinth… After they ran away, Sethlans sent us to find someone who could regenerate as Mantus. I found him, in a place where I was before I became an invoker, when my king was alive.

Laila. – And?

Tinia. – I found him… I thought. I have killed him. He could regenerate better than Mantus, that is why I could not killed him, his flesh was new and healthy, not a single scratch, not even a scar made with my sword, he was not an invoker, he was not a person searching for power, he was there to prevent the amassing of bones from the fallen ones, killed by us, he was there to stop… us, there alone in the Aokigahara forest, brave and defiant to death.

Laila. – Why him?

Tinia. – I told you. He was a fighter for his people, he knew us. Lasa sent her black spheres to block Kiri’s way, Vanth tried to fight him and I observed them, I was sent there only to find him… Kiri moved quick and hit Vanth on her face, she could not grabbed his fists with her gloved hands and when she fell, Kiri took out a glass knife, stabbed Vanth on her belly and broke it, with the intention to leave the blade inside. Kiri tried to kill her, but then Lasa changed the black spheres form, from their core, sprouted; long, twisted and deformed tentacles, those grabbed Kiri’s limbs and pulled to their limits, untill they were pulled up as flowers from the ground. He could regenerate his flesh, but he was pleased in dying, we had to face the reality, we could not persuade all to join us, his ability was lost.

Laila. – No, I mean, why him, before you were an invoker?

Tinia could not answer her, he was trying to remember the concept of killing him, but there was not any recall. Suddenly the 2 howling were increasing in tone, furious and rough. The wind blew stronger, dust entered into their eyes, interrupting their sight for some seconds. When they could see normally again, they saw blasphemies made flesh, naked in front of them.

Laila. – They are the aspects of death. Now they want us!

Tinia. – The twins, the daughters of Mania.

Laila. – How do you know? Tell me.

Tinia. – I saw them birth; I am “part” of their family.

Laila. – Then why do they look like they are trying to kill us?

Tinia. – I do not know.

Laila. – Do they have names?

Tinia. – Yes, Apsara and Naiad.

Laila. – (Thinking; those 2, I cannot kill them now, I have to wait) so should we run or let them kill us?

Tinia. – I will try to call her mother, they are here to protect her, they are without will, similar to your children, hence; their mother has their control. (Using his power, he found their mother and made her talk, like that time on the cemetery) “Go away” “Go away, farther than the water streams” “Go away of this land that I have declared as mine” “Go now or my daughters, the twins will kill you” (He passed out)

Laila. – (Talking to the twins) you talk with so much bravery, but I can recognize the fear on those words, the desperation on those threats, I have returned here, and he is no longer the person you once met, I will go now, but I leave my children around your domains.

Apsara and Naiad. – (Talking at the same time with a deep tone) this is not a land for you, if your children approach mine, we will eat their cursed flesh.

Laila lifted his friend and walked away, slowly, looking to them, taking attention to the movement of those blasphemies and their gestures. It is interesting to say that those beings, had a particular human shape, however their smell was to sulfur, their iris were black and had no eyelids, their hair was disheveled and floating around them, their hands were long and bigger than their chest, the limbs were skinny, their teeth were twisted and yellow, showing prolonged caries, with every word they uttered, their tongue and blood came out of their mouths, their lips were fat and their skin had several black spots, not moles, more like condensed skin in one place.

Laila. – (Talking to those beings) my children are buried, they will stay there, until I call them, I can guarantee it.

She walked and walked hearing the hum, looking to the distance with her friend on her shoulders, the wind was strong and for some seconds dust blinded her eyes, she did not want to stop on a land where there was an invoker observing from a distance, she thought on killing her, she remember the words and the moments they shared, it was difficult to consider it, however; she had already decided it.

She had to take a rest and let his body next to a water stream, during the night she thought on how to improve her children, their memories should fit her plans, they should talk on words to guide their actions, she consider to mix some to make a Homunculus mostly close to a human with free will. The next morning she woke up to see her friend walking in circles.

Laila. – Hey, how do you feel?

Tinia. – I feel numb around my shoulders, especially on my neck.

Laila. – It is because you slept badly; I mean, in a bad position.

Tinia. – Yes, it must be that.

Laila. – Talk me about the twins.

Tinia. – Well… they are the daughters of Mania, they have not awaken like you did, at this point they are the messengers of her mother and for some reason, we represented a threat to them.

Laila. – You mean her family.

Tinia. – Yes.

Laila. – The man, who saw us, is the father? Is he an invoker? Could he manipulate the energy?

Tinia. – He is the father, he is not an invoker, Mania wanted to re-start her life, or at least what is left of it, they met long ago and I have never talked to or officially met him. He is a regular person, he finds horrible those spots on his wife’s skin, but he will not leave her. Sorry, but I feel awkward.

Laila. – What else?

Tinia. – He is a farmer and knows about cultivating, the circle of life is on his hands, he lives with peace and love

Laila. – But never doubt about his wife’s past?

Tinia. – He is a person who does not judge and knows that some of the past is gone, even if the images are still here, and the clues tell the obvious. However, he wants to know more, over the facts he is interested on.

Laila. – Similar to a Victorian student who hires a resurrectionist for some…

Tinia. – (Complementing her phrase) …body of knowledge.

Laila. – And the oldest daughter, did she awake?

Tinia. – I am not sure of it. I can tell you that she is similar to her mother in some acts, but her energy is not quite ready… I am not sure about the aftermath. She is a human.

Laila. – The aftermath of?

Tinia. – Do not pay me attention; forget it, because I am not sure of my own thoughts.

Laila. – I have a personal question about your intentions.

Tinia. – Which is?

Laila. – You have found me, you have guided me for my awakening and told me all you want to inform, I know your influence, it is some control over my own thoughts.

Tinia. – Tell me the question and do not be disrespectful to me!

Laila. – (Graving her knife with her right hand, inside a pocket, and with the left hand lifting a stone of the dusted ground) why do you look after Mania, her children, Lasa’s place and Tvath? Why, if you are with me to kill the invokers.

Tinia. – I want you to drop your knife inside your pocket and let the stone on the ground. Do it, and then we might talk, alright?

Laila. – Fine (showing her hands), now tell me.

Tinia. – My alliance is with Tvath to end Sethlans’ domain and with Lasa is to guide you, she does not care about the summoning and she is on this Realm to exist, to witness the rise and the fall of all. Mania was the only to care about my family, my 1st family, I own her that, if she wants to live in peace till the last day, fine by me. Tvath is; she is… (Holding his hand and screaming by the pain) I cannot remember her… I see her, but where are my memories with her? What happened to me?! Where is she?

Laila. – So everyone has a purpose.

Tinia was still screaming and not remembering Tvath.

Laila. – If I join completely with Lasa, there is not a sure result that I could do my plan without looking my back every day, if I trust Tinia, I will only arrive to the same place, if I resist these days, I could end with life. I must regroup my children or should I walk alone? I could unleashed the disease and wait for the demise, but what if I get infected? It is a big hurdle to avoid… I need a vaccine for it, for me.

Tinia. – Tell me! Tell me what happened to me, back there… on the mountain, on the mountain where my memory stayed!

Laila. – Nothing, but there is Tvath, you are free to go or to make your trick with the skin. I am not your boss.

Tinia. – I… for some reason, I do not want to go there. I do not want to find Tvath, I want to continue.

Laila. – It is because (touching his face), you remember that she is fine and we should continue, we shall end this Realm, we shall destroy Sethlans, we shall bury Aita again, we shall protect Mania, otherwise all your struggles will be in vain.

Tinia. – I think you are right. I have to go and return when this Realm is ending.

Laila. – (Smiling and turning her eyes white) I think we ought to go, I am hearing a hum.

So they traveled back to her country, she stayed in secret next to all the documents of her experiments, she read again to find the missing elements, she read her personal notes about the black spheres and the results of the rotten flesh, she could not figure out how to mix the essence of Tvath and the developing a virus, on the right hand it could produce the necessary life after death, resurrection of the flesh, on the left hand it could heal it, it must be measure little by little, but for an outbreak to erase human life, it should be done perfectly, a disease to torture humans, to gather their energy and use it to summon the amalgamation of dead people, could collect the rest, it could turn this realm in part of the Death’s Realm.

To make up a plan and then to make it work is difficult, sometimes the wheel goes and goes, then stops, but it never moved, then start again, rethink but not overthink about the flaws and the problems, the results or the expectations toward the actions, toward the outcome, it is important to maintain the rhythm and the quality, some errors are there to guide and some others to never repeat, we correct the plan and we do it again, the perspective could take a relative shape of success, but would work now?

Laila thought on do a new experiment before letting the disease free on an open world; mix the disease with the black sphere and some of the Tvath’s energy into a healthy human, if the human could rotten and then recover, success in the name of hate, but it could be a waste, and her energy could not be used in the exact way, Laila wanted to preserve some of it for her, in case she could get infected and need to resurrect from the graveyard.

Laila. – Am I creating a monster? Yes, but without a resembling to a thing, a real enemy, without a face and an entity, its purpose. Am I going too far? No, I am not there yet. I want to see their faces rotting in front of my sight. Am I here to fulfill a previous will? Not quite sure, I might be sure when I have the oblation ready. Is death in every place? I only know; I could sense it when its energy calls me… fire to purify the invokers, water to dry around, air to disperse the infection and land to set on the summoning. My head is killing me; a pain is increasing, since the day, since Aita was back. Oh the pain is so thin that could make me sleep; it is too much, so many things going on in my mind, on my body, through my soul and spirit, do I still have those? I am a casing of flesh and bones, with nothing inside, a will that is too manipulated by many, it does not have a real form, and I know, I know my own emptiness, it is elegant and pregnant. My will had a virtue, the art, a muse, a muse that I have forgotten, painting and photography were the joy of my life, now, I do not have them, I have lost them, or have not I? My virtue was to create and represent; the muse of art gave me its secrets, I only have change the tools and the methods, yes, and I am doing that! My virtue is here with me, with every step, counting my time and taking me forward to liberate my mind and to open my eyes while I hold the creation, a child from my blood and flesh, my child is the representation of the virtue, the virtue of a being, of been alive and preparing the end with fear, fear to every corner and expansion on this Realm. The virtue cannot be gone or lost, it could pervert its roots, yes, perverting a virtue is to transform it on a vice, once changed, it only takes the best of you, it feeds on you, and you think it is normal, you think it is going forward, to a new place, where you have not been before.

