-Monument of sin
Author’s note: Drake and Deimos are the same person
“Ulysses, did you hear that?” Deimos asked, trembling by his master’s side. His voice echoed down the cave’s wall.
He placed a hand on his shoulder. “Yes, Deimos. It calls to you. You must enter, alone...”
Before them stood a massive cave with its blackened entrance. Moss and vines hung from its mouth, its rocks were slippery and glossy. Single drops of water fell from stalactites within a rhythmic pattern. A thick mist surrounded them, obscuring the forest. Armed only with his fists and wits, Deimos approached the entrance hesitantly. He turned to Ulysses.
“I- I’m afraid,” he stuttered.
“Deimos,” his voice was soft, “you are the chosen one. You have to be tested.”
“What’s in there?”
“Only what you take with you...”
He gulped before approaching the cave. His footsteps treading gently on the marshy soil beneath. He entered the cave, swallowed by its darkness as he walked deeper and deeper...
“Anna, you’ve been gorging on human blood haven’t you?”
She rested the huge broad swords on her shoulders. Her golden eyes loomed with malice. “So what if I have?”
“I can smell it on you,” Drake said demurely.
“You’re one to talk...”
She turned to a building behind her. A small church built upon a foundation of stone. Above it rested a belltower that for the first Sunday in decades fell silent. There would be no evening mass tonight. Drake gazed upon the colorful glass window that served as the church’s eye. The eye that had blessed the village for so many years as its children played in the streets, grew old and died. The window had a detailed painting of an angel in vibrant colors of white and gold casting a demon to the depths of hell.
The church brought back horrifying recollections, eternally singed in Drake’s mind. He imagined a man chained to a pole that strongly resembled him, basking in a fire. To further torment him, he remembered the innards of an iron maiden pricking and prodding away at his flesh. The steel tips of Roman spears and the weight of a wooden cross upon his back.
Lyn screamed as if she could feel his despondency. The power of their bond was unbreakable as they shared joy and pain as equals. She belonged to him, as did he to her.
“Drake!” she cried. “What am I seeing?” her voice cracked.
He sighed. “Those are my memories...”
“Then you also remember this church don’t you Drake?” Anna asked.
“It’s where I married you,” Drake replied, his voice was thin.
His words hit Lyn like a revelation, she clenched her fists.
He crushed the golden scarab in his hand into fine, black sand. The sand formed into a scythe before him. A golden shaft that resembled a human spine and silver skull that connected the blade to it. His red eyes transitioned into a crystal blue. He presented the scythe’s blade in a threatening posture. “I will absolve you of your sins...”
A mocking grin formed on Anna. “So what, you’re a priest now?”
They lunged at each other clashing in a dance of blades. He easily parried away Anna’s light jabs and strokes. She dashed behind him, looking for an opening in his guard. Sparks ignited in the air as their blades bounced and crossed. They crossed swords, glaring at each other before separating again. Moving at such superhuman speeds, Lyn found it difficult to track with the naked eye.
Knocking one of her swords away, Drake charged her into the church, destroying its wooden entrance. He pinned her wrist to the wall and knocked the wind out of her. Anna quickly recovered and slipped from his grasp, disappearing into the church’s night. Rows of wooden seats surrounded him with stone walls. The altar stood towards the back with a large statue of Christ resting on his crucifix, his crown of thorns on his head. That night Drake could have sworn the statue was crying...
She cackled like a witch, her sounds coming from every direction. Yet, she was nowhere to be found. The shadows moved and danced along the walls as Anna’s laughs reverberated in the church. “Lyn, don’t come any closer!” he shouted from inside.
Two wooden doors that led to the church bay slammed shut on their own. Now, he was truly shrouded in eternal darkness. Profuse sweat dripped from his brows.
It’s a trap...
He heard a distorted and atrocious voice boom inside his head. “Child of my enemy, why have you come? I offer no forgiveness, a father’s sins passed to his son...”
Torches that lined the walls of the side aisles enkindled, revealing a mysterious, yet alluring woman before him. Her hair was as dark as a raven that flowed down her back, and crystal blue eyes much like Drake’s. A long white dress covered her slender frame and bare feet.
“Aspasia, it’s been a long time. Sister...”
Aspasia raised her arms above her head. Drake charged her only to be stopped by a thick vine that wrapped around his ankle.
Colossal vines, the size of tree trunks emerged from the ground as the woman summoned them. Moving autonomously, they swarmed Drake with razor-sharp thorns covering their vines. He bounded back only to fall within a nest of the carnivorous vines that ensnared his limbs, suspending him in the air.
He grunted as the vines sucked the life of him, the scythe becoming much too heavy to grasp. It clattered to the ground, returning to its form as the scarab. Anna joined the woman’s side finally emerging from her hiding place. “Everything went exactly as planned. Just like Prometheus said it would. You just won’t back down from a fight will you Drake?”
He scoffed. A vine constricted his body, siphoning more blood and stealing his breaths. Soon the interior of the church matched more of a greenhouse.
“Brother, tonight, I’m going to make you suffer as I have. Torturing you won’t achieve anything, you don’t respond to pain. So I’m going to take something else from you...”
A vine wrapped around his head, turning into a crown of thorns that pierced his skull. Blood flowed from his wounds. Drake shook his head. “Aspasia, don’t do this!” he pleaded.
Seconds later, he succumbed to the pain and lack of blood, drifting into slumber.
Aspasia smiled. “Let’s begin...”