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4- Four- Forges of Hell- Creature Lives- p.13


Published by Ava D. Dohn at Smashwords– Copyright 2011 Ava D. Dohn

Sisters of the BloodWind

~Section Four~

Forges of Hell

                
“Can a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of a planet eventually lead to a typhoon on the other?”

4-076, Butterfly 3

Questions such as these are often thrown out by armchair-philosophers when they cannot think of logical responses to reasonable questions.  Still…is it not true that very small, miniscule causes often, in time, produce astronomical effects?

No better example of this can be found than the union of two very tiny cells that join to create a new life.  From one fertilized egg no bigger than the head of a pin have come all the great orators, poets, and leaders known to our universes.  In their turn, the worlds of men have been changed for better or worse.

On a warm summer evening, while balmy breezes drifted in from the sea and the gentle glow of the waxing moon filtered down through the tamarisk trees, a young maiden offered her love to her strong, handsome beau.  Their passionate embrace was not unlike that shared by countless other lovers throughout the lives of men, and with similar results.

4-076b, faces above

Above the clouds and beyond the sky, watchful eyes waited to see if their many centuries of effort and labor were soon to be rewarded.  For thousands of years they had played in the genome pool of this race to create the perfect warrior priestess, one who would share a throne to rule a universe.

For generations, fingers had busied themselves weaving the web of life in the bellies of countless mothers by gathering the desired threads from countless fathers until satisfied with the finished blend.  Faces smiled with pleasure at the results accomplished. But other faces took no delight in the little child.

Given a name belonging to the gods by her father and mentored in the new religion of her uncle, the forces of darkness swore revenge for such disrespect.  They skulked in the ‘other world’ waiting the day when their enemies wearied of protecting the girl.  At last, such a time arrived.

I start this account back in that day and hour when, for but a moment, the demon forces thought the battle was theirs.  In an age of empires and gods, of gladiators and prophets, the flap of tiny wings against the tempest of madmen began a storm that would one day bring down Satan’s entire house, beginning with Legion, his chief lieutenant.

4-076c, firestorm rises

No one person can start a firestorm of the proportions witnessed at the end of the last age.  Yet, the collective spirit of persons like this child proved to become an unstoppable force, eventually crushing a superior enemy before he could cover the universe in eternal gloom and destruction.  The history of Heaven’s War does not, then, belong to one hero.  As you will see, all who fought in it are heroes.

It was the beating of countless wings through death and sacrifice that has delivered us to this Fourth Age, the age of rebirth.

*    *    *

“Isn’t she a pretty one!   I’d like to fancy whoring w’th the likes o’ her for a n’ght!”

“You best leave that lovely alone, Perk!” Protested the grimy, balding man known as ‘Tanner’.  He was standing next to Perk, also peering into the cell.  “She’s saved for the party tomorrow and if you ‘ert her, me and you will be dog food ‘fore the next nightfall.”

Perk glowered at Tanner.  “Stop your whining, ya’ ol’ bastard, or I’l rip yor own guts aut an feed ‘em ta the dogs, meself!  No one’s goin’ ta hurt the pretty, but if opportunity should just happen to come ta ‘ave some fun – well… we’s just’l ‘ave ta watch an sees – won’t we?”

Tanner backed away from Perk and shut his mouth.  He had worked with him in the prison for many years and didn’t doubt a word said by him.  He was afraid of Treston, captain over the governor’s personal guard, including the prison, but Perk terrified him.  Perk was not only a senior prison custodian; he loved his job.  He took pleasure in his work, and the pain he could inflict on others he called his ‘bonus pay.’  As he eyed the child huddled in the corner of the stinking cell, his nostrils flared and a greasy drool dribbled off his jowls.

4-077, Faces in shadows

Perk reached his arm out and put it around Tanner’s shoulder.  Then he drew the older man up close to him so that their noses almost touched.  With a semi-toothless grin, he hissed in a hushed whisper, “I don’t knows about you, but I ain’t never seen nothin’ like what’s in there in here ‘afore.  In my whole life’s dreams, there hain’t niver come to me somthin’ as sweet as that thing in there.  If hell come tomorrer for me, it ‘uld be worth it.  I’m achin’ already for it, an’ that pretty can make the achin’ go away.”

