Monday, 12 March 2012

The Demon Barber of Karamoon

A curious mist hung about the House of Skaersjborg, curling over the roof and about the doorway; even as the morning sun rose higher in the sky it maintained its eerie drape as if wishing to cloak the house from view. Inside I sat before the great table staring up at the rich tapestry of my family tree, alone with my thoughts and savouring the quiet relief. Still weakened from my recent grief and the invading healing process my arms rested loosely upon the arms of the ornate chair and my dark eyes rested lazily upon the name of my mother, finely embroidered above my own.

Suddenly the silence was shattered as the doors slammed open, ricocheting off the wall with a loud crash. My head snapped towards the sound, fingers gripping tightly at beautifully crafted wood. There stood the proclaimed Dark Lord cloaked and menacing, his broad figure devilishly silhouetted in the doorway, the doors slamming themselves shut in his wake. From the shadow of his face two red eyes burned towards me, holding my gaze in a malicious stare. I felt my own dark eyes widen with panic and trying to swallow it back I gingerly rose to my feet. I should have expected this and cursed myself for remaining alone and unarmed. “What are you doing here?” I heard myself ask, my voice low trying to mask my fear “You are not welcome” I added slowly straightening my poise. A snarl erupted from his throat as he dashed forward, his rancid hands extending toward me to take hold. His eyes lightly burned scarlet “Now is the time for your judgement my dear! You poke a caged animal and it is bound to return to taunt its captor!” he spoke in a sneer, fingers reaching for me.

I recoiled from his haggard grasp "Do not dare to lay your foul hands upon me!" I cried out ducking behind my chair with my eyes flying about the room "I only did what any in my position would do! The Port is within my protection as well as the Governor’s and you...YOU!" I growled pointing a shaking finger at him "You sought to bring it to ruin and undermine us. How did you expect to be treated? With open arms?" The Dark Lord paused tilting his head and emit a terrible laugh before striding forward kicking aside the furniture with ease, scattering it across the room. The fury in his eyes was evident as he advanced closer seemingly not giving up on his quest. He extended his hands once more as he spoke, his tone dripping with scorn “You are but a mere visitor in this kingdom, the wind has blown you in and the same gust will take your ashes away! Repent now for your sins and mercy will be shown as you enter the gates of hell!”

I quickly stepped back but found only the wall behind me, looking past him towards the door as his malignant form blocked my escape. I felt my own fury grow mingled with rising fear but as my hands clenched at my sides I dared to look up and meet his fiery eyes "Do not speak to me of hell! Do not think that hell’s deadly hand does not already touch me....foul grasp forever around my neck!" I hissed at him, my dark eyes squinting into the glare of his own burning pupils "You sought escape from the cells I understand that! You have no patience...howling like a wild animal...that is what brought me down there to look upon you!" I glared at him in defiance "I stand by my actions, whatever you think of them....I care not!" But as soon as my words left my mouth I knew of my grave error and gasped as already I saw he was lunging forward seeing my back to the wall. His gloved hand darted to my throat attempting to grab it firmly as his temper flared. My eyes flickered to what I could see of his face towering high above me.

I knew I was no match for him for even when of full strength he would still crush me like a leaf. From deep within myself I heard a voice whisper dangerously 'see how you spurn the power we offer, if you only allowed us to find the key you could show your true strength angel' it tempted mockingly before the voice disappeared in an echo of laughter. My eyes squeezed closed as I felt his grip tighten at my throat. Breaking the sudden silence his voice echoed in a mere rasp “Your words fall on deaf ears, you chose your actions and so punishment shall be fitting of your crimes! From this day forth an internal rage is to be unleashed upon this stinking little city, you will be the first to be punished but hark my words and heed my warning you will not be the last!”

With panic I choked and feeling his hold stay I gradually calmed enough to open my eyes, my undead body not needing the vanity of human breath. My pupils blackened as I glared up at him "Do what you will" I croaked, hands grasping at the stone wall hard against my back "And I hope that your appetite for malice is quenched so that others may be spared" I uttered letting my hands fall limp at my sides. The Dark Lord sneered down at me once more “I intend to do as I please” he retorted and with fire in his eyes he extended his free hand to his side and unsheathed a silver dagger. A crisp metallic sound filled the air as he brought the blade before me “Death has already visited your doors and so my plans for you are worse. Your kind are vain and so it is vanity that I shall attack!” and with his words he raised the dagger and held it level with my gaze, pausing for a moment to ponder whether to pierce the eyes. He tilted the blade from side to side as if considering, will he won’t he? Then finally with a smirk he moved the dagger deftly past my cheek and coiled it about my thick dark locks. I felt his grip pull painfully tight and against my will my eyes closed, waiting with dread. I had thought by his words that he would cut my face and scar my beautiful porcelain skin. But wisely and perhaps knowing that my blood would soon allow those scars to heal, I felt his triumph as he coiled my hair around his blade and tore away with collected malice, the fullness of my curls shredding easily against the sharp metal. I felt a weight diminish and opened my eyes to see my ebony tresses torn upon his arm and scattered over the floor. I glared at him, biting my lip to prevent provoking him to do much worse. A vain and foolish tear caught at my eye. He was both cruel and wise to know that this would torture me more than a slash to the face.

The Dark Lord’s eyes rolled back in his head, a mark of twisted pleasure. His grasp moved from my throat, causing me to stumble against him as he grabbed at the remaining fullness of what was left of my hair, yanking my head downwards he continued in his quest. He made several sharp slashes with the dagger watching as it fell away and swirled to the floor with the rest. When satisfied at his deed he dragged me like rag doll, sharply forcing me to my knees. Instinctively my hands flew to my hair and my face creased with shame as the remaining crassly hacked strands fell away in my fingers. Angry tears threated to fall but I swallowed them back with determination, glaring up at him as he stepped away laughing wickedly at what he had done “Today your hair, tomorrow your head. Be warned you fool of Tarrund that the darkness to the east rises. The clan is coming forth to cleanse the sins of this land!” and he steps away with a sweep of his cloak. Still upon the floor my voice rang out with angered pride "We shall see! You underestimate the good people, for there are far more worthy that I. We shall see!" I spat in a tone of disgust. Watching me he continued to step backwards calmly towards the doorway and with an uttering of the ancient words of his clan his left hand began to smoulder, igniting a small fire. Horrified I let my tears begin to fall, screaming at his retreating figure with scathing hatred “And you! You are the biggest sin of them all!” With a kick of his heal he forced the doors open as the flames began to lick upwards engulfing the walls and with a cruel laugh he simply answered “We shall see my dear, we shall see!”

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