Laila practiced the mix of energies with interesting results and after a week, she called her doctor, George, for some talking, he arrived late, due to; his baby got born after several tries of lost pregnancies. Laila sent some of her Homunculus to see and gather around the nursery, some nurses saw human shadows on the floor, inside the bathrooms and walking around the newborns, some nurses quit, the day after, and the rest incite to the parents to take their babies home. Laila knew about the danger of killing the baby, she needed George, she needed his knowledge, she needed his body and it was the only person on the Realm, who could lead the experiments, who would turn into the 1st result of the final experiment.

Laila. – Welcome back, doctor. Pardon me for calling you, to inform you about our virus and its vaccine.

George. – Hi there, I am late, I know, I am here, (showing his hands) I know, it is been a long day. It never stops.

Laila. – Yes, I need to tell you, I am pregnant. I feel; I am the muse for Mr. Hirst. D. “Verity”

George. – Oh dear! (Moving his hands) it is a fantastic new. I became a father.

Laila. – Congratulations. I have to tell you, I have been walking on the streets and some passages, while I touch my belly and it is awesome to feel it growing. In fact it gives me fear when I sense it.

George. – Yes, fear is there, also is love.

Laila. – You speak well when you speak from your heart and it makes me sad to leave you after this.

George. – We had a deal about my staying, (looking to the cage made of tempered glass) I would like to see or know your information about this… this thing.

Laila. – This thing is… (Touching her head) Hey, before we discuss it, could you give me a description for this terrible headache?

George. – Not a problem, for how long do you have it? (Beginning to analyze her) Did you feel it like a beating or like a hum?

Laila. – It has been 2 months. It is a hum, a thin hum across my head.

George. – Did you notice a relation with the pregnancy?

Laila. – No, I got pregnant after we test the virus against fire. Do you remember the date?

George. – I do. Does it have a relation with the cancer? I mean, did you go to another doctor during this time?

Laila. – No, I have been busy.

George. – What about the pregnancy controls?

Laila. – It is better if I take my pregnancy as a natural thing, with calm and no doctors, I can handle it.

George. – I think it is blood pressure, high blood pressure. I could recommend some rest and I insist to visit a gynecologist, to be sure about your baby.

Laila. – I appreciate it. Tell me, how is your wife about her heart?

George. – She did not have problems and I hope my daughter will not have the same heart condition.

Laila. – I am glad to hear it.

George. – I hear my daughter’s heart by the stethoscope every night, I kiss her head and (Thinking; I have never talked about my wife with her)…

Laila. – And then what do you do?

George. – I, hey, I think it would be late for me, you know taking care of the baby is hard, I would like to talk about the information, please it is necessary.

Laila. – Yes, you are right, but 1st, I would like you to meet; the father of my baby.

George. – Sure not a problem. Is he here?

Laila. – He will send you to the cage made of tempered glass.

George. – Pardon me?

From a distant corner, a naked Sethlans appeared and opened his green eyes, and he showed his burned skin to George’s displeasure, both men saw and challenged each other. George knew it was a trap and he must get out of there, he remembered about his younger years when he could run quick, he was in the athletic club from his school, but running was not the key, he thought he could hit that burned man and then push hard Laila to one side, however; what if he fail? Then he took a quick look to his burned skin, he thought that the adhesion over his limbs could make him slower than his athletic reactions; a fist to the jaw or against the face, jumping to the other side, it should work, it must. He thought in a blink of an eye; “I have this gun, I bought it as soon as I started working here”, then he felt his heart, beating strong and ready to fight. He jumped backwards and took out his gun from his belt, he had a loaded Beretta 92, with 11 rounds and he was not afraid of shooting to his formal boss. He saw again the naked man, not moving forward, only his green eyes staring at him, a sight to perpetrate a crime against him, a stare to make him weak and paranoid, a stare so cold to claim him to shoot. He looked to her, Laila did not move. She wanted to see how savage he could turn in order to save his life. George aimed to Sethlans and saw again his stare. He doubted for some seconds while he remembered the Hippocratic Oath he took, he said “…but never with a view to injury...” he calmed; he breathed in, shot to Sethlans’ head, he breathed out, and then closed his eyes.

His gun fell to the floor. George opened his eyes and was inside the cage made of tempered glass, he began to hit the glass and saw the hit parts made by the child, not remarkable marks, but there they were, made months ago. George saw to the outside and there was Laila, and the apostasy bleeding on the floor. Laila saw him and went to hold his wounded head.

Sethlans. – I am Karun.

Laila. – Not for too long.

Laila. – I see the end of Karun, a simple mortal who thought he could rule over Death’s Realm, too self-proclaimed over its shores; I am “immortal”

Sethlans. – (Agonizing) help me, my queen… I am your… king.

Laila. – A simple bullet is killing you; a simple man, not a god. The most powerful man dies as any other, without a dramatic finale.

Sethlans. – Bring Tages!

Laila. – Your reptile pal is the pall to cover your face; (taking out Tages’ body without head) this is now dry. I sent Aita to do the infamous job; to kill an innocent animal. (Putting Tages on his chest)

Sethlans. – (Trying to grab it and Laila holding his hand to stop him) why…

Laila. – You helped me awake that was it. You used Menrva and all the invokers. Did you think no one could use you? I had to wait for this moment, I needed him to shoot you, you undervalued him, because he is a mortal, well he is like you. I only needed to kill Satres, the key of your immortality, you were in many places and throughout time, it does not make you immortal. The beverage from Tages could heal you from the black spheres, so any attack from them, could raise questions over me and over Lasa. Talking about her, she took you out of the river when you were still young, you lost your dignity when you self-proclaimed to be the 1st invoker, (laughing), you were part of the game, a pawn to sacrifice, similar to your forgotten ghoul, Pacha, do not worry, you will not live on your child, Pacha is going to summon through Tvath.

Sethlans. – My child (touching her belly)

Laila. – And my baby, he will be ready to meet Mania at the dome.

Sethlans. – Use Tvath’s energy, help me…

Laila. – Her energy is going to be used on him (pointing to George) and if it fails, on me.

Sethlans. – I… will bring Vanth here…

Laila. – Please do it.

Sethlans. – (Using some of his energy, brings Vanth) kill, kill your daughter!

Laila. – Please do not be lame, she told me about Tages. And Aita does not have free will, he is controlled by me.

Sethlans. – He took my… ax and we fought over it.

Laila. – I used him, also you, also your seed… your seed will give me an atrocity; a ghoul, but I will not abandon it.

Sethlans. – You are pathetic…

Laila. – I am my mother’s daughter and her flesh is mine. (Taking out her black obsidian mirror and throwing it to Vanth) kill him!

Sethlans. – She is my assassin, she belongs to me!

Vanth held the knife and jumped to them, lifted Sethlans’ left hand, smiled and stab Laila’s on the chest, avoiding any sound, millimeters next to her heart, Laila fell down. Vanth saw George, he was not a problem, saw Sethlans bleeding out, she blocked the wound and put pressure on it, then saw Laila, she was standing and her knife was out of her chest. Vanth turned her eyes red. Laila called her children, all of them and materialized into 4 bigger Homunculus, each of them with different aspect. Laila needed to stop the bleeding soon, Vanth sensed that her opponent was getting dizzy and weaker with every drop of blood lost. Laila had to have more time, the Homunculus were the perfect excuse, Laila knew that the black obsidian knife was lethal against the Homunculus, and had to attack fast, she had to let her body gone and use her mind on Aita to attack Vanth, but at the precisely moment.

Vanth. – This knife is perfect to use and kill. Elegant as my funeral gown, I should take out my gloves now that they have blood on them.

Sethlans. – Kill her…

Vanth. – Hold on my master, hold and you will smell tomorrow her rotting corpse under the sunlight.

Laila had to control the Homunculus and maintain their rhythm in the offensive, in front was Vanth.

Laila. – I see your blood ties are weak this day. (Kneeling on her left knee) I have a deep and fatal wound, but I can fight against you.

Vanth. – And you use your children. How pathetic indeed you have become. Come on, face me, my child. I did not wait for this since you were abandoned like a stray dog.

Laila. – Talking too much, for a vulgar killer who is grabbing my knife, I have my children, and I know how to defeat a danger without getting my hands dirt.

Vanth. – So… let me take out my gloves, and we will fight. (Taking out her gloves and showing her burned hands) Are you ready?

Laila. – Before we do this, tell me why you wait until this moment to fight me?

Vanth. – Easy, (looking down with disdain to Sethlans) he began to doubt about me, and Tvath, I needed a new start, a fresh person who could get his confidence, then eliminate Tages and wound him so badly that he must take the only decision he swore not to; be next to me while I have a knife.

Sethlans. – I trust you now…

Laila. – He is using you and you know it.

Vanth. – (Laughing and looking to Laila) of course, he is a man without future that is the reason he has to trust an assassin.

Laila. – An assassin!

Vanth. – The real way to kill an invoker is to take out his heart, he could heal and we should re-start all over again. Is not that true my master?

Sethlans. – Yes, but…

Vanth. – And I am exhausted of repeating the chasing and the preparations of future potentials, (putting the blade of the knife against her chest), it is no fun, no, not anymore, well here we are, and he is thinking I will fight for him (looking to him, turning the knife against his heart), I will tell you this Laila; I respect your purpose of ending all, I do, but where is the fun of ending all if this Realm’s purpose is to torture and inflict fear, for a greater accomplishment; become the disdain.

Sethlans. – What are you doing?

Vanth. – Thank you for saving me when I was a kid (getting next to him and holding his head)

Sethlans. – (Agonizing and talking slow) My child.

Laila. – (Thinking; now I have to take a look at him, he could send me or my Homunculus to another place if I get distracted)…

Vanth. – Take a good look Sethlans of Laila’s end, (she hugged him on the floor, kissed him on the mouth and let her lips close to his)

Sethlans. – I will…

Vanth. – Imagine her blood leaving her tortured body and her liver in your mouth, imagine eating her disgusting flesh and take out her white eyes. Now that I saved you, there are a lot of possibilities.

Sethlans. – (Panting) thank you for saving me today… bring me my ax.

Vanth. – It is hidden, my master I have put next to someone I have killed before.

Sethlans. – Thank you for the phantasy and reality… it gave me a sense of cruelty, to have you under my responsibility… thank you.

Vanth. – My pleasure… was to take the path of an assassin, and you were there always looking me from down to top, with despite and pride… (She stabs him on his heart and breaks the knife inside, then take out his heart with all her strength and fury)… my pleasure is to kill you finally.

Laila saw his heart stop beating on her hands and waited for her to talk.

Vanth. – He was melodramatic; he was… a stupid person.

Laila. – How did he save you?

Vanth. – He did not eat my entrails, but from my family, in front of me.

Laila. – And what about Tvath?