Then lowering his voice even more, his eyes glowing with lust, Perk continued, “Now Tanner, my bosom fr’nd, we has worked heres a lon’ time.  I has always shared with you.  I’l save you some.  Why I’l even guard the doors while you fun w’th her.”  He paused in thought, his eyes staring at the ceiling.  “I can make it wurth yor while – wurth our while.  Now goes about yor w’rk, and keep that flapper a yors buttoned up.”

Tanner’s eyes showed his fear.  Perk knew he would keep quiet.  Tanner turned away from Perk and went about feeding the prisoners.  Perk opened the cell door and entered.  On the floor, a dirty dish sat in maggot-infested filth.  He threw down some moldy bread, then, with a cup, reached into a greasy pot, took out some lukewarm slop and poured it into the dish.  He cast a longing look at the girl in the corner and broke into a hideous grin, hissing, “Eat up, darlin’, best the feast is what yu g’t fer yer last sup.  An’ try ta rest som, fer a l’ng night’s comin’.”

He turned, exited the chamber and slammed the door shut.  Stopping, Perk swung around and pushed his nearly toothless, grinning face up to the bars and blew a little kiss.  “Sweet dr’ms, pretty.”  He walked away down the hall, his whistling growing fainter until it could not be heard.

*    *    *

Her hands were not shaking as badly now, her breathing more relaxed and less shallow.  The night prayers had a calming effect on her.  In the least, they took her mind off the burning agony gripping her belly, but tonight they seemed to be soothing to flesh and soul.  The terror of earlier hours, when Perk had returned, was decreasing, and she was starting to feel the dull pain of the beatings.  Drying blood, mixed with the human filth left over from previous inhabitants, covered her naked body and caked her hair.  The airless chamber had already been chokingly thick with the rank smell of these things, but now the stench of sweat and sexual exhaustion emulsified with the other stink to produce a stomach-wrenching odor.  She heaved up some more bile, but there was nothing else left.

Perk had waited until Treston had retired for the night.  Then he had quietly slipped out the side door of the prison chamber.  At Perk’s departure, Tanner lit a small lamp and paced back and forth in front of the cell door until he returned.  When he came back, four other men accompanied him.  All were filthy and unkempt.  Obviously, these men worked or slaved down in some other part of this hole of a prison.

4-078, Female figure in shadows

Perk threw open the door of the girl’s cell and stepped in.  He held the lantern high to look over his prize catch for the night.   “My, my, whut a dainty we ‘av ‘ere.  The gods ‘av luk’d on us t’nite.”  He then cooed, “I ‘ear yu got a nam, an’ quite a fan-see on, too.”  Turning his head back over his shoulder, he grinned.  “Ish-tar.  Can yu baleeve it?  We g’t us a goddess right ‘ere in ar li’le ‘ome.  Ya ev’r see a goddess ‘afore?”

He clumsily reached for her clothes.  The child threw up her hands to stop him.  Perk lunged forward and drove his fist into the side of her head, sending her spinning into the far wall.  Before she could fall, Perk’s giant paws were around her throat, squeezing the breath out of her.

Tanner wailed. “Stop it Perk! Or yu’l get us all kild!”

“Shut your friggin mouth you!” Perk growled.

Tanner’s cries did have their effect, though.  Perk caught his breath and calmed down.  Easing his iron grip he pulled the girl close, and opening his mouth in a sinister grin, he cautioned, “Well goddess, yu win fer now.  I dn’t want ta spoil th’ goods.  Now be nice, or next time, I’l rip that sluttin’ ‘ed of yur’s right off.”

“Let’s ‘av a see at what a goddess looks like.”  Perk reached down and ripped Ishtar’s tunic off, the force flinging her across the room.

She caught hold of a post in the wall just before falling.  Tanner lifted the lamp high to get a better look at the naked girl.  A hushed gasp rose in chorus from the men looking on.  They stared, transfixed, looking at the most strikingly beautiful form they had ever seen.

