I Die So That He May Live

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
When you love someone, true love, the pure love of a child. What would you not do to save their life.

Submitted: June 05, 2016

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Submitted: June 05, 2016




I Make A Deal With The Devil For All The Right Reasons


My name is unimportant, my existence is irrelevant, for I am lost in a world of desperation.  I come from a dark time and place when people are more animal than human.  My story starts in the seaside town of Gillingham.  A pitiful place where life is fleeting and death stalks everyone.

Sandwiched between an angry grey ocean and a sea of forested wilderness that I have made my stand to defy the world that cares nothing for me.  For you see in this desolate heartless place the condition of being an orphan is a short awkward condition between your parents death and you following them.  Together me and my brother Lance have defied the law of the land and survived.  When our mother followed our father to the grave our neighbors, our very family we have known since birth, descended on us like scavengers throwing us out of our meager homes and taking anything of value.  From that day on we weren’t even given the dignity of a name.  We were already dead to those heartless excuses of humanity.  Yet my spirit is not broken, my name if not important to them is everything to me.  I am Abbey and I will live, be ashamed all those that live in Gillingham  every time you see me, for I live despite your foul treatment.  You took our home so I made us a new home.  It is dry, warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  I don’t deserve to be fed by you so I feed myself and my younger brother.  My life is my brother and we live on.  We grow.  We defy.  We have names.  


As proud as I am, as strong as my unbroken spirit is, there came a time when my best efforts failed.  We survived the first winter.  We even thrived the following spring and summer.  But this winter was especially hard and in this blasted cold dreary weather when the warm sun hides behind the cold wet grey clouds I have lost the war.  There is not a thing to eat.  Any and all plants that could have been eaten have long been consumed and not a creature stirs.  Spring is just around the corner bringing with it plenty  but it just will not get here.  The shameful eyes of the town has been vindicated by our deteriorating shape.  How rude of me to keep our parents waiting in the afterlife.


It is in this time my now 10 year old brother has became too weak to even stand. .  Living on the edge of town unable to leave because of the predators in the forest and unable to live in the town for fear of a compassionate soul taking pity on you and ending your misery.  I am stuck in purgatory as I watch all I love in this world die in front of me.  I had a heart of love.  I had a heart of compassion.  Where has it gotten me?  It has gotten me nothing but scorn and pain.  In my moment of panic I have an epiphany.  These pathetic animals whose deeds are only different from the beast of the land and air by wrapping themselves in clothes have done nothing.  Perhaps I have given their wisdom too much consideration.  There is a hated witch that no one dares cross.  Perhaps if they hate her I should love her.  If those that are bound to me in blood will not lift a hand perhaps a stranger will.  My loving heart breaks and freezes with the anger of watching my brother slowly parish in front of me.  I will make a deal with the devil if I have to.  I will sacrifice myself for the survival of my brother.  For when you love someone, real love, a pure child's love, what would you not do?


Despite my brothers weak begging not to leave his side for fear of dying alone, I refuse to give into fate.  I leave the safety of our town and brave the forest and its predators in search of Lorna the despised ancient witch that is so feared not even our towns nobleman Lord Thomas dares cross her path.  If good has been bad to me perhaps evil will be good to me.  The logic is so simple and sound I can’t believe I had never thought of it before.


I find her hovel with ease as I let my anger dictate my steps and I am inexplicably led straight to her home though it is in a place I have never been before.  It is good that I was led there for in my weakened state I barely make it to her hovel for as willing as my spirit is my muscles just have nothing left to give.  


She lives in a small squat thatched hovel.  It looks sad from the outside but the smoke from her chimney gives me hope for what is on the inside.  


Walking up to the door I am nearly knocked off my feet in surprise as the door flies open right before my fist can hit the door.  “What do you want!?”  The old witch demands of me.  She is a scary sight to behold.  She is so old it is unnatural to see her standing on two feet and not lying in the grave.  Her grey skin hangs off of her face in long droopy wrinkles.  What hair she has left is white as snow.  Yet despite her advanced age she has every yellow tooth in her head.  In my shock nothing comes out of my mouth.  “Well out with it you starved bag of bones.  You came all this way to see me so say what you have to say or be off with you!”  She demands of me.  Trying my best I can’t get anything more than a guttural sound out of my throat.  Impatient she slams the door in my face.  


