29: Chains of Sorrow
Oliver was relieved that Heather had been defeated. He himself could not come close to the succubus. Andrea had defeated her in a very barbaric and painful way. Andrea had used her grace in a stressful situation; she had summoned the power of Katalina and channeled her own will to perform a miracle of magic. Andrea had left to feed; she was coming out into the public. He felt that she realized how much more powerful she was compared to everyone around her.
Oliver made his way back to the Hidden Occult. He waited for Andrea for a few hours before donning his nightly attire, the layers of clothing, gloves, and socks required so that Andrea would not kill him during his sleep. He would have let Charmeine sleep in Andrea’s room, hoping he could distract her tonight. He knew one day that she would have control of the touch, which would no longer be needed. She had only displayed a number of the demon’s traits. He had prepared his nightly sedative, the mild minty concoction to help him sleep. He had nightmares of his own. At first, they were of Heather, and what she had done to him, now they were being replaced by Andrea.
Olver was sure that the dreams were not from Andrea, and now not Katalina, the dark goddess. He heard the sounds of the window opening from Andrea’s room. A few minutes later, she entered his room. It looks like she ignored her new husband. She had the protective nightclothes on, the fuzzy pink hat, and slippers. Andrea was not trying to tempt him. This was different; she looked distant, not like a few weeks back, but a bit upset. He slid over and made room for her. She climbed into bed, turned away from him. He put the covers over her. She did not say anything. He felt her warm body next to him; he was getting used to her. He checked to make sure his mind shielding ring was on. He went to sleep, and his dream started.
Andrea was clutching the expensive oak table in Mr. Morgan’s balcony throne in The Shady Tams. “You won’t dare hurt, my Master or Charmeine! I will tear you apart! I came here for a peaceful goodby, and you threaten me?” Her black claws expanded from her fingertips. She now dug her claws into his expensive table. The wooden flakes broke off and fell to the floor.
Mr. Morgan sat back just outside the Devil Trap placed around his throne. His mannerisms of a pure businessman shown through, not a single hint of excitement, “You see, you have no choice in the matter. I will be your master and your mate. You will serve me. I have both of the ones you care for. I have seen this play out in my own dreams; the dark gods have promised me you. You want to be controlled; you want someone to give you purpose. You will come to learn what direction I want you to go to. I will be the one to give you purpose! You are mine Ka’Azalin.”
Oliver stood motionless with a dagger to his throat. The shadowy magician in the white skull mask, who usually stood silently in the background, was waiting for the signal from his boss to end the life of Master Oliver of the GrindHouse Guild.
Andrea smiled, leaning back, “I am a god. I don’t serve anyone I don’t want to. I came here to tell you I am through with you and give you one last chance at redemption.”
Mr. Morgan leaned forward just a bit. He pointed his ivory lion capped cane at Oliver. “You are not a god. You are the servant of a god. The Goddess Katalina works through you when SHE wants to. You will serve me as your Master, or I will kill your precious Oliver, then move onto the half-wit Charmeine.”
Andrea leaned toward Mr. Morgan, “No, you won’t. You don’t want me angry. You won’t like me when I am angry, especially at you.”
Mr. Morgan used his free hand to make a throat-cutting signal to his shadowy magician standing behind them.
Andrea turned to see Oliver falling to the ground, his neck sliced open. He was making a gurgling sound as blood like a fountain leaked from the jagged wound across his throat. Horrified, her jaw dropped, and her eyes widened. Oliver reached out for Andrea with one hand, and the other, he tried to hold his neck from bleeding out. He slumped over forward in a pool of his own blood. She felt the bond between master and servant break with Oliver’s death. For the first time since she made the pact with Oliver all those months ago, she heard his name come from her own lips, “OLIVER!”
Mr. Morgan smiled, “You are powerless in a Devil Trap. I have made myself clear. Charmeine is next. Obey me. SERVANT!” Mr. Morgan reached inside his brown coat and withdrew a scroll; the title could be seen clearly, Master & Servant.
Andrea’s body began shaking, trembling with rage. My Oliver, he is also threatening to kill my feathery fool. “Why do you think I am just a servant?” Now the familiar sounds of chains began to vibrate throughout the building. Andrea’s hate and rage were boiling just beneath the surface. Plates, bottles of wine, any loose item in the Inn began to hum and vibrate. The patrons in the room began to look around, puzzled by the strange effects. The musicians on the stage had stopped playing their happy lute fueled tunes as their own instruments started vibrating. The sound of scraping chains grew louder and louder with each passing moment.
