Sacrifice- Part One (Short Story)

Blood seeped through the floorboards, it did not belong to anyone else but him. They spell had gone wrong, the sacrifice did not work. He had hoped that this time it would take, that he would become as powerful as he wanted to be. The sun was beginning to rise and he would have to get the mess cleaned up. Slaughtering animals in his living room was not the way he thought his life would turn out. Alas, someone had to do it and unfortunately it was him. His clan had been long go. They slowly began to abandon the rituals one by one because they never worked. He was the only one left, the only one who hadn’t completely given up. Maybe he should have, maybe it was time for him to let go.

He shook the thought away and cleaned up the mess. The carcass would join the others out back until he had time to dispose of them all. Luckily, he had no neighbors, so the only thing the smell would attract was more wild animals. It helped his cause but the smell was starting to get to him. He scrubbed the floor without even having to think about it. It was such a part of his routine that he could do it with his eyes closed.

Once he was done, he headed to the shower to clean himself up. There was so much time available to him considering her didn’t have to sleep anymore. One of the sacrifices did not go the way he had planned, so he was cursed with the ability to stay awake. It had it’s upside but he longed to dream again. It was the only way he had ever truly felt connected to his cause but it was stolen from him in the name of it. He scrubbed his body hard, hard enough that his skin felt raw when he was done. He never truly felt like he got all of the blood off of him. He always smelled a faint whiff of iron. It comforted him in a way but he hated it at the same time. When he finished cleaning his body, he stepped out of the shower and avoided seeing his reflection in the mirror. He hated seeing all the scars on his body and the last thing he wanted to do was look in his own eyes.

Leaving the bathroom in a hurry, he almost slipped in a puddle. When he steadied himself, he looked up to see an ominous form lingering in front of him. His heart went cold and he froze. It hovered there for a while, it had holes where eyes should be but it was not in the form of a body. It was black smoke but he could feel its eyes on him, even though it had none. He did not move or make a sounds, the form lingered for a few more moments and then disappeared. He was still frozen in his spot as he was unsure of what to do. It was the first time in a long time that he was frightened of something. He took a deep breath and shook the image from his mind. Surely his inability to sleep may have been causing hallucinations. He got dressed and the hairs on his neck were still standing on end. He tried again to shake the form from his mind but could not. Maybe there was a meaning behind it after all. He walked over to his bookshelf and grabbed the ancient texts he kept stored there. He hoped that they would have some kind of answers for what he just saw.

He spent hours pouring through the books but found nothing. He sighed in exasperation, there had to be an answer somewhere. He could not spend his whole day preoccupied with it, he had work to do. The books were safely put away and he began his trek into the woods behind his house. It was a long walk but the day was nice and clear. He let his mind go blank as he walked the trail to his traps. He hoped to see them filled with animals need for his daily sacrifices but they were getting harder to come by. He feared he would have to move again, maybe he was depleting the supply of this area. He did not think that was possible but stranger things had happened to him. Every trap he came across was empty, there was nothing for him to make another sacrifice with. This frightened him even more as he could not stop. The sacrifices were what was keeping him alive and if they stopped, he feared that would be the end for him. Maybe the end was what he needed, he had grown tired of the daily slaughter sessions and sleepless nights. All of the glory he once thought he would have, never came.

He had forsaken his name, his family, and everything he loved in search of eternity; in search of ultimate power. Power that never came, no matter how hard he had tried. Everything made sense at one point in time but it was all starting to fall apart. He headed back to towards home empty handed. There was nothing he could do to make the animals come in time, so he had no choice but to forgo a sacrifice for the night. When he got back, he was almost too nervous to enter his own home. He feared the ominous figure would come back. So, he entered his home timidly, unsure of what would be waiting for him in it. He held his breath while the door swung open and the tenseness in his shoulders left when he saw his empty living room.

When he entered, the door slammed shut behind him. This caused him to jump and turn around fast enough to fall over. When he hit the ground, his eyes filled with stars because he had smacked his head rather hard. When the stars cleared, he saw the ominous figure looming over him. He tried to scramble away but found that he could not move or speak. His heart began to race, his skin grew clammy, and his throat felt dry.

“All this time and you have not given up.” It said with a deep, raspy voice.

He opened his mouth to speak but no sound manifested.

“There is no need for you to say anything, I already know all that you have done. Your tireless efforts have gone unrewarded and sadly, they will continue to be. People do things in hope for some gain, whether it be karmic or something we believe we deserve. The truth is no one deserves anything, at least not in the ways we believe that they do.” It paused. “I admire your tenacity to the cause, you stumbled across my books so long ago and just dived right in. Not knowing that it would never yield the results you were looking for. I suppose that was the real test, to see who would be willing to go this far.” It floated to the other side of the room.

He was finally able to stand up, he wanted to face the figure while on his feet. Once again, he tried to talk but no sound came out.

It spoke, “The truth is, you got the sacrifice part right but you have been sacrificing the wrong things. You see, it is not animals I am after; it never was. I am and always have been in search of a vessel. A place to reside which is something I have been missing for so long. The others were viable candidates but they all gave up too soon. But you, you are something special and I would very much like to reside within you.” It laughed.

His eyes grew wide with fear, this was not what he wanted. There had to be a way to change his fate and he hoped it wasn’t too late.

A. Rose

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