I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday – feels like the week has sped by and gone at a snail’s pace at the same time. Finding time/motivation to write has been a struggle (as it always is), so I’m glad I’m able to put this up. I’ve also been trying to scrounge up time to work on Withered Legacy, but I feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions. It’s like I can’t function with only one project on my plate, so I try to fix that by juggling more than one, but the problem doesn’t go away. Anyway, I’m rambling and I should really stop complaining. At least I’m writing something.
Today’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class prompt series. Out of this week’s prompts, I picked “Damned descendants” to be my inspiration. It was too good to pass up for Videl’s story, and it allowed me to get to the next major piece in her story, while giving a little background I’ve been meaning to write.
Anyway, enjoy the read!
“You know these things never end well, right?”
The chanting within the dark chamber stops, and a chill settles over everyone present, save for the speaker. He’s the picture of ease, though he paces within the summoning circle in the center, trapped by ceremonial candles and symbols. Outside the circle, hooded figures in thick, crimson robes stand completely still, their ritual successful. Despite the sudden chill, the speaker can feel their excitement – their anticipation.
“So which of you wishes to strike a deal with me?” He’s impatient – clearly he has better things to do than cater to humans – and holds his hands behind his back, eyes focused on one of the figures in particular. It’s that same one who eventually stands and lowers her hood. A woman in her late forties, she stands with confidence and an air of haughtiness about her. She’s obviously used to getting her own way. He smirks. “State your wish?”
“Immortality and power.”
“Is that all?” He looks bored – he is bored. What a mundane request – so vague, so human. “And you’re prepared to give me a soul in return?”
“Yes – but not mine. My grandchild’s.” If the devil can be surprised, this is the closest he’s ever come. In a moment, he knows the woman’s history – she only had one son, dead a few months, who left behind a pregnant widow. The widow would be giving birth any day now, but she was still grieving – she thought she might not want the child anymore.
“Is that so?” He raises an eyebrow.
“Yes.” The woman continues to meet his gaze head-on, victory clear in her eyes. She thinks she’s won – that she’s figured out a way around the endings these deals typically have. When would humans learn?
He extends his hand, moving to the edge of the circle closest to the woman. “If you’re sure, I accept.”
She eagerly takes his hand, intending to shake once and withdraw.
“However,” he smiles as his grip tightens, and her palm feels like it’s on fire, “there are conditions.”
“Conditions?” She strives to keep her voice steady.
“Of course – you didn’t think it would be easy, did you?” His smile widens at the look on her face. “Your grandchild will live a normal life until the age of twenty-five. You see, an infant soul is no good to me. You are to nurture this child with her mother, as well. I want her in perfect condition by the time I come to collect – is that clear?” Again, a tightening of the grip on her hand.
“Y-Yes.” Finally, he smirks, a hint of fear.
“Good. Then we have an agreement.” He releases her hand, satisfied at the way she cradles it close to her chest.
When he disappears, he takes the chill with him.
I don’t remember falling asleep, but that dream shakes me clear out of my slumber. It’s difficult not to scream – is that really how the deal went? She told me herself that it was in exchange for immortality and power – was it worth it? Since arriving at Marcus’ house, I never once spared her a thought, too torn over my mother and current situation to really care one way or another.
“Humans, am I right?” His voice startles me from my thoughts, and I scramble from the couch to bow.
“Sir.” I maintain the bow, instinct at this point. Where’s Marcus? The boss never visits just me.
“You can relax.” He waves his hand, and I let my posture slack a bit.
“Is there something you needed?” How many servants does he have, anyway? Marcus hardly ever has assignments, and I’ve only had a handful.
“I showed you my deal with your grandmother for a reason.” He walks past me and drops into the couch, leaning back and crossing his ankles.
“She’s becoming a real thorn in my side.”
“My grandmother? Why?”
“She thought she could avoid the consequences of a deal with me, and when shown otherwise, she can’t cope.” He yawns, as bored right now as he was in that vision. “Did you know she’s killed over thirty of my demons this month alone? Do you have any idea how much work I have to put in to make up those numbers? Contrary to what you’d think, it’s not easy getting people to sell their souls.” For the first time, he looks frustrated.
“So you need me to recruit?”
“No – I need you to deal with her.”
“Deal with her?”
“Yes. Take Marcus.” He waves his hand at the door, and it’s only then that I notice Marcus standing there, watching our exchange.
“Between the two of you, you should be able to deal with her. If she wants you back so badly – it’s not like she’d hurt her granddaughter, right?” I try to hide how his words affect me, and I’d like to think I’m doing a decent job. Still though, the irony of his words aren’t lost on me. Would she retaliate if I fought her? She’s capable of selling my soul, after all. I doubt any remorse she might feel would be enough to change her. What would she force me to do to stop her? I don’t really want to think about it.
Marcus’ expression makes it clear that he’s put two and two together and realized who we’re talking about.
“She’s immortal. How are we supposed to k-stop her?” Marcus catches himself when his eyes meet mine. Still, I know full well what the word ‘stop’ is supposed to mean.
“You two are bright – I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” If he noticed Marcus’ slip-up, he makes no indication. Apparently he’s too annoyed to care. With those last words, he turns on the spot and leaves.
Looks like she’ll get a shot at seeing her grandmother again, though it won’t be nearly as heartwarming as her meeting with her mother. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Friendly reminder: #TuesFlashFicTrain is up and open for submissions! Check out the prompt post for details. Looking forward to reading your stories 🙂
As always, think happy thoughts!