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Shattered Illusions #4
Another day as a shadow. I look around at the castle as I sit by the feat of the God of the UnderWorld, when the doors open a woman walks in. She’s young probably only a hundred or thousands of years old. Her aura dark and becomes sickening, quickly filling up the room. Her sharp claws are painted black while her hands are covered in blood; dripping blood onto the floor. She sends a smile our way and flashes teeth sharper than blades. Her eyes crimson and soulless. She has twisted and laughing souls surrounding her body.
Her hair the blackest of nights, with wings to match but they’re covered with powder as red as fire and as black as ash. When the red powder falls to the ground it lights on fire then burns out. She wears a dress that’s ripped showing symbols of all different kinds. Curses, hexes, voodoo, spells, and each one getting worse and worse the more you look.
“May I help you?” UnderWorld says with anger rising in his voice.
The other shadows in the room scatter and disappear but I remain. I want to see how this plays out. Maybe it’s time for UnderWorld to get put in his place. I might even help her. I did learn a new trick.
“I hate it when my dinners talk.” She shakes her head and one mark goes around her left and one around her right eye. The mark of the Invisible Moon and the Invisible Sun. Now things have gotten very interesting. Oh, I’m definitely going to help her.
Master kicks me in the back and I stand up. The chain around my neck falling to the ground. “Show yourself shadow. You know how to fight, become my sacrifice.”
I forgot. I learned a power that makes me invisible to anyone but my Master. I look at him and hiss. I walk up to the girl and put my hand to her heart; I connect to her. Her power pulses through me. Everything is black around me and the only thing I feel is the pulse of a heart. Wait! She has a heart.
I pull my hand away and face towards my Master. Lifting my hand up the chains wrap around him and the laughing souls around us enforce them. Showing myself to our guest, I bow.
“Enjoy your meal.” I say smiling.
“You crooked shadow.” He snarls.
“That’s your fault for trusting me. I’m not a normal shadow, I’ve been here the longest and have the most power. Also I have a name you fool but you would never know that because your eyes are clouded by your ego. Spreading my words around like they are your own. You fool the only wisdom you possess is making your head swell with your ego.” I say making my hand into a fist crushing him more. I click my tongue at him and look back to the guest.
“Thank you. I’ll be enjoying me meal now.” With one hand she grabs his soul and consumes it. His body goes limp in the chains. Tossing his body to the side she sits in the thorne.
“Come sit.” She hits the arm rest next to her.
I sit obediently on the arm rest. “Who are you?”
“My name is Light.”
“That’s an unusual name. You’re a shadow, you cast no light.”
“No but the brighter the light is the darker the shadow will be casted.” I look down at the woman as she gets comfortable in the throne.
“You said that you’re the oldest and strongest shadow here. Why is that?”
I laugh. “You like asking a lot of questions.”
“Don’t disobey.” She tries to grab my arm and my body fades instantly. I end up on the other side of her throne and tap her shoulder. Her head whips around and our eyes meet. Well I don’t have eyes.
“Remember I helped you. While you may say like many vain narcissist have said to me before. ‘I didn’t need you help.’ Or how about my favorite? ‘You are just a shadow and should obey your master.’ You're not my Master.” I scowl. “I’ve been here for…...well I lost count. Usually shadows like myself would go to the Void and work their way for their souls to be recycled. Not me. I stayed here and being the prize for all of the UnderWorld rulers. They shower me in treasures and give me anything I ask for. I can’t remember anything about my past life which makes me a perfect subject for the Void but I will never go there. I want my old life back. Whatever that was?” I move to float in front of her.
“Prize?” She looks at me skeptically.
“Yes, I’m a prize. I’m a shadow that’s acquired a name. I’m more powerful than anyone here, even the Gods. I’ve been here the longest and can show you any place your heart desires. I can travel to any world I want. I read every book in all of the sacred libraries and know everything. I’ll do almost anything you ask of me but for me to do something for people is very rare. I’m more prized than the crown you so desperately wanted,” I stifle another laugh. “And while I have everything and anything I ever want. I could be described as the perfect being. I am not happy because I rather have my old life back, even if I don’t know what it was. Though that’s crossing the line of dreaming.” I sit on the armrest again.