Vanth. – Tvath, who is younger than me by 2 years, was learning by bones when he found her, inside a trench, there were the bones of her parents. Let me tell you the story. I was a killer in secret, for some years and had a family. Nevertheless I was forced to start from zero, when I found Tvath’s parents; I needed a hut to stay for a week, because 2 persons were behind me, searching for me. I was not wounded but have lost all. I hide in the shadows to begin learning the family’s habits, noticed they used to throw their garbage inside a trench, the rest of alabaster; they used to do funeral urns and sell them at the market. I waited for the night, there was no full moon to light my presence, and I entered in silent, killed them and removed their flesh. I ate their flesh; long time without food, hunger is trouble for an assassin, fresh flesh, not a problem. I threw their blooded bones in the trench, when I returned to their hut to see if there was anything left, I saw Tvath, sleeping and unaware of the silent murders, I took her to the trench… it was a game to me, thinking on her dying there. I considered that a young lady could not survive to my hits and the fall. Days later Sethlans arrived with Lasa to the hut and brought the remains of my family, she used her black spheres to hold me down, Sethlans wanted to kill me, and touched one of those spheres, it almost consumed him, Lasa had to take it with her, but before leaving, she told me to consider the position they were giving to me with the invokers; become a better killer, become a perfect assassin. Sethlans took out the entrails from a bag made of skin and began to read them, how much I hated him and his green eyes, his expression changed, his eyes turned bluish-gray when he saw there was another potential invoker close to the hut. He needed to find that person so he hit me several times until I agreed to join the invokers. I could continue developing my skills. The black sphere disappeared and Sethlans threw me the rest of the entrails, to feed me, but it was a complete humiliation. We went to search and found Tvath, there inside the trench learning about death and trying to resurrect the dead ones, she could not remember me or her gone family, so I noticed that she was ahead of me with the use of her energy, I had to pretend that I was her sister; how ironic! Sethlans saw something inside us, and took us with him.

Laila. – Quite a story.

Vanth. – (Standing up) yes, but it is the past. “Now you and I” like the death scene of Leinth.

Laila. – How did you know?

Vanth. – I have been following you, counting the number of your children, looking at your paintings and hearing your heart.

Laila. – And I thought you did not have the maternal instinct.

As soon as she stopped talking, Vanth sensed the Homunculus, analyzing their essence and then smiled while Laila was still bleeding.

Vanth was unarmed and had only her strong hands and her perfect tactics. The Homunculus, the 4 were bigger than her, her high was 1’74 meters and their 2’80 meters, she jumped to the 1st Homunculus on the right and held its neck, then pushed it to the floor.

Vanth. – (While it is falling) I can see the importance of having the control over the states of the matter, each of them is the materilization, although they have different aspects, they are similar in structure, their core is different. (The Homunculus fell and then stood up) Let me tell you, you could have done a better job with them. Now I know the 1st is solid, then there is plasma, then gas and finally liquid.

Laila. – (Thinking; she is fast with the energy, but I still have my advantage!) …come on and fight my children.

Vanth. – It is a child’s game to kill. Allow me to enjoy doing this with Sethlans’ ax.

Laila. – It is not here. Fight them with your hands!

Vanth. – I told you; allow me to enjoy this. His ax was always here, was always connected to him, to his fire. (Lifting his head, she began to whisper her cursed words, then the head began to burn wildly and form a blade of fire, she molded with her energy into the shape of an ax) “Fire of the dead, do not burn me” (cut his leg and used his femur as the handle, to join the blade). This is the real fire-ax. Your black obsidian mirror is lame compare to a weapon made by me.

Laila. – Impressive. How many of them did you have?

Vanth. – I had a small knife made with the bones of Mantus, but I used it to stab your father’s heart, it was a gift for him.

Laila began to feel dizzy, moved one Homunculus forward to defend her.

Vanth. – I see you can only control a Homunculus at a time, so I will respect that.

She ran against the Homunculus of liquid, avoided its hands by slipping on her knees and when she was under its core, cut its legs and continued slipping. She returned to it and jumped on its enormous back, to stab the blade of fire until reaching its liquid core, then she cut its head off and she waited for it to fall. The core was opened, from it water began to drop and finally a stream, its energy was dispersed. The Homunculus transformed into water.

Vanth. – I thought on killing you like it. (Sigh) It is a shame that I cannot longer use the same method, but I have more.

Laila. – I still have 3, enough for you.

Vanth. – Now, which could it be… yes the solid!

Laila was bleeding and had to kneel to control the Homunculus of solid. The Homunculus walked slowly to Vanth, she smiled and used the blade of fire against its right shoulder, but the blade incrusted and could not cut it, Vanth let the handler and hit its core causing cracking. The Homunculus took out the ax with its left hand and tried to cut Vanth, but she jumped avoiding its attack. The Homunculus had to use the right hand to prevent its core to crack, so it was only the ax the problem for Vanth. She noticed Laila bleeding and holding her chest similar to her Homunculus and said “Funny to see you both blocking your death”. The Homunculus began to run to cut her, she waited for it and jumped at the moment it attacked, from the top to bottom, cutting the floor, the Homunculus was inclining forward, Vanth had her chance, due to the fire and the perspective from Laila, she could not see well, and could not prevent Vanth’s attack. Vanth hit harder than ever its head, making it growl. Vanth took the handler and use the blade of fire to cut finally its right arm. When it fell to the floor, the arm began to disperse, “So I only have to cut twice or a part less thick?” Vanth ran against it, she cut its left foot, it tried to defend itself, to that, she cut its fingers and finished with the other foot. The Homunculus could not be stable and fell backwards. Vanth saw it and spited to it, “It is not your foul”, she saw its core and began to cut it, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 to open it, she incrusted the blade on the other shoulder and with her hands took out sand.

Vanth. – It is still warm.

Laila. – My child…

The Homunculus began to crack with thin lines, it disintegrated while transforming into sand. Its energy dispersed. Laila spited blood and tried to control another Homunculus.

Vanth. – I see that you hardly move and lost too much blood. Honestly I feel embarrassed to be your mother, to have you in my womb. (Walking to her) I can no longer save you, not like I did with Sethlans.

Laila. – I still have 2, waiting for you.

Vanth. – I had the hope to see Tinia before your end. He is a good slave, always doing what you say and in secret conducting your path to your ruin. We have to trust on each other, now on which of your children, will be your trust put on?

When Vanth was 2 meters from Laila, the Homunculus of plasma jumped to catch her. Vanth closed her eyes to sensed it and hit it with the blade of fire; the Homunculus opened its arms to receive the hit. The blade cut its core and it kneeled next to her. She was still with the eyes closed.

Vanth. – Pathetic. I can feel the fire inside.

At that moment the other Homunculus jumped to protect Laila by hugging her and taking away from there. Vanth opened her eyes and saw the fire inside; it was Aita directing his energy to burn her in one single attack. The fire covered completely Vanth’s body, burning her so intense that she let the ax fall and ran to save herself, Aita get out of the Homunculus, which began to disperse, he lifted the ax, he absorbed the fire from Vanth and concentrate it on the ax. Vanth was half blind, from her left eye and move slowly. She saw Aita and screamed to him with rage and wrath.

Aita. – You were my guide when I became a deceased.

Vanth. – I have waited for your return while I kept my mourning, your highness.

Aita saw to the Homunculus of gas and then sensed her breathing. Vanth on the other side looking to him with an eye, she tried to keep it red, but because of the fire, she concentrated her energy on moving her body and not feeling the pain. Aita began to balance the ax and decided where to cut her body. She saw in a blink of an eye the Homunculus hugging Laila, and then her opponent. Her sapphire funeral gown was burned, her hair ashes and her hands feeling again his fire of hate. She concentrated on her breathing and ran to attack him. He began to use fire as a weapon and when she was close cut her belly, but she skipped and received a superficial cut, she moved to his left, he thought that it was a mistake for not having a clear sight from that side and tried to hit her with the handler, she turned quick and hold his arm and twisted it with ferocity, he bent, he let the ax fall, she jumped and closed her legs across his neck and with her fingers took out his eyes, he screamed and could not find the ax, she hold the ax and cut his left leg then his right leg, he began to drag away, she threw the ax against the Homunculus of gas to cut through its core, the Homunculus began to disperse and there was not Laila. Vanth looked for any sign of her, there was not, with her left eye could not find her, she tried to sense her, but her energy was focused in be stabled. Aita searched with his hands for the ax, he dragged his body across the floor and touched a body, Sethlans, he recognized him, and grabbed a part of his flesh. Laila was at a corner, hiding in the darkness, her bleeding stopped, she saw her opportunity, and moved Aita against Vanth. Vanth saw Aita returning to her position while searching for Laila, she went for the ax, and walked slowly to kill him. Aita sensed that there was her and lifted his thorax to fight her.

Aita. – Stab my heart again if you dare!

Vanth. – My pleasure.

Aita. – At least I will die, again, fighting a real assassin.

Vanth. – Yes, Your highness.

Vanth stabbed his heart with a part of the ax and he began to burn. Laila run to hold her arms and kicked her right knee, Vanth fell. Aita began to laugh and looked for Vanth with his hands till he grabbed her head. Laila lift the ax over Vanth’s back, a noise like a thunder was heard, her vertebras breaking, the ax cut her spine, leaving her disabled from her dorsal back to her feet. Aita and Vanth fell next to each other and the fire began to consume them. Laila focused her energy on the fire and increased it. Vanth could only hit Aita’s core. Aita held stronger her head. Vanth looked at her daughter with wrath, felt all the pain of the burning fire on her arms, parts of the thorax and head. Vanth stayed there, maintaining her sight toward her daughter. Laila walked backwards while she maintained her sight in both of them; consumed by fire. She maintained her hearing in them; he laughing and she mute accepting her meeting with fate. Laila stayed looking at them until he was not moving. She walked and saw Vanth on the floor, “You are not dead yet”. Laila ceased the fire and sensed Vanth’s thorax, her burned bones were softer to break, Vanth’s eye was still red, she could not talk only murmur and Laila felt her pain while she took out her heart. She absorbed her energy and noticed that it was “dementia” she could use it in the public order; riots and manifestations. Then noticed that Aita’s remains where next to her, she did not want to absorbed his energy, at 1st, then considering better, she did, the result was “a mix for question and to wander”. Laila could absorb Sethlans’ energy; by taking the handler, it was better to save his energy for the final moments. Laila called 4 of her children in order to eat the rest of the bodies, Laila gave to them the liberty to act as wild lions and eat them furiously. She grabbed nothing from the remains. She looked at the children and smiled.

