This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
This place has never changed. I’ve been trapped here for who knows how long, stuck sitting along this bright sandy beach with its clear blue waves softly lapping at the shoreline, the sky never changing from a typical summer’s day and the sun forever shining radiantly. In short, this is hell.
I wanted so much to just see some angry grey clouds cover the sun, unleashing torrential rains and fierce lightning bolts, but no, only fluffy white clouds drifted lazily across the sky in repetitive patterns. This was all part of his plan. He always seemed to understand me better than anybody, strange as it was.
This sickening plane doesn’t offer much in the way of spiritual energy. Energy can be gained from even the smallest and most insignificant objects. I can draw power out of trees, grass, any living creature, hell, even the air itself has something to offer up! But not here. Nope, on one side I’ve got sandy dunes and the other is nothing but a vast ocean of artificial water. The air here does supply me with a small amount of energy but only enough to keep me young and beautiful. That’s the sole reason why I haven’t escaped from this personal hell yet, after what I can only assume has been thousands of years of torment. All I can do is bide my time in hope that someday someone will unleash me upon the world once again, and when that happens, well, I’m going to have some fun!
It’s so dull here! There’s absolutely nothing to do besides meditation, and I never used to do that solely because it bored me terribly! Sadly though, it’s the only way to barely gather the energy I need to sustain myself. To make matters worse I haven’t seen another living creature in so long! Oh how I crave to cover my long since clean hands in vermilion! I miss that slimy feeling so much!
I couldn’t help but sigh. It’s no good. I’m only going to make myself depressed again. I’ve gone through these phases many, many times before. I’ll enter a state of absolute indifference where nothing will bother me, but as the days, months or years (it’s actually really hard to tell the time when the sun never moves) pass by I’ll grow depressed and angry at everything around me. Then that will pass and I’ll become indifferent again. I never used to get unhappy, in fact I was the one that made others depressed, and I was good at it too.
I really miss those days. I used to be extremely well known around the place I lived once. My name had even reached into neighbouring kingdoms! Yes, I was certainly quite popular among the people and I loved it! Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love all that attention? I was so well known in fact that I’ve even had a couple of battalions sent to my doorstep deep in the woods. I did enjoy their company, so much so that I couldn’t help myself but greet them with open arms. They always left with fewer than half their original troops, with the survivors’ minds swimming in so much madness that they’d be unable to even recognise their loved ones’ faces. It was no big deal really, just a little parting gift I thought they might enjoy. Even the Coven came to visit my home sometimes, though they never left. Tch, those types of people who just won’t leave can really get under your skin right? Well that’s how I felt so instead of letting them do that, I let them get under the planet’s skin where they provided nourishment for my favourite trees and plants. Now that’s a useful house guest!
Popularity has its merits certainly, but it also has its downfalls. A lot of people try to leech off you or try to bring you down to their level, just like him. I’ve been approached by many leeches looking to make a name for themselves, but the only thing they made out of themselves was a delicious soul. I would devour those hopeful wannabes’ souls like they were on sale, all of them except for his.
I was untouchable back then. Looking back on it now I suppose those were my golden years. It’s sad really, I should’ve done more with my life. I feel like I should’ve used my peerless power to establish a small country in my name or something. That’s what most people would do right? It’s too bad I never really cared about that kind of thing. I reckon I would have made a fantastic overlord. Hmm, maybe once I get out of here I should change things up a little and actually do that. So long as I’m alive there’s still hope!
I sighed again in reminiscence. One day, I thought, one day I’ll break free and reign terror down on those who imprisoned me. I think I’ll start with the Coven. I’ll rip their organisation to pieces, either killing them all outright or scattering them to lands unknown. It was one of their sorcerers that sealed me away after all. I’ll never forget his name, the name of that single man who was my equal.
Brady. I do miss him dearly. No one was ever able to match my power until he came along. The fights we used to get into! They raged on for days at a time, always ending in stalemate and exhaustion. I could barely even move afterwards. It was so exhausting that I’d have to retreat back to my home in order to recuperate. I’ve never had so much fun when trying to tear out someone’s insides! I couldn’t help but lick my lips a little just at the mere thought. Not even those monstrously powerful Strains were able to put up a fight like Brady could. Ah the good old days. Unfortunately my joy came to an abrupt end when he used some very underhanded tactics and sealed me away. He created this world knowing full well just how much I’d hate it, and for that I despise him even more.
I was quickly pulled back to reality when something that hasn’t happened for millennia occurred; the wind changed direction. I stood up in wonder, looking all around me in order to ascertain what had caused this monumental change. Nothing seemed different at first, the sky was still as blue as the ocean and the sand still stretched on for eternity, but then I noticed it.
This was my chance! This is what I’ve been waiting an eternity for! I don’t know why this was happening, perhaps Brady’s magic had finally run out after so many years, but the reason didn’t really matter. I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity for anything. I slowly, but without caution, approached the slight dimensional rift that was splitting the air apart, taking on the form of the opening of some cave that lead to nothing but emptiness. The swirling wind roared loudly in my ears, being sucked through the portal and creating a small vortex of immense power. Everything around me was being sucked through the opening, making my surroundings look like a horribly skewed painting. It was as if everything was being drawn to this point.
I gripped my staff hard and took one last look around at the place I’d inhabited for many millennia and smirked. Finally! I screamed internally. I can finally leave this hellish world! I can finally look upon another living creature! I can finally bathe myself in vermilion again!
The pressure of the wind was growing more intense by the second and before I knew what was happening, my body was very forcefully pulled into the inter-dimensional rift. The force of the pull was so tremendous that it took all I had to not let my long staff slip through my fingers.
