The Razor's Edge

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As you struggle for the good, how do you prevent the coin flipping to become the very thing you sought to remove?

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The Razor's Edge

I'm known as the soul destroyer, and that's because I'm different. Different in a way nobody understands except me.

They also call me a witch, and they hate me. They also fear me, and luckily this works to my advantage as they can't stop me doing what I can do.

You see what I can do is nothing complicated. Well, it is for anyone else, but it is incredibly simple to me, so I suppose I have difficulty in comprehending why they can't. I can control light, I understand light more than other people too. I don't know how, I just do. There isn't anything I can't make it do yet, there are a few things that are difficult, but that's just because of a lack of practice at that particular area.

That's my abnormality explained, in terms that anyone reading this could ever understand; my situation is somewhat more explainable. I'm a slave.

That started when I was 10, and I was actually born free, but there were some slight complications about me. Many of the people I knew when I was free were stuck up cows, or worse names I know, and thought themselves better than the slaves, but that's because they didn't understand properly.

Because of their arrogance there is so much they don't know.

When I was 10 my parents decided I was too controversial, which was not a good thing and the things that I was saying were inappropriate for being said. So they sold me, simple solution to a not so simple problem.

I was sent south, to be bought by an important businessman. I disliked him instantly. I mean why would I like someone who was prepared to buy slaves just to wash his fingernails? He had a son, who I pitied, and therefore liked and got on with. I taught him what really went on with slavery, and I also got on with his other slave girls.

My first proper job was 'school bag' to his son. I hated it, but I used it to my advantage, and soon my parents regretted ever selling me - they realised that it was not the way to shut me up. After three years of being a school bag I was sold on because of my lectures against slavery and prophesising doom to those promoting it. I knew by that age what I could do.

Then I was sent back north again, to the rain and weather I was accustomed too. To an evil old hag! If I'm a witch, there's no word bad enough for her. She was the one who turned me into a nut, and I use that to symbolise that I now show nothing on the outside, I have a shell.

However I learnt from her that you have to be strong in this world to get things you want, whether it's good, bad or neither. She taught me the few distinctions between good and evil and how to see between them.

When I was there I was the errand girl, I ran around after things that were needed from various different places. I was in the market square a lot, and that's where I met the only true friend I ever had, Blino. He was an errand boy for another evil old witch who was friends with mine, and we ended up spending a lot of time with each other. He knew what I could do, I showed him, and ever since he's feared me like everyone else, but he respects me, unlike other people.

The estate that the witch owned was not measly, but wealthy and important, and she had a daughter who would inherit the lot and be an important figure, but I wasn't able to influence her as I was never allowed near her. She was betrothed to the prince of our land, poor old sod, which made her even more important.

I showed my mistress what I could do the day before her daughter's wedding. She almost had a heart attack! She said she'd give me to her daughter as a head slave, believing that it would satisfy me and prevent me from killing her, as it is possible for me to do. Unfortunately I knew that I wouldn't be able to take Blino along with me, but I would bring him along when time permitted.

So by the time I was fifteen I had landed the job of head slave at the new northern palace. The best thing about that was the fact that I could gather the other slaves' trust and then I could show everyone what I could do, and with the knowledge I was gaining from the slavery I knew it would be even easier.

I waited for four years, because I had the perfect opportunity to act.

Both master and mistress were away, so we had the time unguarded, as I was head for the duration. All the slaves were loyal to me, because I had seen to that. That was easy as I can use light to alter perceptions, thoughts and memories, though I don't often do so. I find life is more interesting if I don't cheat. Yes, life is just a game that we play; there are no rules except those which cannot usually be broken anyway, such as not interfering with people's thoughts and emotions in such direct ways. So not rewriting their brains yourself by direct methods which are normally impossible.

So we had everyone arranged in such a way that master and mistress would return and believe that nothing had changed, but they would soon discover that they would not stay here for much longer.

They returned in the usual manner, and they relieved themselves of their luggage and settled down into the study where they ordered drinks and food to be served. I went with the food and drink, and I was dressed in a dark purple dress so that I could hide better so that my entrance would not be ruined.

I laid the trays on the side, and cut the lights with a flick of my hand. I have a wand for closer contact, because I have senses that are too sensitive and therefore close contact with light can be painful, but my wand can help prevent that.

"What's going on?" Master demanded.

"I'm going to ask you to leave," I replied, simply.

"Why?" he asked.

"Because we need this place, and you do not," I said.

"This is my house!" he said, clearly outraged.

"No, this house belongs more to us than it ever did you," I corrected. "Have you ever cared for it? No. Did you rebuild the parts that fell down? No. Do you know it like the back of your hand, if not better? No. Do you live here permanently? No. Do you have need of it? No."

"I refuse to be subject to this indignation," he said, in a way that suggested that I was about to be executed for disobedience.

"Refuse all you wish, but you have no choice," I replied. With another flick of my hand lasers of green light were around the room, slowly moving around the ceiling. "Do you know what that light can do to you?"

I saw him shake his head. I laughed. "Ignorant fool. That can kill you." I heard the muffled shriek of mistress. Then I flicked my hand again and the light changed from green to blue. "That can change your thoughts." I flicked again and the light became red. "That can change your emotions." Then I flicked again and it was white light that roamed around the room, slightly yellow than normal though. "That can seriously injure you in any way I make it."

"You think you can get away with it?"