Laila. – I still not win, yet.

To the overwhelming sight of George all happened. He feared for his life and for his family’s life. Laila could stop her bleeding, and must rest for some minutes. Then she with the energy of her real parents could transmute her Homunculus into a black sphere. She contemplate the darkness inside the sphere, it could sense the energy disturbance calling for her, forming thoughts and letting her feel her own energy on its absorbing of light.

George. – (Moving his hands slowly) I suddenly feel not overqualified for this job.

Laila. – Hold on there, my doctor. I can feel my baby moving, (touching the wound of her chest) it is safe there, safe. But you will not return to your home.

George. – What? What do you mean by that? Please let me go.

Laila. – I will, if you take out all your clothes. It is ok. I do not feel shame to see you naked.

George. – Considering all, taking out my clothes is not a big issue. (He takes all of his clothes) Why am I here?

Laila. – I have brought you here to talk with you. We are friends, are not we? (Beginning to walk around the cage made of tempered glass) I have a good look on you; please not take it too serious. I respect you and appreciate your loyalty and your will to go forward, to take care on what you are doing with the researches, with the future vaccines, I see how your eyes and your hands move to balance your thoughts. I wanted to conserve you at my side, to be my new advisor (standing still in front of him) my body for my targets.

George. – (Trying not to stutter) so would I become… your eyes?

Laila. – No, pardon me. You will be my creation for destruction, I only hope to do it perfect, otherwise; I will have to wait for a new patient zero. (Walking to open the valves) Now, I have to do something that may be a fatal mistake for me. I have to experiment with your body.

George. – (Hitting the glass) please, let me go!

Laila. – Do not scream, those noises are not appreciate for me, needless, well of course we did our experiments, I have forgotten those screams, but my mother, she used to enjoy them. (Looking back to the spot of fire) I have to be better than them.

George. – I have to escape I have to find a way. The doors are closed, that burned man, sent me here. What was he?

Laila. – (Touching the faucets and speaking alone) am I sure to do this? He is a good person and I like him…

George. – The valves are not working yet, (looking around with his opened mouth), ah! There is a bigger scratch, I could hit it with a part of the valves, yes, and I must do it before they work, or the pressure would be faster. (Kicking the valve until it broke, lifting the iron item and beginning to hit the bigger scratch) Come on! Break! Come on!

Laila. – (Looking to him on the recording closed-circuit) come on! Please hit harder.

George. – (Hitting repeatedly) Break!

Laila. – Do it.

George. – (Hitting repeatedly) I need you to… (Hearing an unpleasant noise) No, please no!

Laila. – Hit again and do it now.

He hit again and then the valves were opened completely, he began to scream by fear, a caged human suffering for his future seconds, an imminent future, blurry and clean, fog and not a cloud of doubt. The black gas filled George’s last place. Laila saw him and said “Now that your heart is beating faster than ever, breathe through your nose, take that gas to your lungs and take all death, do it solemnly”

George. – Help (Trying to avoid the breathing and looking around)… me (Crying and blocking his nose and mouth with one of his clothes)… please (Then said his last words)… tyranny has claimed again its victory over ethics.

Laila. – Great words for a dying man. (She moved her black sphere to entered inside the cage made of tempered glass, she sent a part of Tvath’s energy to mix with the black gas, influencing the essence of the result) now George, do not die and change the course of history, do not die and resurrect your flesh with my beloved wish of demise, a disease to torture forever the body of humans, do not die while you cry, but rot forever in life.

Laila saw that it was enough and closed the valves, activated the air vent to clean her view on George. There he was.

George inhaled too much, his hands turned red and then tiny black spots emergued from his skin, it began to take over his body, his arms were painful to him, his hearing began to detect a hum, his thorax’s muscles began to produce cramps, his legs turned weak and slightly limped, the process of rotting began faster than Laila expected, from his face a piece of flesh fell to his hands. He began to scream, there was too much pain inside his body, he winced on himself, there was too much death going through his core till outside. His face lost his look. His teeth began to fall, not all, and his tongue was swallowed when he breathed by his mouth. An eyelid fell to the ground and he walked on it. From his shoulders appeared deep holes of flesh, the bones and the tendons seemed superficial. His belly opened and some of his vital organs rolled outside. He was not able to speak correctly and tried to write with his finger a word on the floor, it is unknown what he had in mind. He fainted.

Laila. – Now I have to wait to see if there are some stem cells on his fresh tissue. Come on! Ressurect your flesh, but do not dare to heal.

Laila had to wait for over an hour, then George began to move slowly his fingers, then his head, he touched where it used to be his face, he could only mutter his thoughts, the pain was in excess, he tried to move more, but there was not too much flesh to obey his mind, then he had to breath deeply to not faint again. She was sitting and her feet on the closest table were resting, she was smiling and watching his creation taking form finally. George moved a foot and his knees to crawl, he could not. He changed his body, or what was left, to move, little by little and pain by pain he did. He touched again the walls and while scratching them, his fingernails began to break, then a finger fell, then another and then he pronounced a sound, similar to a scream with no relevance.

Laila. – Now this is a show. I can sense your suffering and sorrow by contemplating this torture. I find a similarity on my words to Vanth. I know the energy from her is and was part of me. Yes, insanity is what guides me on my acts. All these actions are consequences of been alive. Quite a life I have; when I drowned in my inner self, I could see the face of death, I saw its crimson eyes and it made me free to act, to plan, to be a violent divinity hidden in the shadows, hidden under the sungliht among the rest of humans. Once I have tell this to Tinia, now it is a good time to say those words again; …the superior dragon becomes the ruler on the Realm, by disemboweling the rest.

Laila waited for a week and some more days watching George rotting and eating his fallen flesh, but not a sign to have again his flesh restored. And an afternoon while she was eating Pink Macaroons, she noticed that the eye lid from George was there again, she smiled and called Tinia.

Laila. – Wait, close your eyes, I know this is new with some old pinches of your disease. consider that this is what I need.

Tinia. – (Opening his eyes) what is that?

Laila. – Do you remember the experiments? Do you remember that I create my 1st Homunculus by absorbing the black energy from morbid people? Do you remember what is to accomplish a target? Do you recognize George?

Tinia. – What have you become?

Laila. – I am becoming the personification of death (turning her eyes white) The rest of the invokers of death are not similar to me.

Tinia. – (Touching his head) I cannot remember how many invokers are left.

Laila. – I will tell you; Lasa, Tvath, the incarnation of hope, you and me. (Touching her head, again there was the hum across her head, more intense; she had to close her eyes)

Tinia. – Where are Sethlans and Vanth?

Laila. – Oh yes! You were gone for some time. Take a look on the other room; please tell me, what is your perspective? (Tinia goes to see and finds out the signs of a battle with fire) I cannot hear you, my elderly friend. (He returns and says)

Tinia. – I wanted revenge against him. I wanted to break his neck.

Laila. – You do not say! (Opens her eyes)

Tinia. – I have been sleeping all these days, and in my dreams, I see you and then Tvath holds my hand, I am not sure if those dreams are marks of my subconscious or stories from my life in the past.

Laila. – (Looking at him) dreaming… I cannot tell you. (Changing the theme to avoid his doubts) We should focus on him (pointing at recording closed-circuit) he is our pawn.

Tinia. – Have I met him before?

Laila. – Yes and no. I cannot remember that fact now.

Tinia. – What are you waiting for him?

Laila. – I cannot believe it. I wanted to show you that his eyelid is on his face again.

Tinia. – Which one? What does it mean?

Laila. – Yes. It means that my virus is ready. Although I have only test it once, I am pretty sure it will work.

Tinia. – Now what?

Laila. – We liberate him.

That night Laila called her children to carry George. When they were leaving, she asked to Tinia if he could find his wife and his daughter, in order to infect them. He found them and guided the Homunculus to take him there. While he was transported, some of his flesh fell and Laila order to leave it, it could infect some unfortunate persons. They moved under the moonlight and the wraiths follow them to all the corners, entering to the houses nearby, taking the bad news to the people there living.

Laila. – (Looking at the house) so this is where he lives.

Tinia. – The wife is on the 1st floor. The daughter is sleeping on the 2nd floor.

Laila. – I can sense her sorrow and worries from the absence of her man.

Tinia. – How long he was missing?

Laila. – A couple of weeks.

Tinia. – So it is time for them to reunite.

Laila. – That is my old friend, always with a catching phrase.

The Homunculus took down the door and put George close to the house, letting him limping to enter, Laila called back her children. His wife heard the noise and went to see what was, she was expecting to see a police officer bringing news about her husband, or a thief, she even had the expectative to see her husband drunk, nevertheless; the night made a trick to her eyes and darken her sight, when she arrived to the fallen door, there was nothing, the night’s darkness entering to her house, a silent intruder bringing nothing, but then to her surprise she heard something wicked, a noise of a man muttering, she heard again the feeble and interesting muttering, not like a baby’s babbling, no there was someone inside the darkness, someone unable to speak. There was a voice behind the muttering; begging for help. Then she saw a man without a face, red and rotting flesh, a man without skin no fingernails on his hands, some teeth and the revealing bones holding his structure. She got shock by the terrific monstrosity in front of her. She hit him on the chest and on the head, he tried to hug her, there were the feelings from him and also her fears in the same place at the same moment, he could not utter the words “I love you” “Help me” “I am not dead”, he wanted to touch her beautiful and scared face, he wanted to explain to her his pain and desperation, she wanted to get out from there, could it be consider that a fight between a couple? Was it domestic violence? After some seconds of her screams and her hits against him, she pushed him harder and ran upstairs to get her daughter to run away. He tried to follow her by limping upstairs. She grabbed her crying daughter and considered that whatever he had as a disease, was too serious to go downstairs and escape, she saw the window, outside there was no one, the darkness that brought him, she covered her daughter with more blankets, broke the glass and jumped outside, when she landed on her feet, her left unkle broke and could not run from there, but her will took her slowly away. George went upstairs, could not find them, saw the broken glass, began to cry and while going downstairs his heart began to beat slower, slower, weaker, weaker and finally stopped. He sat down on a stair, there was still life inside his body, he tried to breath, tried to hold to his miserable life, tried to take rest and hold his beloved memories with him, there was not his family next to him for his last seconds.

Laila. – I do not hear her screaming. I only hear again this hum. I do not hear anyone screaming.

Tinia. – She is gone. Are you letting her run?

Laila. – Yes, she was exposed to him.

Tinia. – Well, if she is infected, we will know in some days, right?

Laila. – Yes, I do not care about it right now. I want to see him, I sense his heart is not beating and that is a real problem.

Tinia. – What do you mean?

