#NYR2020 – Execution

#NYR2020 – Execution

Time for the third prompt in our holiday-inspired series! ICYMI, you can find the last two here:

This prompt is New Year’s themed, aptly named New Year’s Revolution, and hosted by Cara Michaels on her blog. You get five different prompts to choose from, and the contest runs from 1/13-1/24. First and second place winners will receive a $10 and $5 Amazon gift card, respectively.

My chosen prompt is New Year’s Execution, and my response picks up where my #TipsySanta one left off.

Enjoy!


Above me, the sky hovers in shades of undulating purple and blue. Shapeless clouds float past on the warm breeze, and I let myself relax. This kind of peace is rare.

His voice puts an end to it.

“Enjoying yourself?” I don’t have to look to know he’s on the grass beside me. Curious to see what form he’s taken, though, I turn on my side. This time, he’s decided on some semblance of human. But the proportions are just slightly off – he’s too angular, jaw too sharp and cheekbones too high. And he never does anything to hide the yellow eyes.

“I was.” Sitting up, I pull my knees close, resting my chin on them. “You couldn’t stay away a little longer?”

“No. You know I can’t.”

“I know.”

“Did your aunt notice anything?” I can’t tell if that’s curiosity or concern.

“I don’t think so.” She was friendly enough at the party, but kept her distance. Not like I sought her out, either – something about her made me nervous. “But something felt weird.”

“I should have stayed.”

“She would’ve sensed you.”

“And I would have sensed whatever it was about her that’s causing your distress.”

I can’t help but scoff. “Didn’t know you cared.”

“I don’t. But my safety and comfort is directly linked to yours.” He knows I don’t need the reminder, but continues. “Or do we need to go over it again?”

Rather than respond, I try to wake up.

But my body betrays me, and I find myself trapped in a nightmare.

~~~

Chanting in a language I didn’t know assaulted my senses, overwhelmed me until I could feel the voices under my skin.

My wrists chafed against the bindings and the gag muffled my cries. Begging was pointless anyway – I was nothing but a sacrifice to be made to these people, and any prayers would fall on deaf ears. At least, I thought they did.

As the chanting escalated, my panic mounted with it. Less than a foot away, a robed figure raised a dagger, presenting it to the crowd. Beginning the ritual for my execution. Soon enough, it would find its place inside me, carve out my heart. Bleed me dry.

It doesn’t have to… His voice echoed between my ears, smooth as velvet. I can protect you.

The thought of being protected and safe was enough to still my struggling. Beside me, the figure continued chanting, waved the dagger about in the air above me in gestures I assumed had some meaning. They were summoning the demon who would wipe my existence away. Use my life’s essence for their own.

Who are you? I tried to project my thoughts at the voice.

Not the demon they intend. The chanting surged. I was moments away from being gutted. Let me help you. Help both of us.

This was my last chance.

So I took it, just as the blade came down. The last thing I saw before losing consciousness was my arm shoot up, breaking the binding on my wrist and stopping the blade.

~~~

Usually, I’m in total control of myself. I have to be, to coexist with a demon. But I can never escape that nightmare, never shake myself out of reliving what bound us together. That ritual and my execution was intended to make me a vessel, an empty jar into which they’d pour a high-ranking demon. We thwarted their plans, but I wonder if the cost was worth it.

Outside, a dusting of snow settles over the slush already on the ground. It’s pretty, with the sun glinting off the white surface, giving the room a winter-tinted brightness that almost hurts my eyes.

“A trip down memory lane…” Despite my constant annoyance with him, his voice still brings me comfort. Especially after reliving the nightmare. “Sometimes I wonder if I should have just let it happen.”

“Me too.” Exhaustion weighs on me, and I wish I could keep sleeping, but I can hear my mother moving around downstairs. So I get changed, intent on having breakfast like a normal person and making it to New Year’s Day without ruining the holidays for her.

“I’m not serious.” His tone suggests he’s appalled at my agreement.

“Could’ve fooled me.”  As I move to leave the room, he settles into my shadow, the only hint of his presence the way the edges ebb and flow, just slightly frayed. “But don’t worry. I have no intention of letting anything happen to us.”

“Good to know.”


And there you have 750 ineligible #NYR2020 words! Maybe once this prompt series is over, I’ll flesh out these responses into a longer, more coherent piece.

Be sure to check out the prompt post on Cara’s blog and join in the fun!

As always, think happy thoughts 🙂

11 thoughts on “#NYR2020 – Execution

  1. Wow! I’m really loving these characters and this scenario! I’m really excited you’ve decided to run with them for three of the entries now! Getting a different demon than the one the cult intended, and being a host instead of a vessel… Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

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