The Devil's Ride
My strength wasted steadily as I roamed through the big black woods of Norway. Only a single memory of my wife and children made me forget my aching bones and open wounds. “My hope shall be the last thing that dies, my will to return home must be kept alive.” I told myself and so, I met the evil Devil and he offered me a ride. Disguised in a beastly form, he looked exactly like I remembered him from ancient folk tales of my hometown. The Devil had a pointed snout resembling a cunning fox with long red hair protruding from his arms and legs. His eyes looked human, but there was a hellish little bastard hiding in its eye of fire and sin.
I pondered whether to take his kind yet wary offer because I knew the Devil was only drawn to my feeble soul and wane spirit. He said: “You do look tired; let me carry you a while”. And tired I was indeed. I had just fled the holy war and deserted my armed brothers in desperation to rejoin my family, alive. I had been wandering for more than eighty miles without food and little water. The end days of my diminishing life force could be counted on a single hand. The devastating thought of letting all pain be in vain with many miles still to cover, drove me to accept the Devil’s offer. I knew once the deal was sealed, that I had made the grandest mistake of my life, but I was too weak to admit it to myself. I let myself go and allowed the sin of my decision to wash over me.
The Devil offered his back to me, his eyes gleaming with corrupted glee as I clamped his fur tightly. He moved through the Norwegian woods at an inhumane speed, the rain pouring down in buckets from the grey sky above, as if the heavens shed its tears for my immoralities. The Devil kept a steady pace, running fast. An inner feeling of regret crept under my skin as his kindness could never last. “Oh God, I am only human, I’m tired, and I want to go home. Let God save my soul”. I whispered, my hands turning into fists of blame as we neared the familiar footsteps of my dear home. It was the dancing fire in his eyes when he saw the little cottage through the branches and the leaves. Doomed this day was, when my darling loved ones were drawn outside to the quivering trees and quaking earth of the fallen angel’s arrival.
My timeless memory of my wife and daughters was replaced with a vivid reality of dread and suddenly I wished I had died at war. I knew it the moment the ruler of Hell stood right in front of a life I once had. A heartbeat later I was haunted by the image I could never erase for eternity. It was the sound of my wife’s and daughter’s giggles as they sat on the Devil’s back, blinded by its vice; the ultimate price I had to pay for the ride. Flying through the sky, my darlings disappeared at the horizon. Aghast, I stared at the desolate blue yonder. At last, I was home...
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