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The Price

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The night air is still and cold. Nary a mouse moved, but yet the very Earth seemed alive with the presence of death.

I was standing in a graveyard, the moon glistening on my pale skin. I breathed in a breath of the chill air and exhaled in a whoosh. A serif stood near me, it's stony eyes fixed forever on some far-off point. This I headed for, making my way through the graves that seemed to groan with the loss of their inhabitants futures. Upon reaching the silent angel, I knelt, staring up at his resolute face. The serif seemed resigned, as if he had accepted that his fate was to stay here, forever among those who had left. I pulled out my knife and quickly made a small cut on the inside of my wrist. I squeezed a drop of blood out and pressed this to the serif's lips. Bringing my wrist back down, I waited. My patience was not tried for long. "You have come" said the serif, his alabaster lips barely moving. I nodded silently. "Why?" he asked. "You told me once that the power could be mine" I answered my light voice sighing into the deathly air. "I told you that that the power could be yours if, and only if, you were willing to pay the price" the serif responded, his lips still tinted red with my blood. "I am willing" I said humbly, lowering my head so that my eyes would not meet his as I spoke these words. "Then come."

Satisfied with my answer the serif stepped away from the crypt he guarded and beckoned me forward. I followed hesitantly as the doors to the crypt opened to reveal a long staircase boring deep into the ground. The tunnel into which I descended from the staircase was dank and cold. Moisture slid off of the walls to drip onto the floor below landing on the ground with a steady rhythm of plink, plink. The angel walked ahead of me, his alabaster feet making nary a sound on the earthen floor. My own feet crunched on unseen things as I walked a few feet behind the serif. As we walked through the tunnel neither of us spoke, our eyes were transfixed on some dim point in the dark. At length we came to the end of the tunnel, as could be seen by the fading of dark and the coming of a dim russet glow. The tunnel opened into a high vault of a cave, more like a king's chamber than a cave. The place was empty except for a pedestal that stood in the exact center of the room. On top of the pedestal lay a bowl and a crude knife beside it. The serif beat his stone wings and flew, light as a feather, to the pedestal. I padded silently to the pedestal as well. When I arrived there I noticed that the pedestal was not crude and simple like the knife that lay upon it. It had intricate designs carved into it. As I peered closer I saw that these were histories, accounting's of the Anima Perduta's, the Lost Soul's, doings going back several centuries. The serif that stood opposite me belonged to this order. In a few moments I too would belong to this order. "The price for this power is great little girl, are you sure that this is what you want?" he asked. I nodded, not trusting my voice. "Give me your hand." The angel said. I extended it to him. Only then did I notice the deep line etched into his alabaster arm. "Do you swear upon your heart, soul, life, and death to serve the order and help in all of which it endeavors in." the serif asked, his eyes boring straight to my soul. "Yes." I replied my voice echoing with a menacing finality, lingering for just a moment too long. The serif, whom still held my arm, with this picked up the knife and brought it to the inside of my wrist. I did not flinch as he brought the knife down, nor did I grow dizzy as I saw the scarlet blood pour into the bowl below. Dropping my hand the serif then cut his own and a white substance, the color of bright moonbeams, fell into the bowl to join mine. He stired our blood with the knife then poured it onto the pedestal. Instead of sitting there, as it would have on any normal pedestal, it sank into the stone, as if it had never been. A glow then rose from both I, the serif, and the pedestal. The glow was a brilliant red threaded with moonbeams of white. I began to feel quite peculiar. Large and yet small, whole and yet broken. Then the pain started. I felt as if I was being ripped apart from the inside out. I screamed, but my cries fell upon deaf ears. I heard a chanting begin in the background, a steady thrum. the chant increased it's tempo and volume as the pain grew greater and my screams increased in urgency. I wondered why the serif did not help me, I knew the answer in my heart though, the serif cared not whether I did or did not survive.