Laila. – I am not saying he died for a broken heart. It sounds too corny! The problem is that he is not suffering and I cannot absorb his black energy.

Tinia. – Do you want to see him?

Laila. – I do not want to get infected, but it is imperative to enter and get him.

Tinia. – You could send your children.

Laila. – Yes, but I want to see him (Both walking to enter the house) see him.

When they saw him dead on the stairs with some tears around his eyes, she said.

Laila. – Fresh tears on the eyes of a recent dead, tells too much about his last memories.

Tinia. – (Sigh) Yes.

Laila. – Time to call some of my children.

She ordered her children to take him to do some experiments and find out why he could not resurrect after that issue, in other words, what was the problem?; he or the disease’s strength.

After some weeks of experiments, she found out that there was neither of them. The disease was not strong enough to reproduce all over the infected body, it did not transmit to his family or the neighboors. And talking about him; he died of a heart attack. The disease was not complete. Another failure. She thought that the disease should be cultivated on a patient able to proportionate the correct results, someone that could be used as an eternal regenerative mass of flesh, a living dead human, a rotting baby before birth, in that way the stem cells could adapt better to the virus and then duplicate the modified DNA to be synthesize on the process of mitosis, someone to amend death, she ought to search. But working on something will not always have a direct end, there are many detours, she accepted it, she defered all, she decided to travel to clear her mind, she stopped creating her children and consider return to her parents, they were good people. During a trip, on the place where she had the experience of the tempestuous rebirth, she touched again the once burned ground and lay down, remembering about her past issues and modern delusion; about her art, paintings, photography and writings, “I would end life… and all I want to do after is to write a poem about it”, she breathed slow and calm, she meditated on her purpose, she found the flaws and the advantages of her position, she breathed calm, she breathed slow, she concentrate on her ventilation, she focus on nothing, but be empty as a ghost, the outsider’s belief to this Realm. She decided to sleep and not hear the hum, not sense for some minutes.

Hours later, she woke up and wanted to experiment on Mania or on her children. It was a clever idea, they could have stem cells for the virus’ adaptation, or give more convenient results, there was work to do, there was a new field to explore, there were at least 3 possible approachs to her target.

Now the questions; Is Mania closer to death? Are her children necessary for the virus or casualities? Is there a chance to test on a new child of hers?

Yes, questions are here to answer, with time, with practice, with results, with orientation…

Laila thought on Pacha, his body and his composition, if he is not an invoker, why is he not dead?, did Satres send him to this time-line? If it was right, why? Is Pacha able to dwell on many places and in diferent time-lines? A ghoul dies? Could a ghoul see other planes? Is his fiend’s energy something to absorb?, after those questions, she declined the experiments on Pacha, she centralized on Mania’s children, Lasa was still important, could not kill her yet. She touched her belly, a pregnancy belly, then she confronted herserlf; “Fear is the beginning of every unknown path, so I should test this virus on my baby, yes, I must do it, I want to do it”

She returned to her facilities, waiting until she will give birth to her and Sethlans’ child. She walked in, there were the marks of a burned floor and the cage made of tempered glass with no one inside, the facilities were not dusted, not deteriorated, there were exactly the same. How much time has passed? Her eyes turned crimson and she felt the time of lavor was ready, she adopted a quadruped position. The place was abandoned and yet intact, there she walked as a shadow who walks through the streets, who waits on the garden next to a tree, there she touched the walls and sensed its cold, there she was a creator and a destroyer, there she saw her own shadow moving on the floor and looking back to her on every wall, a shadow who is as beautiful as its maker. Is it a being?, now it is born, without laden of crimes, averting from its maker presence. Laila saw her baby, an intersting lull for her. The baby, fear, was alive. Laila, as a mother, cleaned her child’s face; a physical human-shadow covered with her blood, with the aspect of a teratoma mixed with several fingers, hair, teeth, a curved torso, and limbs.

Laila. – A painful experience to take it out of my body through a process of opening a blood and flesh canal for a wasted formation.

She put the baby inside the cage made of tempered glass, she opened the valves and let the black gas be inhaled by the baby. The result, she finally got what she was looking for. Now she needed to change the being, make it human.

The next day she woke up by the hum, left her baby protected by her other children, 4 sinister were standing around and mute to the baby’s sounds and sobbing, their high and aspect of humans, however; their faces were glaring bones, the skulls were clamouring for life. Laila considered dire to create them, to prevent any attack toward the baby, their sullen aspect could make the intruders shun the baby. The baby should wait for the mother to have breastfeeding, meanwhile the Homunculus fed the baby by giving their “blood” as a liquid aliment. The baby drank their “blood”, he liked it.

Laila saw again her baby, in silence.

Laila saw her yellow book, “This is for him”. She wrote her last thought on it, a gift for him; “A new human-shadow borned and now dwells beyond the mist”. Laila left to visit Pacha, she wanted to see how he was, and how much she should make him change to get Mania’s children, it was a long trip to there, she did not take any shower and let her hair be a mess for a week. She arrived to the psychiatric clinic dressed as an indigent, the personal asked what she wanted.

Laila. – (Talking with the tone of embarrassment to make them believe) hello, good men, I know here is my brother.

1st male nurse. – Here are many lost men. You have to be more especific.

2nd male nurse. – Do you know his condition or his name?

Laila. – He has no normal life. He is 2 men at the same time.

2nd male nurse. – Maybe it is schizophrenic.

Laila. – Yes, I do not know, he is my only brother.

1st male nurse. – I have not seen you here before, and it is your only brother.

Laila. – What do you mean?

1st male nurse. – I mean, you have not come to see him, not once.

2nd male nurse. – Hey! Easy, easy there.

Laila. – I do not live here, it is a long path I have to walk. Please gentlemen do not see my old attires or my lack of interest on him, please let me see him and I will go.

1st male nurse. – Yes, for sure.

2nd male nurse. – Do not pay him attention. I will help you. Do you have an identification card?

Laila. – No, I do not.

1st male nurse. – Yes, of course.

Laila. – My brother has 2 faces, here (touching her face with both hands) and back here (pointing to her nape)

1st male nurse. – So, that bastard has a family member, a person who brought him and abandoned his miserable body to rot.

Laila. – (Whispering) to rot.

2nd male nurse. – (Talking to the other nurse) please, do not judge her, she has some personal and mental problems, as well.

1st male nurse. – I can swear she repeat my last words!

2nd male nurse. – Do not be afraid of her.

1st male nurse. – She is worse than him, I can tell.

2nd male nurse. – Ok ok, ok, you will take her to the emergency exit, and from there, I will take her to see… the cannibal.

1st male nurse. – His brother is hideous. He is locked up and you know the reasons. If there is a problem I am not falling, you!

2nd male nurse. – Yes, whatever. (Looking to Laila) come this way, and do not talk to my friend.

1st male nurse. – I hate you. (Going with her) plese do not touch me.

Laila. – I am with a nice men. (Touching his right hand to provock him)

1st male nurse. – (Thinking; I am not here, I am not here)

When they were at the emergency exit, the 2nd male nurse opened it and let Laila in, the 1st male nurse made a sign to do it quick and left. While the door was closing, Laila smiled and turned her eyes white.

Laila. – Help me, I do not see well.

2nd male nurse. – Oh! I did not see your eyes back there, come hold my arm and I will take you to your brother.

Laila. – You are better than the other nurse. Forgive me, but I have to ask; what are the reasons for my brother’s locked up?

2nd male nurse. – (Thinking; she hears well) it was, or better saying, is a problem.

They were going upstairs, close to the light, a duality from the sun, it gives you redemption or perpetual blindness. Inside those rooms; the sorrow dwells and craziness intensifies, voices of delirium, chorus of shadows, enigmatic company, empty words, and no talks.

Laila. – What kind?

2nd male nurse. – When he… when he was accepted here, well there were… fights over his condition. After some nights of him sleeping here, we were able to put him a straitjacket.

Laila. – He acts like a wild animal, sometimes.

2nd male nurse. – He is strong, let me tell you that.

Laila. – Did he bite someone?

2nd male nurse. – He eats a lot, if not satisfied, he is dangerous, tell that to the rest of the patients on his floor.

Laila. – (Imitating a cry) oh my brother, why are you like this?

2nd male nurse. – (Thinking; this is a real curse) another floor up and we arrive.

Laila. – Thank you for all.

2nd male nurse. – Please tell me, what is his name?

Laila. – His name is Pacha.

2nd male nurse. – So Pacha. (Opening a gate with a yellow key) I am not the nurse who sees him, you can talk with her (pointing to a female nurse at the end of the hall, next to a white window), she is the main nurse at this floor. She knows his… room.

Laila. – Thank you. (He leaves and she goes to talk with the female nurse)

Female nurse. – What are you doing here?

Laila. – My brother is here, his name, his condition (crying) I would like to see him.

Female nurse. – I have the duty to observe, … I could not fight him, I only saw his actions that night.

Laila. – What night, what happened?

Female nurse. – He was your… you left him here and wrote a note, like it could have help. At night, I still hear the screams of the other patients.

Laila. – What happened?

Female nurse. – A night he woke up inside his room, he started to scream in an unknown language, that is not new, he was another patient, he began to hit the door, I was alone up here, I wanted to give him food, sometimes the screams are a way to express their hungry, I went down and locked the gate, yes that gate over there, when I was returning with some colleagues we heard the screams and the doors falling, we ran up and we saw… we heard… we were the witness of his murders against the other patients. He entered to each room and began to bite, fight, quarter and eat all of them. When he was satisfied he slept, we entered and put him the straitjacket. There were remains of the humans he ate, the funerals were the next day, the director of this psychiatric clinic had to pay to all the relatives to avoid the exposure on headlines.

Laila. – (Smiling) so he is still strong.

Female nurse. – Totally. We give him always food, fresh meat, with no bones, he growls when it is cook, always red meat, and with that he is not turning violent.

Laila. – Yes.

Female nurse. – After the incident, a familiar of the eaten patients, a teenanger came to see the director, he insisted to know more and reject the money, the director took him to show… your brother, the teenanger understood the superior strength and his cannibal behaviour. The next week he returned to see your brother again, the director authorized his entry, he saw the meat and took out from his pocket a cyanide pill, he mix it with the meat and threw inside the room, to your brother. It happened too fast that I could not stop him.

Laila. – And?

Female nurse. – He did not die! The other face opened its eyes and I swear, it growl for some seconds, then he ate all the meat. The teenanger waited to see him suffer, but nothing, minutes then a hour, he stayed. Nothing. He left with anger. If he could, he would have entered there and kill him, but your brother would eat him alive. Days after I saw his photography on the newspaper, he had jumped from a bridge, the suicide note stated “I die with wrath toward the mysteries of the mind, those eat us, those take us, those kill you and killed me”. The director is perplexed over him and only waits for his death.

