Wrath: The Bane Slayer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
What if you were created for one purpose: to extend wrath upon others? You become a legend, but can legends be changed?

Submitted: November 25, 2013

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Submitted: November 25, 2013

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A drop of blood dribbles out of Mid’s nose and sputters onto a scribbled page in his book. He curses and attempts to erase the stain with a shaking hand. He fails. Smeared and ragged, the invaluable page he was composing for his apprentice is now tainted with fallen blood. He laughs morbidly at his situation. Even in writing, peace cannot come without bloodshed.

He hears a metallic groan outside the window. The metal gate is bending.

They’re coming.

 He snuffs the flame of his candle. His skin breaks into an icy sweat. Blood continues to drip-drip-drip from his nose. He shoves trembling fingers into his nostrils and grabs the book. His joints are too stiff and won’t move fast enough. Which type are they? Will they hear my heartbeat? He slowly inhales, attempting to calm his pulse.

The demons hide in human skin. Their eyes are not but empty black holes. Their eyes are reflections of their souls. The demons hide in human skin.

The Banes are coming for him. This is too soon. I’m not finished!

He shuffles his tired feet as fast as they will move. His back aches from years of working hunkered over examination tables. His work is his life. His work will restore Accolade and bring justice for the lives taken by the Banes. His work entails the formula for the creation of a bounty hunter and is written in the blood stained book he clutches in his hand.

He dips behind an old dresser in the corner just before he hears the room’s wooden door rip off of its hinges.

“Where are you human?! We know you are in here!” A male Bane shouts out. The voice claws through Mid’s chest like a reaper searching for a soul to take.

It’s the telepathic Banes. The primal Banes never announce their presence. The primal Banes have heightened senses and would have heard his heartbeat before the door was opened. He would not be able to hide from them. The telepathic Banes, on the other hand, have powers beyond the means of human physicality. Their powers of torture are immense.

His body quivers in fear.

The glass smashes out of the bedroom window.

Paper rustles. The drawers to the dresser are violently ripped out without anyone laying a hand on them.

He watches their shadows move in a violent torrent against the moonlight on the wall. A tear wets his lashes. This is the world that will be left if his hunter cannot be born, this fragmented, decrepit world full of monsters that hide in human skin. Mid longs for the past. He holds the memories of his own childhood close to his heart, when people had color in their eyes, and every man was created equal.

Those days are over.

Now at birth, infant souls are stolen from their fragile bodies, and they become Banes, baneful demons who oppress and control the humans of Accolade. The demonic power manifests within humans in two ways: through heightened strength and speed or through kinetic capabilities. Two kinds of Banes. A million means of chaos and destruction. And, it all began with a prayer for power during the second Accoladian holocaust. The oppressed victims were saved only to become Banes and oppressors themselves.

Mid wants to say his own prayer to the Mother, but is afraid the Banes might hear. Blood slides down the fingers in his nose. He is dying. But not dead yet. He must reach his apprentice and deliver the book. This room was only meant to be a shelter from the rain. It cannot be his grave.

His eyes scan the dusty floor around his body, and he smiles a silent smile. Jasper. The stone of invisibility. Jasper is a rare stone found only in Accolade that began appearing shortly after the Banes. Mother Nature herself is assisting humans in the fight for their lives, for this stone only appears for humans and only appears when the will of the Mother is needed to be completed. He grabs the stone and warms it in his hands. He watches his body dissolve into a puff of air. The telepathic Banes tear at the dresser with their minds, splinter board by splinter board, but do not see the invisible dying human. Thank you Mother that these are not the primal Banes. They could hear my heart and the jasper would be useless.

Mid waits for an hour after the Banes disperse before leaving the room. The jasper crumbles the moment he stands. He knows that if he needs more jasper, the Mother will help him. She wants him to complete his work. She wants the hunter to stop the Banes. She is the Mother of Nature and yet also the Mother of Balance. Not only are the bodies of her fauna stolen but the lives of her flora are controlled and extinguished by the Bane’s violence. All of Accolade is dying. Balance must be restored. Mid continues on his journey to the safe cell, despite the blood expelling in large amounts from his nose.

*****

Seron finds Mid’s lifeless body outside the tunnel to the safe cell. The blood trailing from his nose tells her that his death was at least natural, not Bane-caused. But, before she can mourn and pray for his soul, she must finish his work. She pries the book from his hands, runs inside to his work table, and adds one final piece of crumbled jasper to the concoction, awakening the legend he assimilated.

*****

A legend is born from a corpse.

Seron names her “Wrath.”

For that is the reason she exists.