I have failed.  It is in this final moment of failure something inside of me breaks and my pride falls.  Not because of my desperation for myself but because I know I will never see Lance alive again, for I have not the strength in me to make the long walk back and he is at death’s door.  Falling to my knees I give into my desperation and bang on the door for all I am worth, begging with all I am worth.  “Please, please, please, help!”  I beg with all that I am.  I offer anything and everything I am to her.  I can accept any fate but my brothers death.  To my surprise my begging is answered as an inhumanly strong hand snatches me off of the ground.  Opening my eyes I find myself nose to nose with the witch.  My panicking ends immediately with fascination by the sight in front of me.  As her dark black eyes peer into mine I can almost see the beast behind the eyes and I can feel with my soul the mountain of power masked by her pathetic form.  This is not an ordinary old lady.  I was right to come to her.  In a world filled with helpless people she is power incarnate.  She speaks “Oh yes, yes indeed you mean it.  It has been so long since somebody has said the words you say and truly meant it.  Few know how.”  She gently sets me down on my feet and with a smile from ear to ear she speaks to me  “Child death is natural.  What I do is unnatural.  Are you sure you can pay my price?”  Dropping my head, I say “I have no money but…”  Lorna cuts me off “You think I want something as worthless as money!  Pieces of flat metal have no meaning in the world I live.  What you have is you.  Will you offer that in payment?”  Surprised I look back into her overwhelming eyes.  “Me?  How is that worth something when gold and silver are not?”  Laughing Lorna continues.  “Child there is only one of you and that is all there ever will.  I in all my inhuman power I can not make another you but you can surrender flesh spirit and soul to me.  I will not lie in this, you are special.  You have power not even you know about.  Do you not think it strange that you survived as long as you have when so many other orphans are dead the same season they lose their parents?  Did you think they wanted to live any less than you.  No Abbey you are special indeed.”  I answer “For my brother yes but only for him, not me but for him I will pay your price, just tell me how to pay.” “EXCELLENT!  You go rest by the fire and I will retrieve your poor starved Lance.”  Grabbing my hand she pulls me into her hovel.  I am flabbergasted at the change of fortune that has happened.  She used my brothers name.  How does she know his name?  How will she find him?  Realizing I need to give instructions I am briefly distracted by unimaginable fire burning in her fire place.  It is a violent angry fire that moves and dances like I have never seen before.  It doesn’t even have a single stick of wood to fuel it yet it exists supplying light and heat.


Before I can come to my senses and speak she continues.  “Now sleep while I get your beloved brother.”  With that she puts her hand on my chest and I feel the sensation of hot water being poured into my chest. Immediately I fall onto the blankets as my limbs turn to lead and my eyelids close unbidden and an unwanted sleep takes me like a wolf takes a lamb, with violence and force.


If I did not want the sleep, I doubly didn’t want the dream that came with it. I am in a murky cave filled with smoke and the smell of sulfur.  I am following a black skinned winged fiend.  The cave opens up into a massive chamber with a wide glowing pit.  Walking up to the abyss there is a strange looking whitish incomplete bridge that ends right in the middle of the pit.  The beast walks onto the bridge and I follow.  The bridge is built of bones.  Lots and lots of bones. With my eyes locked on the winged fiend I am drawn to it and I desire to for it to love me like I love it.  Reaching the end the bridge we stop.  My senses are alive as I take in my surroundings.  The sulfur smells sweet to me and the chorus of thousands screaming in agony mixed with the roar of a massive inferno is music to my ears.  I belong here.  Turning to face me I am surprised to see the winged fiend is a woman.  She is a cross between a demon and a woman.  Her skin is an unnatural black that reflects orange light at the same time.  Her torso and face are that of a woman yet that is where her humanity ends.  Her legs end in hooves and at the end of her arms she has abnormally long fingers with dagger like talons on the ends.  Her face although beautiful in shape is mauled by dagger like teeth sticking out of her mouth in an over and underbite.  The horns sticking out of her head are colored just like her skin and they are delicate looking in how they curve out and then in.  I step up to her towering form.  I have never seen such beauty and I feel inadequate in her presence.