Laila. – It does not sound good.

Female nurse. – Pardon me for telling you this, but it is truth, it is all truth.

Laila. – Could I see him?

Female nurse. – Yes, he is in that room. Come with me. (While they walk, she remembers she used to read for him, untill the accident)

Laila saw him moving his head. His head was shaved. He was looking at nothing. Was he looking at nothing? There, inside the room around him, were several shadow beings, staying close to him, and from time to time one of them scratched his chest, Laila sensed their intention to eat him. His other face, his fiend face, was with the eyes closed. Laila stayed there for some minutes; beholding his fiend face, there its eyes opened and he growled. “He is a collector”

Female nurse. – Excuse me?

Laila. – Nothing, I brought something for him, this yellow book, it is a log list of thoughts, written to make him think.

Female nurse. – Does he…? (Sigh) Is he able to understand it?

Laila. – Yes, he will. Please put it inside his room when he is sleeping tomorrow.

Female nurse. – Why tomorrow?

Laila. – Give time to time, thank you for all, I must go now. Bye.

Female nurse. – Wait, I must open the gate for you. (Opening the gate) Please forgive me, but I think the walls around them will not allow the screams to escape from their tormented minds.

Laila. – You are a good person, there is nothing to forgive. (Going out) I sense his hungry.

Laila left her yellow book; she wanted him to read it. She wanted him to read her thoughts and her poetry reflecting her life. While Laila was leaving the psychiatric clinic she noticed some patients on the patio, those were considered asocial and crazy to a modern society, not obeying the rules of today, the rejects and nihilist of contemporary statements, the wicked and wretched individuals. She became at that instant obsessed with them, she sensed them, she wanted to use them, and she counted them; 12, she smiled and left the place. At night she sent her children to strangle them, she condensed their energy and their minds into a black sphere; it was used to entered to Pacha’s brain, changing his mind, human thoughts, perception and transforming him into a half-human to understand the surroundings and to understand the written language. The next morning he woke up searching for food, he found the book, he was able to understand what he was reading, he began from the start and identify his incarnation on that flesh-body with those thoughts, that book never hoaxed him, he become obsessed with the yellow book’s gist, only putting it down to eat and only stopping to eat for his reading.

- (Talking in a husky voice and gliding inside the room) I am not full alive, and yet I feel pain.

Pacha. - Iƚ is dɘsolɒƚɘd in ʜɘrɘ.

Laila. – Talk my ghoul, talk in your unusual language, walk with your 4 opened eyes, and do as I tell you. Kill all you want, opened the vortex and became the last shadow. I control you, I will liberate you by a price; prepare the beverague.

Laila returned to see her, human-shadow, “baby”. She saw the Homunculus around her 1st human creation; those were standing still, dry, feeding the baby with their “blood”. The baby was calm and his eyes closed while absorbing his food.

Laila. – “You will live to see man-made horrors beyond your comprehension”… I feel cold enough to get uncomfortable.

She called Tinia and told him to find a man.

Tinia. – (Astonished to see her child) I did not know your baby was born! Who is the father? I did not want to ask, I feel, not good looking at him. (Getting dizzy) I need fresh air.

Laila. – (Lifting up her baby and starting to breastfeeding him) please find that man, he has a box of wood hidden in his hut, bring it too.

Tinia. – Yes. (He goes)

Laila. – He is not a human, I knew… during the night of our meeting. He has the essence for my child. But he is too old, if I do the changeling. It would work. (Looking to her baby) I want you to do an important command for mommy.

Tinia returned with the man, he was sleeping and left him on the floor. Tinia told her that he was with a woman. The woman was familiar to him, and moved her hands the moment he took him, he could not remember well, he began to cough and held his neck, finding a similar sore throat, his coughing continued. Laila saw the sleeping man on the floor and knew that he was not so human. There was something occult on his clothes. She touched his pockets, nothing, then his coat’s pocket, and there was a box of wood, not empty inside, there were some photography of that happy family. She remembered; “Noble hearts are easier to manipulate and intelligent minds always get along with the temptation”

Laila. – I crave for filling this box of wood with some memories. (She command to her children to bring her belonging from her photography studio) It will be a nice gesture to give this back with photos of my baby.

Laila arranged the place and the lights; several Homunculus were molded with the faces of all the invokers of death, their faces took the aspect of dead people, they laid down forming a circle of bodies. Others were standing outside the circle of bodies, to form an illusory square. The baby was alone in the middle of all, over the “corpses”, and Arthur was on the top right side. Laila called her personal Homunculus, for the purpose to bring the rest of the black obsidian mirror and the jars of glass containing the hearts; the invokers of death’s hearts. Her personal Homunculus was there for the photos with hazel eyes, on the below left side. Tinia was still coughing, she told him to put the Homunculus of Sethlans on the top left side. She noticed the empty side, so she put the Homunculus of Mania on the below right side. Laila saw her baby.

Laila. – I see the dim lights and the cryptic-form of symbolizing the last creature I made. Forgive me, my dear. I need your essence, your blood, your death.

She let the camera to take photos of them, every couple of minutes, she put in and out the black obsidian mirror, and each time she cut with it her baby’s skin, the baby began to bleed and the Homunculus began to absorb his blood. Laila saw it and took 4 photos of them. Then she condensed their energy around and above, “Energy cannot be created or destroy…” there was white and black energy in the ambient, there were black beings and an alive being, “…it can only be changed from one form to another”, Laila opened her eyes, the color had changed, crimson eyes to behold the transmutation, “I am the creator of fear, I am the personification of death, I am the destroyer of this Realm, I am the collector of souls and spirits, I am the curse”, the mix of energies turned into an unusable form. Then channeled it inside her baby, it began to bleed from his eyes, the black obsidian mirror broke in 2 parts. The baby crying by the pain began to have convulsions. Then Laila used the hearts to put all that particular energy inside him. The baby stopped his cries and become catatonic. Laila knew that it was ready for the changeling.

Laila. – Tinia wait for these photos to be revealed, then take this man, with his gift, to his hut, tell to the woman that I will visit Mania inside the cave, she will understand.

When Tinia left with him, Laila heard a voice from the other side of the walls, she recognized the tone, and then she heard the footsteps of a walking invoker. She turned to see him while lifting her baby. There it was a younger Satres.

Satres. – Oh I see you recognize me, but I, for the moment, do not.

Laila. – I thought you had your reasons to be killed.

Satres. – For my future and for your past, yes.

Laila. – Tell me, what are you doing here?

Satres. – In time, I live and I decide what to show you. I will talk on my time-line; I felt your energy across cultures and eras, I needed to know you, to give you my essence, to be the 1st on be sacrificed and for that reason I sent Sethlans on your past, to give you our most important treasure.

Laila. – The black obsidian mirror.

Satres. – Yes.

Laila. – Why?

Satres. – The mirror was a creation of Culsu to talk with death, to know about the language of shadow beings, to understand their language and to see their reflection, but you transformed it in a lethal knife.

Laila. – Is there a problem?

Satres. – No, my intention is to inform; you used it in a darker way. It can kill us and I agree with it. I want to help you.

Laila. – You did.

Satres. – Yes, I see a Homunculus of me over there.

Laila. – Is there something else you want to show me?

Satres. – I have been doing it.

Laila. – How and when?

Satres. – My real power is not sending energy through time. It is something you could name as prophecy by future actions.

Laila. – Explain yourself!

Satres. – I show your path by dreams.

Laila. – So those dreams are prophetic?

Satres. – I have seen them and lived those experiences. Those dreams were the only reason for me to join the invokers of death. I always knew that I had to meet the person, the queen on my dreams and guide her to her duty. I could not trust in the rest.

Laila. – I appreciate your tolerance and your method.

Satres. – There is another thing for your consideration. He is Tinia.

Laila. – I took care of him.

Satres. – No, you do not. You think he is dead, he wants to kill me in every time-line, but there were many of me through time, many hidden. He is trying to guide you into the abyss.

Laila. – He has his reason and I have mine. Now talking about you; in my past, Sethlans sent me with him to meet you.

Satres. – I know. I was there, hidden, when you killed me, but you did not do my last wish.

Laila. – How could it be?

Satres. – I am always hidden to be the justice of his actions, to prevent him to kill you.

Laila. – How could I stop him?

Satres. – You killed him, but did not take his heart. Take his heart out and use it for the oblation.

Laila. – I still need him around.

Satres. – I can be your helper, your messenger. I can be in my future. I can serve you when I become elderly.

Laila. – In our future.

Satres. – Yes, I can take you there.

Laila. – I prefer to live on my time-line. I do not want to live in the future.

Satres. – I will obey your commands and give you my heart again. Moreover, I sense your sickness is still growing.

Laila. – I think that for the moment, for my present, I am fine. I know about my sickness and it is not important. I will die, too.

Satres. – You will not be able to end all. You need my help.

Laila. – I could try.

Satres. – I accept your will, my queen. I only ask for a favor or a wish.

Laila. – Which is?

Satres. – When my future is again on your hands, kiss my heart before you kill me.

Laila. – I will, but you must be ready if I need you.

Satres. – I will be ready. (Smiling and touching her forehead) please absorb some of my energy, although it is ending, as my life. Use it to hide our hearts away from his view.

After saying those words Satres disappeared. Laila concentrated on her past using Satres’ energy, she hide the hearts inside her statues. She saw her personal Homunculus and gave to it more “life”, and then she sent it to her parents with a special assignment, buy a replica of the statue “Mars of Todi”. She stayed for some minutes looking to the rest of her creation; her baby was breathing and his bleeding restart, “you are going to be totally important for my plan. You are the perfection of death”. She began to move the lights and her camera, to other places when she remembered.

Laila. – Now I remember; the hearts and a kiss on his beating heart.

Tinia returned.

Tinia. – The woman was Mania, an old friend of mine and she accepted a gathering inside the cave of changelings. She is in the last month of pregnancy.

Laila. – I like the word “gathering”, thank you Tinia. Now I have to rest and think about her.

When Mania, was ready for Laila, sent her 2 last children to enter the cave, there they clean the stones and monoliths, while looking at the paintings of blood. She called them back to wait inside. Her oldest daughter was returning from selling some eggs, she was not similar like the younger. Mania made her slept on her bed, she was her light at those dramatic moments; Mania could not heal her flesh, those spots were progressing in pain, she saw her new husband, she had to say goodbye to him, deep inside she knew there was a big possibility to not come back. She asked for his kiss and a hug, he did both and ask about her worries, she could not say too much, it was her secret, she asked about the new son’s name, he told her that there was an article in an old newspaper about an interesting philosopher, and he got an idea from him, more than an idea it was a quote, it was satisfying as food or a good day at their small farm, she asked about the quote and then for the philosopher’s name. He wanted to say more things.

