Pain. To heed it. To observe it. To instigate it. To make men cry out. To make women implore. To make children lament. To harm. To maim. To bleed.
How many years have I sought for it? How many souls have I terminated in a vain effort to unearth the spellbinding gratification of agony? A way to remember what it had felt like to truly be alive?
Nearly eight thousand years ago, I Fell. A recollection so faint it was like recalling staggering at a playground in childhood. It is so far away it barely makes a spark. But I know then I had felt a twinge beneath this husk of a body. I remember how I had wailed and bemoaned. Tears had produced from these eyes of mine and poured down my cheeks with verve. Blood flowed from my veins. A heart beat with erratic motion, thunderous and thriving.
But I’ve lost it all in this boorish world.
I’ve misplaced the ability to produce my own sentiments so I have been forced to recreate it using others. It’s artless truly. There are countless slaves willing to line up and feel it for me.
Is Falling similar to being raped? Is it comparable to being whipped by spiked leather straps? Or perhaps being pulled apart one inch at a time is a more appropriate match?
Up until this moment, I couldn’t rightly find it. All the Souls I’ve experimented on were only inadequate rats. It’s assisted in curing my curiosity for moments at a time but the fact remained the same. I couldn’t feel it. I could only scrutinize and study as each Soul felt it for me.
It was unfair. So many in this world have pain but I go on continuously, empty.
A smile pulls at my lip.
Today is my day!
My lifeblood pours from my chest, steadily, riding in rivers down the length of my belly, soaking into the red of my pants and into the couch I rest on. My fingertips delve into the three slices that rip across my pectoral, riding along the sliver of open skin. Pain closes my eyes, sending shivers along my spine. It is euphoric. I rub my fingers together, wet and sticky. The warm liquid is my life and it is amazing to see.
Nothing has been able to pierce my skin since I Fell. I had given up hope that death would ever be granted to me. I thought Father stole such an opportunity. I knew He could be callous, but cruel was not His style. It was Mother’s.
I’ve been searching for the death of my Soul for eons. Destroying the world had become my final solution.
But now, after meeting with those creatures, dying is the last thing I wish to do. They gave me life by threatening it. They’ve shown me a brand new way to live.
I don’t look up from my life blood. Why didn’t I think that the Darkness that I created could kill me? It’s ironic. And Father is all about irony, isn’t He?
Now I need to take measures to ensure they are kept locked away. I will not die now. Not when I have all that I need in my hands.
“Please, allow us to clean your wounds, my lord.”
I lift my head, albeit weakly. Blood loss and fatigue. The thought brings a smile to my lips. I have never been happier. Even beside God I smiled little. Now I am drunk on life and find humor where there was none before. They act like I can die from festering injuries. No. It will not be that simple I’m afraid. Soon my blood will stop flowing and who knows when I will ever see it again. I will bask in this moment for as long as it’s allotted.
I stand with the support of servants even as they protest against it. My wings attempt to aid but I hiss in pain, snapping my head, finding Tymician’s wing barely hanging on. It’s crumbling and charred, laying helpless at my side. Feathers break off, rotting, gathering on the ground at my feet. Gerald’s wing tries to coax it back into its rightful place but it shudders from any touch.
Limping and with the wall as a constant crutch, I stumble along the corridor. It’s a long way down to the dungeons but I make it, blood following me as I go along with black, decaying feathers dropping off every step. With the wave of my hand, my servants stop their blubbering and stay behind as I make it to the final hallway, to the darkest corner of the dungeon. Despite my withering state, I have been back from my battle for hours. I want to visit my prize.
I push open the door and fall against it. Panting but relieved at the sight, I find him. With his arms chained above him, his body extends painfully erect, wearing only shorts around his privates. His body is beaten and his Soul, starved. It’s nothing that I have done. If he had been frail and young he would have died long before I got to him. Luck had been on his side. They only managed to take half of his Soul.
Hearing the door creak, he wearily lifts his head. He narrows his green eyes, confusion knitting his brows, “Lucius?”
“I came for you, Tymician.”
“You saved me?” His eyes scan over my wounds and widen in horror. “Look at what they did to you. Oh, Lucius.” The love and adoration in his voice is enough for me. His friendship has been sturdy these past centuries and saving him had not only been an obligation but a necessity. “I’m so sorry. I should have tried harder. But I was with Kyla and I couldn’t--”
My fist pounds against the door, cutting him off. He doesn’t understand that I know exactly what that girl is and the fact that I have been hunting this creature whom he loves, makes me feel guilt. In the end only anger is expelled, “Do you protect her still?”
He pauses and looks around, looks up at his chains. He evaluates why I have taken him. He thinks back to the whole beginning, to the moment Kyla first called to him. He takes in the fact that he’s kept her a secret for that last ten years and realizes that I’ve found out. He’s in chains now because of it. He’s betrayed me. And no matter who he is, I do not tolerate betrayal.
“Did. Did you save me from them, to torture me yourself?”
If he was anyone else, that’s exactly what I would have done. “I am thankful, Tymician. I saved you because you are a brother. In saving you, I found what I have been looking for. So I will make you a deal. I will release you. We will forgive and forget this folly. In exchange for that child.”
“Why is she so important to you now? She is just a girl.” He defends her as Felix defended her. How could this girl have so much influence over these men? She must hold something valuable between her legs. “She didn’t do anything wrong, Lucius, I promise you.”
“Tymician. You have no idea what she is, do you?”
His brows knit at me. It’s enough to make me smile. He had her within his grasp for ten years and he never even knew it. I didn’t even know until the Sins told me.
“Father has deemed us all unworthy. He has created a new breed. A hybrid. She is the first and only. Half-Darkness. Half-Light.” From the confusion in his face I know he still doesn’t understand the implications. “She’ll be able to transcend all of Heaven and Hell. There will be no boundaries she cannot reach. She will be stronger than you and I. She has the power to destroy it all.”
His expressions change and through the weariness, I find a form of jubilation shine in his gaze. He knew she was different and he protected her well.
Then his features harden. “I thought you wanted to die.”
He knows me too well. He hears the excitement in my voice, the fresh wave of thrill and adventure that will be my future.
“Do you think she will kill me, Tymician?” His silence is all the response I need. “No. She’ll just destroy the worlds I have created and displace me. Where do I belong if not Hell? Where do you? We do not belong together in Heaven. It is the reason you Fell. You believe as much as I do that some Souls deserve to be punished. I cannot allow her to ruin all that I have done for God.” I limp closer to him. “Tell me where she is.”
Stubbornness creases on his brow and his head falls and his eyes no longer look at me. “I don’t know, Lucius. I’m tired and I want to sleep.”
The weakness in him disgusts me. But what’s worse, is it’s also in me. My hand braces against the wall to keep me standing. I know I can’t last much longer. His torture will be conducted on the morrow than. I will get answers from him one way or another. I saved him from the Sins because he is my heir. He will become Satan when I cease to exist. But that doesn’t mean I will make it easy for him. He will learn to obey me yet.
I climb the stairs, stumbling and tripping on my own feet. My wings help to the best of their ability. My smile doesn’t leave my lips.
I am so close to Kyla. I can taste her clean spirit. So many are after her and so many will fail. When she comes to me, together we will watch the world dissolve right before God’s eyes. We will terminate all futures until only one exists: Hell on Earth.
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