Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

A Bargain

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A fetid smell rose from the slave pens. Another had died in the night, and it would surely be days before their overlords would notice. . .and by that time, there might not be anything left for them to find, save a few chips of bone.

Rhoda had been praying for seventeen cycles for someone to come and rescue them, and even as he gave up hope, a figure appeared at dusk. One who seemed to be little more than spindles, allowing its hollow voice to fill the darkness between them.

“He who has summoned me, I am Ahsa the Blight of the Seven, the Bringer of Pestilence, and a Lord of the Under Realms. What would you have me do?” hissed the tall lanky figure from the shadows.

“Free us,” Rhoda replied.

The creature’s two eyes gleamed like fire as it whispered, “There are many of you. This will require a lot of power. Are you willing to give everything for these your people?”

“They are my family. They are all my brothers and sisters. We have suffered much pain. I would do or give anything for our freedom.”

“Anything?” Ahsa half questioned, half chuckled.

“Anything,” Rhoda answered tentatively.

“Good. A future favor is my price,” whispered the old one. “One to be asked sometime hence from now on my terms. It shall be one of my choosing that you must ask no questions about. Do you agree to these terms  Seridian mutt?”

“It seems that I have no choice.”

“Then, we seal it with our blood,” the figure responded as it slashed one hand with a gnarled talon from the other, and after doing the same of the slave, they clenched hands in a salute of understanding.

“And thus it is done,” creaked Ahsa.

In a blink, the creature extended its hands from the darkness and a ghostly light started to radiate from them. And for a moment, Rhoda held his breath as he waited for his friends, family, and himself to be transported away from this place of terror. However, Ahsa’s hands soon stopped glowing, and it turned to him.

“And now you are free, little Seridian. Remember our agreement. I will require something from you, one day,” it said, its jagged teeth gleaming in the light of its eyes.

An instant later, Ahsa was gone, and Rhoda found himself confused about what had happened. Then, he noticed the two guards, who had been standing watch in front of the slave pen, now hung from the side of the small hut closest to the pens. Slowly and cautiously, Rhoda exited the pens without alerting any of the others and walked closer to the hut’s wall. Suddenly, a metallic smell filled Rhoda’s nose, and he realized with horror that the men hung from small stakes that pierced their hands. What’s more, he saw that their entrails spilled out into the dust and understood that they were dead.

This dawned on Rhoda gradually, but then, he turned and began running toward the main body of the city Urant, yet even before he got too close, Rhoda noticed the grim forest of bodies. Some hanging from houses, more dangling from the trees, and others strung about the plaza fountain. Whether man, woman, or child, all were represented in the gruesome tableau, and not a single soul remained alive.

Rhoda fell to his knees at the sight, choking back the vomit. Tears filled his eyes, ones of disgust and joy, happiness and pain as he knew all this freed his people. But he did not want it to be like this. Not like this at all.

*******************************************************************************************************************

All the while, Ahsa watched from the shadows with a jagged smile parting its cadaverous lips.

 

 

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Written by barryr22

April 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm

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