Arthur. – (Touching her face) my beloved Virginia Jane, you are the best person I have met. I still remember when my family sold to us this hut, we have worked and we made out of it a great place to live, and to farm this land. You were bold to help me and your beauty did not fade away. We have 3 beautiful daughters and I know this baby will be a boy, we will teach him, we will play with him and we will protect him from any danger.

Virginia Jane. – I am thinking in all good things we lived. Tomorrow I will be back to you.

Arthur. – What are you saying?

Virginia Jane. – I have made you…

Arthur. – (Totally confused) what?

Virginia Jane. – I am saying, I am asking; have I made you happy?

Arthur. – Always. Where are you going tomorrow? You must take some rest, I can see your belly is huge, please stay at home, well at hut. Do not go to work too early.

Virginia Jane. – Yes, but I have to teach our younger daughters how to get the job done. (Holding his hands) please if I am late for the last meal, at night, please start without us.

Arthur. – Do not be that dramatic. I will eat with our daughter, and then have a chat with you and our daughters, while you have dinner.

Virginia Jane. – I thank you for all that you do.

Arthur. – I will always protect my family.

Virginia Jane. – The children are sleeping, please walk with me for some minutes on this mountain, on this moment.

Arthur. – I sometimes feel like we are the last family on this world.

Virginia Jane. – (Looking to him) I wish it could be true.

Arthur. – The hinterlands are better than the city and all the events from there.

Virginia Jane. – Yes, too much noise.

Arthur. – The other day I fell asleep and had a dream about some people, they were dead and I… do not remember well, there was this elderly man who took me away from you, but did not hurt me.

Virginia Jane. – I am glad to hear it. I could not live if you were hurt by him.

Arthur. – You sound like you know that man!

Virginia Jane. – (Kissing his lips and then talking slowly) thank you for giving me life.

Arthur. – You have made me…

Virginia Jane. – What?!

Arthur. – You have made me happy.

Virginia Jane. – Tell me the name of the philosopher and the quote.

Arthur. – His last name is difficult for me to pronounce, his name is Friedrich, his last name is Niet… Niteshss… Nitssht something.

Virginia Jane. – Frederic?

Arthur. – No, I said Friedrich. But I like more Frederic.

Virginia Jane. – It sounds as a good name for our son.

Arthur. – (They hug to each other) so Frederic will be.

Virginia Jane. – Agree. And the quote, do you remember it? No, no, no please tell me 1st what thoughts the quote gave you.

Arthur. – It is related with the action and its imminent outcome. The benefits are of course to be questioned and the subject is free to do, and even do not do a thing at all!

Virginia Jane. – It sounds fascinating! Tell me more.

Arthur. – I could be wrong, I could be right; there is no one to judge it, to understand it, if I do it with my inner essence, with my heart. It is a place where the feelings take place.

Virginia Jane. – So it is related with a good action with awful outcomes… or is it with a bad action with great repercussions?

Arthur. – I read; “Whatever is done for love always occurs beyond good and evil”

Virginia Jane. – For the moment, I like it.

Arthur. – I do, too.

During the night they saw together the firmament and hugged to each other, they were happy for the hours the night took to stay with them. Mania woke up early at dawn and kissed his oldest daughter, his husband, and left the small farm with the 2 specters, those children changed their aspects to look like the abominations they were, they carried Mania on her shoulder to enter the cave, those specters were under her commands, and they would protect their mother.

When they reached the underground dome, they could see the sanctum-place lighted by torches of fire, Laila was holding his baby, and in front of her were 8 circular-hole stones and on those stones were engraved with Umbrian language, something we could read as “Creation inside the infinity has no reflection on life”. On the left side was Tinia with his eyes closed, and over their heads was Tvath held against the rock by several Homunculus’ hands.

Mania. – I see you have them under your control.

Laila. – Please be quiet or you will wake up the dead, oh I forgot, they are not dead, yet.

Mania. – I see we got mutual friends. I thought you wanted to be an unknown, an anchorite to this Realm. I told you the secret of energy in blood, to control your own energy; you had always that atrocious essence. I accept you wanted to create Homunculus or even a Tulpa, pushing your borders beyond any other invoker. I saw inside of you, your roots are thirsty of blood and your soul is screaming for forgiveness. Your inner self now is unlink to the eternal spirit, it is darker than before, and its trill is the echo of death.

Laila. – Do not flatter me.

Mania. – I have seen horrors from the invokers and from the humans. I am dying and all I can think before my time is finished; it is my only human daughter.

Laila. – Yes, your daughter is a human. But those are your abominations. Those daughters are the sexual result with your husband, tell me about him or better pointing, it.

Mania. – How much do you know?

Laila. – I know about your fight with your 1st human daughter, Leinth. Would you like to see her? Here and now?

Mania. – I saw the photos inside the box of wood. I have recognized her.

Laila. – Well, you could talk with her.

Mania. – I do not want to (hearing footsteps from behind her back) talk with her.

Leinth. – (Walking inside the dome to reveal a normal face) I am here.

Mania. – (Turning to the sound of her feeble voice) please, you were dead, and your face was eaten by…

Laila. – Talk with her.

Mania. – (Commanding to one of her daughters to protect from Leinth and the other to be ready of Laila) this is not normal.

Laila. – Talk with her.

Mania. – Why are you doing this?

Laila. – I promised her nothing, but here I am and there she is. She is the only Homunculus here made from a single bone. There inside your daughter is her rib. I thought you could hug her one last time.

Mania. – No, I cannot and I am here to…

Laila. – To do what; to stop me? Please this is not a gathering to fight over the destiny of this Realm. I am here to help you.

Mania. – (Completely surprised) what did you say?

Leinth. – I am here to help you and I am here to heal you.

Laila. – You were impressive about the morality in this entire journey.

Mania. – What do you mean?

Laila. – You know…

Leinth. – I know…

Mania. – What?!

Laila. – You were bitten by Pacha, by his other face, it wanted human flesh from the start, his mouth had the essence from his Realm, it is a ghoul, and he infected you. If you were eaten there by him, nothing of this could have ever happen. Your flesh began to rot and Mantus was healing you, but then you got scared from the rest of the invokers, you wanted to run away so you ask for help, because your doubts were increasing over Sethlans, you did not wanted to be used like Menrva, you tried to convince Lasa, she was not interested in you, so you left all and Mantus followed you. He even gave you the black lily as a proof of his will to go on with you.

Mania. – But…

Laila. – Sethlans got paranoid, like he used to be and sent Leinth to stop you. But no, it is not correct.

Leinth. – I searched for you, I wanted to help you and I am trying to help you now.

Laila. – You wanted to heal your body by using Mantus energy, so you asked for a favor to Tinia, a technic he used before to impress his king, Aita.

Mania. – (Whispering) My Mantus.

Laila. – He taught you, in return of the exact location of someone; he and you had the hope that Sethlans would die eventually, unless Tinia could find Kiri, the master of Mantus in the process to heal flesh, to recover flesh. And Tinia as he was, he wanted to conserve his position close to Sethlans, it was revenge, despite of his hate, he knew, Sethlans was the new king, he began to form his plan to take all the invokers down.

Leinth. – I have missed you.

Laila. – I am sure that Tinia only accepted to never reveal your location to Sethlans, but to Lasa, that is another theme, in fact she forced Tinia to tell her, Lasa is the guardian of tombs and wanted to know your last place, she does not care about the events in this Realm, she only cares for the buried people.

Leinth. – Consider it as a collection.

Laila. – You regret in not returning for Leinth, she regret in not finding you before to prevent the assassination of her father, talking about dysfunctional families. You saw how your dark beings, the specters, ate Leinth’s face, you felt how Vanth caught you; you are scared as that day. So after you run away, you were dying, your beloved husband was dead, you used specters to be held on their shoulders, but then something inside you changed, once you were on these mountains.

Leinth. – Where is my father?

Laila. – Where is the dead body? Where is Mantus buried?

Leinth. – Where is my father?

Laila. – Where is Arthur?

Mania. – (Talking to Leinth) I am your creator, (holding her head) what are you?

Laila. – You tell me.

Mania. – I, I, I did what I must. (Letting Leinth free)

Laila. – You asked to Tinia about the creation of the Homunculus, you wanted to use Mantus’ energy to create a Homunculus to give you always more and more recovering, you ran away by the fear of becoming the next Menrva, once you are done, you become an oblation.

Leinth. – Where is my father?

Laila. – You knew about Vanth’s ability to find you and kill, but you let, you allowed an ambush, so Mantus would protect you and get killed by her.

Mania. – I see you do the same, you use their energy in your favor and you would have done the same.

Laila. – You knew about this place, you knew it because you used to steal the babies and some children from their parents by the changeling. You are wicked. You used to do it for Sethlans and his pleasures of haruspicy.

Mania. – There was the only way, Mantus could not help me, he could never heal me entirely, and I…

Leinth. – Where is my father?

Laila. – You created the Homunculus of Mantus without a conscious, without a past and without your shame.

Leinth. – Where is my father?

Laila. – You created Arthur, you convince him that he had a family, you killed those people for that property, but that is not all, you had sex with your own creation, your own creature! You wanted to heal your body by each time you got pregnant. You failed as I see. You are the wicked here.

Mania. – I did not want to lose my spirit in that way.

Laila. – Every time you got pregnant; a small part of your disease transcended with the baby, later on you killed the baby to feed your couple and it could have more vital energy, tell me later; how does it taste the flesh of a physical specter?, Your flesh was almost cured, years and years with the same method, but then, a miracle happened; a real human was born, your daughter, who is not here with us.

Mania. – Liven my baby…

Laila. – The next 2 turned to be like the predecessors, merely physical specters. You knew it was about time, no heart as wicked as yours could turn darker after there is a reason to become good.

Leinth. – I want to play with my sisters.

Laila. – Now your final child is there. What will you do with him?

Mania. – I will, I would, I do not know…

Laila. – Here we are, you tell me.

Mania. – Now I do not have a secret for this day.

Laila. – I have mine. You see there is Tinia, back there is Leinth and up there is Tvath. Well of course Sethlans and Vanth are hidden. I wanted to bring Aita, but too complicated.

Mania. – What about your baby?

Laila. – He is my changeling. He is a human-shadow, he is part of me.