Andrea stood up, and her eyes are ablaze with crimson fire. Her whole body glowed as the sigil of the circled hand glowed a bright red. She turned to the shadowy magician and steps out of the Devil Trap. She pointed at the black-robed, skull masked wizard and snapped her fingers.
The shadowy wizard let out an ear-piercing scream as bloody black chains exploded out of his body in all directions, stringing pieces of his flesh, organs, and entrails along the bloody path. The chains anchored themselves in the adjacent walls.
Andrea turned back to where Mr. Morgan was seated. He was no longer there. He had slipped out; in the brief moments, she was occupied with the shadowy magician. Andrea screamed, “It’s not going to be that easy to slip away from me.”
She walked downstairs, and black chains erupted out of the walls, ceilings, and floors. Anyplace there was a surface for the chains to anchor themselves to. The angry god's fury was assaulting bystanders or guards, anybody in the establishment. She headed down through the kitchen area leading to the tunnels under the Inn. Chains erupted from the cooking fire pit, already heated and glowing red wrapping around the kitchen staff, burning and serrating their flesh. The serpent hissed in delightful pleasure. Andrea relished in all the pain and suffering she was causing, for it did not matter who at this time. Andrea had once again become lost in her demon persona.
Outside the Shady Tams, the ground shook, trembled, and vibrated. Hundreds of thick black serrated chains erupted from the ground, arching high into the sky only to come crashing down on the opposite side of the building. The doors and windows were first blocked by the collapsing chains, preventing anyone inside from escaping. The sounds of stone and wood cracked and broke under the strength of the infernal crushing chains.
The by-standers outside fled the immediate area. They could hear the terrifying blood-curdling screams coming from the inside of the collapsing building. As the Shady Tams fractured and collapsed, blood exploded in geysers. The red blood continued to spray high into the sky from the many holes from the destroyed structure as the chains continued to crush the building's remains. The sky rained with thick sticky blood, creating pools of warm blood on the ground and soiling the nearby buildings' surrounding walls. The building continued to be pulled down into the ground, and eventually, only a giant red hole was left like an open festering wound remained.
Oliver awoke from his dream. Andrea was still lying beside him, fully clothed in her protective clothing. She had turned over and was now holding onto him tightly; he could tell she was having a nightmare of her own. She twitched, and a tear would come to her eyes. These lasted only a short while, and then she would relax and continue to sleep.
This dream was different from the usual Mr. Morgan killing him; Andrea went to avenge him but killed everybody. He had seen this play out differently, but this was the first time Andrea did not order him dead. What changed? He had still died.
Oliver continued to look at her sleeping form. If he goes through with this, he is going to have to become more than her master. That’s what Katalina wants; this is something Andrea desperately wants as well. Why? He asks himself. This was not love, was it? He was feeling more of an attraction to the morbid creature, considering after his slavery to Heather. Maybe he wanted this deep down inside, being controlled. He was developing feelings for her, or maybe just feeding off her insecurities. Who does not want to be wanted? He paused for a moment. He kept rejecting her. How long can one keep saying no? He looked down at her sleeping form; he raised his hand and gently stroked her silver hair. She responded by shifting her body but still slept.
I will have to become part of her life, not just with her, but with her out in the field. I may have to go personally hunt with her, allow her with me more. Create and share experiences. Maybe this is the bond Kaltaina was hinting at, but I fear it is something far worse. He remembered reading a tale from a book about a man who made his way to the home of a goddess, partaken from her fruit. He ended up being changed, “One does not walk away without being changed when touched by the hands of gods.” He had made up his mind. His take on the dark goddess will is a very hands-off approach. He thinks she does not care what becomes of her avatar’s mental state too much. She is falling deeper and deeper into the darkness of the demon. He has made up his mind. He will ride this path into darkness; maybe, he can prevent her from doing something completely horrible. He admits people will die, but maybe he can point her to ones that really deserve it. He has seen bits and parts of her cruelty and the excitement that she gets from it. His mind settles and finally lets him fall back to sleep while he holds on to Andreas’ sleeping form. He was becoming used to this.
Oliver looked at the door, and now he had to share her with Charmeine. His own indecision had left her wanting; she had tried to make something work with Mr. Morgan. His own darkness feeds her demon aspect. Andrea recoiled from him after the incident with Victor, the vampire who warped her victims' minds. Charmeine was a different story altogether; he is a good man. Noble, caring, and now completely infatuated with Andrea. Oliver looked back down at Andrea, and his head began to hurt again. What should I do?