Lifting one of her taloned hands she gently caresses my face with her freakishly long fingers.  I should be scared.  I should be terrified.  I am, and I love it almost as much as I love her.  In all the bizarre black skin I am surprised by her human like emerald green eyes.  I speak “Am I worthy, I want to be.”  Her voice is marred by the long dagger like teeth protruding from her mouth but her words are clearly understandable.  “Perhaps it’s not and I kill you.  Perhaps it is and I kill you still.  Let me judge your heart and see.  Lifting my shirt up I expose my bare chest offering it to her.  Leading with her long nails she slowly pushes her hand into my flesh expanding her fingers as she goes until reaches my heart and I can feel her hand tightly squeezes  around my heart.  The pain is immense but my flesh is detached from me somehow making the experience bearable.  In a blink of an eye she jerks my heart out of my chest.  All pain and emotion is gone.  The interview has begun and I am at ease here in my home.  My heart is more than I could have imagined.  As it beats it is glowing from a bright light inside it.  Holding up the pulsating organ she is inspecting it as if looking for something.  While she is inspecting my beating heart she tells me “Go look at my children, will you be a suitable master?  Will you make them pay as I have?  They were such bad children.  Go look and tell me what you think.”  Stepping up to the edge the bridge it just falls away without a barrier.  Looking down into the fiery pit I see a raging inferno filled with writhing burning bodies.  As I focus on each one at different levels of consumption I see their sins and they are indeed as immense as their suffering.  Oh to be the steward of this hell bringing justice to evil men.  Sheep were meant to be sheep but these men wanted to be predators.  How dare they.  The worse the sins the slower they burn away as if the fires themselves were purifying their souls from the evil they had done.  She speaks again while I inspect her flock, “The fire gives me my immense powers.  I judge you worthy Abbey.  Soon my flock will be your flock.  Will you have mercy on their suffering?”  I answer “Never.”  “Good, face me.”  Doing as she says she takes one last look at my heart it is beating as hard and as strong as when she pulled it out.  Caressing my face once more with her free hand she surrounds me in her enormous wings.  There with the screams and shouts muffled all I see is her face holding my heart beating between us.  It is now pumping a black viscous fluid instead of blood.  “Dear Abby, you are so young yet you were born for this.  Your heart is already beating my demon essence.  Be wary of my mother for she schemes and is callosed but I believe her heart has paid enough for her sins and perhaps after so much time suffering together we can move on together.  I think she is ready to die.  However I have new responsibilities and must be released from my sentence with her.  I am glad to have one worthy to continue my work”  As she shoves my heart in my chest I wake up with something getting shoved into my mouth.  


I am back in Lorna’s hovel laying in front of a mystical fire that burns with no fuel.  Pulling at the foreign object I discover that Lorna has shoved a role of dry bread into my mouth.  The starving animal takes over and I choke as my mouth devours the role as fast as my weak mouth can chew.


