In a pure white room a man sat alone at the end of a table that had many vacant chairs seated around it. The man had his head in his knarled wrinkled hands. His robe of pure white seemed to radiate light that lit up the room whose walls seemed to be made of swirling white things, clouds? The man’s long white hair fell in thick healthy strands over his shoulder and past the white marble table. Somewhere outside the room someone was playing a harp softly, each note they stroked hung vibrating in the air but the man didn’t move; not even when the only door opened as someone walked inside.
A slight breeze blew through the open door rustling the white hairs then the door shut with a soft click and the breeze was cut off.
The person that had entered stayed in the shadows by the door but asked in a soft voice, “You asked for me father?”
“Yes.” The old man took his face out of his hands to look at his son. “I have a dilemma that I would like your help with.”
The man’s voice was tired and his shocking blue eyes had deep shadows under them, his face ancient and wrinkled but full of worry and fatigue.
“I’ll do anything for you father.”
“I would not normally ask for your help, you’re so young.” The man tried to stand up but fell back into his seat as though his knees could not hold him any longer. The man in the shadows by the door made a movement as though he was going to race foreword and catch his father but the man held up a hand.
“I am fine. You have no need to worry about me.”
“But father, you’re weak.” The man’s voice held nothing but worry. “What is wrong?”
“I do not wish to alarm you but the world is headed towards dark times and as the darkness gathers the more weak I will become.”
There was a moment of silence in which only the sound of the harp broke the delicate silence then the young man spoke, “What is it that you wish me to do?”
The man sighed wearily and looked at his son out of wise old eyes, “I wouldn’t ask this of you but you’re brother is in Iraq solving some problems there for I must plead with you to help me. I want you to go to the earth and get rid of a person for me.”
“A dark man, who broke out of the Cage of Power and is coming back for revenge.”
A ripple of shock seemed to travel through the air.
“The Cage of Power?” The man asked, his voice echoed with disbelief. “I thought that was a myth. Surely there is no such thing as a cage built to hold forces worse then the devil himself.”
“I assure you that there is such a cage and I’m afraid that there is also a man there is bad enough to be put in it. Not as bad as Lucifer but certainly bad enough to be worried about it.”
“Who is it?”
“His name is Neteru Senta, the Fear God. He goes by Riley and the longer he spends on earth feeding off of the hope of people the stronger his powers become.”
“God?” The young man spoke with shock. “I thought there was only one god. You?”
“He made himself a god.” The old man said and his tone turned grim and sad. “I do believe that it was my fault. I drove him to it.”
The young man’s voice hardened. “I will find this man for you and bring him back.”
His father gave him a piercing look and said gravely. “I have fore-seen your success in my dreams but you will also make a great sacrifice so be warned.”
“I will father.” The young man turned and opened the door. “I promise you triumph and I will be careful.”
The door shut tightly after him and the man’s ancient eyes filled with sorrow. His son hunting down his own brother, no good would come from this. The man let his heavy eye lids slide shut and let the soft harp notes sooth his drained soul. Every second was so precious, the darkness growing ever stronger.
♦ ♦ ♦
A man in a dark leather jacket with the hood up crouched among twigs and leaves in the undergrowth of an over grown forest. He wore black clothes and boots that had various worn down spots and rips. His black gloved hand ran over the dirt under foot gently as though smoothing down a baby’s hair, but he wasn’t the type of man that would hold a baby of any kind. His boney fingers were tracing the lightest of prints, nothing odd just an ordinary sneaker print. The sky over head seemed to rumble and he looked up at the swarming dark clouds gathering and gave a dark chuckle. A storm couldn’t even stop him but he had to give the gods credit; they had held him back for so long in that prison but even a cursed cell couldn’t hold him forever.
Even though his face was in shadows black hair blew out from under the hood in the breeze that was steadily picking up as the storm brewed overhead. The sharp sent of coming rain stung his nose but the smell that washed in from the surrounding woods carried something else too, something sweet. “Food.” The man said out loud as he straitened up, fully standing up made him about seven foot, give or take a few inches. As he walked, following the faint sneaker prints, he seemed to shimmer just slightly along his outline. A film appeared to settle on him as he changed shape. Soon he was no taller then four foot, with a face of little boy with sandy blonde hair. He wore a torn bright orange shirt and on his back was a small red back pack. No one would ever make the connection between this young little boy and the tall dark man and that’s exactly what he was aiming for. He walked a little more ways, with deep strides that definitely belonged to an older man, until he reached a well worn trail. The trail was about four feet wide; dirt with a few knarred roots poking out of the earth and it was just what he was looking for. In the distance he could see a woman jogging along the path with her headphones in.
The man, or rather boy’s, lips curled into a smile as he watched the woman close in then he quickly sat down on the path and scrunched his face into a fearful pained expression. Fake tears glinted on his cheeks and sobs made his body shiver as he crossed his arms across his chest as though he was cold.
