A Very Welcome Guest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 13, 2018

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Submitted: September 13, 2018

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A Very Welcome Guest

 

Please!” A woman’s scream could be heard throughout the corridor. ”Let me go and I will tell you anything you want!” The fire was roaring next to her tied up body. A twisted smile took form on the Warden’s face. He didn’t want information, not money, not even her young body. All he wanted was to hear her screams of agony and see her face turn in excruciating pain. ”You will not be let go, you will suffer until you are nothing more than a hollow shell of a person. Then I will be satisfied.” The corpses of a couple dozen humans and dwarves were hanging from chains in the ceiling, blood dripping from a few of them.

The Warden was a monstrous beast of a man, if he could be called a man at all. He looked like a man for the most part, what made him different was his face, burned nearly to a crisp. His eyes, black as a midwinter night. But most significantly, his left arm, it was supposedly five times as large as a normal man’s. To children he was nothing but a cautionary tale. ”Be quiet now, otherwise the Warden may get you!” Maryanne had been one of these children, terrified of the Warden and the tales of his monstrous deeds. But like most kids, she grew out of it. She was a priestess. Fear was not part of her life and she would have none of it. In Aldoran chapels and churches there was no discrimination between genders, both genders and all races could reside as priests and priestesses in the same monasteries.

Maryanne had since early childhood felt personally connected with Laceratus, the god of strength and all that is good. She was only ten when she left her home to become a priestess. Now she was nothing. Her faith was all she had and now even that was fleeting. Strapped to a pole next to an open fire alone with a madman without any help from her god made her feel completely helpless. If not even the divine could save her, what could? Some stories called him Rahgat the Merciless, others simply called him the Warden. His true identity was unknown, and his interests seemed to lie only in torturing and killing people he could snatch up.

The only audible sound was Rahgat eating a piece of meat in the corner of the room. Eye contact between Maryanne and her captor had been held for a long while now. ”Do you know who I am?” Rahgat was taunting her, and she didn’t enjoy it. ”No,” she said, ”some sick bastard who enjoys killing people.” His face lit up. ”You are correct!” He had a solid hearty laugh, not breaking eye contact once. The bonds around her hands and feet kept her in place, but even without them she would have been frozen in fear, unable to move. ”You were a farmer girl before you turned to your god, you have heard of the Warden.” His facial expression was suddenly dead serious. Maryanne felt a drop of sweat roll down her cheek. Two. Three. She realized they weren’t sweatdrops. She was crying.

”So, girl, Laceratus called to you from a young age. He made you believe his way of life was right. That is his way of life.” He pointed with his massive left arm at the ceiling, the corpses looking down at him. Maryanne kept sobbing, refusing to lift her head. ”Look at them!” He sounded mad now, and she obliged. Looking up at the bodies she saw they all had a symbol carved into them, the symbol of Laceratus. She couldn’t stop herself from hurling. Once more the Warden laughed at her, this was a game to him. ”What do you want from me!?” She shouted at him, the fear that had taken her before had turned to anger and disgust. ”I will give you a choice, either you join me and become a priestess of Rahgat, or I make you squeal like a pig and flay you alive.” Once more a smile took shape on his hideous face. ”You believe yourself to be a god? You are nothing but a children’s story!” Maryanne spat at Rahgat’s face, only for him to put his arm in the way. His reflexes were lightning quick. ”That was a mistake, girl. Tell me, which do you value least? The chance to see your god, to hear him, or to speak to him?” Rahgat excitedly looked over at his toolbox, filled to the brim with everything from a farmer’s hammer to a lumberjack’s saw to a royal lance, anything he’d found during his travels.

He picked up a meat-hook and examined it, it was old and rusty with a thick layer of blood coating it. ”Take my sight.” She said, she sounded exhausted and she couldn’t hold her tears back. He chuckled, ”it’s always the eyes.” As he reached over to grab the hook he could hear her praying. ”Laceratus, oh almighty lord of justice, strike down this heathen who stands before me and let me stand by your side once more.” Another deep laugh by the monster. ”Your god won’t hear you down here, lady.” He approached her, hook in hand. She tried to kick him, only to be reminded that her legs were tied to the pole. Once more she screamed. The hook was driven with force into her left eye. He pulled the hook back hard, removing her eye clean from its socket. The pain was agonizing. For a moment Maryanne was in a state of pure shock, she didn’t make a sound. Then the realization hit her, her left eye had been torn out and her field of view was much smaller. She screamed when the pain reached her. She screamed louder than she ever had before. Not many seconds passed before Rahgat set the hook into her right eye and yanked once more. A deafening wail was heard throughout the entire room. For several minutes no other sound could be heard.

When silence fell upon the room, it was almost deafening in itself. She could see nothing, feel nothing. Not even the Warden was present, she was alone in the dark. The large metal door creaked open. ”Are you ready to worship me now?” He had brought a chair and had set it down in front of her. She could feel his breath on her but saw nothing. She continued crying and let her head fall. ”I am yours.” She said, shamefully. She could somehow feel him smile. Her other senses had become greater, but this just felt unreal. ”You will be my right hand woman!” He laughed heartily. He untied her hands and feet and she immediately fell to her knees. The floor was hard and cold. ”You look terrible, dear, let me help you up.” He took her by the hand and helped her get to her feet. ”Let me draw you a bath.” His voice sounded warm. She smiled. He was smiling back at her, she thought. She saw the truth now, the Warden was not a bad person.

 

He had set her free.


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