To Walk The Paths Of Death

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Chapter Six - Verity Ensues

The three participants of the rather heated conversation stood in the pine needles that lie upon the ground beside the creek. And so the forest became silent once more. No sounds from the birds nor the wind. No sounds from the squirrels nor from the spring that drizzled into a petite creek. Background sounds had left this realm, leaving the only voices arising from the conversation present.

“Orpheus told me where the ‘Book Of Orphecia’ is. How is he hell on Earth? I don’t understand.” Cedric questioned.

“Orpheus is the Lord of Darkness, created in the depths of the infernos of hell. Are you happy? Now come with me!” the woman said, grabbing hold of Cedric’s tunic, pulling him towards her, dragging him on the ground.

“Stop. I said stop!” the beast exclaimed, emphasizing ‘stop’. “Now!”

The woman let go of the tunic, causing Cedric to fall to the ground.

“You know, I really didn’t want to kill anyone today.” the woman yelled, unsheathing two daggers from behind her. The woman charged the beast, digging her sharp daggers into its neck. The beast threw her several feet away, causing her to crash onto the ground. It dug the blades out of its neck and began lacerating her with its razor-sharp claws, ripping the skin off piece by piece; blood splattering in every direction. The woman began saying several statements that could not be deciphered. Cedric assumed they were of a demonic nature.

“Or’atum de madre la tu-neris la fom. Or’atum de madre la tu-neris la fom. Or’atum de madre la tu-neris la fom!" the woman spoke, exclaiming the last of the chant.

The beast backed away from the woman. “What have you done?” the beast said rather calmly.

Within seconds after the woman repeated the several words, the beast turned into a red mist, with fur landing on the ground in every direction. It was gone.

The woman stood up and looked at her wounds. Slowly she spoke: “La raso, de frani, du mosa.“. Once she spoke these words, her body began to heal. Bit by bit it healed itself as if the wounds were never there.

“What are you?” Cedric spoke, petrified by what he had seen. “You are a monster!” he said, slowly standing up. He began to run into the depths of the woods, jumping over logs and rocks as he ran. The woman chased after him, gaining on Cedric. Suddenly, Cedric tripped and collapsed onto the ground.

“Hush.” the woman said, blowing the emerald green dust into his face, causing him to fall asleep.

Darkness. This is was Cedric saw, darkness. Not the sort of darkness that is created when the lights go out. No. The kind of darkness that is created when light ceases to exist. Pure, utter, darkness. Cedric stood in the black of the abyss, failing to see at all. He yelled: “Where am I?“, but the void seemed to capture the echoing cry, muting it. Orpheus appeared, this time hovering several feet away from Cedric. The lord’s mien showing that he was the almighty power, the only authority, the lord of the ruled.

“What did my mother have to do with any of this?” Cedric questioned.

“You see, your mother was a newborn child when I set the curse. What use of her would I have?” Orpheus said.

“What do you mean? How does the curse have anything to do with my mother? I read the ‘Book of Orphecia’ and I gained nothing about the curse.” Cedric said, anger growing in his voice.

“I wrote the ‘Book of Orphecia’. I had stuck the book in the crevice beneath the floorboards. I wanted you to believe this, but now must know the truth of the curse, for I have much bigger plans for you Cedric, in fact, for you and the young one you’ve brought along.” Orpheus spoke. “The full story of Orphecia will be told in due time, be patient with the elders of the woodlands, for they shalt not be rushed.” he added.

“When I set the curse over these lands, I swore that if any human were to enter the woods, then one of the person’s children shall live in the forest for all of eternity. Since your mother was just a newborn, I did not curse her to the lands of the forest, for what use would she have to me, she is just a baby. And, Anita was there to take her place.” Orpheus said.

“Anita?” Cedric asked.

“Yes, Ada entered the woods, Anita’s mother, so I cursed Ada and said that one of her children shall live in the forest forever. The woman that captured Maida, that is Anita.”

“a...” Cedric was interrupted.

“So, since Anita was there to take your mother’s place in the forest, I cursed your mother Ella. Saying that one of her children will enter the forest, and live amongst the beasts that lurk here. To my luck, both of her children ventured into the forest. Cedric, you must decide which one of Ella’s children will stay in the forest eternally, and which will leave. The decision is yours to make. If you do not know by the end of day tomorrow, you will both suffer.” Orpheus said before suddenly vanishing into the blackness.

“Cedric? Cedric? Wake up?” a girl’s voice spoke.

As Cedric struggled to open his eyes he realized it was Maida: “Maida!” he yelled with joy. “You are okay?“.

“No Cedric I am not.” she sadly answered.

Cedric looking at Maida, realized the horrific thing the woman had done to her. He looked down to see the woman had amputated both of Maida’s legs.

“I tried to escape.” Maida explained.

Maida sat there, the stubs where the legs used to sit were bandaged with a white cloth, blood turning the cloth into a dark red color.

The woman arrived at the cell Maida and Cedric stayed in and served them two bowls of soup.

“What have you done you sick bastard!” Cedric screamed at the woman.

“Hush child, now eat!” the woman responded harshly.

Both the children picked up the soup and tasted it, Cedric asked: “What is it?“.

“Leg.” she said calmly whilst walking away.

Cedric heaved his bowl of soup across the way, doing the same to Maida’s right after.

Cold, the children sat in the stone cell awaiting their fate, knowing it had to be soon. Cedric began to cry, speaking: “I am so sorry Maida, for all the pain I have given you, for you would have never entered the forest if it weren’t for I.” he spoke full of sorrow and regret.

“That is where you’re wrong, I most likely would have entered the forest, with or without you.” she explained to reassure Cedric.

“You need to make a decision.” Cedric’s mind repeated over and over. “Me, take me” he spoke softly.

“What?” Maida asked, not hearing what he had said.

“Nothing. Don’t worry, it’s nothing.” he spoke.

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