Mania. – Explain me.

Laila. – I will condense the black energy I have collected, and put inside my baby, I will give you my baby through the circular stone hole, to do the 1st part of the changeling. Then you can “absorb” him, he will be mix with your physical body. It will heal you by putting all your sickness inside your fetus. And as soon as you give birth to him, you will be free.

Mania. – And the 2nd part of the changeling?

Laila. – You know that I know; it is not necessary to give your new born through the circular stone hole to me. You can keep him. I will be waiting for the precisely moment.

Mania. – I know you are dying.

Laila. – You do, as well.

Mania. – (With sarcastic tone) will I die?

Laila. – Not for the time. You could give birth to more specters, but; if you reject my help, there will not be a future for your family.

Mania. – Let me think about it.

Laila. – Think all you need. But for the moment there are Sethlans and Vanth. (Mania saw 2 shadow being coming out of the corners), well, well, well, Tinia open your eyes and bring us some entrails. I know a pregnant woman needs to eat. (Tinia disappears)

Leinth. – The breakfast is the most important meal.

Laila. – I wanted to tell you that I am proud of you, you did all, all to heal you, sometimes a mind gets devastated at the pressure and falls from the edge, but you, you Mania, you were brave and fought all the battles to take out this curse. You had the resource to give to your creations a small layer, with it, a red or a black spot on your skin vanish, cool idea, but also a terrific use of your children.

Mania. – We are not so different. I see your baby is not a human, not a Homunculus, not a transmutation, or it is all in one, another abomination.

Laila. – It is the accumulation of the invokers of death’s energy into one single human-shadow. The hearts provided me their energy, although they are treasures, I want to put all into one single attack.

Mania. – Attack?

Laila. – I want to heal you. You want to get rid of this curse. I give you my baby, you give the disease.

Mania. – So you want me to put my entire curse into my new born, but it will have also all their energy. And the result is a disease. From where did you get it? And you are telling me, you will wait for it, I mean him.

Laila. – I will wait for my child. I have seen the future and it is all I am missing.

Mania. – What about your experiments?

Laila. – I knew Tinia used to tell you my details, that contemptible!

Mania. – What is that black gas you mix with the black spheres?

Laila. – (Looking to her baby) in few words, it is the condiment of food for my baby, it cannot exist without it, it prepares the bodies.

Mania. – What about me or my baby?

Laila. – I do not have stem cells to adapt completely.

Mania. – You…

Laila. – I do what I must do… I adapt this Realm to my will. I am not different in choosing my path to get things done.

Mania. – Let me tell you…

Laila. – (Interrupting her)… No, you do not say a thing!

Suddenly Laila’s Homunculus; Sethlans and Vanth, held Mania’s specters by their necks, then Tinia appeared with Lasa to get Mania by her arms, Leinth grabbed her legs and Laila turned her eyes white.

The fire, of the torches, was illuminating the sanctum place, where the 2 mothers had a conversation.

Laila. – I know it is too obvious, (putting her baby inside the 1st stone circle and then walking to Mania) but there is no other way to do this…

Mania. – No, please, I beg you.

Laila. – You bit me long ago, to give me part of your disease. It is Providence... I will need the energy of your other specters, but for me…

Tvath fell on the floor and her head hit on the 1st circular stone, her blood began to disperse around.

Laila. – (Scratching her own face till it begins to bleed) a mother gives; this is my blood, this is my energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant, (scratching Mania’s face till it begins to bleed)… A mother receives; this is your blood, this is your energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant.

Laila’s baby began to lose his form, changing into a black fog, and it began to move across all the circular stones. The specters began to make sounds similar to human screams while shaking their heads.

Laila. – A mother gives; this is my blood, this is my energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant. A mother receives; this is your blood, this is your energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant.

The specters tried to get free, their sounds became louder.

Laila. – A mother gives; this is my blood, this is my energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant. Another receives; this is your blood, this is your energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant.

The black fog reached to the final circular stone.

Laila. – A mother gives; this is my blood, this is my energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant. A mother receives; this is your blood, this is your energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant.

The black fog entered the body. The body began to shake. The skin filled with red spots. The eyes cried blood tears. She closed her eyes and her breathing stopped.

Mania’s specters changed the shape of their fingers into claws and decapitated their oppressors. Then they adopted a quadruped position, calculating their position and jumped against Laila.

Laila. – (Falling on the rocky ground) a mother gives; this is my blood, this is my energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant. A mother receives; this is your blood, this is your energy, bleeding to agree with a covenant.

The 2 specters got Laila and began embedding their claws into her flesh; it was a violent act, with the purpose to stop the changeling, but not a positive effect. The fog entered totally. Mania stopped moving. The 2 specters looked at Mania and from their claws blood was dropping on the ground, the corpse of Laila was bleeding to the extreme that her blood began to form a shape around them. The specters attacked Lasa, Leinth and Tinia, they embedded their claws into their chest, they fell, and their blood joined to Laila, the stream of blood then joined to Sethlans and Vanth’s blood, forming a shaped around them, forming a circle of blood. The 2 specters tried to lift their mother, but a voice from an elderly man told them to stop. He was one step out of the dome.

Satres. – You must not break the process; the covenant for the changeling is still in process, if you want your mother back, wait there.

Lasa. – (Chocking with her blood) I thought… they were weaker…

Satres. – They are creations of Mania.

Lasa. – Where is… where is Laila?

Satres. – She is with us. She is in her real state; forming from the blood of all the invokers, absorbing your last black sphere, joining all their essence to fertilize Mania’s womb, possessing her fetus to change its core and its essence. All is fit together, but without the last member of us.

Lasa. – Clara…

Satres. – Her essence is hope, Laila does not want to put it together, you can see Mania is still alive, tomorrow she will give birth to the boy, who will perfect the virus.

Lasa. – She told me… she told me to be here.

Satres. – She needed your blood, but she respects you too much to kill you, so she manipulated those specters.

Lasa. – My heart is… I have my heart.

Satres. – Your energy is to create black spheres, those unite the energy of dead, it is essential for this to work that Mania eats your heart, to survive one last day, one last birth…

Lasa. – I need to… need to get out…

Mania began to breathe in and out, fast, faster, she opened her eyes, moved her arms slowly, and then she stood up.

Lasa looked at her with fear, she tried to summon a black sphere, she could not, she tried to escape out of the circle of blood, and Mania held her, she ordered her 2 specters to open her chest, she saw her heart, Lasa could not stop them, Mania grabbed her heart and began to pull it out, Lasa was in shocked, Mania took out her heart, smiled and began to eat it.

Satres. – Now it is done.

Laila recovered her conscience and saw her wounds; then touched the 2 specters on their heads, and absorbed the essence of Mantus, using it recover, the specters changed into single human girls.

Laila. – Go now, take your mother and help her with the labor. Live to sustain your family and look for your father. Do not tell to him or your older sister what you have seen here, I will call for my child, when he is ready.

Laila saw to Tvath, she called some Homunculus to hold her against the ground. Tvath began babbling and Laila heard again the hum, she was going crazy.

Apsara and Naiad. – (Talking at the same time with a clear tone) when will he be ready?

Laila. – I am glad you ask; please take this black obsidian mirror, the mirror was once part of a bigger one.

Apsara and Naiad. – What will we do with it?

Laila. – It will show you the faces of the dark beings, when your little brother begins with his sickness; you have to look for his face’s reflection. If he is reflected, then you will have to say “goodbye”, for that moment, he will belong to me.

Apsara and Naiad. – And what about our brother?

Laila. – Do not worry, plant this seeds. If he returns to you by his own will to die, then you can give him a beverage of the poison parts.

Apsara and Naiad. – You will not take our mother, will you?

Laila. – No, but if she dies before all the sickness. Do me a favor. Put half of the mirror inside his coffin.

Apsara and Naiad. –Why?

Laila. – It will guide the redeemer of dark beings; to be together.

They helped their mother to leave the place.

Laila stayed with Satres, his elderly aspect was in fact similar to his last day.

Laila. – We got work to do; Clara’s heart might break. And we will prepare the ambient for the virus among people.

Satres. – Why her heart?

Laila. – I will need her broken heart for the oblation.

Satres. – What do you have in mind?

Laila. – She is nice, but her heart has no meaning, no reason to fight, once there is the outbreak, she will devote herself in helping others, and that is when we attack. I was thinking in giving her false expectative or better saying; false hope. I need to resurrect my doctor (looking to Tvath), so he could be her “companion”. He is a noble person. I will give him a new life, I was thinking in taking his family away.

Satres. – And then?

Laila. – Once he thinks his work is done, once she thinks her life is finally improving… well I do not want to spoil things.

Satres. – And what about Pacha, the ghoul?

Laila. – Now that I know were Mania’s children live, he will have to wait there, locked up. His body is unable to get infected from any human disease; he will be our eyes and our hands to open the vortex. The oblation might be the hearts, and all the black energy, around Pacha, he is a living collector of shadow beings, those are essential to the process of summoning. I will have to be the white energy.

Satres. – I want to ask, do you know by now the difference between the black and the white energy?

Laila. – Yes, thanks to you, when you sent me to see those suicides, I got a 1st impression, however; I found out the truth, the last time I was attacked by the black spheres.

Satres. – I have never touched those, but please tell me.

Laila. – It has to do with the… way a person dies. The black energy could create a wraith, a wight, and even a ghost. The energy could be condensed into a new dark being. All the suffering, desperation and sorrow are attached to the transmutation from the living to the dark being. It is a passive process; natural death or a murder. Now talking about the white energy, the process is the opposite. It is an active process; it could be categorized voluntarily, on how the person dies.

Satres. – (Talking with doubt) which is?

Laila. – Suicide, the only thing Menrva needed to set free the Gashadokuro over this realm, but she could not do it, Sethlans knew it and pushed her, to step ahead and become the king of death. When he met me, he began to manipulate me in order to act against me as he did with her. The canalized black energy is what could summon it and the white, depending on the person, is its will. Menrva left her legacy in Pacha to be used later with the conviction of his imminent death. (After some minutes of looking to the dead Homunculus) I want to travel before all is gone.

The next week Mania gave birth to Frederic inside the hut, helped by Arthur and her daugthers. She saw him, her son, or Laila’s son? He was perfect, immaculate, only the odor of putrefaction coming from him, he cried, she had a thought before passing away, “why we look for perfection? Simply because we are all flawed”

A Homunculus was inside the corner’s shadow; it saw the nativity of the cursed child, and then traveled to tell all to Laila.

Laila. – (After listening to the new) time would brood all for the ending.

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