In the Shadows

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Chapter 24

“Something is wrong, she is not coming out of it.” Asmodeus announced. Iselora’s eyes remained glazed over as she stared through Asmodeus. “What is she doing?” Asmodeus looked towards Calnonern, but any answer was lost in silence. Her eyes showed no concern, but remained focused on Iselora. Asmodeus returned his attention to Iselora. A single red tear forming in the corner of her eye. Anxiety over took Asmodeus as he hastily formed a link between their minds. It was a simple link, there were no defensive barriers to fight through, it was as if he was being aided by something. Sand and dust began whipping around, Asmodeus closed his eyes and raised his arm in an attempt to protect his face from the assault.

Within seconds the assault ceased and Asmodeus opened his eyes. The landscape that laid before him stole his breath. He was in a desert town that had existed centuries ago. Mud and stone huts built on either side of a packed dirt road. Had she accessed his memory? Realization hit Asmodeus, causing his chest to tighten in panic, this was bad. If she had accessed his memory, then she had landed in a time that he was not proud of. He had to find Iselora before she saw what was going to happen.

Asmodeus found himself sprinting down the road, he was not familiar to the rules that Iselora’s powers placed on this memory. It was then that Asmodeus realized that he had not seen a single person since arriving. All the buildings were eerily darkened, passing off an abandoned appearance. It was odd, but he did not dwell on it any longer, he had to keep searching. He knew the way to go, he had done it many times before.

Right…

Left…

Straight…

In the distance he saw it. Sarah’s dwelling. The light inside the home made his pace quicken. He had to stop Iselora from seeing what he had done. Then he saw her. Not Iselora, Sarah. She was being escorted by her most recent husband; they had just turned the corner, but it was her. There was not much time left. Asmodeus skidded to a halt in front of her door and barged in. “Iselora!” Asmodeus called, his chest pounding from the excretion. He called again listening for any indication as to where she was. He could hear Sarah and the man laughing as they approached the door. He knew where he was during the memory, maybe that was where Iselora was.

Asmodeus made his way upwards, towards the attic. He flung the door open to find a memory of himself sitting in a dusty chair. The man in the shadows was the essence of pure hate and jealousy. Asmodeus slowly stepped into the room, studying him. His face was handsome but twisted with anger. Eyes that should have been pink held a red hue, almost glowing in the faint moon light. He knew this man’s purpose, to kill the man Sarah was bringing home. There was a woman standing before the man, her hair as red as blood. It’s length reached just shy of her shoulder blades. Her face is reminiscent of marble in the moonlight. Her eyes stood out in their brilliant splendor. The golden hues sparkling in the gray light. Their expression was calm, in a watchful sense. Waiting to lay witness to the horrors that were about to occur.

Asmodeus ventured deeper in the small room, careful of any sounds he made. He did not want to spook Iselora. “What are you doing here?” The icy voice sent shivers down his spine. Iselora had turned her gaze towards him, entrapping him in their hold. Asmodeus silently stared back, unsure of what to say. Iselora grew visibly annoyed at his lack of an answer. “I asked you a question Asmodeus.” He did not understand her reaction, he had just arrived. Iselora exhaled sharply, her eyes flashing in anger. “I want to know what you are doing here, why have I been forced to follow your memories? I do not know you anymore. You are not the person I first encountered. You are cruel and spiteful. Ready to have your way with any woman who even looks your way. But would kill any man that lays with them. I have already seen you kill five men just for having sex with this one woman. Who is she to you?”

It was then that it struck Asmodeus, he was too late. His past had already betrayed him. He had fought for centuries to reverse his previous self. He hated who he had been. He was called many names and they had all been fairly accurate to who he was. The Demon of Lust, was the most prominent name he was given by the humans. “Sarah is a woman I had attempted to seduce and marry. She rejected me. Unfortunately her beauty and soul had already interested me. In my past I was possessive over the women I desired. When she rejected me, I was angry but I still wanted to see her happy. Her father arranged several marriages for her but their motives were not pure. They either wanted to simply have sex with her or wanted her dowry. Many wanted both, but none of them saw the beautiful souI saw. I thought she deserved more.” Asmodeus simply said the truth. Iselora spoke up, attempting to understand him. “You thought she could not find someone up to your standards? So, just due to a small rejection, you decide to murder all these men?” Asmodeus chuckled darkly, “When you put it that way, I sound petty and childish. But, I had never been rejected before at least not as strongly as she had done. I was jealous and I wanted revenge but another side of me still wanted to protect her heart. I do not feel guilty for my actions Iselora.”

Iselora did not respond, she simply stood there watching Asmodeus. Below them, Sarah and her husband had begun their wedding night. The memory of a man was becoming restless. His eyes glowed brighter the louder the couple grew. A dark, sharp smile spread across his face. Darkness pouring from his body. Shadows enveloping his seated figure. Iselora watched the transformation as if she were watching the same play over and over. Asmodeus knew that this transformation was different. The sixth kill was the worst of the murders. The moans of pleasure and shifted to grunts of pain. Her pain. The sound of a slap echoed through the attic followed by more substantial impacts. Asmodeus launched himself across the room towards Iselora, using his body as a shield. Against her fighting, Asmodeus covered her eyes before she could see his true form. The memory expelled all shadows. In its place was a monster derived from the nightmares of demons. The multi- headed figure had to stoop in order to fit in the small room. With a grunt, the beast dissipated into the room below. Screams were heard before being replaced by a wet tearing sound.

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