*****

The vines wrap around her boots, unable to control their own forms. She feels the despair of the Mother as her pacifistic creatures are being forced to harm. Wrath apologizes as she severs them with her sword. Then with a single swoop, she swings her sword backwards to slice through a primal Bane. Two slick thuds of symmetric body parts hit the ground.

One down. Two to go.

The two telepathics are commanding the trees to use their limbs as daggers, but Wrath is much too fast. She slides through each branch unscathed. The telepathics watch her and concentrate with all their might to contort her body. She laughs as she charges for them. I am made with prayers, jasper, and holy water. My body is impenetrable to you. You cannot control me.

The terror on the faces of the two Banes gives way to their recognition of who she is. She is Wrath, the Bane slayer, the untouchable. Within a few bounds, she has removed their terrified faces from their bodies.

Time to find more Banes.

And the war continues.

Wrath never stops. Being a corpse has its advantages. Unlike the Banes inhabiting human bodies, she never sleeps nor eats. She has been created for one sole purpose: to extinguish Banes. The Mother keeps her skin pink and fleshy so that the Banes don’t run from her on sight. Her black cloak hides the missing patches of her hair. Only once she is in hearing distance do the primal Banes realize she doesn’t have a heartbeat, but by then, usually, neither do they. The hatred in their lifeless black eyes fuels her conquest. They killed her creator, Seron, and for that, her thirst for vengeance will never cease.

The Mother pulls her. Wrath follows the longing through the dense wood, past the looping whispering vines, and into the blackened charred city. Here, humans live like rats, skittering away from sunlight, afraid of what might find them. The piles of dirt and filth are stacked as high as the roofs on the homes. The sky is forever golden, green, and grey, the colors of a storm, the colors of a Mother’s bruised heart. Wrath follows the Mother’s yearning to a home on the boarder of the brick wall that separates the city from the forest.

“Innn therrrre…” The Mother whispers.

Wrath steadies her sword and walks to the window. Inside she sees the foot of a body trailing from another room. Dead human, but there may be live hostages. Without hesitation, Wrath kicks in the front door and walks towards the body. The body is an adult male. His torso is blanketed by the shadows of an adjacent room. She walks inside, and her ears are assaulted by a harsh voice.

“I know who you are,” the voice declares cynically, “And, I know why you’re here.”

Wrath’s eyes adjust quickly to the room, and she determines that the voice came from the bloody woman standing in front of the crib wielding a knife.

“You’re not taking her,” the woman commands.

Wrath stares at her with indifference. “Did you murder your husband?”

The woman bites her lip ferociously, “He was going to kill her. It’s not her fault. We can help her.”

Wrath stares at the knife and the crib. She steadies her sword. “Move aside.”

“You’re going to have to go through me. How can it be a baby’s fault if a Bane takes its body? There must be a way to stop this.”

“There is,” Wrath says stepping forward, “by removing its head.”

“No!” The woman screeches. “She was human only an hour ago! How can the Mother let me suffer like this? I am a mother too!”

A mother. Like her creator.

With no choice. Like Wrath.

She loves this child indefinitely, Bane or not. And is it really the child’s fault?

For the first time in her existence, Wrath is conflicted. She would have to kill the mother to end the child, the innocent child. Mother, what do I do? What choice should I make? Why did you lead me here today?

Wrath feels warmth in her chest and a constriction in her throat. It is almost as if her eyes might rain, but she knows that holy water does could not expel from her body unless she wills it. And yet, a drop of holy water slides down her cheek in protest of her ability to control it. She holds it on her finger to examine the specimen. Mother?

“To the cribbb…” Mother whispers.

Wrath takes the drop to the crib, where the baby’s mother stands guard with her knife.

“The Mother has a plan. Let me help,” Wrath pleads.

The mother tightens her grip on the knife and places it over Wrath’s back as she places her tear drop near the child. The baby’s dark eyes open and along with it, its human mouth, still needing nourishment even though it harbors a demon. Wrath places the drop on the baby’s tongue. The baby squeals in pain, coughs, and chokes before black liquid trails down its face in streams. It blinks furiously, and calm blue eyes stare back at the ceiling. Wrath gapes at the black puddles next to the baby’s head in disbelief. The demon left the child. The Bane became human. The child’s mother falls to her knees in gratitude and hysteria for the life of her child was spared.

Wrath questions the Mother once again. How is this so?

“You were created for balancccce. You have taken enough life, now it issss time to give itt. Your wrath is finished...”

And so the legend of Wrath the Bane Slayer was altered. She was given a new name and a new title, “Redemption the Sanctifier”. And, for as long as Accolade stood, the children taken by Banes were given second chances at life, and without the helpless babes, the Banes had no more souls to steal.


© Copyright 2020 LakinWooliver. All rights reserved.

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