“Though your life is perfect here. What if the life you left was horrible. Do you really want to risk that?” The woman says confused.
“Well that’s just something I’ll have to deal with. Now what is your name?”
“Yin.” She slowly as confused by what her own name is.
“Well it’s nice to meet you Yin. Now time goes pretty slow in the UnderWorld.I’ll start by telling you a story. It’s a real story it’s about the God of Nature.” I lean on the throne as I remember the events.
“Wait, you know the Gods in the Upper World?”
“Of course I do. I’m actually known well there and here.” Didn’t
I say that I could travel through worlds? Is she even listening to me?
“I never heard of you before.” She exclaims.
Does she come from the Upper World but I don’t remember a person like her. “Nor do I. That’s not important though. Now back to the story. So my third Master wanted a Rose but everything they touched turned to ash.”
Visiting the God of Vanity one day I asked if she knew of anyone named Yin and she just shook her head. I than asked if anyone from here went to the UnderWorld and that’s when I got my answer.
“Sun and Moon’s daughter went to the UnderWorld after causing some chaos in the Middle World and now here. Haven't you noticed something strange in the Middle World? Also why do you ask? You usually don’t concern yourself with our drama.”
“I thought the Middle World seemed different but since I didn’t go there for a thousand years I thought I just didn’t remember right. To answer your second question, she’s the new ruler of the UnderWorld.Though I’m confused, I’ve never seen her before.” I shrug and grab the coffee that’s placed in front of me by a servant.
“No way she’s the ruler of the UnderWorld. She was always promising, never failed. Perfect. Also you probably never seen her because she liked staying inside the Sun and Moon castle.She came out early to paint when she got older. She wasn’t like Sun that loved to talk for hours. I’ve seen her and met her only a handful of times in the 20,000 years she’s been alive.”
“Wait she old enough to be my grandchild. Gosh I'm babysitting two Gods child.” I rest me head on the table in defeat. “But I can trick Sun and Moon.” I raise my head from the table and get up quickly causing the chair I sat on to fall over. I walk towards the doors of the Vanity castle.
“Where are you going?”
“Going to get my life back.” I yell behind me.
I go to the castle of Sun and Moon. I open the doors quickly and rush to their thrones. I turn a corner and I stand in front of the two most powerful Gods in the Upper Kingdom. They don’t tell me to get out but actually listen to me and with my words the Sun God breaks into tears of light and the Moon God looks on the verge of breaking herself. Though I didn’t want to ruin their happy celebration I gave them my catch and they agreed without further question of why.
Days pass with the passing of stories between the three Gods when Yin tells me about herself more.
“I know you said you don’t know who I am so I thought I would tell you. I was the most praised Goddesses in the Upper World. Beautiful, smart and all of the above. Anything you could think of I was that.”
I laugh when she says this.
“Why are you laughing?” She gets upset at my uncontained laughter.
“No one would guessed that beneath your good looks and talents laid something sickening.”
“Shut it, I am your master after all.”
My body dissolves and I end up in front of her. I grab her face roughly, my hands slapping into her cheeks.
“You brat.” I say with a snicker. “Stop trying to be perfect! Stop trying to fit into the cookie cutter stereotype of the UnderWorld rulers!” I yell in her face frustrated that she still hasn’t learned that she doesn’t have to be perfect for exception.
“You are just like the rest of the rulers. Your heart has blackened with power. Until you learn that you are worthless and can be easily replaced I shall give you a small curse.” I grab her heart and turn it into a shadow.
She touches her chest and starts to panic. “What did you do to my heart?” Yin yells in my face.