As quickly as the pain had come though, it vanished. The serif had ceased his chanting and I lay crumpled on the floor. I felt as if I could not move, I felt paralyzed staring transfixed at an image at the pedestal's base. This image was of the beginning. When all of the Anima Perduta came together to form their order. Our order. The whisper echoed not in the cave, but in my mind, the meaning slowly unfolding to me. The power is yours now. The silken voice whispered. I gasped in delight and sprang to my feet. A full-length mirror had been placed in front of me, though I had detected none in the room before the ceremony. I gazed at my reflection, my delight turning to a glorified sense of amazement. My dark brown hair had turned a glorious jet-black. My eyes were a brilliant emerald shining hard as if they truly were the precious stone. My skin was as pale as the serif's, but soft as a cloud's kiss. I stood there for a moment and then remembered what the voice had said. "The power is mine now" I whispered, hardly believing it. I raised my hand. A shower of rose petals came from the air failing down to softly brush my skin. I truly did have the power to make things happen now! The power to create things that never were, the power to make him see me, to make him love me...... Remember the Price Raina, the price that comes with this power. I stopped dead in my reveling. The voice spoke again, no longer sounded sweet and silken, it now had the air of a snake closing in for the kill. You were warned Raina, remember that. Then I bent double as my soul curled in on itself, grabbed by some unseen force. I was being torn apart, ripped to shreds. I was no longer Raina Tuili anymore, I was someone different, someone he could never love.

I sank into despair crying, begging for mercy, but clemency I was not granted. The Anima Perduta's history filled my soul, until I ceased to exist. It was a void this organization, for here we all truly are lost souls. This was a nothing, devoid of purpose and life. Other soul's stood in this void, but they too were a form of nothing, listless creatures who did no more than simply exist. There was great power here, but the price was indeed too high. The price was my soul, my life, my identity. I was a nothing now, a pale imprint of a creature, forever lost from everything, except for existence. I turned to the serif whom looked at me now with eyes full of pity. "Why?" I whispered, my voice hoarse from crying. "Because the snake must strike at his prey to live." the serif replied. "But you do not live" I whispered. "The order needs fresh souls to continue existing." after a moments hesitation he added "I'm sorry" and left, gliding on silent wings to the waiting gloom of the surface. I stood there for a while longer staring at the empty space where the serif had stood. I rose then and left too, heading towards the castles of Hivakri to find that which I could not have.

Centuries later I still stand where I landed, a statue to most, standing in the prince's garden. My albaster lips never move though I yearn to scream I'm here! My heart never beats though I still feel the throbbing ache of loss. I am still a member of the Anima Perduta's order, awaiting the silken whisper to send me at it's bidding. Until then though, I wait, in a world that I do not belong to, for my twisted soul to disappear.





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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

krarthurs said...
Jun. 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm
Description is your thing. It was very easy to picture the scene. Great job!
 
Ponch said...
May 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Very well written. Good visualization. Makes the scene come alive (or dead in this case).
 
fidel said...
May 7, 2010 at 12:11 am
I thought your descriptions were rich and fluid. The message was clear. I would like to know more about the girl and what drew her to this place....... More about the relationship
 
jayne said...
May 6, 2010 at 11:14 pm
It is the ultimate price.  Captured my attention, while warning me to guard my soul.  You might really like Stephanie's recent favorite book "Phantom" by Susan Kay, it too is good and creepy.
 
TashaSunny said...
May 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Cuore's "The Price" gave me goosebumps. It was unexpected, eerily descriptive and gripping. Thanks for sharing your story!

Sorry for the muliple posts. Not sure whose facebook account it is going to post to.

 
TashaSunny said...
May 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm
Cuore's "The Price" gave me goosebumps. It was unexpected, eerily descriptive and gripping. Thanks for sharing your story!
 
TashaSunny said...
May 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm
Cuore's "The Price" gave me goosebumps. It was unexpected, eerily descriptive and gripping. Thanks for sharing your story!
 
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