Malignus

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Liar. Liar.

Within my homey prison I found nothing of note. No bits and bobs, no shaky door-knobs. It was all perfectly well and just. Meaning, I had no tools to help me escape. The door bolted shut, the windows boarded up, the powder room empty of anything but a bar of soap and a tub. Truthfully, I had no inkling of an escape. It was as if he planned to keep me locked in here from the moment he found me.

I moved to the far bay window. A three-way bench with rippled cushions was beneath it. I sat before the window and peered through the cracks of the boards. Outside there were children playing in a creek, just South of the cottage. They looked happy. My heart broke at the sight. It was painful being with-child. All I had known was the sin of sex before marriage made me filthy in God’s eyes. Coupled with the disgrace of knowing what that child may become made me uncertain. I could not hate the child, I could only hate myself for being so foolish, but I could not love it either.

As I retreated from the window, my cloak was caught, pulling me back. I stumbled. The emerald-colored knit fabric unwound. I followed the stray thread to find the end caught on a nail. I carefully pulled it off the nail, and as I did so, a thought came to me.

I hurried over to where the cup of fruity juice sat. Taking it to my mouth, I gulped down the ambrosia of a drink. With it empty I headed back to the boarded-up window and held the cup upside-down, lowering it into the crevice between the board, and the nail. Steady handed, I pulled the cup towards me, easing the nail from its spot.

The nail loosened, I pulled it out with such care, I barely breathed. A pointed, shiny tip greeted me. It was just what I needed.

I rushed to the locked door, nail in hand. If it were only crooked, the pick would be fairly simple.

Placing one ear against the door, I inserted the nail into the keyhole. I listened carefully to the inner-workings of the lock. All I needed was enough pressure.

Rattling within the socket meant I was close. I had frankly become tired of getting close, so I felt in the opposite direction, and there, thankfully, I heard a click.

Before opening the door I savored one of the buttery biscuits. It would be the last taste of this life. I could not allow myself to get caught again. It simply was not in the cards.

Satiated, I went for the door. I was cautious. I was quiet. As I opened it further, I began to slip through. Hushed and careful I was when I shut the door. I did not let the world hear the sound of it closing. I turned around slowly.

“Liar,” said Orynicus as I faced the picture of fury.

He was right before the door, right before me. I did not know how long he stood there. I only knew my panic. I made a move to jut off, but he gripped me by the hand.

“I gave you conditions, and you have broken them.”

I shook my head. His iron grip became unbreakable. And my other hand now restrained just the same. The nail I was holding dropped. Its sound echoed as it toppled off the ledge, barreling down to the ground floor.

“Your resourcefulness will help you no longer,” he assured me, a threat laced within his words. Protruding from his toned back were black, glass-like entails that formed into a pair of frightening wings. His dark eyes became pools of dread, twinkling, like a star without light. Covering his skin were trails of moonlight, patterned in ways only the devil could comprehend. I ran from him last time I saw what he became, but I could not run this time. I was not supposed to see such things. They were meant for the most evil of the human race. In a place where fires burned the dead until they forgot themselves, where demons lay in beds of ice and dogs had three heads.

A lurching in my gut told me I would be ill. I wasn’t privy to losing my first meal in weeks, but I was terrified beyond belief. Then, the horror was gone. I was numb. Orynicus scooped me up while I recovered from a spell of nausea, and then, we were in the air. I felt sick all over again. I was tired of the infernal illness I felt as the child grew. It was eating away at me from the inside. I knew it was.

The house was behind us faster than I could blink. Further, further we soared into the sky. It was clear we were not going back.

He did not say a word to me. I could feel his hot anger warming the air around us, burning through me. I might say a word if I were ignorant. But, I was not so naïve this time.

Above a tangled forest we began to descend. It was a place no sane person dared tread, for there were monsters, demons within. Orynicus flew over the mess of trees, vines, and bushes of beautiful flowers guarded by bleeding thorns.

We passed it by as if it were nothing. The only barrier was a whisk of soft, strange wind that passed through me like an opened door. Winds of this kind were not normal. I still felt the caress upon my skin. It almost lulled me to sleep.

I forced my limbs to clench. Sleep would not come to me in the presence of a demon. I had to make sure of it.

Metal filled my mouth as I ate my bottom lip. It was a reminder that pain would find me if I were not careful.

Beyond the winds of lullaby were fields of flowers. I thought they would make a nice crown. Purple, Pink, and Green, the colors I favored. I would pick the prettiest flowers for weddings in the Abbey. I smiled sadly.

A landscape only man could envision, and God could realize came into view. Within were an alcove of buildings with white, Corinthian pillars, towering ceilings, and waterfalls clear as crystal. I stared in complete awe. Though, Orynicus was not here to admire. He quickly whisked towards a stately palace, spires touching the skies above.

It did not look like the hellish place I imagined was his home, but, his beauty showed me its true face, and I knew this place would, too.

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