“It’s not like you need it. You’re immoral.” I say bluntly. “This power is slowly turning you heart black anyway. You want to not get killed the next time someone like yourself burst through those doors then learn and feel. One day your heart will turn back to its true self.” I touch my own chest with nothing inside of it.
She looks at my hand over where my heart should be. She whispers something that catches me off guard. “I’ve become less human.” She doesn’t complain anymore. She just gets up and go to her room.
Thousands of years pass when I finally visit the God of Wisdom. I lean on the column as he scurries around trying to pick up fallen documents. He’s also the Goddesses of Clutter. When he gets everything settled he sits in his throne covered in dialectes and our eyes meet.
“What are you doing here?” He says aggravated at the sight of me.
“Are you still mad I won’t give you the knowledge of the UnderWorld? Well I’m not going too. The God of Secrecy agreed with me on that.” I say with poison laced in my words.
“How can I be the God of Wisdom when I don’t know everything?” He flails out his arms.
“I don’t know everything. I don’t know who I am but you do and you won’t tell me! I don’t know how I became a shadow but you do and you won’t tell me! So isn't this my sweet satisfaction of driving you mad that you don’t know much about the UnderWorld, but I a mere shadow does. You can never understand what I go through. I sometimes have visions and have no idea what they mean. Who is this person? I don't know and it's driving me to insanity.” I turn around to leave when his voice breaks the air.
“You are the most powerful to date. You weren’t labeled the prettiest or the smartest because you aren't good with people and words but you are the strongest, the smartest and the prettiest but you’ll never show your true form to anyone.”
“You still didn’t tell me who I am. I don’t like surprises but I guess I can wait.” My body fades but I do leave something for the God of Wisdom. I leave him behind a children's book made in the UnderWorld.
Days pass with Yin not speaking to me after I came from the God of Wisdom. When one day Yin brings me to the Middle World to look at the night sky. She brings me here a lot.
Though I realize she never touches the flowers in the field. She tells me why today.
When her paintbrush falls to the ground and she picks up her hand brushes the grass and the grass lights on fire and turns to ash. She then explained to me that the life she touches dies.
When she stops talking and returns to her canvas I get lost in my own thought. My time will expire soon I can feel it approaching closely. I will have to leave a present.
“Light, do you know why I went into the UnderWorld even though I had a Yang side that could see through Yin’s plans?” Yin says snapping me out of my thoughts.
I shake my head no to her question. I always wondered that but I couldn’t come up with a logical answer for it.
“That’s because even though I am evil and Yang is good we both loved our parents and wouldn’t dream of hurting them. I will have to fight them in the future and I will not despise them if I lose. I hope they do not despise me if I win. I do love my parents but if I stayed around I was bound to hurt them. Yin was always more powerful than Yang that’s facts. Yin is an uncontrollable chaos that would hurt anything in her way. Thing is I’m not completely Yin. I still have some Yang in me.” She glances at the canvas quickly and sighs. “Well let’s go back home.”
Now I have to leave another present.
When we get back to the castle I go to my room and glance at the mirror. I see something strange in the mirror and I freeze. I see a girl with brown hair and brown eyes. I move my hand up and she does the same. Is this my reflection? I look down at my hand and see only my shadow palm.
I put my hand on my cheek and scratch downwards. The shadow skin flakes off and falls to the ground revealing human skin underneath. I cover my mouth as tears fall to the floor. I wasn’t born a shadow I was made into a shadow. By who? A vision pops into my mind of a elegant castle with many things in it and a throne covered in silk. Then a vision of me on the throne. I’m a God.
I bandage my hands with white bandages. When the last of the shadow comes off I remember almost everything. I still don’t know who did this to me but I really don’t care.
That night I concluded that I should leave. I leave presents for the following people Yin, Sun, and Moon. For Yin I leave a vase of flowers that she can touch and that never die. Sun and Moon I leave them a note of what their daughter told me. With that I return to my castle that my body instantly knew where it was.
Though something still bugs me to this day. What did Wisdom mean that I’ll never show my true form?