Cutting doorways betwixt worlds is a skill that not every Wytch possesses. On the Fortunate Isle it was perhaps one of my more accomplished skills. So much so that I attracted the attention and the note of those creatures and beings that feed upon both human and Fae Flesh. What happens when you find that you can cut a doorway from the world of the living into the very gaping maw of Hell? How does a young inexperienced Wytch deal with coming face to face with the very darkest of human belief in the form of Lucifer Himself?
In the days after my deception, I took up my Wytch’s blade, the glint of steel shown in the soft light of the insularium. All around the there was the subtle presence of vials and containers, boxes and books, all of the things that were a part of my world every day, as magic was a part of my world every waking moment. On the floor was the sigil that I had drawn only moments before. I knew that I could do this with or without the protection of the magical circle. This time, however, I opted to be within it. Looking back now, I wonder why I would have bothered.
The portal opened like any other had. The flash of the charged blade cut not only through air, but through the aethers. The pungent smell of myrrh, of cardamom, of agrimony and dragon’s blood assailed my nostrils. It was a familiar bond, for scent was the most powerful evocation of any of the senses. But in the midst of these familiar scents was another – the scent of sulphur. Something had gone awry, and I knew it the moment I stepped through the opening that I had cut into the next Realm.
The walls of where I had ended up glistened darkest blood red and seemed to pulse with life. All around there was the ever-present dark flames. I knew I had ended up in the wrong place. Before I could take up my blade and cut my way back again, a tall, dark, figure appeared before me. He was handsome, frightfully so. Ne’er had I seen hair so thick and black, blacker than the wing of a raven, it lay loosely against his face and his shoulders. His features were chiseled like that of a man from the East and singularly handsome to the point of painful beauty. His eyes were like dark jewels and his skin glowed almost like luminescent alabaster. All at once I felt as if my heart had moved from the centre of my chest to my throat. I could barely form the words to acknowledge Who it was I knew that I was facing.
“Ave Lucifer,” I murmured taking a step backward, “Nox Invictus.”
My greeting was only met with a low, mocking laugh which was oddly musical, yet colder than pirate steel during an ice storm at sea. After some moments he stepped forward, the cold light.
“Ave, Faelyn,” he said looking at me up and down. Amusement was glowing from behind his features now, “If I wasn’t mistaken, Lady, I would say you are a bit lost. But how kind of you to pay me a visit.”
“T’was an honest mistake, Lord.” I said, “I thank you for your hospitality, and pray that you let me go back the way I came.”
“No, actually, It wasn’t a mistake, Faelyn,” he used my Fae name again, “I thought I should arrange to meet you myself, since you so successfully were able to fool the High Lady of your Island and her mindless minions,” he nearly spat out the last, ” I wanted to congratulate you.”
“Why would you send for me?” I asked, “Surely there are others that are of more interest to you. I am just a mere Wytch, and a woman.”
“I’ll get to that,” he said as gently as the Lord of Darkness possibly could.
Out of nowhere a pair of meticulously carved chairs materialized. It was not that they appeared, but merely in one moment they were not and the next moment they simply were. He sat down in the ornate chair and motioned for me to do the same. Even the chair seemed to have life, and it was with great discomfort that I did so.
“I was gleefully watching the goings on and was absolutely astonished when Atazoth informed me that you weren’t one of us!” he bit off a laugh, “that bit with the stag heart, I must confess, was brilliant! If it had been anyone else, they would have sacrificed that poor virgin sod. But not you. You save him and in case you are wondering, yes, the lad’s seed did take hold,” Lucifer shrugged his beautiful shoulders and shook his head,”You will bear the child and claim the power that you wanted. Your High Lady Morgienne will die, just as you thought, but you will be an outcast and the boy’s soul will still be mine at the end of the day.”
I felt my cheeks flush with blood and I wasn’t sure if my flush was from embarassment or frustration that even in my manipulation, my efforts would be thwarted.
“So I am wondering,” he continued, “what I can do in order to entice you to be one of us? I know that you love power, Faelyn.”
“What power I have attained has been through my own devices,” I said defiantly,” so thank you for your offer of assistance, but I can get it my own self,” my own words did not ring true even to my own ears.
