Barbed chains of iron cut into his flesh. They emerged from the ground beneath and were wrapped around Vyaktam’s four limbs like a malicious creeping vine, slowly tightening and scraping, drawing more and more of his his life and blood from him with every millimetre they slithered. Grogginess had started to set in from the blood-loss and physical damage to his body, but he could still just about discern the dark wood around him and the light of the full moon shone down and glittered in the blood pooling below him in the mud.
“How are we doing then? Feeling a little less on edge? A bit more relaxed? No?” came a silken voice from the shadows.
Slowly, the clouds shifted, casting an ominous shadow on the ground and as the dark enveloped him, a figure moved toward him. It was Barikria, a lord of the Dark-Realms and Vyaktams’ captor. Attired in gleaming finery that stood out even in the low light surrounding them, he could almost be mistaken for a Maharaja of old and the power and confidence he radiated would likely dispel any doubt. But to a Light-Sage like Vyaktam, all the finery in the world couldn’t hide his true face, the viciousness in his eyes and the malevolence in his demonic smile.
“I have nothing you want monster and even if I did, I would not help you. Though you are powerful, in the end light will always rise up against the dark and so do what you will but all your efforts will fail.”, croaked Vyaktam from between parched lips.
A slow chuckle emanated from his torturer, “Ah, the bravado of the heroic and noble. I love it! Even after all these thousands of millenia, it still amuses me to squeeze it out of your kind.”
As he spoke, the metal vines jerked and tightened and a howl of absolute pain broke from Vyaktam alongside multiple sickening cracks as numerous bones were crushed to shards. Then, at a barely noticeable gesture from the Dark-Lord, the vines all moved back and pulled their victims limbs to near their breaking point, effectively almost drawing and quartering him.
Barikria stepped closer before he spoke again, “What is that? Are you actually praying?”At this he let out a deep, disturbing laugh before continuing, “You’re over a hundred years old – granted that’s a drop in the bucket to one like me, but it should have been enough for even a clever little monkey like you to realise that none of the Gods want to do anything for any of you if they can help it. This world is a project, a petri-dish and you are all part of the grand experiment – no outside influence to spoil the fun.”
“Yet your kind remain.” spat Vyaktam, along with more blood.
“True!”, responded his torturer, turning and walking away, “But then again, we aren’t Gods as you well know, never were. Oh sure, we’re powerful and all that, but so are you and your Light-Sage’s. Granted we’re stronger in a fight, but you have power too – you just never learnt to use it!”
“And for all your power, you are still nothing but nightmares lurking in shadows, waiting to be swept away by the daylight.”
An annoyed look crossed Barakria’s face, a shadow. He spun a full one-eighty back to his victim and raised a hand toward him as if he was holding something in his upraised palm and suddenly the vines started to burn red hot and small sparks of lighting flew all over Vyaktams body as the stench of burning flesh filled the air along with an almost scream from the burning man.
“Fool!”roared the Dark-Lord as the fresh torture and the screams died down, “We have not been in shadow all this time for a laugh, we stay hidden and influence the world, keeping them oblivious to our real power. Whether you have what I need or not, I will keep looking and find it even if I have to tear through every Light-Sage alive or dead! See how I leave with every piece of you – don’t underestimate the things that I will do to get what I want. This world is now ripe and worthy of our reign. So shall it be.”
“Maybe so…”coughed Vyaktam between bloody, gasping breaths, “but it doesn’t matter because the night is always darkest before the dawn – no matter how close you come, the sun, the light will always return to defeat you.”
A look of irritated disgust contorted Barakria’s face and he closed the hand he had been holding forth as he turned and walked away. Behind him a sickening scream rent the air mingled with the sound of human flesh being utterly destroyed, slowly. As he walked away, the Dark-Lord said only, “We shall see.”
Howdy folks! Another new short fictional escapade from me to you, this time it’s the latest in a mini-series of South-Asian based short horror stories I’m compiling drawing from mythology and concepts more Eastern because while I love a good Vampire/Werewolf/etc story as much as the next guy, I felt a serious lack of good non-Christian-mythos based horror/fantasy in my experience.
In addition, I’ve been in practice using writing prompts as an exercise (which regular readers would be familiar with) wherein I try to incorporate them into whatever I’m working on at the time – a challenge to add to the challenge of crafting a story. This time I’m trying out a new one called “The Speakeasy“, do check them out if you like for writings from other aspiring authors like myself.
SO! Enjoy this little episode from my Dark Vedanta and if you all like it, hopefully we will have more down the road! ;)