"Oh yes, haven't you been listening? Being able to alter minds, kill and injure with ease is going to benefit me, not you," I said. "And besides, there's so much more I can do."

I knew he was scared. "This is our house," he said.

I shook my head again. "No, never was, and never will be," I said. "I will give you a choice, either leave of your own free will, and never mention this to anyone, or leave by force without knowledge this ever happened."

He took the force option, he picked up a knife that was obviously intended to kill me. I didn't so much as flinch before lighting a burst of bright light in front of him, causing him to reel from the sensory overload in his eyes, dropping the knife as he covered his eyes. I didn't permanently blind him.

I didn't kill him or her, I altered their memories very simply and so they never told nor returned.

I informed my 'friends' that things had gone well and that the place was now ours.

That was when people believed me to become evil, I wanted to sort the world out, abolish slavery and all that sort of rubbish. I went to the market the next day to show everyone what had happened, to tell them that it was their fault, not listening to the signs. They hated me, they always did and I was used to it.

After that many people came to the 'Palace in the North' where the mad ones live. Some to join us, some to try to kill me (they believed the others would behave if I was killed). Blino managed to join us soon after my speech.

Anyone who came near the palace was killed, not out of evil, out of necessity. If they got near enough they would be trusted, and not all of them could be. I tried not to have those who could be killed. Inevitably there were arguments, and threats, and broken hearts and hurt feelings.

Issa and Rodab were the most memorable. They'd both found loves from outside, and I'd had to kill them both.

"You have your love! Why couldn't we have ours! You could've asked us if we wanted to go with them and just banish us!" Issa screamed at me when she found out I'd killed them.

I raised an eyebrow. "No, Issa, I don't. My love was lost a long time ago before I even knew it existed. Blino is not that man," I replied, calmly.

"What about what she said though, about asking us if we wished to leave instead?" Rodab asked, for he was the more sensible of the two.

"Would you have liked that? Would you have gone?" I asked back. "Wouldn't you have just stayed and kept it a secret and pretended nothing was happening? Or would you have gone into a world which believes us all to be slaves? And what if you've accidentally revealed something which might not seem important to our destruction but actually was?"

Issa wasn't happy though. "I don't believe you and Blino aren't what Toben and I were!"

"I can assure you that we're not," I replied. "Besides, would you have thanked me for allowing Toben to come in, reap you of your information and then leave?"

Issa thought and muttered something about my being a lying cow.

"Would you like me to show you what he intended to do?" I asked, picking up my wand, she nodded. I showed her how he would have sweet talked his way into her brain, going as far as it would take, breaking as much of her as he had too, to leave, and return with a damn good chance of killing us all.

She understood then, they both did, that I didn't like what I did, but I did it to protect them.

Up until this point we had done nothing wrong, we had done the right thing. Then we all let victory go to our heads, including myself. We started killing those who opposed us more than ever, people who refused to abolish the slavery were being found dead in their beds, poisoned, stabbed, strangled, etc. More and more people were trying to find us and kill us and stop us. We went on marches through the streets to let people know we were still around. We spread to other towns, and soon our reign was being felt there too. People feared us, and I don't blame them.

We may have had no political power, but we had sources so we knew what was happening and where.

We established colonies, and they had their own leaders. I was still the highest of all, but I couldn't manage as many sanctuaries as we had on my own. Issa was given one, I was going to give Blino another, but I had to send him to Issa's – the reasons for that should be clear enough by implication.

It became clear that I was not the only one with special abilities; others had different ones, or similar ones. There were clear distinctions and so we named them. Child of Light, Child of Morph, Child of Space, Child of Fire, Child of Water and Child of Name. Also everyone showed characteristics of Name and that is how we discovered that a name is the biggest power anyone has.

Unfortunately we became our own downfall. We'd exiled ourselves, by acting how we had we'd made them hate powers. Children with powers were killed quickly if discovered. We had to send people to stop this happening and some of our brothers and sisters had to be sent out to stop this happening and lead the Children home.

When our situation was truly shown we established a faith. Being forty by this time I'd witnessed enough death to have a good idea of what happened and what could happen and all that stuff. Our faith was simple; we were reincarnated appropriately to our powers, our souls reused. Children of Light's souls left them in the form of light, and if they were strong enough they could hold themselves together instead of spreading everywhere. Children of Fire remained in a similar way, only they existed in fires, and a lot of them give up after five or ten years. Children of Water are similar to fire, only they exist in water, and so remain longer. Children of Morph's souls get reused as whatever creature they wish to be, but the transaction is permanent. Children of Name are treated as their namesake; it's a lot simpler than it sounds. But no one yet knows what happens to Children of Space, the effects are less visible.

That was what we knew, and because things needed to be taught our brothers and sisters became known as Priests and Priestesses once they knew enough. They didn't just teach the faith, but they taught people how to use their powers, and some taught moral lessons, and how to learn from mistakes. Most also taught the 'normal' subject associated with learning.

I was the one that taught the leaders. I knew how to teach them, how to stop them making the mistakes I did.

I hope I succeeded, because I now have no time left to change anything. Tomorrow I shall be killed, but I know that more good will come of me going than not going. So I shall go anyways. They are ready for me to leave them, and besides, I'm almost fifty and I wouldn't be here much longer anyway. And if I'm here much longer I'll have a bad effect on my ten year old twins, for I am evil, I was made evil by those who opposed me.

But I shall keep my namesake for one more day, I am a soul destroyer, and if people think of hurting me, I shall hurt them back ten times more.
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