There’s no other way to describe this sensation other than odd. This is the second time travelling in such a manner and I can safely say there’s no getting used to it. That being said, I am quite pleased to see this black-filled tunnel, a colour I haven’t seen in such a long time. It was pretty calming really. It reminds me of the night, something I was terribly fond of when I was still living in those woods. I missed searching the night skies as I tried to divine the signs given by the stars, or better yet, trying to harness the power of some lunar event.
I was surrounded by an array of swirling streaks of purplish lightning as I was weightlessly pulled along. I helplessly shot along like this for quite some time, marvelling at a sight that most people would never get to witness, before I finally laid my eyes on the exit rift, which held an even darker blackness than my surroundings. This new development quickly made me aware of a significant inconvenience. I was still picking up speed through this tunnel, and try as I might, I could not slow down. It wasn’t enough to make me panic, but it would become quite problematic should I end up catapulting out the other end into some kind of spiked obstacle. Actually, I better take note of that. Once I’ve regained some of my power I should regain some of my skills by experimenting in torture and execution methods.
Sadly, that wasn’t the only problem. Because of the very limited amount of energy in that ghastly plane, I was pretty much tapped out right now. I doubt I could even engulf an ant in flames with the power I currently possessed. This was unfortunate because my instincts were screaming that there was something or someone on the other side of that exit portal, a being which I would be almost powerless against. Well, only time will tell.
This tunnel must be playing with my senses because in all that time I’d only barely covered any ground towards the exit. I really don’t want to be stuck in here for the next eternity, drifting along like a helpless infant, only gaining speed until I cross the threshold between time and space and my existence is moved from the physical world to the ethereal realm wherein I become omnipresent, doomed to watch over all of existence for ever. That’s one of my biggest fears. For those who call my fear groundless and idiotic, please refer to those clairvoyants who get hooked on Seer Stones. Granted I’ve never seen a clairvoyant wink out of existence like that, but I’ve heard the stories and seen the signs in stars. It’s a real phenomenon I tell you!
As I gradually drew closer to the end of the tunnel I was delighted to hear the soft murmur of voices floating to my ears. Ah, it’s been so long since I’ve heard another’s voice that my heart actually began racing a little in anticipation. They weren’t screaming in fear or anything but even so, I was still happy to hear them. The closer I got the clearer the voices became, well, relatively anyway. They were speaking in some foreign language I was unfamiliar with but I was able to tell they were repeating a string of words over and over again in a chant-like way. It was quite easy to surmise that some kind of ritual was taking place on the other side of the rift, and it must have been something of a higher level since I could hear seven distinctly different voices, the perfect number of participants for any ritual. Any more would create rhythmic problems and too few would decrease the energy output significantly. That’s the very basics of ritualistic spellcraft.
My eyes were the next part of me to relay something joyful, which was a large silver disc shining radiantly in the centre of the rift surrounded by innumerable sparkling gems. I squealed in delight at having seen a sight I had not been privy to during my eternal damnation. I was always much more fond of the moon and stars than of the sun. It is the best time to strike fear into the hearts of the clueless wanderer or adventurer after all, but that wasn’t the only reason. The darkness the night has to offer is so much more beautiful than the light of day. Seeing the moon’s silver rays piercing through crooked tree branches or watching as a glamorous flower soaks up its wonderful glow gives me a certain sense of peace incomparable to anything you could find during the day.
My eyes were becoming teary, my ears were drowning in the lovely sounds of human voices, and then something absolutely wonderful assailed my nose. Scents of all kinds reached me, filling my entire being with such an amazing sense of nostalgia. Incense was burning, as were some herbs, and there was even the delightful smell of an animal carcass and fresh blood. Whoever these people are they’re using all the ingredients involved in a summoning ritual, which means I was being pulled back from hell thanks to them. I wonder who they are though? Some kind of loyal fanatics? I’ve never had any followers before, but it would be a welcome change. We could spread fear and terror across all the lands in a conquest never before seen! Yes, I think that would be adequate compensation for bringing me back to this world.
Three of my five senses had already granted me with enough happiness, but it was when I started feeling through my sixth that I became truly overjoyed. I could feel it, filling me up inside, such free and untapped spiritual energy. The trees, the grass, even the air was lending me some of its essence! I felt awake for the first time in years! So alive and strong! I definitely remember this feeling, this feeling of absolute power.
I smiled wickedly at the thought. True terror has finally returned to the world.
Sandra Leigh: excellent story. Lots of classic fairy tale elements with a fresh spin. Very much looking forward to the sequel. However, there are a number of typos and minor awkward sentences. I occasionally work for my publisher as an editor and would not mind editing this for you. Feel free to contact m...
ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?
Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...
Jade Jez: What a wonderful, immersive book from Eliott McKay. It starts with an air of mystery, introducing main character Michaela, the clumsy teenager. From there, it whisks you off your feet and dumps you into a beautifully written world where you can almost smell and hear everything happening. I go...
Morgan-Leigh Nortje: A storyline and plot not unlike something George R R Martin would have produced, only with far less tragedy. The stunning story of a young princess who goes into hiding and takes on an epic journey to save her father and her kingdom. With characters that you feel compelled to love and a plot that...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
Nate_L: This story is amazing. The style, the description, it all drags you in. The characters are mostly the well known characters from King Arthur. There's Merlin, the sword: Excalibur. I recommend reading this through, at least a little, as it's a very satisfying read. I added it to my reading list af...
MegaRogueLegend666: I love this story so much. It's impossible to describe my excitement with each new chapter in words. The author has such a good writing style, very good descriptions of the fighting and character descriptions/emotions. the plot is also amazing! This fanfic could be a side anime show or novel ......
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."