Not only did this woman have an astonishingly attractive face, her other features were of equal grandeur.  Ishtar’s hair was a brilliant orange-red.  In the lantern light, it radiated red, then gold, copper, and back to red.  Her ‘perfect’ figure was enhanced by a silky-smooth, light olive-colored skin, while the dancing shadows made the girl’s generous curves and firm breasts appear as those of a goddess come to earth.

Perk was aghast. “Well I …well ain’t that …sooo.”  He dropped his eyes pondering his good fortune.  Drooling like a hungry beast, he grinned.  “I bet you ain’t never had it ‘afore neither, ‘av ya?”

Hooting, Perk turned to the others and asked,  “What’s she worth now, gentermen?  Clean as the driv’n snow.  What will yu pay to be the first driv’r?  A goddess, no less.”

4-079, Beating Room

The things that happened after that were blurry.  Aside from the explosive pain rending through her head, and the burning agony in her belly, she could remember little detail except for Perk.  He was brutal.  His animalistic abuse was beyond description.  The more she cried out, the more intense the pain he would inflict.  When she resisted, he would beat her until she would nearly pass out.  After he had finished, she lay on the floor, her eyes rolled back in her battered head, oozing blood from her nose, and ears.

Tanner was petrified with fear.  He believed the child was going to die from Perk’s abuse.  Perk shouted for him to shut up and went after the child again.

After thoroughly exhausting himself, he forced Tanner to perform the final insult to her.  When he declined, Perk angrily threatened.  “You’d better get it up, or I’l cut it off!”  Taking Tanner by the shirt, he pulled him into the cell, flinging him at the crumpled body on the floor.  He then mocked him.  “You’ll kill her!  You’ll kill her!”

Tanner timidly obeyed, finishing his deed as quickly as possible.  The girl quietly moaned but offered no resistance.  When finished, he jumped up, and while still fastening his clothes, scurried away.

Laughing, Perk shouted after him, “If the lit’le bitch dies now, you’ll ‘ang for it, too!”

The other men had long since retreated to their own hiding places.  If the girl was going to die, they wanted to be a far way from the scene.  They were well aware how much value Treston placed on her appearance in front of the emperor’s magistrate the coming day.

Perk lingered a while, staring at the body sprawled in the corner.  He slowly turned to go, stopping in the door for another look.  Ishtar opened her eyes only to meet his.  They were now filled with malice and rage.

He kicked the filth from the floor in her direction, cursing.  “And damned be your god, too!”  He stormed away, down the passageway, taking the lantern with him.  Soon the shroud of the darkness enveloped her.

Ishtar struggled to her knees only to be caught in nauseous convulsions.  Driven by uncontrolled heaves, hot liquid forced its way up her throat and out her mouth.  As the child gasped for air, a shooting pain racked her body, racing up her back and exploding into a million stabbing spears at the base of the girl’s skull.  In a muffled scream, she pitched forward, falling face down into the filth and dirt.

 *    *    *

“There ain’t been anyone out here in hours.  It’s cold and damp, and my feet are tired.  What’s all this big deal ‘bout us being here, anyhow?”  The guard shivered, rubbing his arms with his hands.

The second guard continued his searching vigil of the deserted street while chastising the first guard.  “The cuckoo bird’s got in your head.  We got some big prize locked up and the sergeant ain’t wantin’ no problems.  If he got loose, all of us would be feedin’ lions tomorrow.”

The first guard nodded.  “I don’t doubt what you’re sayin’, being a big prize and all that, but…” He glanced around to see if others were near, then whispered, “All them followers of his aren’t gonna bother here.  They’er all them kindly, peaceful people.  They don’t hurt nobody.”

“Watch your mouth!”  Snapped the second guard, glaring at the first.  “Those kinda words could get us both killed.  Just shatup and watch for somthin’.  That’s our job.”  He returned to scrutinizing the darkness.

4-080, Shadows Live

The first guard sniffed the air, wrinkling his nose in disgust.  “Why in hell’s name don’t someone clean that hog pen?!”

