Her Fated Haunting

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Chapter 3

The circle.

The one isolating the demon from escaping.

It was gone.

Desperation and disbelief battled a war over her sanity. Elyse inched her hand to verify what her subconscious already knew. The white chalk drawing had been viciously rubbed off, in its place black claw marks. Marks too deeply indented in the stone floor to have been left by a mere human. When her trembling fingers touched the ground, she yelped. The imprints were scorchingly hot.

This could not be happening. The demon had broken free.

She whipped her eyes around the basement. No sign of Rosanna and the girls. No sound at all. Everything was pitch black. An abysmal darkness that was swirling madly saturated the chamber with a flagrance of burnt cinnamon.

“Rosanna! Marcella! Xonia!” she yelled, hoping against hope someone, anyone was alive. She called a few more times. However, only foreboding silence met her screams.

She had to get some help. Elyse refused to think that it was too late for them. Her tormentors might have done terrible deeds to her in the past, but they certainly did not deserve this gruesome end–to die at the hands of a demon. The image of the helpless young girl participating in tonight’s ritual spurred her into action.

Finding her crutches in the darkness soon proved a pointless task. She abandoned them and blindingly limped her way to the flight of stairs. It was an arduous task climbing without light to guide her. And the entrance door was still a long way up. The stone pressed harshly on her knees. The smell of cinnamon was starting to suffocate her.

Stop.”

The smooth baritone was achingly familiar. Her dream man, the demon she corrected, was near.

Panic gripped her. Her movements became jerky. In her struggle to escape, she missed a step and slid painfully. Her already crippled knee took the brunt of the fall. Strong wind began beating in the basement, perhaps the demon’s temperament causing the unnatural phenomenon.

Humans are fragile, Mistress.” The voice admonished, superiority clearly lacing the tone.

She ignored him. With a hand on her hurt leg, she fought to continue her climb despite the harsh wind blowing her locks in every direction. She spit out a wayward curl of hair and trudged on. All of a sudden, the breeze morphed into a violent tempest. Elyse could hear all the once carefully stored aliments flying around and smashing angrily on the basement’s walls. The storm also ceased any movement on her part. It was a testament of Azrael’s power and fury.

You are only prolonging the inevitable,” he thundered. She weakly curled into a ball, protecting herself both from the merciless wind and his escalating madness.

Elyse sobbed. As quickly as it had started, the storm stopped. Although darkness still ruled, a sigh of relief escaped her lips. Her bubble of ignorance burst. The demon was real. She had to face him, her experience told her he was not a creature of patience.

Cheeks still wet with tears, she called: “Show yourself, demon.”

As if governed by dark magic, the torches lining the walls lit to life, one by one, finally revealing her living nightmare. Instead of infernal black mist, it was another kind of devil that greeted her eyes. One as deceivingly handsome as an angel.

I knew you enjoyed our tryst, Mistress. You only have to ask, and I shall offer.” The demon had the nerve to teasingly sweep his claws across his naked muscled chest all while piercing her with his intense emerald gaze. There was no doubt anymore. He was one who invaded her dream and seduced her into freeing him. It would not work again.

“Where are the others? What have you done to them?” Her rabbit heart fought to be courageous.

Ire tightened his features. A red flame appeared in his green orbs. Through clenched teeth, he snickered. “The ones who tied you up and left you defenseless in my care...” The creature pretended to ponder on this.

“Cease you games, tell me, demon.”

Your wish is my command,” Azrael bowed and waved his arm across the basement.

A distressed sound escaped her mouth. She brought her fist to her lips, her shoulders shaking at the horrendous sight before her.

Crimson red.

Everything was splattered in crimson red blood.

Discarded like broken dolls, misused by a bored evil child, all the girls who had taken part in the ritual laid lifeless across the cold floor of the basement. Rosanna’s head was bent at an unnatural angle, lying in a pool of her own blood near the storing shelves. Across her form, there was Marcella, or she guessed it was her for there were far too many shards imbedded in her sturdy body to be certain. In the middle of the room, next to other crushed souls, she quickly spotted Xonia. The teenager looked like a sleeping beauty and she was almost tempted to call for her to awaken until she noticed the stake stabbing her abdomen.

“No no no no no no...What have you done? No no no no,” she clutched her hair in despair. “What have you done?”

Mistress.

Elyse dropped on her knees in defeat. However, her leg brushed something. It was the young child. The little girl who had looked so reluctant and frightened to participate in the ritual. Probably bullied by Marcella to so. She too was dead, her glassy eyes forever frozen in a mask of terror.

“What have you done, Azrael?” She screeched madly.

Summoned, the demon appeared in front of her, aiming to take her hands in his claws. She did not feel anything. He pursed his lips in frustration.

They deserve this sentence. All of them!” the demon growled hotly, the wind building in intensity again.

“No, they did not. They probably summoned you in search of a better life. They wanted to use your power,” her hysteria made it hard to breath, but she continued “they just wanted a family, someone to adopt them. All the teenagers here know it is too late at this age to be chosen anymore,” in this sense she could sympathise with the girls. At sixteen years of age and physically handicapped, she faced no chance of finding the parental warmth anymore.

They hurt you,” he bellowed. Red fire was burning in his gaze now. Elyse wretched her eyes away, she could not stand to look at him anymore.

“They did not deserve this, they did not, they did not,” Elyse continued brokenly, embracing her torso and rocking back and forth. How could a demon understand feelings, let alone compassion?

You are too soft-hearted towards your enemies, Mistress.” The demon finally calmed–so did the vicious wind. “I shall change their punishment then.” With another expedient wave of his hands, the bodies disappeared. So did all that blood. The storage room was again intact.

Azrael was sitting next to her crouched form, tracking her every movement with now cold calculating eyes. It was a relief to see they were entirely green in colour.

“They a-are a-alive?” Her fingers touched the floor disbelievingly. It was just dry hard stone. Not slippery with anyone’s blood.

Yes.”

Terror turned to relief which quickly morphed into rage. That boiling emotion gave her the momentary courage to face the demon. “You think this is a game? Playing with people’s life in such a cruel fashion?” Elyse stopped in his face, her breath coming out in short puffs across his visage.

Where I come from, we protect using any means necessary.” His explanation was baffling and it only served to anger her more.

“That is because you are from hell. Go back where you came from. As your Mistress I command you to.”

His eyes twinkled and his lips stretched into a wide grin, sharp teeth visible. The distance between them was destroyed when he took another step forward, backing her into a wall. Then, he inhaled deeply–his strong body shuddered as if overcome by waves of ecstasy. “Our bond does not work like that, Mistress.

Slowly, his towering form turned incorporeal, transforming into tendrils of black smoke. The dark cinnamon scented mist evaporated, but not until Elyse heard his last echoing words. Words tying her fate irrevocably to a demon’s.

Once you save a life, it belongs in your keeping, Mistress.

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