“Oh, indeed! Indeed you can,” he said as if he didn’t notice my doubts, but I knew all too well that he had, “And you could be a Queen in your own right, Faelyn. Imagine that. Surely we can start there and work our way up…or down.”
“No thank you, Lord,” I said.
“Please,” he said, “Call me, Luc. And what of that poor boy you saved and what of his child…your child? You know damned good and well the meek aren’t the ones that will inherit the Earth. It’s the ones who have the temerity to take it.”
In spite of myself I nodded, “Aye,” I said, “That’s true enough.” Thinking again of the young man whose life I had if only momentarily saved from the sacrificial blade, I turned my tack once again back to Lucifer, “Surely there must be something that I can do to keep he and my babe out of harm’s way, ” I said, coyly, ” Perhaps we can negotiate on that.”
“Ha Kochren ha tai-alal, Frances Moira MacKay?”*, he hesitated, and added, Faelyn?”
I nodded, before knowing what it was that he was talking about, “Aye, I could be.”
Lucifer regarded me a moment, and then let a smile pass over his beautiful features. If you have never looked at something so beautiful that it hurts, then you cannot even begin to know the painful beauty that is the Prince of Darkness, Lord of Unconquerable Night. At last he spoke.
“Oh, make no mistake, you and I will negotiate on that point if no other. Don’t worry I will let you intervene on behalf of the soul of that wretched boy whose progeny you bear, but his scar will remain on your heart – as will that of two others. Yes, you will have them for a time, and you will enjoy them, but in the end you will come to me and entreat me to spare them. For each, of course, there will be a cost.”
“A cost?” I asked.
“Oh yes,” he continued, ” You will have to perform for each a completely selfless act. If you deceive any of them for any reason, their souls will be forfiet to me….as will yours, and that of your unborn child.”
My heart filled with unbidden terror. And the glistening, blood red walls seem to close in on me, ” What selfless act? What of my child? What two others?” What are you talking about?”
He clucked at me and shook his head, “Tisk, tisk! ” Lucifer said, “you will find out in good time. And oh yes, ” he put a fingertip to his cheek, “did I fail to mention that consciously trying to do a completely selfless act for the express purpose of winning this challenge therefore would become a completely selfish act and would render me the winner automatically. Don’t you just love it?”
“No.” I said, my voice a hushed whisper, my knuckles white and gripping the carved arms of the chair”
“Well, we’ll be seeing each other, Faelyn.”, he said, “Ta for now!”
Before I could speak again or protest, there was a flash of actinic light and I found myself lying inside of the magic circle from which I began, the edges of my robes smoking as if they had been on fire, but I felt completely cold, alone and confused more at that moment than at any other point in my life.
Muse: Fanny Fae
Fandom: Original Fiction, Legend and Folklore
Word Count: 1542
Nox Invictus” = Unconquerable Night
*“Ha Kochren ha tai-alal” = “Are you prepared to give everything?”
4 responses to “What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?”
I hope you sucessfully saved at least your own soul, as well as theirs, but I admit, it brings me a selfish comfort to hear of the possibility of one person’s soul being in another person’s hands. It gives me hope for myself.
While I thank you for your hope, Doctor. But I must tell you that I truly do not yet know if I have been successful with any of my efforts. I intervened for two already…the third, well – the third remains to be seen, and myself and my daughter is already an adult with a life of her own.
I can tell you that holding the souls of others in one’s hands is a prospect of power that is as bitter as gall. Tell me, is it your soul that concerns you, or do you in fact hold the soul of another as well?
I should feel sorry for any soul placed in my hands. I believe you commented on my discussion of my own soul and my inability to believe in the possibility of Jack going to hell, and the thought he might save me. I have also said much of my soul may belong to him, though he would laugh at the idea. Were he to have the conversation you had with the devil above, which is unlikely, he would refuse to believe him, then perform the selfless acts anyway. If it at all in his power to take me with him, I know he will.
But,Doctor….the men on any ship that you sail upon do put their lives and their souls in your hands. For too many, there is no difference between one or the other, even though we both know that there is a very grave difference. I stand by my initial observation of you and Jack and your collective souls. What holds true for one of you, certainly must hold sway for the other.