The other agreed, staring into the empty animal pens across the street.  He suddenly jerked his head up and froze. Wide eyed, he excitedly whispered, pointing, “Somethin’s mov’n there!”

The second guard reached for his spear while squinting into the blackness.  A cackling echoed from off the surrounding buildings.  It was shrill and disjointed, but somewhat musical.  It was quickly followed by equally shrill musical words.

“By night it walks to hunger still,

To find sweet meat, its belly fill.

It smells the blood, so warm with heat.

It’ll drink it down, and saves the meat!”

A cry rose from the darkness, followed by a painful whining.  “No!  No!  I won’t hurt them!  Agguuh!  I won’t hurt them!  I promise!  I promise!  I am your child… your little servant child.  Please! No more!  No more!”  It grew quiet for a moment, and then the voice sputtered, “Not hungry!  Not hungry now!”

“By the gods!”  The first guard wailed, jabbing his spear toward the hog pens.

4-081, Shadow in the Dark

A black shape slowly emerged out of the darkness, as if rising out of the very filth of the ground.  It wobbled straight for the two guards.

Hobbling and weaving from side to side, a hunched-backed, two-legged ‘beast from the underworld’ made straight for the pen’s gate, all the time cackling and cursing its complaints for need of food and then declaring it ‘wasn’t hungry’.  The foul creature was forced to stop at the gate, it being tied shut.  It let out vile curses and oaths, damning the worlds of the living and the dead, finally muttering, “Sees if I shares my feasts with them again.” And then it became silent.

A hand almost as black as the creature’s ragged robe poked out of a fold and, reaching up, untied the rope.  As the gate slowly creaked opened, a mouth hidden by a faceless hood cooed with a hissing cackle, “He said they would be pretty… he did say… he did.”  The creature laughed.  “They are pretty… they are… they are.  He said they would be fresh and juicy… he did…”

The creature then fussed in disgust, “But I don’t like fresh!  I don’t like fresh!  I like ripe… sweet… soft… and ripe.”  It made a smacking sound and started toward the two guards.

“Stop there!  Stop there!”  The guards yelled, shaking so badly they had trouble holding their spears.

The putrid creature hidden in stinking rags halted.  Lifting its head as if to examine them, it indignantly threatened, “Master said you would be nice boys… yes… he said it.  He said you would be good to me…” adding with a bitter hiss, “not like the others.  They were bad, bad little boys…”

The creature cautiously looked around, making sure they were alone.  When it was comfortable that ‘whatever’ wasn’t there, it lowered its voice and laughed, “but they was tasty… soft and tasty.”  More smacking sounds filled the chilly air.

“Get back, you devil!  Get back!  I’ll stick you!  I will! I will!”  The second guard’s spear was shaking so violently it nearly fell from his hands. . .

Also enjoy pages:

Section One- Destiny’s Road, p. 02, 03, 04

Section Two- Of Councils Great and Small, p. 06, 07, 08

Section Three- Legend’s Heroes, p. 10, 11, 12

Section Four- The Forges of Hell, p. 14, 15, 16

Section Five- The Silent Tombs,

Enjoy other posts: 

Prologue,

 Destiny’s Road 1-0011-0021-0031-004, 1-0051-0061-0071-0081-009,

1-0211-022, 1-0231-024 & 1-025

 Of Councils Great and Small 2-0262-0272-0282-0292-0302-031,

2-0322-0332-0342-0352-0362-0372-0382-0392-0402-0412-042,

2-0432-0442-0452-0462-0472-0482-049 & 2-050

Legend’s Heroes 3-0513-0523-0533-0543-0553-0563-0573-058,

3-0593-0603-0613-0623-0633-0643-0653-0663-0673-0683-069,

3-0703-0713-0723-0733-074 & 3-075

Forges of Hell 4-0764-0774-0784-0794-0804-0814-0824-0834-084,

4-0854-0864-0874-0884-0894-0904-0914-0924-0934-0944-095,

4-0964-0974-0984-099 & 4-100

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Ava D Dohn- Fact Altering Science Fiction/Fantasy

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