*prior required reading The Pit of Fire http://wp.me/p43M7s-bs
She couldn’t breathe…like she was being suffocated. The weight on her chest. The pain. Clawing at her throat…trying to scream & finding she has no voice. It was unbearable. Her face awash with tears…
She jerked awake as she finally found her voice, crying out loudly. Just a dream. She’d had so few since she arrived here but this one plagued her immensely. She sank back into her pillow sobbing & then felt his arms around her…stroking her hair & speaking softly to comfort her. The immortality he’d gifted her with did not take away all the pain & emotions she’d felt in her previous life. He knew what she had suffered before he brought her here & had hoped she’d been able to put it behind her as the nightmares had been coming less frequent. But it had been bad this time. He softly sang to her Death’s lullaby as she drifted back to sleep quietly.
Awaking later she felt groggy. Sleep was not a necessity anymore…she could go days without it now but every once in a while she felt she needed it. When she did sleep it would be for usually just a few hours but she realized she’d been out for almost a whole day. It was odd to think in that concept anymore…the passing of time here held no meaning as she could no longer see the sun rise & set. As her mind cleared the memory of her nightmare was there again, but she tried to block it out. It did no good to remember it…nothing from her past life mattered anymore. She knew it would fade as the days went on. Rolling over she reached for him but realized she was alone. He’d stayed there with her until he knew she was sleeping & made sure to set watchers on guard to make sure she wasn’t disturbed. He never slept but he knew she often required it. He always made sure she wanted for nothing.
As she readied herself for the day she thought about the task ahead. She was going to inspect the tombs…rooms where souls of the worst criminals were kept & tortured. It would be her first trip there and he was going to show her personally. The easiest way to get there was to go above ground then through a portal in an old house not far away. Local legend states the house is haunted…they had no idea. He met her on the path as she was walking to the great room & greeted her with a kiss…the memory of her nightmare faded completely. She smiled as he took her hand & led her down a long tunnel ending in a small dark room. Upon entering he held her close as she shut her eyes & they were once again entering the void. She felt she was falling…as in a dream…but was not afraid. Within seconds they stopped. She opened her eyes, turned around & saw the house.
It was well after midnight here & the house was covered in fog. She heard wolves howling in the distance & the sounds of other nocturnal creatures moving about. When they reached the house she smelled the stench of death, rot & decay. She also smelled the coppery aroma of fresh blood. Opening the door the odor almost knocked her over…it did not seem to affect him but to her still mortal senses it was overpowering. She heard noises…scratching, clicking, chattering…all coming from behind the walls. Like it was made by very large rats, or something worse. She almost laughed at how she thought this would have terrified her as a human but now it was nothing. He led her slowly down to the basement…the dirt floor was caked with blood & bones littered the floor around the walls. Something stirred in the corner closest to them, growling, but not coming nearer. He spoke something to it that she did not understand & it quieted…they passed by it slowly not looking in it’s direction. A large arched doorway was in the far corner…again he held her tightly against him as they whirled through the void. This time when it stopped there was a large white door in front of them with blood pouring out from underneath it. As he turned the handle to open it they noticed a bloody hand print before stepping into the room.
Blood was everywhere. The walls were caked in it. Several bodies in different states of decay had been thrown around the room. They had been chewed on, mangled, but were still breathing. Raspy sounds coming from the closest one proved this to be true. She could see the chest rising & falling. A child cowered in the corner covered in the crimson fluid. The glint of steel…a knife held in her small hands. As they stood looking upon this scene she turned to face them slowly…her eyes glowed like embers of coal. He explained to her that the child had recently been possessed by a lesser demon who refused to leave her body. He’d made her wander the woods before finding the house & a way down to the tombs using the strength of her body to do his work.
He walked over to the child & picked her up. She screamed in his arms, hissing & clawing as he stared deeply into her eyes. She let out an agonizing shriek & went limp. She stood in the doorway & could sense the demon’s presence in the room as he left the girl’s body & took his anger out on the bodies littering the floor. He walked to her slowly & put the child in her arms…turning back to the far corner the demon shrank from his gaze, begging forgiveness for his insolence. He produced a small vial from his robe…she watched intently as he moved his arms in strange motions…the demon then screamed as he disappeared in a puff of smoke & became trapped inside the vial. He handed it to her, telling her as long as the child carries it with her the demon would be frozen there forever. He could not get out to re-posess her or anyone else as long as she had it in her possession. Unfortunately due to this the child was now trapped here with them. He asked her if she would be willing to raise her & show her the ways of their world. She was thrilled…she’d had a child once who died very young and almost began to cry looking at the girl asleep in her arms. He knew this & said it was why he’d asked her to come with him today. He could not always be with her and wanted to make sure she was not lonely. She smiled as they walked back towards the door cradling her new daughter & envisioning her future with them.
*to be continued Death’s Lessons http://wp.me/p43M7s-d4