When the woman reached him she slowed down and stopped, pulled out her headphones to look at the boy with a worried expression on her pretty face. “Are you okay?” Slightly out of breath her voice sounded winded and was almost lost in a sudden gust of wind that blew her pony tail behind as she crouched beside the terrified child.
The little boy looked up at her out of tear filled eyes and said in a quivery voice, “I’m cold and I don’t know where I am.” Tears spilled out of the miserable pools of blue as he looked at her pitifully.
The woman felt her heart soften and she asked gently, “How did you get all the way out here?”
The boy gave a sniff and wiped some of the tears on a skinny arm before answering in a small voice. “I went for a walk, but I wasn’t watching where I was going and I tripped and now I can’t get up!” fresh tears ran down his face.
The woman gave him a smile and quickly reassured him, “Don’t worry, I’ll help you back home.” She held out her hand and he took it with his little one. “Where do you live?”
“Hell.” The boy answered, a twisted smile on curving on his face, the tears long forgotten. The woman’s eyes flickered from confusion to terror as she watched the boy turn into the man in black.
She tried to pull her hand out of his grasp but he held on even as she began to beat and claw at his arm. When she saw it was hopeless she looked up, terrified, at him. “What do you want from me? If its money I can get it to you later on, I promise.”
“I don’t want money.” His voice was quiet and as cold as the raindrops that had began to fall from the stormy clouds. “I want to know everything you know.”
As the woman struggled to grasp what he meant he pushed her onto the ground where she landed, sprawled out on her back. Terrified she began to scoot backwards on her bottom over the dirt, getting her bright blue exercise shorts dirty. He walked slowly after her, face hid in shadows, and boots crunching the twigs under his black boots. As he came words filled the air, ancient words humans no longer spoke and something odd began to happen to the man.
Still he approached, and still she scooted backwards with her heart pounding painfully in her chest but something was happening to his body. It was growing bigger somehow, the clothes expanding until finally the sweatshirt ripped a little bit more and what the lady saw underneath made her shriek. Under the sweatshirt on the sleeve where skin should have been were dark shinny black scales. At last her back pressed up against a tree, stopping her retreat and allowing the (man?) to catch up. She gasped and looked up at the man quivering.
“W-what are you?”
“I am the son of all the evil, the son of God that was forgotten, never written about. I was the first murderer, locked away for a thousand years but I am back and I am the last thing you will ever see.” As he said that a sudden blast of cold air caused the hood shading his face to blow off, revealing a face that made the woman scream an ear piercing scream. His face was pale and the skin was slightly transparent with red streams flowing through it, red eyes with no pupils and black lips that curled into a sinister smile, showing a mouth full of sharp bloodstained teeth.
“In order to survive, I need to take your memories, your thoughts, your happiness and most of all your life.” He stretched his gloved hand foreword and as it landed on top of her head his voice changed deep again, “It will only hurt for a second.” His gloved hand closed on the woman’s face; a red light surrounded his hand and slowly the woman’s screams died away. Her skin grew a dark gray color and began to peel like paper as blood leaked from her ears and mouth. The man holding her breathed in deeply through a slit like nose and let the scent of her blood and death burn through his veins acting as adrenaline, giving life to him once again.
When his hand stopped glowing he pulled it back and the woman dropped to the ground with a silent scream still on her face and dead lifeless eyes starring up at the rainy sky. The man looked down at his victim and chuckled then his face began to shimmer and soon the ghastly look was gone, leaving behind a very pale face with normal features and electric blue eyes, his body also shrank back to its normal side and he looked totally human except for the blue knife that materialized in his hand.
The man bent over and removed a pack from the woman’s waist and went through it to find a cell phone, keys to a car and a house and her wallet. “Thanks for the new life.” He said as he looked down at his victim.
As he knelt before the dead woman’s body he looked up at the sky and let rain drops slide down his face. He smiled widely at the heavens above him and shouted, “You think you can stop me? All that I do down here is all for you so you should be honored. What I am about to do now is also for you father!”
He plunged the knife down into the woman’s chest; causing blood to splatter all over the place, showing up clearly on his pale skin. He twisted and turned as her body twitched and jerked as though her spirit was still trying to save her. Blood ran like thick wine onto the forest floor and Mother Nature hungrily drank it up as it sank into her soil. Finally at long last the man put his hand inside the woman and pulled back the ribs, hearing them creak and snap then with careful hands he removed her warm heart.
He held the heart above his head as though in a bloody offering and shouted again at the skies above him with a cruel look twisting on his face, “Look father! Look what I have done to your precious human! They are nothing and neither are you! You are loosing your grip and now there is innocent blood is on your hands, after all I am part of you! I will come and kill you and this time I will not fail. You will die for what you have done! I am Riley, your bringer of death and I am coming for you.”
The man began to laugh insanely as he held the dripping organ in his hand. His laughter mixed with the angry thunder of the angry god above. Every animal in the area felt the man’s evilness and god’s anger and they scurried for caves, burrows and some even headed for the populated towns, fleeing the on coming battle.
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