Gaging and unable to breath I am panicking as the bread cuts off my air.  “Stay still fool and lean your head back.”  Lorna demands.  Doing as she says she takes her finger to the top of my throat and then she slides it down.  Painfully the bread follows her finger as she traces her finger all the way to my stomach.  “Your damn brother did the same thing.” She tells me.  Looking around excitedly I see a cot at the end of the hovel covered in blankets.  Peeking out from under the blankets I see a pale child's hand.  Rushing to him as fast as my weak legs can carry me I can’t believe we have found help.  Especially who the help was coming from.  Pulling my too skinny brother out of the pile of blankets I hug for all I am worth.  My happiness ends in a snap as I realize there is something terribly wrong with Lance.  He is limp and burning hot.  Putting him down I see him weekly open his eyes.  In the weakest whisper he tells me.  “Abbey you saved us.”  With that he closes his eyes and his breathing stops.  “LORNA!”  I scream.  “Move child.”  Lorna pushes me out of the way.  “Too soon, too soon, ahhhhh.”  My world shatters as my brother dies in front of me.  “Do not fret child I have tricks up my sleeve.”  I watch as she leans over Lance and opens his mouth with her hand.  With her mouth inches from his I see a blue luminance steam leave her mouth and go into Lance’s.  Lance’s lungs fill and drop, fill and drop.  She then listens to his heart.  “Good I was not too late his heart still beats.  Abbey we must do this now instead of later.  I was hoping for time to make sure you were prepared but your brother will be dead very soon and death is something I cannot undo.” Lorna tells me.  “Why don’t you just heal him?  You can see in my heart that I am fully devoted.”  I ask.  “My magic isn’t the kind that heals sick little boys.  I can save him but not before you give me what I want.”  “Well then you have me, what are you waiting for?”  I ask her.  “I know you are prepared and I am prepared but there is one more entity involved.  She rejected my last apprentice and that was a disaster.  I can not survive that again.”  Remembering my dream I take a chance as one does in desperation.  “Sasha said I was worthy, (I do not know how I know the name of the demon but I do) she told me her flock would be my flock.”  The words I say have a profound effect on Lorna as black tears stream down her face.  “She spoke to you?”  Lorna asks weekly.  “Yes in my sleep she pulled my heart out and said it was good and then it started beating black blood before putting it back in my chest.”  With her eyes burning now with anger she asks another question.  “Did she mention me?”  Take another gamble I continue “If you are her mother she said something about your heart has payed and together you both can move on from your sentence, and I have no idea what that means.” Leaning her head back an unnatural ear splitting shrill scream burst out of Lorna.  Lowering her head she is so sad.  Holding up her hand to keep me silent while she regains her composure I can’t help but be terrified at each of Lance’s precious seconds passing.  A dangerous thought enters my mind.  I am willing to face any fate for my brother but what fate will he awaken too.  There are some fates worse than death as I had seen in Sasha’s hell.  “If we have time I have a few questions if I may ask.”  Looking over my brother she inspects him.  “Yes his heart is beating stronger now that I am breathing for him, we have a little time.”  Lorna answers.  “What are you?”  “Tired, so very tired.  I am more ancient than you can guess Abbey and the weight has worn me down to nothing, next.”  “Why are you mad at Sasha speaking to me?”  “As bound as we were together she has only spoken to me once in over the last millennia and that was to reject my apprentice some 300 years ago.  In all the 700 years before that I thought her a dumb beast tied to her demonic nature.  Turns out she just hated me, next and please hurry.”  “What will by brothers fate be?”  “Human, and alive.  But he will be a little affected.  WIth as much evil power that is filling into you the universe could pour white energy into him to maintain the balance.”  “Could?”  “Yes could, it might be another but it will generally stay close to the source of evil.  As you will learn magic has a mind of it’s own and is as complex as people.”  I ask “What must I do?”  “You must die.” she tells me.  Looking over at my brother there is not even a moment of hesitation.  “I am ready.”  I tell Lorna.  “Good.”  Stepping up to me she take my left hand and places it palm to palm with her right hand.  “Abbey my precious girl, now that the moment has come upon me I am finding it hard to give up my life.”  “Are you a coward?” I ask.  She answers softly as if filled with shame at my words instead of anger.  “For far too long, yes.  Do not worry Abbey you will not stay dead.  I must break your vessel and remake it in order for it to be able to hold Sasha’s spirit.  You will be powerful, more powerful than you can ever imagine.  But the price will be steep.  Pain, suffering, anger, and all encompassing hunger will be the trademarks of your never ending life.  This will hurt beyond anything you have ever known, are you ready?”  She asks me.  “Will my brothers life be his own to live as he chooses?”  I ask her.  “Yes his life will be his own.”  She answers.  Not until much later do I discover how big of a lie that was.  “Do it”  I say.

Pulling a wicked jagged black dagger out she plunges it through our touching hands, pinning them together.  As our blood mixes my hand explodes in a burning pain that is spreading down my arm.  “Don’t worry about the dying part, the pain will have you long unconscious by the time we get to that point.” When the pain reaches my heart it shatters my chest as my heart beats as it never has before.  As quick as my blood travels through my body the pain spreads to every corner and edge of my body.  Under the immense mountain of pain the blackness of unconsciousness pulls me into an ocean of nothingness.  



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